Risk Versus Reward

Description:

Isidore Nazaire

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

    Raider Captain
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    98 Posts    0 marks
Risk Versus Reward
« on: November 26, 2018, 08:23:12 PM »

Funny that Vrai had not asked where the landing web outside of Eulie’s armory came from. Isidore supposed that a lifetime under the thumbs of strong willed priestesses had a way of stifling a man’s curiosity. But he had not asked. And he had not looked nearly as unsettled or fascinated as Isidore had hopped after riding the Gray Wind.

It wasn’t right, a man that had never left the islands looking as calm as a seasoned raider on those foreign shores. Impassive gaze slipping over the warlord prince to take in the building. He hadn’t wanted to go inside without Eulalie, like a sodding little puppy still stuck on its mother’s teat. But Isidore pointed out the glow of Eyrien fires in the distance. Villages that would see them standing out there like idiots. Then they would know they had entered that sacred place, and if they came to investigate Eulalie’s ‘black’ - ha! The irony was sweet- would have everyone in a panic.

So he had left the moon eyed fool to sit alone in the dusty sitting room they had found beyond The Keep’s terrace. Not even the bit of news Isidore had shared could stir Vrai up. All Isidore could glean without prying open the other man’s barriers was surprise.

Maybe the kid wasn’t his then. That was much less fun.

Fetching Eulalie would be magnificent though. With a grin he shot Vrai a wink. ”Better get back, Eulie’s never been this far from you before. Probably needs a hug.” Then he was back in the Wind. Fifteen minutes later he touched back in the armory.

”If your stubborn Hand gets himself killed before we get back I’ll have you know now it’s not my fault. The fool didn’t even want to go inside without you.” Isidore quickly tattled. Hair smoothed down with the palms of his hands while he turned to face his not-quite cousin.

He wet his lips while he looked her over. It made him nervous. Leaving the island with her. Taking her out there. But he liked it too. The risk and the knowledge that no one else could have done this for her. ”You should have told Vrai the truth. That web is going to light a torch up the Eyriens asses if they get wind of it.” Opening his arm he motioned for her to come closer. Very, very close. "Lets get this over with."

@dergon

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    80 Posts    0 marks
Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 09:13:27 PM »

Eulalie spread her hands over her stomach. In, out. Her belly swelled beneath her palms, expanding, sinking. Deep breaths meant to calm and center her.

Somewhere, somewhere very far from her, was Vrai. And with Vrai was Isidore. Her cousin she was used to bidding farewell. His absence from Paon so often a relief. A reprieve when Eulalie did not have to worry about him standing so close. Fanning her neck with his breath, or worse, heating the skin with his lips. Driving her mad with his demands and annoying her with his needs.

This time was different, because he had taken Vrai with him. Eulalie waited. Eyes critical but not really seeing. The illusions she have woven over her garden checked and checked again. She’d even had Isidore look at them. Eulalie stood next to the landing web and waited. But she also prayed at the center of her garden. Tall stone pillars hemming her in. The only flaw was her shadow. Eulalie had not been able to master it. Her image cast none.

”He is more than capable of defending himself.” A bloodless warrior. As skilled as the raiders of Paon, but without all the fervor and wild temper. Eulalie imagined it made him more precise, and his precision more deadly. Turning, she smiled at her cousin. The upward sweep of her mouth mocking his lack of faith in Vrai’s abilities. ”Of course he didn’t.” As if anything else was unthinkable. And anything else was.

Eulalie smoothed her hands down her stomach and across her hips. No sweeping skirts or lush gowns for this. Eulalie wore loose trousers and a thick sweater that was stifling in Paon’s damp head. Sweat beaded at her lip and hairline, but it would be cooler at the Keep. Her stomach knotted. ”What?” She asked, the look on Isidore’s face making her more nervous. As if he had doubts.

Or worse, worries.

”I always tell him the truth. What are you speaking of now, Isidore?” Frowning, Eulalie stepped into the cage of his nearness. She did not want his embrace, but needed it. As with so many things she had to submit to Isidore to accomplish her aims. Trust in the untrustable. Pulling her sleeve over her knuckles, Eulalie used the hem to wipe the sweat from her lip and brow. Her other hands settled on Isidore’s bicep. Holding tight. He might drop her.

