One More Shot [cw]

Description:  cw: sexual content 

Rian

    Rose to Opal
  • Black Widow
  • Played By: dergon

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2018, 01:27:02 PM »

”It’s an inn.” That was all that mattered. Rian wasn’t sure she could sleep with him under the same roof. But he wouldn’t be in her bedroom, he’d be in his own. Alone or not, as he chose. He couldn’t hurt her from there. Not like he had at the Eyrie. And even that she’d mostly forgiven him for. Of course Briar had bad dreams. It made sense he had nightmares so real he tried to squeeze the life out of whoever was closest.

It was the other thing about that night, and day, that disturbed her. And the realization of just how strong and dangerous he was.

”What’s he mad at you for?” Rian asked, looking up as he looked down. Ignoring the wet way his shirt clung and the dark lines that showed through it. Curving over muscle. It wasn’t polite, and he had been gawked at enough. She didn’t want to be another one of them. She didn’t like the idea of Tali and Briar being out of sorts. It would just complicate things even more. Or make it easier for them all the cut ties. Briar was already pulling away. Settled at Ilithian’s court.

”Shhhhh!” She hissed back, wings fanning to keep the eyes that turned toward them from seeing. There was nothing to see but a soggy Briar and Rian who had all her clothes on. But it made her feel better to do it. Fuck, she peeked over a wing joint, seeing her brother scowling in their direction. ”Oh. Great. Thanks so much.” Rian sniffed. Sucking hot tears of shame back down her throat.

”Just shut up, Briar.” She didn’t care if he couldn’t anything! His sex life was none of her damn business. She didn’t want to know what he needed to get interested. ”You’ve said enough.” She assured him. The kitchen was quieter but no more peaceful, Briar following her in even though he had said he was leaving. Dropping the basket on the counter, she shook sheets out and strung them up on the long rope that ran across a wall.

”It’s fine. I shouldn’t have been... its probably good you did, anyway.” She was... it had been easier when she’d been a warlord. There had been no staying. No friends. No confusion. Good-bye was a way of life. Coming together and parting with other warriors. The inn and roots and being Rian had changed all of that. She was attached to things now, but everyone still left. And she just kept getting... ”Why does that sound like you’re never coming back?” Rian turned to pin him with burning eyes. Briar was already slinging advice and leaving though.

Everyone left. Only Tali ever stayed now.

”She’s going off with the circus. Briar, where are you going? I told you there was a room! And I told you you could have her if you wanted.” She gripped a sheet tight, fabric twisted between her hands like the neck of a chicken for the cook pot. ”He won’t care, he never keeps anyone. Its always just in passing and you’re not his blood.” Why could she never manage to make friends? She was dying of loneliness but everyone kept leaving anyway.

”I’ll get you a big room with a big bed.” She begged. Just stay. He was supposed to be her friend. He was scary and a bully, but he was her friend. ”Its raining outside and you haven’t even put your cloak on!”

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2018, 05:57:32 PM »

Idiot! When had he become such a walking disaster? Lately everything he touched suffered for it. He had survived being the focus of pain and humiliation for a long time. But this was different. He wasn’t prepared to be the reason for suffering. The one doing the inflicting. And every time he tried to make things better they got worse.

Just when he thought he was getting better, he proved anew that it would never happen. He was too twisted. Too wrong.

Rian’s question bounded off the doorway he’d filled. He let is roll off his wings. They ruffled as if the question was trying to cling to their tips. Saying that it might be forever was too much. Just thinking that it should be seared him on the inside and tried to pour over to the scowling face he turned on the world. It didn’t matter if it was forever or just for now. It hurt either way.

And the hurting was the reason he had to go. So he didn’t bleed his own issues out into these people’s lives anymore. He had justified the intrusions too many times. Ignored Rian’s clear distress when he turned up. Taken Talimar’s amusement with it as evidence that it couldn’t have been so bad. Given in to fantasies that made him dangerous to the people he had come to care for.

That was enough to drive him forward. Nearly back to the barroom when she turned his feet to lead. He couldn’t leave thing like this. Couldn’t leave Rian thinking it had anything to do with the circus girl. ”Tell her anyway.” He didn’t want to talk. Ashamed of the way his voice turned thready. It was bad enough he was making Rian want to cry. If she thought he was sad instead of just being an asshole she’d really try to make him stay..

