(514-06-23) The Thunder Rolls
Summary: Perin saves Evae's life and she helps him… even as he helps her.
Date: 06-23-514
Related: Trouble in Sarum 1
perin evae 

Spring showers gave way to Summer Storms. The sort that built up over the cool Atlantic and drifted to the warm Salisbury Plains, enough to create downpours from time to time. Perin de Steeple Langford still needed time, away, alone even. He was healing from wounds from the Battle at Sarum's Gate, the worse the mental sort for the now. He needed to be out and about. He rode north from Steeple Langford, away from river and road alike. To be out and about. A few rains of late left some of the gullies with water, he crossed a few to be out in open fields of grass. The coming clouds didn't deter him either. Its more when the rain came that he decided to turn.
It came and hard, a sheet, large drops falling in a wall. What this did was make the gullies dangerous to cross for man, horses would have a difficult time. But he was moving back south again. Miles from home, considering a copse of trees instead and making shelter from what he had in his back. No chainmail, but sword and shield along with standard gear of course. Soaked to the bone, he rode forth now, approaching one of those gullies turned seasonal river for the duration of this rain at least, and no end in sight from the dark clouds overhead.

It's a little further down, no where near Winterbourne Stoke and the grouping of houses there but closer to there than to Steeple Langford, that a sound could be heard. At first it could be mistaken for the calling of a bird, a bit high pitched, muted through the sheets of rain that are falling. The sound comes again though, more desperate and followed by a foreboding silence for several long moments. It's on the third try that the cry is more clear, "Help!" Fear, terror, everything imaginable is in that one word, and further down from where Perin is contemplating the copse of trees, Evae is sinking and rising in the gully, alone, grasping for the dirt bank that keeps eroding, crumbling as she grabs for it, leaving her at the mercy of the rushing water.
Her head bobs under again and there's silence, that quiet in the rain that leaves one to believe something terrible had happened.. and then again, she surfaces and calls again, this time the sound is weaker, she's tired, giving up.. clinging to a root on the side that the rushing water is slowly making her lose her grasp on. She's tired.. so tired.

Help, its the only word he needs to here. Perin had been letting the rain fall on his head as he rode south. No rush, the cool fall of rain against him, down with his spirits. Lost in that thought, as he had been for the time since the battle, its the sound that gets him. Could be any sound, but again. Its more the distinct help that pulls him from those thoughts. No time to even think, he hears the help, he dismounts as quickly as he can coming near the edge. The sound weaker, he stops there and rushes to see. The root, he feared worse, but little time, he grabs the reins so that the horse can hold him steady and he moves to take her by the hand, to pull her up and out. The charger can easily do both, if he can reach her hand and start lifting her from the raging water.

There is desperation in her eyes, Evae hears help, was it help or her imagination? Then there's a face and she cries out again, "Help me, please, help me!" She's afraid to let go of the root, her only lifeline. She wouldn't find the strength to surface if she went under again. Weak already from the efforts, her hands are slipping, she clutches frantically. "Please don't let me die," the words are pleading, her hands slip further, she's almost out of root to hold on to and the water is rushing faster and faster, pushing her. "I'm afraid.." One hand slips off…

"Never, I could never let you die," and this is a fight he can make, unlike the one that fateful morning that was out of his control. He can make that effort to save this one. The wet hair, the dark skies overhead, he doesn't fully realize who this is. It doesn't matter, Perin can save her. He tightens his grip as he reaches to hold her wrist, to stop her before she slips away. "Don't be afraid, I have you …. I won't ever let go." He may have meant he won't let go, but the mix of emotions in him his him saying more. "I have you …" Once he feels his hand firmly about her arm, he click towards his horse and shake the reins to push him back a little, to pull them both up then.