”You make it sound like such a burden.” She accused, arm circling his neck. Her stomach was a twisted knot of excitement and fear. Eulalie was certain it would settle once they were on the other side of the Wind. At the Keep. She glanced at her illusion-self. Two days. Two days she could fuel the web. Two days of fasting and prayer, with her Eunuchs coming and going to and from no where. ”We better hurry.” She urged, clinging to Isidore.

Isidore Nazaire

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

    Raider Captain
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    98 Posts    0 marks
Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 01:41:28 AM »

”Yes, we’ve wrestled.” Isidore reminded her cheerfully. In fact, Vrai had nearly gotten the better of him that last time. In the end it had come down to who had the bigger ego, and Isidore didn’t mind that it was him. Not even a little. He was sure his bravado was at least ninety percent well deserved.

Puzzled by her answer he shifted from amused to exasperated at the drop of a hat. ”Mother Night, I know he’s supposedly short on balls but that’s just ridiculous! He can’t stand out on Witch’s balcony for all of Askavi to see. Not if you want time to actually look around inside.” They were fools. Both of them. If the winged warriors rained down on them he’d wisk Eulalie to one of his houses on the mainland. Let Paon wonder what had become of their Priestess. He would take it nice and slow. Teach her to bend without having to break, just like he had half a dozen before her.

”Nothing. Everything. This is madness.” He told her with a chuckle that didn’t sound half as amused as his words did. But not nearly as false as Eulalie’s sounded. ”Do you? Going to take off that Black and show him your true colors then? That would keep the Eyriens off our necks if things goes badly. Maybe. They might kill us for sport.”

They really had no idea how dangerous any of this was. Smiling as she tucked in tight Isidore turned his face down into the crown of her hair. ”Dying would be an awful burden. I don’t even have children to inherit all my hard earned coin.” He had contingencies for his contingencies and a will in place just in case. The temple wouldn’t see a red cent.

”Hold tight.” He encouraged, pulling them off into the Wind with a practiced step. Gentle as anything even though the Gray stormed around them at breakneck speed. It would have been faster on the Ebon-gray, but her arms around his neck made him wish he had used the Red instead. Fifteen minutes really wasn’t enough. ”Good girl, just like that.” He crooned, his smile going crooked as he honed in on the beacon in the distance.

To The Keep. Then to find food while the bookworms did their digging. He had heard there was a mighty fine armory in The Keep. Maybe he would do a bit of exploring on his own.

Vrai

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Shield & Whip Of Mother Priestess
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
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Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 01:42:05 AM »

As soon as Isidore was gone Vrai left his seat. Pacing the unfamiliar room with waves of anxiety. What if he was stuck here? He didn’t know how to get back to Paon. No one would. Eulalie would never know if Isidore simply didn’t come back for him. The sneak could go on back to the island and just refuse to bring Eulalie, or to come back for Vrai. It made him nervous. Very nervous. He wouldn’t put any act beyond Isidore’s jealousy.

While he walked he cleaned. In that subconscious way of a well kept bachelor. Dust scattered from furniture and stray books tucked back on shelves. It gave him something to do. Something to focus on other than the next thirty minutes.

They would be sleeping here. In The Keep. Once or twice the reality of where he was standing sank in. Vrai could hardly believe it. Swinging between euphoria, fear, and awe. He wanted to explore, but he had to wait for Eulie. This had been there trip to make together. Already he had gone inside without her, at Isidore’s insistence, it wouldn’t do to look further than the elegant sitting room that led out to the landing web permanently fixed to a wide terrace. There were no windows in the room but Vrai imagined the views were stunning from so high. Sunrise couldn’t come fast enough.

Eulalie couldn’t come quickly enough. Forcing back his mien of passiveness he managed to sit without twitching and pick up a book. The words were lost on him. Meaningless splotches of dark ink on white paper. But he wanted to look sedate when his Lady returned. Not entirely for her sake, admittedly. The cool difference he had been using against Isidore was working wonderfully. Driving the warlord prince to childish antics for attention. He understood why Eulie always poised herself that way when her cousin was expected.

With a sound that was more of a feeling they arrived. Unfolding from his position of fake leisure Vrai stood to welcome Eulalie. His smile stronger on one corner of his mouth than the other. He didn’t care what Isidore thought of his self-sufficiency. Thirty minutes was plenty of time to miss someone you had not been apart from in over twenty years. ”My Lady.”