Or try harder. Turning back around he sucked his lips in. Head shaking at the pale knuckles she wrung a bedsheet with. ”Rian, it’s not about the circus girl. It’s never been about any other girl.” He swayed on the spot. Wishing he hadn’t come. He should have left things the way they were. ”You’ll be happier if I go. I can stay at the hunting camp tonight. Inn or not, this is your house and I shouldn’t have come around after what happened at the eyrie.” Tomorrow he would figure out what came next. Leave word on how Ilithian could find him if things changed. Find a quiet place to weave webs and sleep away a lifetime of stupid mistakes.

But Rian put a level of pleading in her voice that sliced his reasoning into little pieces. Head tilting at her he sighed. What difference did the rain make when he was already soaked? ”Just a normal bed.” He could leave in the morning before she woke up. He didn’t need sunlight to ride the Winds.

He didn’t get it. He would probably never understand. Rian hated him then wanted him to stay all in the same breath. Maybe he reminded her of a lost brother. Or she was as kind as she was disgusted. ”I’ll get out of your way, just tell me which room.” Let her get on with her work. If her circus friend came back as she’d promised Briar wanted to be well out of sight. Everyone sight. Some place he could tuck his head between his knees for a bit.

Rian

    Rose to Opal
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  • Played By: dergon

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2018, 06:16:00 PM »

”There is nothing to tell!” Rian snapped at him. Maeve already knew everything. Rian wanted her. Maeve wanted her back if all that clinging and petting was any indication. Rian didn’t think it went any deeper than that. They didn’t talk much of often. She liked Maeve. But she didn’t want to keep her. Not forever.

”Alright, fine. Not Maeve then. Not anyone. I tried telling her that.” Her wings rose and fell, as if she were shielding the room from him before remembering there was nothing to hide. Hell, he’d seen plenty today. Seen plenty before too. All sorts of perversions. It probably wasn’t very shocking for him anymore. ”That’s not fair!” She hissed, sheet strangled.

”You’re the one who tried to smother me to death. That means I get to decide if you get to come around or not.” Her heel rapped the ground in emphasis. Sheet tossed over the rope, too wrinkled to dry evenly. He didn’t get to decide anything for her! Not where she went, not who she went with, and not if she was happy or not. Rian got to do those things for herself!

”Fine!” Triumph didn’t soften her any. She’d put him where he belonged, in the room next to hers. Out of the guests way, since he frightened a lot of people with his big dumb Jewel and snarly castes. Rian could handle him, though. Usually. When he wasn’t sleeping. Sniffing, she shook another sheet out. ”You know which room, and where the key is. Now,” back turned to him as she stretched the sheet across the line, ”are you going to tell me why you came?” Was he stopping by for a visit, or on his way to somewhere else?

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2018, 06:49:11 PM »

”Fine.” Nothing to tell. Because there was nothing really between them? Or because Briar had interrupted any chance of something forming? He wished it was his business to know. Wished he crack Rian open like a clam and weigh every thought she had ever had about him.

He just wanted to know where he stood. Other than in the short hall between the kitchen and the bar. Looking like a fool in wet clothes and hair beaded with raindrops. Glad there was still enough of it to disguise the salty stray droplets that slicked down his face. He licked one that had collected in the corner of his mouth.

Huffing out a breathless laugh that made him shake his head. Not Briar. Not anyone. And she wanted to tell him what was fair or unfair. What had the half formed water works been for? Did she want him around just to bitch at?

Did she want him to be too messed up to want other people?

He didn’t get to wonder for long. As efficiently as the hunters skinned their kills Rian gutted him raw. He knew. He knew he’d been the one that broke their friendship, and a few of her ribs in the process. It made his stomach feel strangely empty of anything but warm air. As if his lungs had popped and all his breaths were coming from there now. Head spinning so he didn’t hear the second sentence at all. Just the first echoing in his head. He sucked in a breath to keep the sting of tears down. ”It was an accident.” He whispered.

Rooted to the spot now. Floundering with his hands on his hips and his face turning anywhere but back at Rian. Even more lost than he had been before. What the fuck did she want him to be? To do? Another change in her mood to keep him off balance. Everything in his life was off balance today.

