Peekaboo

Description: for cole/iris

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    136 Posts    0 marks
Peekaboo
« on: April 24, 2018, 12:23:53 PM »
It was raining. One of those bleak sort of days that makes you close the curtains. Strange to see actual rain instead of snow, Peregrine thought. At home it rarely ever rained. All the weather got caught up in the mountains that surrounded Reric. Kept it warmer than most of Glacia in winter, but dry too. Not as good for farming as Meols.

Here in Little Terreille it was a sign that winter was slowly giving way to spring. The wind still bit to the bone with a harsh chill. So Peregrine slipped his long woolen coat on. It was black, worn down to gray around the seams. A few red threads keeping a tear around his rib cage closed. Not ready for the garbage heap yet, but it was not the sort of thing most people would have put on to visit a territory court.

Peregrine was Peregrine, though, so he did. Matched it with worn work boots. The rest of his clothing, at least, was in good shape. Dark pants and a bone white shirt. Not that anyone could appreciate it. Ebon-gray sight shields wrapped tightly around his body. Impenetrable even to the Gray queens in Walcourt’s big house. Now the Other One, well, he might be a problem. There were so few Ebon-gray’s it was natural they were more attuned to the arrival of one another.

So he tread carefully. Quietly. Took his time slipping through the gates and the front door. Made no mistakes. Psychic tendrils effectively masking most of his scent. There were dark jewels about, though. A Gray wearing queenling, but not the one he sought, that turned her head in his direction as if she heard his footfalls in the hall. Some wide eyed black widow that smiled right at him as if he wore no shields at all. This, he decided, was a very strange court.

And a very hyper aware one. There were queen killers about, he had heard though, so it made sense.

Eventually wrong turns and empty rooms gave way to private quarters. An office that could only belong to a ruling queen. Her scent clinging to the desk and windowsill. It was empty, but Peregrine waited. Standing at the window himself, wondering how often she paced back and forth between it and the chair. There was no visual sign but he could feel on the psychic plane the trail left behind.

Behind him the doorknob turned but he was watching a small group of boys playing some stick and ball game across the way. Their small figures darting around the open field. His eyes pulled away slowly, arm braced on the wall above the window, head barely turning. ”Good morning, Lady Craig.”

@dergon

Irisviel Crag

    Red to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    67 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 01:09:38 PM »

Strange to find her office occupied. Irisviel hesitated in the doorway, fingers still clasping the doorknob, the band of her Grey cutting into the folds of her finger. Knuckles not quite white. Her face was stern, nearly impassive. Cold blue eyes and a tense line for a mouth. Very slowly she stepped into the room, probes stalking before her. Parting around her desk and racing up his barriers.

Testing.

The door shut with a certain finality. The thought of shields weighed. Fitted glove like over her skin, Red over Grey. Her own barriers locked tight. Triggers and traps and madness behind them. Iris turned the lock on the door. A simple mechanical feature that was easily overpowered by even the weakest of her court. But it stood as a warning. The first barrier between those closest to her and the danger she faced now.

"I must admit a disadvantage, Lord, for I do not know your name." Irisviel crossed the room, flipping open the appointment book on her desk as if he were any other visitor. Someone she might have expected to find lounging about her office. Standing behind her desk and looking out her window. One white tipped nail tapped the open spot for the day's appointments. No name listed in the slot that matched the face of the clock on her mantle.

A gift from someone who had served briefly. Learning to live with Blood nature beneath a queen who evinced the worst of it.

"It seems someone failed to mark down your appointment. A strange occurrence in my court." Iris studied him. Crisp clothing beneath a worn coat. Boots meant for hard labor rather than fine carpets. Jewels she was becoming far too familiar with. "Unheard of, really." Challenge beneath the words. "Would you care to correct the blunder?" Iris was glad for the desk between them, though they both stood on the wrong side. She stepped back from it, leaving the book open across the desk top. Watched him with keen eyes that were wary but not frightened.

His Jewels could surely destroy her own, but Irisviel was not without defense, or aide, should she need it. Best, first, to try a diplomatic approach, however. Or so she was sure many would caution her. After demanding she flee.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    136 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 08:21:32 PM »
Queen. The scent tried to assault his steely logic. On the outside he refused to do so much as flinch. Internally he battened down the hatches. Slipped along his own barriers like a mad man. Checking for cracks and crevices. Keeping her out. Only the outermost layer willing to bend to her probes. Revealing nothing but his mood. Which was far too amused by her temper.

