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Strigavi / Re: Violent Delights
« Last post by Rian on Today at 04:37:47 AM »

They both watched in dismay. Talimar from behind the bar, rag frozen in the counter mid-swipe. Rian from the doorway of the kitchen, tray heavy in her arms as several meals grew cold. Everyone else was rapt. The sibling were too, but they each calculated cost as the table collapsed and several dishes splintered, rather than blows.

Rian couldn’t help but wonder why he kept screaming that way. Eyebrows knotting as he seemed to continue a one sided conversation out loud. Flinching as blood splattered the floor. She wasn’t cleaning that up! It was clearly on the bar side of the inn and not the dinning room. Which made it Tali’s problem and not hers. Rian glanced sideways at her brother, watched him shrug with slow emphasis. Fuck if I know, his shoulders said.

”Fuck, Peitar.” He said aloud. It made her smile, and then frown. Squinting at the scarred face as she slid the tray onto the counter. People came to her for their plates this time, as if they were afraid for her to walk the tables. Or maybe they were just impatient. Her care had been lacking lately. Mumbling apologies to them, Rian knew now why he’d looked to familiar. Peitar. They’d met. Talimar had said something about him being blinded by Witch, not she saw what he meant.

”With what? Hearth witches?” Talimar scoffed. Rian shot him a questioning look, but no answer was forth coming as her brother looked decidedly elsewhere. She’d leave payment between them, whatever it was. They could use another hearth witch at the inn though. They’d only found a part time replacement as it was. ”How are you going to see anything, Peitar, you blind fuck?” Tali chortled, leaving off his rag holding to come around the bar, but Rian snorted, ducking out first.

”I’ll take him, you can clean up.” It was his friend making the mess. Rian was good and tired of cleaning. There was a flurry of glances exchanged, a fierce Opal threads. Tali didn’t approve, but Rian was adamant, and black widow temper won out over his brotherly instincts. She didn’t get too close, eyes on the wing-blood marring his dogs muzzle. Her own tucked in tight to her body in preemptive defense.

”No dogs upstairs, Prince.” She didn’t want that thing trailing her. Or shedding all over the rooms. Bad enough he was going to stink one up with his temper. ”Come on.” The crowd made room for them as the passed. Rian’s back tingling with Talimar’s glare and the warlord prince stalking behind her. A quick peek over her shoulder to be sure the dog wasn’t coming too.

She knew exactly which room he wanted. Lock opened with her master key, thread chasing Tali down because they’d need the boy’s copy back. ”It’s Rian, now, Peitar.” She told him, tumblers clicking before she pushed the door open. Rian moved out of his way, following him into the room to make sure he didn’t trash it too. She half leaned against the open door, feeling the knob brace against the wall behind it.

”Do you need help looking?” How blind was he? Eyes milky when she looked. It had been a lot of years since she’d seen Peitar. Not since before Witch’s fall. It always made her skin feel too loose and strange when they met with old raider friends. If you could call them friends. Like she was the wrong person when they were near. She supposed she was, having been a warlord then. She thought a lot about going back these days, to being the warlord.

Strigavi / Violent Delights
« Last post by Peitar on Yesterday at 09:37:48 PM »

Baxtar yanked his face away from the next blow. Begging for Peitar to stop. Words sending a spray of blood from the young man’s bruised mouth. The pathetic sound cut off by Peitar’s swift, merciless denial. His knuckles knocked against teeth. Skin splitting over the bone.

Pain making him angrier. ”Son of a bitch! You dickless little coward!” He screamed into the smaller eyrien man’s face. Age, experience, and half a foot of height. The puppy had never stood a chance.

But Peitar was blind. Blind and generous to those that declared loyalty to his cause and sought sanctuary in the district he had carved out for himself. So people tried to take advantage.

Sitting back on his heels he listened to the silence in the rest of the bar. A table lay broken, along with a wing, under the weight of their cobined bodies. Two men and a well trained bitch-dog. Her tail was wagging, thudding against Peitar’s shoulder. The sound of her growling muffled by the wing she still held firmly in her jaw. For being a run of the mill mutt she was one clever animal. She had lunged at Baxtar the second they had stepped into the inn.