He touched her with his eyes and craft since he couldn’t with anything else. Checking to make sure she was unharmed. Isidore seemed intent to keep his arm around her waist until she was forced to make him move it. The younger man soothed his own ego with excuses. Or necessities, perhaps. Food, he promised, heading back towards the landing web. Vrai would never admit it but he was impressed Isidore had any jewel power left after making the trip twice- shielding an extra person on one. He had no idea how deep the well of Isidore’s power could go though, did he? There was no way to compare. It was just unfathomable. And it made him adore Eulalie all the more. ”What first, Eulie? It’s late. We could look for bedrooms, they’ll probably need dusting before we can sleep.” He would find a room as close to hers as he could. Then he’d plaster it in webs so he’d know if Isidore so much as sniffed at it.

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    80 Posts    0 marks
Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 04:17:37 AM »

The look she gave him was a dangerous one. Beneath the iron will of the priestess lurked a spider. Eulalie’s mother had tried to curb any interest in the second caste that did not serve the first. Illusion webs were well and fine when they made an Ebon-grey a Black, but what good did distilling the venom she milked from her snake tooth do the priestess? More than that woman could have imagined.

She had tried, and she had failed. Eulalie did not spin webs of the future or walked knotted paths, but she was still a black widow, even if she often forgot. Immersed in her own lies. ”Don’t.” Was all the threat she voiced. Curious if her poison could kill him. He was hardly darker than she in the grand scheme of things. Maybe one day she would try.

On the Wind Isidore had too many hands. His breath warming the roots of her hair and his hands covering nearly every inch of her back. And lower, and around. Sure fingers fitted themselves around her hip while they raced through nothingness, protected only by Isidore’s shield. Too much of Eulalie’s power was tied up in the illusion back on Paon. What she had to spare she would keep reserved for emergencies. For now she would have to trust her cousin and his roaming hands.

Eyes open, Eulalie looked past his shoulder. There was little to see but darkness, and in that darkness flashes of color and light that swept by too quick for her to focus on. She wanted to probe the darkness and see what lived in it. To trace the invisible lines Isidore used to move from one place to the other, but Eulalie was too afraid to extend her consciousness past Isidore’s shield. She had to live and be whole, to return to her people. To Vrai, especially, who waited at the Keep.

She shared in his anxiety, slipping away from Isidore as if he did not exist, to tangle a thread with Hand. Each checking the other for hurts. Or difference. They had never been parted before.

”Happy hunting,” Eulalie bid over her shoulder, eyes dragged away from Vrai to sweep the architecture of the Keep before she was ushered within. Power surrounded her. The stains of centuries saturating the stone walls. Witch and Witch before her. Eulalie thought there was a hint of a third, maybe more. And all the dark Jewels that had answered the siren song of the Black. Like gravitating toward like.

”I don’t know how anyone could sleep in a place like this.” Eulalie spun, taking in the room in its entirety before moving toward the door. ”The looking should prove interesting at least.” She matched her step to his in the hallway. Keeping within the comfort of proximity despite her excitement. Beneath it lay anxiety. Eulalie had never left the islands, and for all the Keep was a place of all realms, a place of Witch, it was not Paon.

”How was the Wind, for you, my friend?” Eulalie put the question to him as she opened the next door in the hallway, allowing Vrai, as her shield, to proceed her before entering. Yet another receiving chamber. This one in a different color scheme than the other. The arrangement slightly different, and the balcony door missing. Only one way in and out and Eulalie could practically taste the blood saturating the floor. ”Come away.” She whispered, tugging at him with craft and shutting the door behind them.

The rooms proved to be one floor up. The stairs winding past windows large enough for a man to fit through with ease. ”For Eyriens, I would guess.” Eulalie leaned out one, studying the village in the distance. What did they look like? No one had brought one back from raids before. At least none with wings. Sighing, she turned away and finished the ascent with Vrai. Sorting through bedrooms until she found one to her liking.

Vrai

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Shield & Whip Of Mother Priestess
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
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Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 05:57:22 PM »

Vrai breathed easier with Eulie back in sight. And easier still when Isidore left to find his own amusements. It was hard to be a pillar of virtue while staring that bastard in the face. More and more Vrai suffered the feeling that he was trying to fit back into his own personality. The change was so slow he didn’t notice until it was pressing on his thoughts. Subtle enough he hid them out of practice rather than any need. Trivial things- but it made him realize he had lost his serenity. Broken his own inner peace. Suddenly he found annoyance brimming where none had been found before. His attention straying when he had always been so focused. Excess energy made sleep harder to find.