Door shut and locked, amusing him more. Not quite sure what she thought he was. Or what she suspected a door would do. His very presence proof enough that such things were no obstacle. If he had wanted to hurt anyone, they would be hurt already.

He let her have her show anyway. Watching still from the window with a slight grin. Always pigeonholed. Cast as either hero or villain. As if he had time for the fear, hopes, schemes or games of queens. ”Peregrine.” He offered. Pushing off from the window to stand straight. Look over the queenling whose lap hounds had denied his crossing to Terrielle proper. It would have been faster, he knew, to kill them all until the priestess in charge let him through. Usually it would have been his first threat, though he’d have done it to have his way.

”I’ve no interest in your posturing woman.” He complained as she chastised him with a finger to her appointment book. Peregrine knew what it was because he had shamelessly thumbed through it. Along with several other papers on her desk. Contracts mostly. Quite boring. It was no wonder queens were so testy, he’d have been driven to tears with all that paperwork. ”Let’s skip the bullshit. You’re a queen. You’re very busy and important. Ladeeda for you.”

Not a muscle moved. Body relaxed but carefully controlled. They were fussy, territorial little things- queens. No need to make her jumpy to boot. This one had a tooth like Kirsi’s and he was sure it would hurt far worse than the diluted poison of a Red wearing widow’s did. That didn’t make him hesitate though. The challenge of her tone met with a swift pooling of his power. ”I need an edict freeing me to pass through your Dark Gate.”

Irisviel Crag

    Red to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    67 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 04:28:10 PM »

Peregrine. A strange name, Irisviel thought there were hunting birds of the same title. A Warlord, as well, though he postured as if his caste were somewhere near her own. Not an inch of princeliness in him however. He lacked that certain flavor she was familiar with. Unnameable but knowable all the same.

”Posturing, Lady Crag,” she corrected with a sneer. Weight shifting in response to his sudden height. Iris moved carefully. Casually. From one end of the desk to the other, its length and breadth between them. Eyes hard and watchful, but she refused to be frightened. It was much harder to curb her annoyance.  ”Ladeeda, indeed.” Iris repeated, traced the corner of her desk with a dark nailed finger.

Her fingertip rasped against the wood. Not the flesh, but the tooth that lived between it and the nail above.

”I do believe those are the reasons I don’t have time for your bullshit, Lord Peregrine.” The hair on the back of her neck rose in warning. A warning Iris didn’t need. It hummed, repeated from nerve ending to nerve ending as his power filled the office. Her eyes narrowed, the air down her arms following suit. Her temper rose with them. Threats and demands. He was ill schooled, this one. And Iris had a mind to teach him some manners.

”And why should I grant you one?” She questioned, staring him down across her desk. Iris had always been very good at it. Looking down the bridge of her nose at those who stood taller than she did. ”You sneak into my home, hide in my office, are rude, vulgar and make demands.” Iris dipped into the wellspring of her Grey. She’d worked around Aeon’s Ebon-grey, and had dealings with Prince Well’s.

This Peregrine was an unknown quantity, but Iris had years of experience dealing with males of all types. He’d prove no different.

”Not exactly qualities that endear someone so very important and so very busy,” Iris pointed out with brusque honesty and just a hint of sarcasm. The muscles in her body felt coil-tight. Instincts waring with each other. ”In case you didn’t know.” She wanted to tell him no. To send him through the window with a blast of power. To beat him bloody out of her territory. But the backwash of their power could and would prove devastating to those around them.

Those she’d sworn to protect and rule. Diplomacy would have to be used. Unfortunately. Though admittedly she was off to what most would view as a bad start. Irisviel wasn’t very certain she would agree.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    136 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 10:03:09 AM »
”Pft,” Shoulders rocking with the dismissive sound Peregrine rolled his eyes. Predictable as any witch. And here he had been almost excited to meet the much discussed Irisviel Crag. Why he’d thought she might be an ounce less stuffy than every other queen was beyond him. Should have known better!

