“No Ilyas”

“For the love of God, Ilyas!”

“You’re just one big man child, aren’t you”

The Pirate had only been on the road for a few weeks with this bizarre woman who constantly nagged him for doing things which were not deemed appropriate for this day in age; he had already made his opinion that he did not like this modern day. Already, he missed the drunks in the street, the women catcalling every pirate and commander on the street and he certainly missed the fights which often broke out; as the two wandered the many streets and cities, Ilyas watched with a curious eye and it disgruntled him that hardly anyone spoke to the other, they all had their heads down looking into this rather strange device which he couldn’t make head or tail of; Valeria also had one, and the noises it made were even more frightening than some of the Pirates he had encountered in his time. Ilyas, when he wasn’t watching the behaviour of these new people, he commented on their clothing and according to his Dhampir friend, the clothing the women wore in particular was now the in thing, the fashion that everyone wanted. Now, Ilyas was not someone who knew fashion, but the amount of flesh these woman had on show was confusing - to the eye, he very much liked it but he knew if this was his partner, he would not like another man staring much like he was doing right this moment.

Ilyas was one who was very good at being able to navigate where he was but since arriving in this new world, it was as if his geographical knowledge had just vanished; he was pretty sure all Valeria needed to do was spin him around and he would be lost and just that thought alone frustrated him. Despite the desperate need to survive in the belly of the forest, part of him missed that lifestyle - he missed his people, he missed that way of life even if at the time he absolutely hated it. Valeria had told him to wait outside of the store whilst she went in to gather a few items for the road, apparently they still had a while to go before they arrived this Evermore City if they were not going to travel by plane; she believed that would be a big step for him. The well built man rolled his eyes as he watched her go through the self… Moving doors before leaning against the wall; his arms crossed over his chest as he allowed his mind to wander back to his family who remained in the forest. He wondered if his sister had given birth yet, if they were surviving well enough without him, without their brother and their leader. His fingers curled roughly within the palms of his hands as his mind took him to darkened thoughts, what if Kadri’s son watched where Ilyas appeared from and were able to track down his family from there.

Despite not having long enough nails, the pirate was still able to draw blood from his skin; the anger began to flow into his muscles and he knew he had to walk away from the spot where Valeria had told him to wait - much like a Mother would a child. A low growl rumbled within the depths of his belly, making a couple of passerby take a step or two away from him until he pushed himself away from the wall in order to find a bar. In that moment, he didn’t care that he left Valeria alone, if she had learnt anything in the few weeks they had traveled together, she knew he wouldn’t be too far; because, despite his aloof ways, he felt protective over her - much like he was over her Great Grandfather. Ilyas continued to mutter to himself as he dodged the many people and the things which were called cars which ran horse and carts out of business until he found a place which looked like it was a bar; another thing which didn’t look the same - he noticed the lack of women walking around with jugs of ale and topping the customers up if and when they needed.

Messy brows furrowed as bright screens decorated the corner of the room, his eyes squinted some to see what it was; his eyes betrayed him, therefore, he took a slight detour from the bar to step up to the rather large screen. This, thing, was not something Valeria had the chance to explain yet; thus, with his frown, he lifted a hand and allowed his fingers to poke at the screen and at the many men running around inside of it, kicking a ball. “İçeride kapana kısılmış insanlar var” (There are people trapped inside) the male roared, looking over his shoulder. “People! Out, now!”

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How are you still alive? You should have been dead a long time ago...I would know! You died in my arms afterall.

In all her years of wandering around the globe, she had met many people in their various flavours and moods, enough to even write a book about them and perhaps be the next best-seller. Many had varied reactions to her presence and company, from flirty to friendly to indifferent to downright hostile. But never in her life had she encountered a stranger who had greeted her with those words.

Her lips twitched in amusement on thinking back to that conversation as her eyes flicked towards the deliverer of those words who was walking alongside,taking in the sights with an intense curiosity. Ilyas Enver was an enigma, there was no doubting that fact. She had mentally resorted to calling him Tarzan in her head- afterall, he not only looked the part, he also played the part perfectly. Her phone buzzed with an incoming text and she shook her head with a tiny smile as he started at that sound before zoning in on the device in her hand. It were times like these that made Valeria wonder just what he made of all the modern amenities she had taken for granted- from something as simple as a watch to as magnificent as airplanes. It was gratifying and humbling to get a chance to look back at the world through the lens of his curious, astonished gaze.