Rian fucked women but he wasn’t supposed to fuck anyone even though she wasn’t interested in him. There was a queen that might be Witch in Ilithian’s eyrie and he didn’t have anywhere to go. To call home. He didn’t know if he wanted to sleep there. That close. Maybe he could slip out without her noticing. There was a window in that hall.

”I just wanted a room for the night.” He answered flatly. It was the simplest explanation. And he had learned that the less you told people the less they had to react to. ”This is the only inn I know of.”

Did she want him to thank her for the mercy of a dry place to sleep? Was he supposed to stand there until she dismissed him? Briar didn’t like wondering. He didn’t like feeling as if he walked on eggshells either. ”I’m going upstairs.” Another apology waited on the inside of his lip but he ate it. Boot squeaking in damp indignation as he turned on the heel.

”Goodnight.” If he was quick he could leave a note and be gone before she sent food up. Then she wouldn’t have to worry.

Rian

    Rose to Opal
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  • Played By: dergon

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2018, 07:46:21 PM »

”I know.” Rian whispered back. Nightmares. She’d glimpsed the things left behind in his psyche. Had drowned in his Red helping him find the traps left behind so he could cut them loose. She hadn’t been prepared for any of it. Not working his mind clear or facing the reality of what was left behind. Nightmares that crushed her. Worse, they’d ruined her trust in him.

Reminded her that there was temper, real temper, behind the bully. He was a warlord prince, with all the predator drive as any other. Being friends didn’t protect her from that. And he was in a mood today. Unwilling to talk. Trying to escape. Rian’s wings dragged the floor. Of course he was. He’d come for some reason and caught her... maybe she was as bad as them. She’d felt a hot spear of wanting at the sight of him. At Maeve’s idea of them all being together.

”Okay. I’m sorry, about earlier.” He just wanted a room. Couldn’t even look at her anymore. Her arm rubbed her breasts through her shirt, trying to wipe away the kisses left behind. But she couldn’t take them back. Couldn’t take any if it back. She was.... what was she? Awful. Stealing in on her brother’s lover and looking at Briar like others looked at him. For pleasure. Her own selfish pleasure.

”Goodnight. I’ll send some dinner up.” He squeaked away, nearly pulling her lips up from their frown. When he was gone, Rian finished hanging the sheets before washing her face in the sink. And her hands. And then her face again. Outside the kitchen the bar grew rowdier, so Rian drug out the stew pot and ladled up bowls for those lounging at tables. She set out bread too, and then crept upstairs with a tray for Briar.

Pressing her ear to the door, Rian scratched at it. Tempted to open it with her master key and leave the food on his table. Afraid what would happen if she did. If she startled him awake, would he hurt her? ”Briar?” She whispered before giving up. Too cowardly to creep in, Rian used his own trick, passing the tray through the door. ”Dinner.” She called softly before creeping away to her own room to shower.

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2018, 08:35:04 PM »

In private Briar could pout. At least he had that freedom. The ability to spill a few tears without anyone materializing in the doorway to watch. At the eyrie Ilithian was drawn to emotion like a moth to flame. Flapping about hoping to help when there was nothing she could do. And before- well, he had learned quickly in the Keep that nothing brought Her faster than the smell of salt and misery.

It hadn’t even been about the pain. That was just a side effect to what She really enjoyed. Bending people to Her will. Making them do what they didn’t want to do, just because She could. Because She had said so. That was why Briar had been a pet, why Eremiar had been forced to live like an animal instead of killed, the reason Ebenar was never a lover. She thrived on that control.

The effect had not died with Witch, either. All these years later Briar still couldn’t defeat the training to stand and take it when someone shouted him into shame or humiliation. Couldn’t sleep beside a woman he cared about without nightmares of someone ripping her away. It wasn’t fair. And he barely made it into the room before giving over to the self pity.

Why not? It felt better than the self loathing. Squeezing into the spot between the nightstand and the doorframe he smashed his wings to the wall. Sitting on the floor and kicking the door shut. All the little bric-a-brac in the room shuddering. He groaned, wondering if he would hear it for that too. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

They were quiet tears. He didn’t sob or work himself up. Just rested his forehead on the arms he’d crossed over the tops of his knees. Folded in on himself until he slumped against the nightstand. Hurt giving over to sleep.