With his smirking face never quite concealing his wicked thoughts Isidore exacerbated it all. An ugly reminder, and the catalyst to everything that had passed since Georgette.

”There’s a beautiful sort of energy here.” Vrai agreed. Watching Eulie instead of following her gaze across the room. It was the sort of place that took your breath away just by existing. A tower that had stood since the dawn of time. Perhaps longer. ”But I hope you’ll at least pretend at sleep an hour or two, for my sake.”

It must have been twice as amazing for Eulalie. Her Jewels could penetrate so much deeper into the residual psychic stains of the place. ”Let’s explore then, and see what there is to find.” He held his hand towards her knowing that she would not take it. Just a customary gesture before he opened the next door. The space beyond was swept in his probes, every step careful even though he wanted to run through the place from top to bottom. If there were wards or traps against intrusion he wanted to make sure his lady could escape. 

Fingers tugging at the knot in his hair Vrai cast her a look over his shoulder. Half shrugging as he raised his brows. ”The Winds are the Winds. It was faster and farther than I have ever gone. And I’m sure now that your cousin would grope anything with a pulse.” It had been amusing to watch him waiting for Vrai to react to the experience. Asking if he was well half a dozen times before he had gone back for Eulie. They forgot, the raiders, that they weren’t the only people capable of using the Winds. While Vrai had never gone farther than his parents house on Rosnay he wasn’t new to it.

”And you, my Lady?” He asked, letting her rush them through a room shrouded with a heavy chill. Sweeping another room he turned to hear her answer. As they walked he fed the wall sconces with his Summer-Sky. Most of the floor seemed to be taken up by this one large room. A reception hall of some sort he decided. In the corner his probes recognized fresh air under the layers of dust. ”It doesn’t seem to have been empty a century.”

There was dusty, but it wasn’t a century worth. Vrai knew, he had braved Paon’s archives and wiped clean the covers of scrolls that had sat untouched for decades. The large, open windows might have helped blows some of it away. But he wondered if others had stayed behind after their Lady had died. Or been trapped inside? Perhaps the death of Witch had not been the end of their foul war.

Stomach made sour by the thought of what might have happened to such loyalists he led on to a curving staircase. As they made their way upstairs he found comforting in knowing that he would never be so weak. If Eulie died, he would die too. Together always. In life, and into death. ”Do you suppose that means they built the place?”

Eyrien windows. He touched one, a thread of Craft resting on Eulie’s spine as she dared the heights for a better view. It was nice here, the energy less oppressing. The entire next floor was less inviting. Many of the rooms held more of that residual energy. A touch of their last occupants. And in the center was another stairway. Vrai put a foot on the bottom step but turned away again. ”Not this way.” That was Her place and The Keep seemed to ring with a power of its own. Ready to ensure that it was only Hers.

Eulalie made quick work of finding a space that suited her though. Probes dipping into every nook and cranny of the room he nodded approvingly. ”West facing. You’ll be able to watch the sunset tomorrow night.” Then he went to work. Pulling the curtains back he beat the dust from them with Craft. Stripping the tidy covers from the bed to dust them off into the night air too. The sheets underneath looked clean, but he sniffed them to be sure before smoothing the blanket back over the top. When he was finished he turned to her with his hands no his hips. ”Would it bother if you I stayed on the sofa when I’m not having a turn on watch? ” It was probably almost long enough.

He didn’t trust Isidore wandering alone in the place while Eulalie was asleep. ”I know it sounds silly, but… I would just feel better being close while we’re here.”

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    80 Posts    0 marks
Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 06:40:50 PM »

Eulalie snorted. The sound was neither delicate or kind, tension tightening the skin around her eyes as she smirked. ”I’m not so sure the pulse is required.” It was only half a jest. Eulalie would not have put it past her cousin. He was a strange one. Fingers sweeping hair from her temple, Eulalie smiled more gently this time. ”It was...” Frightening. Exhilarating. ”I look forward to doing it again.” And perhaps learning the trick of it.

”No, it does not.” She agreed. Her eyes were drawn to a small doorway, tucked back into the wall and shadowing a secondary staircase. ”I’m sure Dhemlan tried to hold it as long as they could.” Or someone else had tried to lay claim to it. None could. No Jewels matched those of Witch and they’d had no other since her foul murder. Together they explored. Up the stairs and through the rooms.

