I Did Push You Harder

MjAxNC04ZjBlYTU5ZmNiZjdiZjY4Hello!  Time again for another WIPpet Wednesday post.  I am taking you back to Courting the Swan Song for this excerpt as I’m trying to focus my energy on that and its subsequent books for the rest of the summer.  I love the characters, love the story…  but I’d really like to be able to write “The End” one of these days.

Not that endings are really the end of things….

So anyway, here we are with Alanii trying to break from under his father’s thumb.  I give you twenty sentences for you for the 20th of May.  No fancy maths today…  just twenty for 20.

Alanii didn’t know what to say to that, and at last he just nodded. “Even so, you treated me worse than a scoundrel, accusing me of testing your mettle—accusing me of exactly the thing it seems you were doing to me.”

There was no apology in the guardsman’s expression as he nodded. “You’re right, my lord. I did test you. From the moment you entered that line you were being tested, by me, by my men—did you know that one of those “recruits” out there happens to be one of my own men, watching and listening to everyone who came here?” Just before Alanii could saying anything about how the man could have just asked Valichii to point him out, the commander shook his head. “We don’t do it for your benefit, at least not directly. It’s something we do every recruitment season to help weed out potential problems when they aren’t standing in front of this table performing for my benefit.

“And if you must know more, once you presented yourself, I did push you a bit harder than I had intended at first. Someday, if I live that long, you’ll be the Holder of my Oath, my lord. I had the chance to see for myself the nature of the man I would be serving before it happened by the cruelty of Fate, and I had to also see how serious you were. It would be pointless of me to approach your father on your behalf if you were simply acting out of childish rebellion or out of simply stir-craziness.”

Alanii began to open his mouth, to insist that he was quite serious about his desire to do as he said. He shut it again quickly. Then as the Guard commander nodded as of in response to his unasked question he closed his eyes again and let out a heavy breath. “Why?” he whispered.

“When a young man in your position spends a year almost to the day, struggling with himself over a decision like this one, he isn’t just going to let it lie until he at least has tried something. I knew you would be coming to see me one day; I just wasn’t sure of when.”

That’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Now, hopefully you’ll head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members.  And thank you, KLSchwengel for hosting the sprint and putting up with all our silliness.  😀

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18 responses to “I Did Push You Harder

  1. Oh, interesting. It seems like there’s been a bit of play-counter-play going on and the guardsman has managed to keep the upper hand in it. I think it was brilliant, if risky, of him to test Alanii, knowing he’s eventually have authority over him.

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    • There definitely is play-counter-play going on. And it could be risky, but I think Lanilis knew he was going to win before he even made his first move. He’s not one to just act without considering things carefully.

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  2. I do love the tension here, and the testing. I think testing that blatantly is not often seen. I like that.

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  3. Sometimes it’s to someone’s benefit to be pushed so hard, even if it feels awful at the time. The ultimate benefits and rewards can make it all worthwhile.

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    • There’s pushing and pushing…. I like to think that Lanilis knows how to push without grinding someone into the ground. And… I think both Alanii and he believe the benefits are worth the trouble. Thanks for commenting, Carrie-Anne.

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  4. I think this is my favorite part: “When a young man in your position spends a year almost to the day, struggling with himself over a decision like this one, he isn’t just going to let it lie until he at least has tried something.” It resonates strongly with me. Very interesting exchange between these two.

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    • I’m glad you liked the scene, Amy. Haven’t we all worked ourselves up to just “do something” like this before?

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  5. Nice excerpt! Go for it, Eden. 🙂

    Writing “the end” is a good thing, despite the danger of postpartum depression. *g* But there is always the possibility of continuing the story if the resonance is good enough and you haven’t killed everyone off yet …

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    • Oh… I can’t kill them all off and bring them back as zombies? 😉

      Though really, I agree. It’s a “bit” sad, but mostly I see “The End” as a door to a new world.

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  6. Oh, Alanii – always moody and searching…searching…always trying to turn everything over every possible way to look at it from every direction….

    So much angst. So much time to feel it…

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  7. Oh, that ending. Nicely done! I really want to know what is going on surrounding this bit! It feels like I’m walking in on something very deep, but murky (in a good, mysterious way).

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  8. “The End” is always a double-edged sword in my book… er… no puns intended. 😉 I like reaching it, but there’s always that feeling of ‘what now?’ even when I have other projects lined up. Not to mention missing the characters that I’ve just spent how long with???

    I like the testing in this excerpt. I’m one to do that. Push someone to see what they’ve got and if they’re serious. Risky to do when they one you’re pushing will someday be in charge, though.

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    • You’ve nailed another reason I like writing fanfictions, Kathi… even “fanfictions” of my own characters stories. The what-ifs. I hate leaving them too. They’re close dear friends by the end of a story.

      Glad you liked it. I think it’d be good if more people were pushed this way, personally.

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