Crying made his head hurt when he woke up again. Confused because it was dark. Not quite remembering where he was. Cursing himself for not leaving as he had planned. The tray had woken him, nose sniffing it out and stomach aching for sustenance. Briar didn’t know how long it had been there, but everything was still warm. And filling. Unpleasantly heavy in his stomach because the tension of his terrible day had not left yet.

Rubbing the dry crusts of sleep from his eyes he took the tray back downstairs. There was quite the ruckus in the barroom. He imagined it must have been pretty late if they were all that drunk. In the kitchen he took down the dry sheets Rian had strung out. Folding them into small squares and setting the in the basket. Half empty tray set by the sink. Not sure if they tossed the leftover out or gave them to the village pigs.

On his way back to his room he tried not to wonder if Rian was alone in hers. Tried not to think about anything other than tomorrow. What would he do? His mother would take him, of course, but his Eyrien-ness hurt her political aspirations. He supposed he could stay in the hunting camps. Eremiar seemed to think he needed the training. Being so close to the eyrie worried him though. He should have been man enough to have a place of his own by now.

He was fucking grown. And a warlord prince. Would Ilithian let him take over an eyrie of his own? He could run a district. He had played steward in half a dozen infant courts over the last century. Tomorrow. He passed Rian’s door and slowed. Tomorrow he had to figure his life out. This coming and going was going to kill him. He needed a place to belong.

Tomorrow. In his room- his rented room- he stared at the wall. The one that split it from Rian’s room. It was empty. So he called in the framed rose. A tack of Craft mounted it in the center of the bare space. Only one short knock necessary. He was sure Rian was too busy to notice.

From the edge of the bed it looked nice. Now he had a reason to come back. Once he’d found a place to hang it permanently. In the hall footsteps echoed up the stairs. Maybe he was wrong and Maeve hadn’t come back yet. He stood to shut the bedroom door. Hoping it might give him a peek.

Rian

    Rose to Opal
  • Black Widow
  • Played By: dergon

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2018, 09:06:21 PM »

The hot water didn’t wash anything away. Nothing Rian wanted rid of anyway. The shame remained. The guilt and confusion. But the sweat was gone. The smell of Maeve washed from her skin until she smelled like herself, whoever she was. Mirror wiped clear of fog so she could see her reflection. Round, shapeless face with wide, hollow eyes just like always. She hadn’t been a very handsome warlord either.

The inn was full ghosts when she went back to work. Too restless for sleep. There was too much to do anyway. A few more guests settled. Dinner cleaned up after. She found the sheets folded in the basket, Briar’s scent making her check the corners of the kitchen. She brought in another basket and hung towels this time. But he never came back in. Rian washed his dishes before going back up, scraps dumped in the bucket under the sink for the pigs.

Talimar only questioned her a little. Mostly about Briar, probes trying to suss out if she was okay. He hadn’t heard what the hissing was all about. Just worried over the hissing in itself. It helped her guilt a little, and made it worse, that her brother still didn’t know. Would probably never know. Who would tell him?

Rian took the sheets upstairs with her. A set vanished for her own room, the rest put away in the cupboard. A stack of them pressed to her face and inhaled. Good clean linen. Just a trace of Maeve left behind. Rian was there too. But Briar’s scent was strongest, the last to touch them. Another thing to make her feel better and worse. The guests probably wouldn’t like it, but she did. It was settling. He almost always made her feel safe, when he wasn’t terrifying her himself.

Stuffing them away in the cupboard, Rian looked up. And there he was closing his door again, the ghost of her inn. He looked like hell. And his clothes were still damp.

”Do you need a clean set?” She asked, her own hair still damp from washing. Braided down her back. She pulled out a towel from the other shelf, holding it out for him. ”You’re still kind of drippy.” She chewed the corner of her bottom lip, the opposite side sticking out as if it were running away. ”I have your clothes, if you need them. The ones you loaned me.” She brought him the towel. She had sheets in her cabinet if he needed them. ”Did you get enough to eat?” She was never sure with his Red. Even if he’d eaten most of his plate.

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2018, 10:04:24 PM »

Not the circus girl. One eye peering passed the door he stopped before the crack slipped shut. Throwing a look over his shoulder and wing joint at the bed. Even though he knew the sheets were clean. ”Nah, they’re still fresh.” He hadn’t touched the bed except to sit on the quilt for a few minutes.

