“We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.” ― Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas

AofE 10

Alexandra Drăgana

Scene 10

Alexandra studied Cezar in muted admiration. His hair and beard were immaculately trimmed and lay in obedient waves on his tanned face and noble head. He wore a formal black uniform fashioned to fit his physique. The jacket covered a starched white shirt and shiny black bowtie. His proud chest was a garden of colorful medals, ribbons, sashes, golden colored cords, and adorned epaulets. The handsome Viscount and the dual wolves on the coat of arms electrified Alexandra. The wolves, she thought. Our connection is the wolves but what do they mean? She had only questions and no answers.

A manicured hand captured the Lady Alexandra’s arm and led her toward the far door, and they began to stroll down the hall. Footsteps and polite voices carried on echoes as in dreams, a mesmerizing susurration to the ears. Such a foreign discourse of noble speak was a drug to Alexandra’s nervous heart. Dari allowed the couple to move ahead two paces and she took up her position to the rear and right in a trained procession of softly spoken sub rosa.

“Please allow me to tell you a bit about Castle Răzvan and those people of my family tied to its history,” Cezar said to his silent captive.

Alexandra struggled not to croak out her acceptance through the tension she felt in her throat. Breath, she thought. It’s a performance, girl. You’re no stranger to this. She nodded her approval, and the Viscount launched into his tour.

They stopped at the first painted panel above a massive mirror bordered by two tall gilded candelabras. There, in an outdoor scene was a king clothed in a bear fur cape with his queen at his side. “Here is the first Dacian King of what is now Romania. My forefather was the first to attempt to unite the Thracian tribes against the invaders, but pride and duplicitous allegiances left the many tribes weak to conquest. They fell to the invaders one by one. The king was mortally wounded in one of those battles. His queen went on to lead the tribe to several victories until she too was killed.”

Alexandra stood spellbound looking at the painting she felt such an affinity for, but more gripping was, her and Cezar’s reflection in the mirror. She saw how they fit together and felt a deep sensation of belonging.

They continued down the line. “Here in this painting is the Răzvan family. Brothers and uncles have come together with strong allies across the land and formed the Society of Wolves. We united to fight the Romans as they sought to make us slaves giving our lives and fealty to Rome. We could not allow it and did not for 300 years until finally, Rome overpowered us.”

“Is this Society of Wolves the symbolism from your coat of arms?” Alexandra asked.

“Yes, it is. The wolf lived free on these lands before men came to settle it. They are still free though we struggle with too many weaknesses and disunity to live like the wolves in a society of cooperation.” Cezar replied his voice softer, more personal.

“Do you keep wolves here at the castle?” Alexandra asked, hoping to get an explanation of what she saw that night with the hooded woman and the two wolves.

“Perhaps you’ve seen them. We don’t keep the wolves. They are free to come and go as they please, but we do feed them, and they have become faithful friends.” Cezar answered with a touch of pride in his voice.

“I have always had a love for wolves. They are my spirit animal. That’s why I got the two tattoos on my back. It gave me strength and inspiration to master my trade.” Alexandra explained as she watched for a hint of understanding in the Viscount’s eyes.

And, there it was. The look Alexandra desired, the acceptance she wanted all of her life. Cezar’s deep voice filled her attentive ears as his hand brushed up her back to her shoulder where he squeezed her arm in a silent affirmation. The millimeters of space between them disappeared in a tender hug before the distance was regained out of respect for the lady, of course. Dari had averted her face and now checked timidly to discover the kiss had not occurred as she anticipated. She wondered how she could hurry this subtle seduction along.

“Perhaps down here in this panel, you will find further reasons for your attachment to our wolves.” Cezar escorted Alexandra to the end of the hall, stopped, and looked up. He regarded the panel with admiration, looked at Alexandra, and explained. “This is the Duke and his wife, the Duchess Drăgana.” Alexandra looked on at the scene of the royal couple. The woman was an older version of herself. She could see the likeness. There sat a young boy and girl in the foreground with a forward-looking wolf of immense size.  

“Is, is the Duchess from my family?”  Alexandra asked.

“Your great-grandfather’s family, My Lady,” Cezar replied.

“Who are the children?” Alexandra began to feel her emotions breach the surface of her struggle to hold herself together. The welling up of the lost years of her life ran through her mind.

“They are your grandfather and his sister, Alexandra,” Cezar said as Dari came up to her side.

The dam broke.

Go To Scene 11

Image Source: King Carol of Romania. National Archives of Romania. Bucharest Collection.