Finger flicking up at the desk he pointed at the book she’d been so keen to use against him a moment before. ”Appointment book says you have time right now.” His smirk turned boyish despite the threat of their combined tempers on the air.

Settling his back along the windowsill Peregrine crossed his arms and put one ankle over the other. A deceptively casual position. Easy to jump into action if things kept going south. His eyes stayed sharp while the rest of him seemed to relax. ”Queens- they only ever want to consider the way they see things.”

Chin falling to his chest he gave her another, more petulant, roll of the eyes. ”I have not been vulgar, and if you find me rude I promise your delicate sensibilities will recover.” He didn’t deny the rest. Though he did see it quite differently. ”Now, I could have made a damned appointment. But lets be honest, who in their right mind would have let me in the front gate? Hm? It would have been a fuss, and a tussle. I’ve spared you the time, effort, and money involved in replacing guards. And your furry little priestesses too. Because I could have done the rude, vulgar, thing and just killed them one by one until they let me through.”

Had considered it quite strongly in fact. ”Would have been easier, and taken far less time.” He pushed away from the wall. Ready to meet her on equal ground. Protocol and castes be damned he’d never let anyone look down on him before. He wasn’t going to stop with this firecracker of a queen. At her desk he planted his hands on clear spots along the surface. Leaned forward and waited to see if she’d blink. Or squirm. Or just give him the damned paper already.

”I do know, I really just don’t give a shit. I’m not here to trick, charm, or kiss ass. It benefits me to have use of the gate,” He should have gone to the littler queen. Of the province. Damn it all to Hell. Kirsi’s web had a shown an iris though. And that was what they called this queen. A gate and a flower. He’d thought the clues were clear, but now he was starting to wonder. Straining to keep his tone free of the annoyance he felt Peregrine pointed out, ”I’ll have it one way or another. At least I asked, I very well could just take what I want.”

Irisviel Crag

    Red to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    67 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 08:20:43 PM »

”Maybe this time is not for you.” Iris suggested with a quirk of her eyebrows. Watching him. Arrogant, lounging interloper. Smiling at her like a child begging for sweets. She never had liked children, even when she had been one. Aside from Josiah. But that was a special case. He was going to be cross about this, she knew.

”I can’t imagine why,” was her retort, carried on a scoff. He was not the only one capable of dripping sarcasm. Queens were queens for a reason, some seemed to forget. Not all were great, and some didn’t even manage to be good. Temper rising at his unbridled arrogance. That he would dare threaten and laud his lack of wanton murder as good manners.

Irisviel’s lips pursed, a low hiss slipping through them.

”But you wouldn’t have made it through that gate, Warlord.” It was a promise, one Iris didn’t make with bravado. They had no laws against murder, but she would not have let the slaughter of people go unavenged. Irisviel met him over the desk. Leaning in rather than away. The furious, protective rage he’d stirred in her blood evident in her body. Eyes stone hard, color high and muscles trembling. Ice crackled beneath her fingers.

”Are you honest?” Irisviel asked him. ”You speak bluntly and boldly, but do you speak true?” She had seen it before. The brash charge, too foolhardy to false surely! But false they were. Even the kindest, most trusted, most beloved proving false. She would not trust. Too many mistakes had been made. By all of them. ”You could try, but I will see that gate ruined before I see it stolen.” She bluffed. That gate would feed her people.

But her ego demanded satisfaction. There would be no capitulation without a fight.

”Let me in, Lord Peregrine. Let me in and I will consider your need with those of my people.” Why? Why did he need through so damnably bad? If it would prove ill to her people Irisviel would do whatever she could to put stop to him or mitigate whatever trouble he might cause. ”Prove true.” She challenged.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    136 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2018, 01:13:08 AM »
Women! They had a way of twisting your words right around. Pursed lips showing his irritation Peregrine let it go. More interested in winning the war than that particular battle. The Gray queen returned the look, tacking on a clear sound of warning. All those growls and grumbles had never made much sense to him. They were people, not Kindred for Darkness’ sake. If that was how she wanted to be, though! He shot back a soundless flash of his teeth. Nose wrinkling so his perfectly shaped canines showed.

”No?” He challenged, more sure of his own ability than that. ”Maybe not. But it would have been a long while before anyone else did either.” A distinct lack of living priestess would have ensured it. Working a dark gate was no small feat. That was part of why he wanted access to this one. Both territories of Askavi were rife with conflict. He needed to know he could come and go reliably.