There was warmth in his words, the quiet reassurance. Like him, Evae doesn't recognize him, not with the pouring rain, the dark skies. She's wearing a dress and not armor, it clings to her heavily even as he pulls her out. Once free of the water and on the bank, she clings to him, burying her face against his chest, sobs of relief shaking her entire body, taller than her sister of course. Shivering, she doesn't let go, keeping him at his word to not let her go. She can't speak to thank him, not yet, she's just clinging to him as if she might slip back in, and she's crying, so many tears mixing with the rain pouring down.

Reassuring words come to him, "You're safe, I have you." He says, moving to stand near the horse, her between them for warmth for the moment. "Rest, please rest. I won't let go …." Sadness hits him there, he can't let go now, never again. He inhales, she is crying, he has to be strong for her. "You are out of the flood, we shall make a shelter, to warm you up." He keeps one hand about her, the other he moves to the front flank of the horse to push and guide towards a cluster of trees. "I'll protect you, let me take care of you …" His head buries itself a little at her neck, as if wrapping chin around her in that moment, being more the shield against the world that rages on about them.

Facing death was a frightening experience and Evae was weak from her efforts. Clinging to him as much for comfort as she is to remain on her feet, she doesn't look up, simply accepts the gesture of reassurance. Her voice is whispered, "Thank you, thank you," she whispers softly. As he buries his face against her, she shudders again, clinging tightly. "You saved me," there's a touch of awe and hero worship there.

The move towards the trees continues, the rain still falling in that sheet. "I could not let you go," he says quieclyt, when she points out he saved her, the humble approach on the surface, even if his mind was elsewhere. Yet, its coming more into the now. "My lady, you can thank me when this storm has passed and we can safely cross that sudden flood to have you safely home. He lets go the rein of his horse, who will stand nearby, perhaps eat some grass even. Two arms again to her, one around her back, the other is a hand on the back of her head, as if she were but a babe. Though he lowers to the ground to set her near a tree to rest, so he can make shelter, fire, anything needed to get her warm. Gently his arms unfold and he sees her face. Her hair dark the moment from the rain. His hand comes up, similarities there for the moment. "I would do so again … and again …" Then a blink, recognition coming to him. Realizing his hand was so close to her cheek he could feel the warmth there. He pulls it back reluctantly "Forgive me, my Lady."

With no objections on moving wherever he is leading her, Evae allows him to lead her, still weak from her struggles, she puts up none now. When they get to the shelter, she shivers again, it was cold even for the summer, but mostly because of the darkened skies hindering the sunshine that would bring the warmth. Taking a seat, she draws up her knees, wrapping her arms around herself, tilting her head back to look at him with blue eyes twin to her sisters. "Th..thank you," she says softly, feeling the warmth of his hand to her cheek, accepting the warmth of it before he pulls it back. "Sir," she gently corrects, "Though I fear I'm not acting like one."

Shelter there, he stands slowly, to unpack. Something to cover them, some blankets that should be dry in the leather tent that is part of his gear. "I would act the same, Sir," he returns to her, looking over his shoulder at Evae as he pulls them out to careful construct them protection until the storm passes and the water subsides. "You're welcome … Sir Evae." He gives the name, showing he figured out who it was. She may know him by now too. "I'm only sorry I didn't come near sooner, I was lost in thought and am ashamed it took me so long to come to your side."

Evae watches him when he withdraws, suddenly bereft without the comfort he had offered. Only when he returns to her does she realize who he is and the blush rises into her cheeks, "Sir.. Perin." There is only the slightest of hesitation as she says his name. "You couldn't know that I was in danger, that I had fallen in. My horse will find his own way home."

Using a strong chord from his pack, he sets about to use the leather tent to cover them, offering some place to be out of rain completely. The trees, and tying it off to get it in place. "If I had been myself, I would of been to your side sooner. I am sorry." He says it slowly, a slight grunt here and there as he pulls the rope, tightens the fastenings. Then he is under the cover with her, kneeling at her side. As if he were more familiar with her, he is taking his wool blanket to cover her. As if tucking her in, thoughtless in the motion. Finally he finds her blue eyes again, a slight gathering in his eye, more moist. "I am deeply sorry …"

Still soaking wet from being in the water, soaked through all of her clothing, chilled to the bone, Evae doesn't move from her spot even when he covers them with the tent, waiting until the last to get beneath the canopy with him. When he is there, kneeling at her side, she lifts those eyes, so like her sisters, to rest on his. Seeing the moisture in his, she feels an echoing pain in her own. "I.. nothing feels like it will be right again. I miss her, but I feel like I have to be strong and not show it. You.. you understand." She leans her forehead against him, taking a shuddering breath, trying to offer comfort even as she seeks it.