She touched the place on her back his craft rested, coming down from her place inside the oversized window. ”They might have. They are long lived, and the Keep sits right in the middle of their mountains.” They went up farther, faced with a choice of stairwells at one landing. Vrai started up one before changing his mind, nodding, Eulalie followed him up the other. There they found bedrooms. And Eulalie chose one to her liking.

”Won’t that be lovely.” Curious fingers pulled a drawer open. One by one she went through the long bureau, finding it sadly empty. Looking up, Eulalie laughed. ”I did not realize domestic services were included in your training.” She stirred a breeze to chase the dust he shook loose out the window. The room was clean. The bed nearly as fresh as newly laundered. Eulalie touched the blanket, nails settling in a seam.

”Why the sofa? This bed is big enough we’ll never find each other in it.” It was massive. Set on a raised dias, it was the focal point of the room. Tall posters at each corner, carved skillfully with fines and flowers, a fat honey bee sipping nectar from a bloom. Eulalie frowned at it, and cast the thought aside. She did not want to think of Isidore and his drug honey. Not when she was inviting Vrai to share not just a room, but a bed with her.

”I would feel better too. We’re far from home, my friend.” Isidore had warned her against the Eyriens. Eulalie trusted him little more than the wild wingmen of Askavi. ”You’re much too tall for that sofa, Vrai.” Eulalie eyed it with a raised brow. She’d have trouble stretching out on that. She looked at her First across the broad expanse of the bed. Room enough for four beneath its blankets.

Her heart beat hollow in her chest. She was filthy.

Vrai

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Shield & Whip Of Mother Priestess
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
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Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 09:27:06 PM »

Head craning towards her laughter Vrai rested his chin on his shoulder for a moment. Shins against the bottom of the window frame for balance he gave the blanket one last shake. ”They trained me to serve in any way my Lady called on me to serve. I know a little bit of everything, so I can always be useful.” He promised. That was true, he never lied to Eulie. In fact, he had come to regret every small omission of fact he had ever put between them. So he didn’t add to them now. ”I also do all my own cleaning you know. In my room. I don’t like the maids in there.”

A loose strand of his hair caught the wind Eulie sent whisking by to spread the dust farther out. He enjoyed the chance to do these little things to make her more comfortable. Time and proximity had made them forget, he thought, where the bond between them had come from. It had not started of their own volition, true. Their elders had fostered the relationship. But they had made it strong, made it real, all on their own. With a thousand acts of trust and kindness and love. Being in this place, having distance from the responsibilities that had come after, it would be good for them.

Vrai felt it in his bones as surely as he felt his own heart beat.

”Because-” He started, ready to make a joke about the sofa being more forgiving than the floor. Eulie’s offer silenced him though. At least until she had finished. There was no need to deliberate. Nodding he shrugged at the bed he had smoothed the blanket back over. ”Alright.” It was plenty big. She wouldn’t have to touch him.

Something crossed her face as she studied the bed. Heart thrumming high in his chest Vrai threw the chance to back out at his Lady. ”Are you sure? I really don’t mind the sofa.” He would have slept on the stone steps outside if she wanted. ”You don’t have to worry about me.”

If she had doubts she hid them quickly. ”Yes. I can’t even wrap the scope of it around my head. I tried to keep a line on the landing web at home but it was just so much farther than I’ve fathomed going.” He didn’t tell her his fears over Isidore abandoning him in the middle of nowhere. Or that he still might.

Laughing at the half question mark her curving eyebrow formed Vrai shook his head. ”As long as it doesn’t put you off, Eulie. I’ll be careful to keep to my side.” He gave the mattress a long look. Unaware that his own thoughts nearly echoed Eulalie’s, even if they were far more innocent in nature. ”Shouldn’t be too hard. You could fit five across in that thing. It’s practically a boat.”

Satisfied with the bed he leaned over it, hands planted firmly in the fabric and face taking on a lopsided grin. ”You know, now that I think about it I don’t think I’ve ever slept in the same bed as anyone else.” Funny. Even as children Miel had always preferred creeping into Etoile’s bed when she’d had a nightmare. As far back as he could remember he had always spent his nights alone.

”What now, my dear Lady? You’re here at last. Let’s not waste a second. Isidore will be back before we know it.” Too soon. Always too soon.