Ice, he noted, the familiar smell of deep cold soothing instead of worrisome. They all had their element. The one that lashed out when emotion was high. Lightning had always suited Peregrine the most. Today he managed to keep the storm clouds of anger in check. Disappointed, but not yet feeling violent enough to make them manifest.

Honest! Peregrine could have smacked the chit. ”What do I have to lie for?” Unlike some, he thought. Papers read and contracts judged with one eyebrow high while he had waited. There was no way Little Terreille would survive without the trade deals they’d made with territories on the other side. She just wanted to win. To see him bow down because she told him to.

That was what they always fucking wanted!

It made the hair on Peregrine’s arms stand up. The choking noose of forced conformity was not one he would ever wear. Never again. Reric had tried, and he had done them the small mercy of running away instead of razing their shithole to the ground. There was no one in this place he knew or cared about to make him regret leaving it a smoldering pit. No one but himself.

With a snort he considered her request. Black Widows, his instincts warned, should be kept firmly on the outside. This one a queen no less. If it was the only way it was a risk worth taking. The smile he offered as he accepted was not one that would encourage leashing. All promised violence and building heat. ”Fine. You want in? Come here little woman.” Peregrine darted out and snatched her up. Binding tight with psychic probes to drag her in through his barriers. In, in, in to the deep well of the Abyss. Underneath them his Ebon Gray power swirled as he hung her out over the deep drop into nothingness. Over them the answers she sought poured down in a torent. Rage and sorrow and desperation. Rias, Rias, Rias! So many changes and things he couldn’t change! A son whose face he couldn’t even picture. Scattered clues that pointed him here but no farther.  Starling on his damn boat. Bitchy little queens that wanted to pick fights instead of use sense. Wrong words said to Kirsi. The wrong things she had said back. Even that dark look Kite got in his eye when they talked of the future and Peregrine knew his brother was looking ahead to years of loneliness. She wanted it. So he gave Irisviel Crag every ounce.

Came up again panting. Not sure at what point he had crossed the desk to loom over her, but he had. Teeth then tongue flickering over his bottom lip as he caught his breath. ”Satisfied, or do you want more?”

Irisviel Crag

    Red to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    67 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 09:12:55 AM »

”So be it.” Irisviel bluffed, watching the way his lips curled. Refusing the fall victim to his challenge. Rising toward instead of wilting beneath its weight. She couldn’t sacrifice her territory for pride, but the urge was there. To fight him to the very last. Until he was bound, collar and leash, or broken. Or she was.

But too many depended on her. Thousands she had not even met. Blood, landen, Kindred. Irisviel could afford no more slips. No more accidents. No more bloodshed.

That didn’t mean she couldn’t crave it.

”I don’t know warlord, what do you?” Everyone had secrets. Irisviel wondered what his were. Why did he need her gate so desperately? What made him so bold as to slink into her office this way, other than the damning depths of his Jewels? Were they enemies? Could she use him? Because she would if she could. And if her was her enemy, if he proved false, Irisviel would do everything in her power to destroy the threat he represented.

She would let no one stand against her. Especially someone with an Ebon-gray.

Braced but not ready. Something in the whispers of his body warning her. His snort a prelude. The last warning. His words barely registered before he was dragging her straight through the Abyss into Hell itself. Down past the lighter webs. White to Rose, Summer-sky to Opal. Beyond. Sapphire rich with welcome for him. The Red singing in familiarity to her. Gray thrumming.

Below that was his Ebon-gray. Just a single descent deeper than her own ranking Jewel. But that deep alone and she would be lost forever. Beyond even her power, and Irisviel’s power great. A full set could have been cut from the Jewel she’d been gifted with. But his power was a raging sea below her. And his mind the same above. A curtain of pain and rage to wash down on her. Threatening to sweep her away into nothingness.

Irisviel held on. Heart pounding. If her training had not been so extensive. If she had not spent a decade piecing together shattered chalices and walking twisted mindscapes, she might have been forced over that edge and shattered. From Gray to Red, and maybe to nothing at all. It was terrifying. A long time since she’d not commanded complete control. Been faced with someone stronger and fiercer than herself.

Someone she could not trust or leash.