Somehow she had just known his throwing knife was aimed at her master.

The boy stopped flailing between his knees. Huffing Peitar slipped his palm up from the throat he held to feel the fool’s mouth. Sticky, humid breaths. He hadn’t killed him yet. ”I should!” He screamed at no one, ”I should choke the life right out of your lungs you good for nothing thief.”

Two hundred gold marks! Everything in the village treasury. Hard earned money that would feed his people when winter came. With no reason to hold Baxtar still anymore Dog came around to lick at the wounds on her master’s hands. She knew better than to try his split lip. With a grunt Peitar kicked up off the unconscious boy. A flick of his fingers bringing the man he’d flown in with to his side. ”Take him back to camp so his father can have a turn.”

With his hands on his hips Peitar stood at the center of the room panting. Waiting for the edge of the killing field to clear. Slowly a whisper of voices started. Customers gaining back the nerve to quietly discuss the sudden, violent fight. ”Talimar? Raivar?” He couldn’t remember the sister’s name now that she wasn’t a boy. Clever trick that. ” Pardon the shit, I'll pay you back for" His wings and hands fanned out to motion at the room. Not sure how much had been damaged, if anything had. A table for sure, but he couldn't be sure. "whatever. I need to see the room that kid rented off you.”
Thure Island / Re: At Midnight
« Last post by Vrai on Yesterday at 08:33:10 PM »

She laughed; from Eulie it was never a boisterous sound. Always controlled to a degree. Or simply soft because that was her way. Even so, it was the prettiest sound Vrai could think of. This time she was laughing at Vrai, but he didn’t mind. It was not unkind. Just her pleasure at being worried over. ”Except for tonight.” He answered with a meek grin of his own. Not sure why it did strange things to the beat of his heart for her to say he put her to bed. It was silliness. Most nights. He had very rarely been the one to tuck her beneath her blankets.

”Just remember if the urge does strike, I’m always ready to follow. And never too tired to keep you company at any hour.” Everyone needed a bit of time to themselves, he could accept that. But he didn’t like the idea of Eulalie alone when she didn’t have to be. Especially not at night when shadows were longer and darker.

When they could chase you from bed and leave you seeking starlight to keep them away.

That was one of the reasons they were three. Always a friend ready, always someone to balance the others. Still, it somehow felt wrong to be the one in need. It wasn’t the role Vrai was accustomed to filling.

”Too long? By whose measure?” Vrai smiled, a flash of pale teeth in the starlight. The corners of his eyes creasing in amusement as he looked sideways at his Lady. ”Loneliness. If it was, I’ve you here now.” Eulalie was his anchor. A tether of surety when he was being forced to question his identity. Mother Night he loved her so much it was terrifying. For Eulie there was nothing he would hesitate to do or sacrifice.

On his neck and cheek he could feel the warmth of her breath. Scalp tingling at the tension her shifting put on his hair. Not pulling, but there. Pleasantly there. He nodded his head, turning because she turned. Nothing delicate to hide with his own clothes. Shirt open and soft cotton pants held tight by their drawstring. Face so close together he could steal a kiss before she’d realize what had passed.

But he didn’t. Vrai had taken enough of what he didn’t deserve. And he’d clouded his lady’s mind far too much of late. ”Wouldn’t that be something? If we could dive in like children on a pier.” What would the stars really be if they could hold them in their hands? Collect them seashells. Rearrange them until the universe spelled out her name.

”Ah.” There it was. Worrying about him. Vrai’s fingers twitched against the grass. ”I’m sorry you’re carrying that in your mind. You shouldn’t have to. I don’t mean to be quiet. There’s just a lot in my head these days. You know? Everything has changed but nothing is different.” He bit off his words before his voice could waver.

Vrai had thought a lot in the past on the subject of his personhood. Was he a man? Or did being a eunuch negate those things? Why did they say it made him more if it took away that core piece of ones identity? The answer had never been made clear. Instead more questions replaced it. Man or not, what sort of person was he? Had he preyed on Georgi, or was it all one unfair coincidence? How much had been the drug, and how much Vrai?