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    80 Posts    0 marks
Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 06:23:27 AM »

Eulalie met his coy look with one of her own. Tucking her chin to her shoulder in mimicry of him. It was strange to see him shaking out a blanket like some servant girl. He was her Hand, and by his strength the sinners of Paon were punished. And yet here was, shaking a bedspread out the window. It made her smile.

”While all encompassing, it seems wasteful. There are servants aplenty for that sort of thing.” At home. Eulalie felt a suspicious drawer for a false bottom, and found nothing. Maybe that was the point. Perhaps a priestess was not always home. Yet, they so rarely wandered. Assigned a temple or altar, there they stayed until promotion, dismissal, or death saw them elsewhere.

”I wonder...” She whispered softly to herself, attending both conversation and inner thoughts. She drifted closer to Vrai, though the bed still separated them. ”You did seem annoyed with the one who brought your brew.” Not many understood that eunuchs should he held above common men. As if balls held some secret to respect and greatness. Her smile stretched. She did not wish other women in his personal space either. Even she rarely encroached there.

”Not this old argument again.” Eulalie bit back her smile at his quick acceptance. And did not frown at his quicker dismissal of himself. Her face felt caught between two warring factions. Each lip belonging to one or the other. Head or heart. ”I will worry about you as I please.” She reminded him. Because that was what one did when you cared.

”I did not think to even do that.” Her face turned unerringly south. Without a chain or thread between them, she could still sense her anchor on the horizon. Whatever Isidore thought or said, Paon was hers, the people were her people. They were more than responsibility and burden. They were her destiny, her children. And she loved them. It was not the same sort of love she felt for those close to her, but it was some sort of love.

Just different.

”Mmm. I am neither put off nor afraid.” They both looked over the bed.  It stretched on forever between them, like so many other things. Laughing low in her throat, she had to agree. ”Maybe it too was meant for Eyriens. Their wings must need extra bed space.” She did not know. There were no books on Eyrien sleeping habits. Licking her lips, Eulalie turned her head, eyeing him from the side, lips twitching. What would the rest think, to see him this way.

”Never? Not even as a child?” It made her heart ache. A painful sort of elation. She thought of his bruised and broken knuckles and wondered if he had ever wanted to share a bed with another. ”It is big enough, you can probably still claim as much.” She wondered if it was one whole mattress beneath the sheets, or actually two beds pressed together. Eyes moving from bed to Vrai and the window beyond as she turned back to face him.

”I am not sure. It seems to surreal to be here at all.” She had laid so many plans and spun so many webs to get this far. Now that she was here... Yes. Isidore. Eulalie sighed. What was her cousin up to? ”Why don’t we find the library?” Eulalie stepped off the bed’s platform and met him half way around it. ”Even if we get nothing done, at least we will know where to find it come morning.” She shivered at the thought. Morning in the Keep. And a short night of sharing a bed with Vrai in between.

Another scouring or floors. This time they had to descend, down past the level they had landed upon.  Rooms around rooms full of books and scrolls. Eulalie hissed, reaching for but not touching Vrai. ”We will never have enough time.” She called in a scroll of her own to make notes, praying they had some sense to their arrangement.

Vrai

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Shield & Whip Of Mother Priestess
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
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Re: Risk Versus Reward
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 09:54:38 AM »

Fingers tightening around the blanket Vrai lifted one shoulder gently. ”I have to argue it is prudence, not waste. It’s not like I’m mopping floors or doing laundry. There are just some messes that no servant should be witness to.” He was thinking of slaves with their barriers melted and slick bodies gone limp. No one would ever be allowed to see that side of Eulie. It was her right to find that relief without facing judgment. And his duty to clean up after. But he knew too that there were other messes. Paper swans growing heavy in shallow puddles while apprentice’s screams scarred the inside of his soul.

Vrai wanted, more than anything, to embrace this opportunity to break free of those memories. So he put them away. Where the image of sweat beads riding the curve of his Lady’s breast did not make hungry snakes slither low in his gut. They had not done so while he watched, and he didn’t like that it happened now.

”That was different!” He insisted, eyebrows popping up in surprise at being reminded of that day. News of Etoile had pushed the maid from his mind. ”I’m always annoyed when they’re late. It makes me late. And to find out the reason was... “ A fresh wave of annoyance washed over him as he recalled the boy’s face. Humiliated and ashamed by a nature he was trying to curb. ”Nevermind. Nevermind. I don’t even want to think of home until we’re there again.”