A tightening in his right jaw there, to be strong and show it. He needs to be despite the muddle on the inside of him right now. Perin feels her forhead come to him and his hands come out to hold her again. Not that he means to, but his hands cling to her dress and hold her close to him, knuckles turning a little where he grabs her fabric. "I do … understand." The effort to keep teeth together is heard in his voice. "The world is upside down," he says, and proverbial it seems his hands cling to Evae in that moment. She was beautiful, those eyes, so similar. "We must be strong …. I'm trying, I really am." His chin lowers, his cheek might nuzzle slightly against hers. It could be wet, but they just came out of the rain. "And I am sorry, it is all my fault." Most sorry to her, her family, she is there as family. Even sorry to Aeryn, Evae receiving the blunt of that sympathy he has in what he feels he has done.

The tears want to come, they are stinging her eyes behind closed lids as Evae holds it in but just barely. Perin understands, he loved her sister as she had. It had been in the wedding dance, the looks between the two, the love had been so visible to see. Lost. All lost with the swing of a Saxon axe. She can feel the fight within him in the tenseness of his muscles, the clenching of his jaw as his arms come around her and his cheek brushes hers. The wetness is echoed by hot tears of her own as she accepts the comfort and her tears join his. "Let go, we can let go together, we don't have to be strong just this once." The words come out disjointed and halting, trying to hold in the sobs that she just cannot hold any longer. Her body is wracked with them as she holds him, the closest person she has to her sister, and she mourns her loss. His loss. Their loss. "No.. no one is to blame."

Feeling the hot mosture on her cheek, even the clench of his jaws cannot stop his own, and tears fall freely to mingle with hers. The clenched hands move, becoming opened, splaying over her back and holding her tight to him. The hint of a sob in his body. "I was there, I should of stayed close …" He says, than shakes his head against here. She's right, but he's still sorry. He needed warmth, he needs her now. She needed out of the river, but he's nearly going to drown and needs to be saved too. "I won't leave you." He says, meaning it, clinging himself to her.

As the storm rages on outside of the makeshift shelter, the storm is inside. A different sort of storm all together, but strained emotions all the same. As his hands open and splay over her, her own turn to fists, taking the cloth of his tunic into her clenched hands as she clings to him. "You're alive, there's a reason for it," she says softly, intent on saving him as he had her. Her hands gentle then, lifting one to tenderly touch his shoulder. "I won't leave you." She lifts her head just a little, seeking his eyes, a slow blink as the tears wash down her cheeks. "I won't leave you, Perin." Unlike her sister, she is not bound by so many niceties to use the title, apparently expecting him to do the same.

Perin checked his amor for aeryn of 13, he rolled 2.

You check your love for family at 15, you rolled 12.

There could be lightning off in the distance, they may need to stay some time here, that sound is lost to Perin of course. Even his horse only looks partially away, and continues moving about and eating the grass in this little glade they have found. He is close to losing it, true, and her hands pull him to this moment. This warm body next to him. He couldn't bring her back, but the world wasn't entirely over though, was it? Her eyes sought his and he lets her find them, an anchor there, her blue eyes. "Don't, don't leave me …" He looks at her and he's lost in that moment of emotion, of absolutely needing someone. She was here, it was her family in a way as well. A hand unfolds, reaching to hold her cheek, fingers pushing up towards the locks of her hair. "Evae, I need you." He admits humbly, near a whisper of his breath and his eyes betray his storm of emotions, looking down at her lips as he leans into her rather than hold her to him.

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