The only thing he was sure of, was that he did deserve to feel guilty. Not all the time, and not in that overwhelming way that had defined the first few weeks after. Vrai belonged to Eulie, and with Eulie. She would keep him from doing anything like that again. And he was her Left Hand. He couldn’t perform those duties, sacred or personal, if he let grief consume his mind.

Nonetheless he would carry the sound of Georgi screaming in his heart forever. That much he owed her. To lose sleep and stare at the stranger in the mirror from time to time. ”The same thing worries me too. does what happened weigh on you when it should not?”
Thure Island / Re: At Midnight
« Last post by Eulalie Reneux on Yesterday at 06:27:26 AM »

”Strange, isn’t it, since most begin their lives afraid of it?” Even Eulalie had feared the dark as a child. Her mother’s whispered assurances that she was from the Darkness did not help. She would lay awake in her bed waiting for it to reclaim her. Now night and day were the same for Eulalie. She feared neither because she expected treachery from both. But even she had truths she did not like facing. She supposed Vrai did too, now.

”Mayhap. I don’t remember what woke me.” Her fingers smoothed his hair, as if they would soothe away his concern that way. Perhaps it was his wandering. Another change in the routine, a disturbance she was not used to creeping through her psyche. Eulalie hoped she had simply known, even sleeping, that he might have need of a friend. She laughed softly, wishing she could stroke the worry from his face.

”No. Have no fear, my Hand, I do not go wandering about at night.” Free to go where she liked, Eulalie did not need to creep about in the dark like an errant child. ”Like a good girl, I stay tucked in my bed where you put me.” She teased him. If she needed more than what occupied her room, Eulalie could simply summon it. Either for herself, or through her eunuchs. Usually Vrai. He truly was like a hand, so much a part of her her life would never be the same if they were severed.

Eulalie’s head turned subtly to him as she listened. She did not look at him directly, but carefully from the corners of her eyes. Afraid that such blatant observation would bring his halting explanation to a stop.

”Empty.” His bed usually was, except for him. Always was, as far as Eulalie knew. She did not often enter his private room, but she had never sensed another when she bad. ”Perhaps it was loneliness then, since your bed is always empty except your too long body.” He had been a little more distant since the accident. Reserved as they all played their parts in his innocence. It must have been lonely. Eulalie was often lonely as well, even with a warm body tucked against hers.

Here together, they could both be less lonely. Laying out under the stars, side by side. The grass prickled her skin where it was exposed. Eulalie smoothed the folds of her robe, making sure every creased was a closed one. She looked at the sky, falling up away from them, and felt almost as if the world tilted and they would slip down into it. Could hear everything, as if amplified by the ground. She turned to her to face him, cheek brushing his hair.

She had lain on it.

”Can you?” His were too light for starshine, but Eulalie fancied she could see herself wavering in his pupils. But she did not want to look at herself, vision expanding until she saw Vrai. Tucking her robe between her thighs, Eulalie rolled until she faced him. Elbow sliding up until her cheek was propped on her hand. Her other carefully moving his hair so she did not pull it.

”I was think about you, and falling into the sky.” The Darkness. It gave her many memories spun from starlight. Eulalie had stopped being afraid of the dark after meeting Vrai. Comfort. Isidore’s startled expression at his Offering. Vrai buried in her apprentice. Herself buried against Isidore. Neither had brought relief to anyone. ”You’ve been quiet, and I worry what happened weighs on you when it should not.” It weighed in her.

Inches like miles between them. More pronounced now that Eulalie knew there were things he craved outside of her. Or that he could or would not seek with her. Before it had been Eulalie and Vrai, her second making them stronger but not complete. They’d been that before. And now Georgette sat in the center, disturbing the balance.

She wished it could be a dream. For Vrai’s conscience and selfishness.