”That’s one way of putting it.” He agreed. A hand cutting through his ragged hair. That was exactly how he felt. Drippy. Like a boat with a leak. Or a bucket that couldn’t hold water. Filled up on too many things he couldn’t keep in. And not sure which ones mattered anymore.

She looked nervous. Worried. Afraid? Had she not been able to sleep with him here? He opened his mouth, it wasn’t too late for him to leave. His flying wasn’t good enough to get him anywhere in the dark, other than dead. But he knew which direction to walk until the sun came up. Before he could make the offer she made one of her own. ”I have my bag.” He’d never fully unpacked. This, this was why. Feeling settled in a place put unrealistic expectations in your head. Then you were hurt worse when things went sideways. ”I can take them out of your way, though.”

He squeezed the towel he hadn’t realized she’d pressed into his hands. ”I did. Thanks. You don’t need to go out of your way. Tomorrow I’m going to the hunting camp until I figure things out. So if I’m not here when you wake up… don’t be worried.” Or whatever flustering emotion seemed to shake her from one extreme to the other when he came around.

”Are you sure you can sleep with me here? I’m not going to freak out. Last time was-” He wet his lips, letting go of the doorknob. It drifted open. Leaving him to lean his weight on one leg. Opposite wing slightly spread for balance. ”that doesn’t happen. Hardly ever.” But once was enough wasn’t it? It would only take once to snap a neck or crush a lung for good.

Rian had good things in her future. A niece, or a daughter, to teach webs to. An inn to run. She didn’t nightmares in the bedroom next door. ”Anyway. Goodnight. I hope you get a proper goodbye from your friend before she goes.” It sounded as if the rain had stopped while he was sleeping. Lean fingers on his temple he rubbed a red impression from the lip of the nightstand. He probably looked like shit.

Rian

    Rose to Opal
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  • Played By: dergon

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2018, 07:43:46 AM »

”Oh. Right.” Rian recalled it stretched down his bed, rummaged through so they could both sleep in something comfortable. Something that didn’t smell of a dozen other people. ”If you want.” Reluctant to give them back now. ”I don’t carry them around with me though. They’re in my room.” As if it was too far to go and fetch them, rather than right next door to his.

”Hunting camps?” Rian’s eyes rounded, sweeping Briar from head to toe. Why would he go there? He wasn’t a warrior. Not like that. Close enough to smell him, and use a corner of the towel to wipe at a damp spot. ”You should really change.” She grumbled while trying to come to terms with his words. ”What needs figured out so badly you can’t stay for breakfast?” She probably should have just let him go the first time. He was desperate to be away. But letting him run made her stomach hurt.

”I know what last time was, Briar. It’s fine. I’m fine.” Now. Mostly. It had been a horrible night. At least that part of it. The rest had been good. More than good, really. ”You’ve never gone through the walls and hurt anyone here.” Eyes tracing his face. She needed need his next words to know this would be the last time. Something inside her knew it. Expected it. The time between his coming back had stretched and stretched. Eventually it had to stretch into forever.

She was sad she’d helped it along.

”Thanks.” Her wings rose and fell. Body on toes and then heels again. ”Goodnight.” It tasted like goodbye. Shivering, Rian swooped in past the door, arms circling his back as she hugged him. Eyes closed and cheek pressed to his chest, her wing banging the door frame. Just a quick hug, since he was leaving. Surely that was okay. ”You better take care of yourself, Briar. No one else will at those hunting camps.” He didn’t belong there at all.

She caught sight of the rose as she stepped back. Glimpsed over his shoulder because she couldn’t look him in the eyes.  Of course it wasn’t going with him.

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2018, 02:18:29 PM »

Confusing woman. Briar fought the urge to smile. To soften on the inside. ”I can’t ever tell if you love me or hate me.” He admitted. And it made all of his own feelings twice as complicated. ”Keep them, if you want them. Bring them back if you don’t. As long as you’re happy, Rian.”

Confusing, confusing ridiculous life.

He sighed at the way she looked at him. He knew. The camps weren’t a place he belonged. Not really. ”That’s where we’re supposed to start out, isn’t it?” Not during the war, but in the time before. All the boys went to the hunting camps. Even Eremiar had gone. They learned to be men there. Learned their place in life. That felt like what Briar wanted.