Where men were only men if they didn’t have the courage to dedicate their whole being to their lady. Backwards thinking, in Vrai’s opinion, but Eulalie had said it was true. They could not be men and eunuchs. So he would have to make peace with that verdict.

That look on her face was worth any ounce of doubt. Cheeks round as if she would laugh at him. Forehead nearly puckered as if she would scold. Words sweeter than honey. ”Yes, my Lady. I serve at and for you pleasure, even if I would rather you not worry. Least of all over me.” He said in meekness that was less false than his tone suggested. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to please her. And as always it gave him a warm rush of satisfaction to see her affection.

”Why should you? Isidore would never dare leave you here. And your reach is long enough to find home.” That Black could probably part the sea to let her return to Paon. Vrai turned to see what she looked at but found only the wall. He recognized that she was looking into her mind’s eye, and didn’t have to ask to know it was Paon’s shore she imagined.

Again she surprised him. ”Afraid?” He echoed softly. No one had said anything about being afraid. ”I would hope not. Fear would be a ridiculous thing to put between us after all this time together.” Did she think the fear was his? Trying not to frown Vrai freed, then retied his hair. She had brushed it, and nothing had happened. The world had ticked on without hesitation. What would he be afraid of?

”No, never. Miel went to Etoile sometimes when she was very little. And I shared a room with him, but we always stayed in our own beds. My parents… well. You’ve met them.” He chuckled. They were strict to say the very least. His father, as the husband and son of steely priestesses, had firm beliefs on how to raise boys into men. The only time Vrai had ever been in the same bed as anyone else, there had been no sleeping. He had gone in a trembling boy and risen up a man twice as determined to take the cut. Resolve unswayed by fleshly satisfaction.

Eulalie didn’t really want to hear about that. Her mind had wandered. And so did his. Both moving on to the next part of their adventure. ”Doesn’t it?” Surreal was a very good description. Like two cogs in the same gear they moved towards one another. Stopping, as always, just short of touching. ”Yes, lets.” Isidore was unlikely to linger in the library if that was where they spent their time. He didn’t strike Vrai as any sort of avid reader.

Vrai on the other hand would have been a scholar if fate had not called him to Eulie’s side. Their short journey down a few floors was not time enough to prepare him for the door opening. ”Mother Night.” He breathed, stepping towards his Lady without looking at her. Their hands brushed, his eyes too arrested by the sight to measure how close they had pressed together. He dropped his away with trained intuition. Walls of shelves, packed tight. They rolled on into more rooms than he could count from their standing point. ”No one could. There’s more here than anyone could read in a lifetime. Even an Eyrien.”

It was the second most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Swaying with the shock of such a staggering find he shook his head. Then laughed. The sound carried through the rows of bookcases. All strangely preserved by some sort of Craft. Unlike the rest of the Keep, there was not a speck of dust here. ”Let’s look a little longer.” He half begged, already gravitating towards the first shelf. Skimming titles to see how they were arranged. Not by subject, he decided quickly. Or by title. At the next shelf he figured it out. ”They’re sorted by territory I think.” Would there be one for Paon? Ancient Little Terrielle? He wanted very much to see. As he walked he picked a few books from the shelf. Finding, with amusement, that if he overfilled his arms and tried to put a book into his cabinet it would reappear on its shelf instead. Laughing he showed Eulie the trick with boyish fascinating.

His shoulders were still bobbing in amusement when Isidore appeared at the far door. Hands in his pockets and shadow long. He looked tired, Vrai noted happily. ”Prince Nazaire, welcome back.”

”Food’s hot if you’re ready to eat.” He said to Eulie as if Vrai had not spoken at all. Then he swaggered off back towards the staircase without waiting for an answer. ”I didn’t know Isidore could cook.” Vrai whispered.
 

Welcome to Witchlight

We are an AU Black Jewels RPG that is continuously expanding the world lore to truly make it our own. Come join us and play in our sandbox!

Open for over a year, we have 9 unique races, from birds to wolf-shifters. Feel free to drop into our Discord, lurk our wanted ads, and see if Witchlight is the fantasy site you should always have been looking for.

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Summer - AW102

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Witchlight is loosely based upon the Black Jewels Series by Anne Bishop though it has been adapted and expanded by our members. All lore, characters, and writing belongs to the members. Site graphics & custom codes were created by the staff. A special thanks to Wolf & Katarina for all their help with the planning of Witchlight and the writing of the base lore.

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