Strigavi / Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Last post by Briar on September 24, 2018, 11:54:54 AM »

Briar didn’t know what to believe. As honest as Rian sounded, her actions had pointed in a different direction. The flesh along his cheekbones flushed as he remembered the signs. Startled to see him undressed, even in a private room. Pointing out his penis minutes after they had nearly been shredded by a tree. No, not Briar. He wasn’t supposed to be interested in Maeve, or anyone. Rian had said that. As if it were a fact she were sure of.

”I don’t know either, Ri. Maybe it is wrong. Maybe it’s what people expect, and that’s why I can’t find a place to belong.” He didn’t know. Just then with her annoyance seeping through her barriers and working her wings loose Briar felt like he didn’t know anything.

For a second Briar didn’t realize what he had admitted. Then a flash of fear clamped his jaw as he thought understanding dawned across her face. Trying to rub the flush from her burning cheeks. She was embarrassed for him. ”Yes,” He choked. Not sure if the sob laugh that broke through his chest was relief or frustration. It wasn’t understanding at all. Rian had missed the point completely.

Emotions rising and plummeting so fast it made his head spin. Door jamb holding him up as he tried to center his thoughts. It didn’t help. And he took too long. Head shaking for clarity taken as an answer. He didn’t want her back in anyway. If there were more traps they were too deep for either of them to find.

”Rian,” What could he say? Words poured in his mind. Incoherent and useless. None made it to his mouth. Just another groan slipping out as he reached for a body that slid away. Bedroom door rattling as she shifted through it. Throat unclogging a moment too late. And words still failing him. ”Rian!”

Stupid! He was stupid. And Rian was stupid too. Kicking the door closed he leaned against the wall that separated them. Seething at himself. Should he go through?

No. No he had hurt them both enough with his idiotic attempts to be something close to normal. He wanted to let her break free. Move forward in her life without his skulking around ruining everything. He didn’t understand why she was so upset. Unless she had figured it out. And didn’t have the heart to tell him she couldn’t love him back.

There wouldn’t be more sleep. Briar spent the few hours before dawn sorting his bags and sharpening the blade Eremiar had given him. Or loaned. He didn’t know which. When he was done he scribbled a short note on a scrap of paper. Graphite raw and smudged as the side of his hand moved over the words. It was worse with ink, but he was used to his left handedness now.

Then the night started to lift. Sun not quite up, but the darkness lessened enough for him to leave. Skipping the stair that squeaked, and tiptoeing around drunks slumped over bar tables. Walking in the predawn mist with a thousand doubts in his mind and heart. Maybe he wouldn't send word to Ilithian. It would be better if he didn't have the expectation someone would come for him eventually.

The note he had written weighed on him too. It was for Rian. He'd stuck it behind the frame he’d tacked to the wall. Where she’d only find it when she’d really let go. That way it wouldn’t matter anymore. And hopefully wouldn’t cause any hurt. Had he said too much, or too little? Should he have said anything at all?

’It’s always been you silly girl.’
Thure Island / Re: At Midnight
« Last post by Vrai on September 24, 2018, 01:30:50 AM »

”And sometimes it’s just easier to face the answers you fear when its dark.” Vrai added. Careful to make the thought sound absent and not wistful. He had decided it was not his place or his right to dwell in self pity. Or self flagellation. It helped no one, it made him look guilt when Eulie needed him to be innocent, and disturbed all three of them when he was anything less than serene.

Turning from the stars to his lady Vrai’s eyebrows lifted in concern. ”Ill dreams?” Was she having nightmares? Were the about him? Sometimes Vrai did. Even when he was awake. He would pass a mirror and see a different self. A dark, stalking, predatory Vra glimpsed from in peripheral vision of a fevered mind as he crossed a small washroom.

”It is not often I wander from it.” He promised her, lips twitching towards a smile. ”Do you wander the temple alone at night?” Eulalie was safe. There was no soul alive that could bring her bodily harm. Not in the world, least of all in the temple. But he worried about the parts of her that were more easily hurt. Heart and spirit. Was she roaming the halls while her Hands slept?