”I was going to but I fell asleep. Now I’ll be dry soon.” He half-lied. The sleeping and near dryness both true. But there hadn’t been a point in changing when he had been planning to go back out in the rain. They both watched her pat at him with the towel. His eyes flicked up then away. Another sigh as he tried to make her understand. ”Everything, everything needs figuring out. The harder I look at myself, and this life I’m trying to live... the less any of it makes sense.”

So no breakfast. No more flinging his problems at the wall and hoping some solution would stick. Sunrise and a new mindset. That was his plan. Not Cruxvar’s hunting camp either. He would head towards Mellavi and find a camp there to take up with. Someplace he that wouldn’t let him in or treat him softly out of pity.

One wing tip skimmed over the floor absently, like a finger doodling circles on a table. He could feel the swirl of emotion under Rian’s quiet surface. Both try to reassure one another. But it felt strange instead of comforting. A silent expectation stretching between them until all he could do was break Rian free.

Whatever trap he’d put her in when they first met. He had to let it go. Let her find some peace. She would keep drawing him in, even though he was sure she didn’t want to. Because she was kind and she didn’t want to see him on his own. Alone. So he said goodnight, and it was really goodbye.

But she knew it. Could she hear the hitch of air in his chest with her face leaning into him that way? He hoped not. His own face tipped up to the ceiling. Fingers on her elbows because he was afraid if he hugged her back he wouldn’t be able to let go. It was bad enough his heart never would.

She did him the favor of not looking up when she put space between them again. ”I will.” He always had. Since the day he’d kissed Dian on the forehead and said he’d be back soon. He’d never seen her again either. ”Use your head, you crazy witch, especially if you’re going to be running around without your brothers. Okay?”

He’d already given in to the crying so now it was hard not to fall down the hole again. Swallowing the knot he followed her eyes to the wall. ”I won’t have anywhere to put it for a while. This way if things change,” If he found a way to be Not Briar. ”I’ll be able to come back for it.”

His lips twisted. And his hand fell back on the doorknob. Question burning his lip. Rian was the one person that knew him best, knew everything. If anyone could answer it was her. ”Before I go, I want to know: What makes the idea of me having sex wrong? Of me liking it, even after… everything.” Should he let go of that too. Could he be closer to normal then?

Rian

    Rose to Opal
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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2018, 03:44:29 PM »

”I don’t think life always does.” Rian’s hardly ever did. Girl to warlord to black widow inn keeper. Her life hadn’t made sense since she’d left the cradle. She’d lived too many. Too many ways. Her skin felt as unnatural as she much look to the outside world. Maybe Briar felt a little of the same.

But he didn’t want to commiserate. Her hug suffered rather than accepted. Hands cupping her elbows as if he would pull her away if she lingered too long. All the comfort she’d found in his arms before was missing now. His chest a wall instead of a shield. Rian’s eyes burned all the way down to her heart.

”Good.” She tried to smile, looking past Briar rather than at him. At least he would do that. They’d probably try and break him in the camps. Like a badly set bone. Fingering the wrinkles at her elbow, Rian nodded. ”Okay.” She didn’t have anyone to visit now, so where would she go? She had roots now. She was an inn keeper. She gave beds to the travelers, she wasn’t one, not anymore.

”It will be waiting for you.” She’d be waiting for him. Rian chewed her lip and kept that to herself. They weren’t friends anymore. He was leaving the rose behind so she’d know his season here was done. The waiting would be forever, until it wasn’t waiting anymore but memory. Another little thing left behind by the streak of lives that moved through hers.

She watched his hand take hold of the door. Ready to close it. To finish shutting her out. But there was one last thing, question pulling her eyes up to his face, pulling her wings up then down again.

”I never said that.” Had never meant that. Eyebrows puckering, she frowned. She’d never thought that either. Hardly ever commented on his sex life. She knew nothing about it, not as it was currently. Tried not to think of it ever. ”I just thought...” Lips pursed, Rian scowled as she looked for the words. ”That you’d want it with people who cared. Not just people looking for pleasure.” People wanting to use him, instead of love him.

”You deserve more than that.” He wasn’t a tool.

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

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Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #26 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?”

Rian

    Rose to Opal
  • Black Widow
  • Played By: dergon

    Askavi Terreille
    74 Posts    1012 marks
Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #27 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.

Briar

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Askavi Territory Court First Circle Escort
    Askavi Terreille
    59 Posts    550 marks
Re: One More Shot [cw]
« Reply #28 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.’
 

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