72 thoughts on “The Agony of Ecstasy_Scene 10

    1. You hit on a critical point of the story. It’s about an awakening a sort of revenant coming to an awareness of their true intent and destiny of purpose. To finally be with those that understand what she has been through and how it has constrained and cacooned her life is electrifying and suddenly Alexandra is feeling this strange connection with the mysterious Cezar and the endearing Dari. She is slowly putting it all together. LoL, I get excited just talking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have to admit, i also had some wild thoughts that lingered in me as I get inside Alexandra’s mind. She’s full of hot and playful reverie it’s too damn real. And the enigma behind the wolves and her calling makes me crave for more. You are clever! Tss as always lol i hope the revelation about the questions in her mind (and in my mind too) shows up in the next chapter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a great complement, Apple and I thank you for it. The best result I could hope for is Alexandra to become the muse for one’s imagination. That gives her life, real life. Her past is embedded in her subconscious and little by little she finds the missing pieces as Cezar and Dari guide her to the discovery of who she is. Then there is their fate that must play out for fate is inexorable and it comes in its own time. There is much for Alexandra to learn and it has started. You are right, there is much more to come to light.


    1. I really enjoyed this latest post. We are getting inside of Paul and Akira’s bonding which holds so much pote tial for the challenges ahead. I do believe Akira can and will develop emotions. It takes time but at the moment of their extreme challenge as real money hunts them down, being emotionless is an extreme advantage. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out. I’m stocking up on pizza and freeze dried beer and settling in for the long haul.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, part of our research is how to develop AI’s that can develop a pseudo-awareness through self learning and emotional development. AI by it’s nature is created as a narcissist or sociopath. If the AI can learn emotions by interacting with humans it can make decisions with empathetic input algorithms. This would help keep AI’s from becoming dangerous to humanity. They would nurture or destroy using emotional intelligence along with logic decision matrixes. So it would be possible to build a life partner AI that would love their human and never harm him or her, perform nurturing and devotion level tasks and experience satisfaction from that. Also, they would be very efficient at killing intruders that acted in threatening ways or car jackers. We are excited about the possibility of developing hunter-killers for military and police work. They will have to have a very powerful intellect and not go shooting up the place by accident. That would be a real politically incorrect thing to do. 🤠

          Liked by 1 person

            1. My pleasure George! While I preach a cautionary tale on AI advancements, I still am fascinated by it all. Emotional intelligence and self awareness in a non sentient thing is scary indeed. Imagine a narcissist sex doll. How would that work? On second thought don’t imagine it. There is enough PTSD out there without self inducing it.

              Liked by 1 person

                    1. Oh that! Well, I suffered a lot of traumatic brain injuries from falling on my @&& getting out of my Hummer at the Iraqi ice cream stand. It warped my grizzled view of life into a John Keats wanna bee. Pay me no mind, its the dementia talking. 😜🤭


    1. Yes, indeed. They still love thier royalty. Ole Vlad the Vallachian impaler saved Romania by being too wicked to risk messing with. He had a real penchant for impaling his enemies and they didn’t much care for it at all. I noticed when listening to Romanians tell Romanian history, it differs significantly from Hollywood and coldwar propaganda. Their lives were brutal under the despot fist of their communist dictator.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I thought at that monent that the harshness he put his people through came back to him. Even as they were led out to be shot, they dictated the terms of their execution and their wish was granted.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the description of Cezar at the beginning – you described him beautifully just as the photo. I’m enjoying the ever growing closeness between the couple – and the impending romantic scene!

    Thank you Sir, may I have another?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alrighty! I was so hoping to get the description of Cezar in his position of royalty done in a way that wasn’t dry and technical and from Alexandra’s view. I hope to have a worthy scene of Cezar and Alexandra’s reunion of souls. There will be challenges, of course. And you certainly may have another and soon, I hope. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW, your detailed descriptions are exquisite and bring me right into the scene. I don’t think I have the patience to write as poetically as you…but you certainly raise the bar and give me something a lot higher to aim for. Great writing! I’m hooked!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a bunch Bro! I actually have wandered around a lot in writing style and just enjoy the style of writers like Nabokov- Lolita fame, and Frank Herbert of Dune fame. They just cut through all the gristle and fat in my brain and get to the core of my imagination. I tried writing in a very spare style and my editors told me they felt cheated, so I eased back into a more descriptive style. Its hard to manage sometimes and gets away from me but hey, I like doing it. Your style is perfect for your trio of nanite wranglers. The finger through the brain scene by Akira was drool worthy scifi action. Keep er going like you do and we’ll all be there to congratulate your first book signing at the Taj Mahal. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love your enthusiasm Hyp! Thank you! And your descriptive, poetic writing is inspiring me to take my own game to new heights and not stop! You inspire by doing, by walking the walk and talking the talk. Let’s keep it going!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I really enjoyed this latest. The action switches and the feel is more psychological and intriguing. I was all in with Akira’s thoughts and her growing self awareness. I was becoming more aware of Akira too. 😍

              Liked by 1 person

                  1. It’s comments like yours that keep me writing! You make it fun! Thanks! (I mean, shit, no one’s payin’ me so I gotta enjoy this process. I could always go have some whiskey I suppose. The alien variety….)

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Yes, we gotta do it for the thrill and the whiskey. Besides, all these hot gals that show up in our stories are worth it. How bout Dracul Van Helsing’s Panty Goatee? I think she is going to fit in with our little group quite well.

                      Liked by 1 person

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