Smirking at her tone he noted, finally, the soft shifting of his hair. He didn’t look, because then she would stop. It was the only part of him she touched, and rarely done. He carried on the conversation instead. Hoping to keep her hands and mind distracted from one another.  ”Restlessness is to blame, I suppose... My bed felt,” His brow lowered, head shaking slightly as he strained for the right word. Settling, with a sigh, on one that didn’t seem to encompass the feeling he wanted to describe, ”strange, empty- or something of the sort. Just wrong with me in it. I wanted to be someplace where everything felt right.”

Now Eulie was with him and it was perfect. And growing better every second. Chest frozen, heart and breath both, Vrai shifted to the side. All the small hairs on his body warm with her body so close to his own. On the bone between his breasts he drummed his fingers. Elbow carefully angled so that he didn’t touch his Lady on accident. ”It’s very nice.” He agreed. Hair pulled as it caught under his head while he turned to get her face into view.

”I can see them reflecting in your eyes. All the little stars.” She was so beautiful. It made his soul ache and his heart drum too fast. The rest of his body was quiet. And the ache was a good ache. ”You look thoughtful, Eulie. What are you thinking about, hm?”

They were alone. Really alone. Right sleeping off their busy day. Maybe he could rest enough for all three of them. All the temple was gentle and silent. Those that worked in the hours between then and dawn were deep in the heart of the servants areas. There was no chance a stray apprentice or bustling maid would walk by. ”It’s just you and me. We can talk about anything. Everything. Because tomorrow we can pretend the whole thing was just a dream.”
Mellavi / Re: ding dong, the witch ain’t dead
« Last post by Glorian on September 23, 2018, 10:49:29 PM »

”Because! It’s…. Well, it’s just polite.” Gloria sputtered. What sort of question was that?! Not everything was for others to know. Thinking of a fresh answer she added, ”And far less unsettling. You shouldn’t just go pouring yourself all over a girl you’ve just met.”

She assumed. Maybe this was how everyone behaved in the outside. The books she read detailed the lives of great figured who had lived in centuries long lost. Any manner of things might have changed over time. It wasn’t fair to judge him without knowing, she decided.

He was very handsome, after all, and some bit older than herself. That must mean he was a good example of what to expect beyond the temple’s walls. It made satisfying her own curiosity seem less invasive. That and the easy access he gave. Barriers falling before she could touch them. Would they all part, right down to his center? Or would he erect a wall once she had moved beyond cursory information?

There were too many questions on her mind to find out just then. And the distraction of this amazing creature doing more strange things. Hold gentling so that they stood chest to chest instead of Gloria pulled into him. Nose sussing out something new, she thought, as he turned it towards the rafters.

”Yes, now.” Gloria repeated, tone leaning towards laughter. The look on his face as not very promising. Had he no home to offer? No place in need of a queen? ”How can I wish for any place when this is the only one I’ve ever seen?”

Silly boy. The hand on his chest curled. Fingernails skimming her palm. A queen was supposed to take care of her people, if she wanted them to love her. And she very much wanted this man to love her, and be her person. ”Ebenar,” She tried his name on her tongue. Smile cheerful despite the despair of her sisters below.

”Do you have a place to take us? We could stay… The door is open now.” Not forever, of course! A night or two while he told her what to expect. But she had always learned best by doing. Trying to keep the desperation from her voice she told him the truth. ”I do want to go. I want to see it. The Outside.”

His eyes had turned down to the sisters. Was he worried about them? Palm flat again she smoothed away a little dust from his chest and shoulder.  ”They won’t let us help them. Once they’ve set their mind on seeing a prophecy through, they’ll never give an inch. All we can do is leave them to recover or die by their own design.” She didn’t want him to think about the sisters. He had come all this way and caused all this chaos. There had to be a reason. Why me, Ebenar? Surely there must have been queens easier to get to.”

Strigavi / Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Last post by Rian on September 23, 2018, 06:21:42 PM »

Rian opened her mouth and closed it, shrugging again. ”Okay.” She managed to get out. Then she would take it down. Rian didn’t understand at all. Was he telling her he wouldn’t be back, ever? She suspected that much. Was he afraid she would wait? Or look for him? The knuckle of her thumb pressed her lips to her teeth.