Hands wrapped tight around his arms. Nails biting into his flesh. Fang just a hint along the wind swept leather of his coat. Irisviel looked up at him, eyes chips of blue ice between the slits of her eyelids. She swept all the emotions away. Picked through the information he’d tried to drown her with. The reasons were poor without the passion behind them. But his were not cares Irisviel could relate to. Children. Siblings. Women.

But within it all was the key. He would not work against her or hurt her people. Not unless he was given reason. That was all she cared about. That she could understand.

”No, Peregrine, that is enough.” Irisviel wanted to wrap her power around him. Pit her skill as a queen against his fierce desire to be free. But would he be the same, tied by her power? Did Irisviel care? Heart still pounding from facing the drop. Like freefall. All the way down into herself. Something great stretched out beyond. But she was no longer a virgin. Too many depended on her to be taking such reckless flights.

It didn’t mean she still couldn’t crave them. Because it never had been and never would be the same.

”I’ll give you my edict. But be ready, Peregrine the Runner,” Irisviel warned, name picked from the memories of the warlord. Kite. Starling. Rias. ”One day I may request a favor in return.”

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    136 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 05:22:59 PM »
Peregrine’s smile was cynical. Ruling queens  were all talk. Power tempered by the helm of responsibility. This one might want to try smiting him into the ground, but she wouldn’t. That was the critical difference. He was beholden to none. On his chest the Ebon-gray was heavy and warm. Ready, always ready.

But he was no warrior, not even a fighter to be honest. Took no pleasure in causing pain or fear. In the end running was much more his style.

Irisviel Crag, despite her inability to match his jewels, likely had more moxy. In the depth of his power Peregrine watched for her every reaction. Fear was expected, of course, it was the overall point. To give what she demanded under his own terms. And maybe, just maybe, to see how far to cracking it brought the dual caste queen. Too schooled in the task of protecting such things to let it happen, but petty enough to let her feel it might.

There was no flailing or girlish give way to his threat, though. Not what he expected. Which was pleasantly surprising since she had proven rather stereotypical upto that moment. In conflict with the emotional medley he doused her in he smiled down at her upturned face. Enjoying the way she was forced to cling to him and flit through the downpour for the useful bits.

As they separated again he plucked the strands of his own Inner Web until they sang their wholeness back to him. Checking their strength because he was there and he could. And maybe, a little bit, to make sure no mark was left behind.

You couldn’t really trust a black widow.

Face to face again he watched and waited. It was not his first time being judged. Tattooed hand rubbing the bristle along his jaw he wondered what every flick of her eyelashes might mean. When she was good and ready she made her decision. The only one really. The one he had come for. ”Sure, Iris, sure. Anytime.” He leaned a hip against her desk. Casual as if the room were his own. Arms crossing over his chest and smile slowly working from one corner of his mouth to the other. ”But whatever would you need with a simple carpenter from Glacia?”

Business was business and he made good marks bartering. The gate was worth extending his skillset to just about anyone.

Irisviel Crag

    Red to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    67 Posts    0 marks
Re: Peekaboo
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2018, 10:07:10 AM »

Irisviel looked at him. Looked through him. Saw beyond the lounging jackass staking subtle claim to her office and time. Saw the man lit by fire and desperation beyond it. Understood without understanding. The love of a child not something Irisviel would ever possess. Especially not one she'd never laid eyes on.

"Even a queen needs furniture from time to time." It was not time yet. Irisviel did not need to hint at favors she may come to expect, not until she was ready to call in his debt. Less chance for him to balk or hide, and she had seen he was just the type to do so. Turning, she plucked a letterhead from her desk, pen plucked and edict scrawled. Her hand neat, tidy, and looping. A breath of craft left her mark on the vellum.

None would doubt it.

Rolling it, Irisviel handed it to him. Dared turn her back to cross the room and unlock the door. She even opened it for him, hand resting on the carved handle, Iris looked at him. Looked and considered. Still tempted to try the leash. But she had no need for him, not just yet.

"You may go, Lord Peregrine." Waited until he had crossed the threshold of her door. "Good luck finding your son." Farewell bid, Irisviel closed the door and locked it again. Sunk deep into her chair with a shudder, head falling back as she remembered the depth of that darkness. A true Abyss.

 

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