It was also perhaps why, for the first time in a while, she had broken out of her character and been the one to do all the dragging and nagging and talking-even going so far as inviting him back to Evermore. From the moment they had met, she could sense that he wasn’t a human though she never ventured into inquiring about who he was or what he had been beyond the basics.They lived in the present and that was all she intended to focus on.

Valeria had left him outside the shop to get more food and water, quickly paying for the items. They still had a long way to go before reaching Evermore afterall. But as she got out, he had completely vanished in thin air. With a muttered ‘Not again’, Val set out to seek him out. She knew he’d never wander far away and though the ambassador part of her, which had gotten utterly used to having her orders being followed was miffed, the other part of her recognised that if the tables had been turned, she would have probably done the same thing.

Allowing her husky to lead the search, she stopped outside a bar. “Too early to have a drink if you ask me Memphis, but hey, who am I to judge” she commented shrugging her shoulders before entering the establishment, her puppy in tow. She didn’t even have to glance around to find him as that very moment she heard a loud, and a now familiar voice shout. Her eyes fixed itself upon him as she attempted to understand just what had him so agitated for he did not seemed drunk, before her glance went at the object behind him.

The Television. Of Course.

Quickly making her way towards him, she grabbed his arms and began tugging him towards a quiet corner. Not many had spared them a glance, perhaps used to drunk people rambling random things. As Memphis began sniffing his shoes, Valeria turned to him and crossed her arms “You didn’t wait” she began without a preamble “If you continue in this manner, I will be forced to buy you one of these” Gesturing towards her cellphone, she let a small grin dance across her lips “And I’ll call you at the most randomest of all times and set the scariest of music. You have been warned!” With that over, she turned towards the television, rubbing her hands dramatically “Be prepared. Once you learn about this, your life will never be the same. Illyas Enver, let me introduce you to the television!”

This whole ordeal was incredibly confusing for him, he truly had no idea if he was coming or going but there was one thing he knew for certain - he didn't feel like he could ever fit in with this society; and certainly his siblings and crew would struggle also. He had noted how many looked at him since his arrival in each town with the Dhampir, some looked at him in awe whilst the majority of people looked at him in fear of what he was capable of. His English was not as good as it used to be, back when he was courting Eleanor but he knew enough to hear some murmur to Valeria to stay away, in fear that a brute like himself would harm her; yet there was the odd one or two who could tell that he would allow no harm to come to her - a trait much like his Father had when it came to women he cared for. Ilyas, however, did find it odd just how protective he was of the blonde woman - maybe he felt like he owed her Great Grandparents; after all, he was unable to protect them from what he considered a preventable death. The look they both gave him, particularly her Great Grandmother remained with him, and considering just how alike Valeria was to her; he knew he could not go through that ordeal again, despite death being a common phenomenon in his life.

Ilyas remained silent in his thoughts as they rambled between the past and the present, with the present particularly focused on the men who were trapped behind the screen; what sort of witchcraft was this? What cruel hag would want to trap people in there, like that? In his past, he was sure he could think of enough women who would be cruel enough to do such a thing, thus, he dismissed the question as soon as it popped up. Bushy and messy brows pushed forward as not a single soul even battered an eyelid his way, besides the odd one or two simply gave him side eye at his loud exclamation. With a rather frustrated grunt, it was clear that no one was going to help him nor those trapped in the box, therefore it was down to him; he would take matter into his own hands and free them the only way he knew how - violence. Broad shoulders rolled as he turned once more, his chocolate hues staring at the bright screen once more. “Bu acıtabilir” (It may hurt) he mumbled, before his arms lifted to curl his fingers around each side of the screen; just as he was ready to pull the thing off its hinges he felt petite hands wrap around his arm - and if it weren't for the fact he had gotten used to her scent, he would have easily flung her off from him.