”But that’s not what I thought!” That wasn’t fair! She’d never said such a thing, or implied it! ”And not what I meant.” That wasn’t fair! Rian trembled, wings flaring in annoyance. ”I never said it was wrong. I’m sorry, I just thought...” She’d just been trying to protect him! Maybe she’d just been getting in the way instead. It was all so confusing! ”I don’t know. I’m sorry.” Weren’t they saying goodnight? Couldn’t she just go, instead of having to face him?

”Ooooh.” Rian rubbed the side of her face. Her cheeks were hot. ”You’re in love?” That was good. It had to be good. It had to be. ”Well, why can’t you? You said the nightmares don’t happen often.” She couldn’t get control of her breathing. It came quick and shallow. ”I’m sure... I’m sure... love is good. It’ll be fine.” She’d never been in love. Not even the quick passing kind Tali was always falling in.

Maybe it was a niece in the web. An adopted sort. With a briar rose for a father. Oh Mother Night why did she feel so sick?

”I can go back in, if you want. Try and find any more traps.” Had he tried? Sleeping with her? Who was it? Ilithian? Had he been practicing with Rian? She was expendable, she supposed. Unimportant. She stuttered, trying to get words out, any words. Fingers working at her lips as if she could pull the damn words out. ”It’ll be better with her! Briar, it will be. But I can’t help right now. I can’t. I’m sorry.” Wrapping herself in her wings, Rian held tight and fled, slamming into her door before she was able to get it open and fall in her room.

She was happy for him. Happy for him. All the pleasure he wanted he could have. And love! Love was good. Ears buzzing, Rian crawled to her bed and buried her face in the blankets, pulling them over her until she was shrouded in them. Dark and warm. And humid with her tears. That’s why he felt different. He wasn’t hers. Not her friend, not her bully. Just Briar.

She hoped the stupid bitch loved him back, like he deserved.

Strigavi / Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Last post by Briar on September 23, 2018, 05:21:32 PM »

No. Of course she couldn’t wrap her head around it. Briar could barely make his feelings make sense. He didn’t need life to always make sense. He needed it to make sense for once. For long enough that he could try to be more than what he was.

Because right then all he was was miserable.

When he tried to think back to the last time he was truly happy the memories went by in a blur. Some slowed down. But every glimmer of joy was brief, and inevitably ruined one way or another. Usually by Briar, and never on purpose. The Darkness had been telling him for a long time that he was on the wrong path. Or walking it the wrong way. Maybe it was because he was Eyrien and he should have turned to the sky. Who could say?

”I would understand. If you took it down.” He said of the rose. Another thing he’d done without permission. Another image and perspective of himself that didn’t quite fit or make sense. It wasn't fair for him to leave a mark behind. Staining her home a promise he wasn't sure he could keep. He didn't want forever to be forever, though. Not when she looked at him that way. Leaving him wishing he could chase her lip into her mouth. Wanting to wrap her up so badly it made his bones hurt. Fighting his fingers until they felt like they'd splinter. Fists balled at his sides. It would just hurt when she said no.

”It didn’t really need saying.” Briar was good at reading between the lines. Spoken lines or spider silk strands. He sniffed, mouth pensive as she spoke. Of course he wanted to be cared about. Who didn’t want that? ”Sure I do. But are very few people that care, and that's not an option with any of them. It’s not wrong to want pleasure. As long as it’s not at the expense of someone else.” 

”Why?” He couldn’t agree. ”I can’t even trust myself to share a bed with the person I love. Why should I expect more than a little appreciate and some shared relief?”

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Recent Topics

Violent Delights by Rian
[Today at 04:37:47 AM]

At Midnight by Vrai
[Yesterday at 08:33:10 PM]

One More Shot [cw] by Briar
[September 24, 2018, 11:54:54 AM]

ding dong, the witch ain’t dead by Glorian
[September 23, 2018, 10:49:29 PM]

Thread Completion by Jenn
[September 23, 2018, 11:30:05 AM]


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