Black Reunion

“Would you like some wine?”

There was a long pause as his fingers combed through soft long dark hair. The head on his lap shifts. There is a sigh and the voice that responds is a whisper.

“No…shouldn’t I be the one asking you that? You’re in my home, father would have disapproved of me for being such a terrible host.”

There’s so much sorrow in his tone, it cuts Armand so deep. “I’m sure he was proud of the person you have become, Jantis. You and Hezke both…you’ve become great people. You’ve both made his House proud.”

Jantis frowns, the way he does when he is deep in thought.

“I’m not sure what to do now. How to move on…”

Armand knew that train of thought too well. He’s been there too, he can’t think of a worse feeling than losing someone you love to Death.

“You will move on. All of you will. But for now it’s the time to grief, let your emotions surface. You know I’m here to listen and there is no weakness in sorrow, lets you know you’re human.”

Jantis nods and tries to give Armand a small smile. It comes out as a grimace instead.

“Thank you for accompanying Hezke after she told you of our loss. It’s been nice to have you around, even in these circumstances.”

Armand continues to runs his fingers through Jantis’ hair. The movement ever so gently. “I saw you in my dream.” He can feel Jantis twitch at the mention of dreams. “I didn’t see you, I saw a shadow…surrounded by despair. I knew it was you…though I had no idea what had happened. I thought I would ride here and see you before going back to Bravestone….and then Hezke told me of the sad news.”

Jantis gives a soft chuckle “dreams still happening I see. Just like when we were children.”

Not just like it, Armand thought. He still hadn’t asked Hezke or Jantis how their father died, he figured when they felt like telling him they would. Still, he wondered in his dreams could have prevented Graf Heidrich’s death…and there would be a pang of guilt in the future if he found out he could have. But his dreams latety had been more enigmatic than before…sometimes they would give him premonitions of things he had been worrying about, other times his dreams would take him in directions he was not expecting. He had yet to have a grasp on controlling them and even how to interpret the imagery he was given.

He feels Jantis shifts and then stand up slowly, fixing his clothes as he tries to regain composure.

“I should get ready, in case other houses come to pay respects.”

Armand nods, getting up himself and straightening his jacket. There’s a long comfortable silence as they both slowly try to make themselves more presentable in front of the mirror. Armand feels like Jantis wants to say something but is holding it back…he can feel it by the way he shifts his body back and forth. He decides to take the initiative.

“I know this is probably not a time to have guests here in the house. I wanted to comfort you, wanting to be of help if I could. But I also don’t want to be a burden, and if you’d rather be alone I can travel home after the funeral. I promise I understand needing space right now.”

They stare at each other for a while before Jantis crosses the room to open the door, looking back at Armand with a hint of relief in his voice.

“You can send a raven to Bravestone…let the King know that you’ll be staying here for the foreseeable future.”

The Prince gives Jantis Heidrich a soft smile “At once, my lord.”

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