Despite not flinging her off of him, didn't mean to say he allowed her to pull him easily away from the box; he added some resistance to his stance, making both her and her little husky tug at him - clearly the dog was having more fun which caused a deep chuckle to rumble like thunder within the confinements of his ribcage. Eventually Ilyas let her win as they entered a quiet corner of the bar, his arms crossed over his chest as she began to scold him for disappearing. The moment she paused to indicate what she was going to buy him, he interjected roughly. “Me on rope?! No!” He growled at her, the ice like feeling appearing in his veins once more until he noticed the look upon her face; she wasn't afraid, but again it was a look of a disapproved Mother. Yet the ice in his veins soon disappeared as she reassured him that it would be a mobile phone she would put in his hand. If he was going to be honest with himself, he didn't know which one would be worse than the other - rope or a small loud thing. In attempt to cool down, he ran his fingers through his dark locks which were tied up into a bun before giving the puppy a rough scratch behind the ears as Valeria turned back to the so called, television. 

Ilyas followed her towards the box and glanced between the television and Valeria; tilting his head to the side, much like Memphis did when she was confused. The Pirate barely parted his lips as he tried to say the word as she did. “Tel-i-vson” He throwned, knowing he had not said it correctly as he stepped forwards where his eyes were only mere inches from the screen. “They stuck for” Ilyas made a slight ‘err' sound as he tried to recall his English, knowing if he was to stay here, he would need to learn it; despite her witchcraft of understanding Turkish at ease. “Entertainment? Why?” He questioned, wondering why on Earth men would choose to be stuck in the screen for another man’s pleasure.

All her life Valeria had felt a burden- a heavy burden of her father’s love for her mother Esmeralda. Love wasn’t often seen through that lens, but having experienced what it did to her, of all the unrealistic expectations and standards it subjected her to, of all the hard ways he expressed it, she couldn’t help but scoff at that emotion. She had grown up feeling less, feeling like she had to prove herself just to feel happy within and it had taken a long time to face the mirror and not instantly remember a string of criticisms and bring out a list of things she lacked.

Val could hardly remember her mother, what little she knew had all been told by her parent’s friends. Her dad wouldn’t ever talk about her death or the death of her twin brother and after a while she stopped asking him. But fate had presented her with an unusual chance to perhaps understand her mother and her family better. When Ilyas had mistaken her for her grandmother, he had shared a few memories with her. She hadn’t asked too much initially, just astonished at the fact that he knew them, had met them, had even been there when her grandmother had died.

But with each passing day, her curiosity grew.
And yet her courage failed.

She simply couldn’t voice the questions she desperately wanted to ask- did her grandmother ever talk about her daughter? Did he ever chance a glimpse of her mother?

She was terrified of opening those old wounds. When she had been five, she had once overheard her aunt telling her dad that a child never got over the death of one of its parents, that it did need a mother no matter what he thought and Twenty-five years later, Val knew those words to be true.

If only there was a rune for muting emotions.

But the fact that he knew her grandparents wasn’t just the only reason she had developed a soft spot for him. It was moments like this- moments when he tried to destroy a television to save the ‘trapped people’ inside, moments when her normalcy became a sort of nightmare for him and it made her want to help- to show him that the things that were strange now could be enjoyable and that perhaps after a little adjusting, this place, this time, this century they currently existed in wouldn't be that bad at all for him.

Thinking for a moment on how to make him understand that the television was not dangerous, she moved to stand next to him and unlocked her phone “No one is hurt or trapped inside that box. Here let me show you” Opening the front camera, Valeria grinned a little as both herself and Ilyas came into view and with a ‘say cheese’, she snapped a picture. Turning to him, she gestured towards the screen “Look! This is us but we aren’t trapped inside this phone, are we? We are here. That is how television works. It’s like watching a performance at the theatre. The only difference is, instead of going to the theatre, the theatre now comes to you.”

Watching Memphis move around the room, Valeria tapped on the table behind them and commanded “Memphis up”. With a deft jump, her husky followed her order and looked at her as if asking for a treat for being obedient. Running her hands through her puppy’s soft fur, she switched to the video recording mode on her phone. With a “Now Korsan, watch this” Val ordered Memphis to speak. As her husky began howling, she recorded it, with her and IIyas appearing in the frame as well. As things quieted down, Valeria proudly showed off that video to him.

As it started playing, she gestured to the screen “ See...no one is trapped there. It is like how you remember things. I bet if I were to ask you to tell me exactly where the dining area in your house was, you could picture it in your mind. Only it doesn't have to remain in your mind- you can now record things, click pictures and watch it whenever you want. Pretty amazing isn’t it?”

Before meeting him, Valeria didn’t really appreciate how far technology had developed and just how many things she had always taken for granted and now that she was beginning to appreciate the wonders around all over again, she couldn't wait to show everything to him.

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