Twinkle toes

Description:

Danger

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

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2019, 01:44:14 PM »
Not nothing. Definitely a something. Danger didnít even hear her pleas to let it be. Concentration narrowed to the single minded focus of a Prince on a mission. A mission to make sense of what his eyes saw. But there was no making sense of something so blatantly outrageous. The sidelong glance he gave her was silently begging. Iskra was not looking back, though. Face ruby red as she shook her head in denial.

Outrageous as it was, it couldnít be denied either. He cupped it in his hand, the end wriggling to be free. Dark and velvety, the same color of her hair down to the blanched tip. He couldnít help petting at it once the reality took root. She had a tail. Fingers making a circle around the thin bone and muscle at the end he ran them down the length. As fascinating as it was confusing. Danger licked his lips, and looked a little hard. Her reaction should have been expected but he was still too surprised for things to make sense. Tail yanking free from his grip and swatting him over the cheek. It was stronger than he expected.

He tried to apologize without gawking. And failed. The slap reminded him that he was not holding a toy, or fascinating thing, but a girl. A girl that wanted to be a woman- and was here to practice those skills. Not have parts she had tried to hide from him fondled. She wasnít even looking at him anymore. Thumb tracing the curve where her bum and thigh joined Danger swallowed down his feelings to attend the ones he had bruised. *Of course.* He tugged her pants back up as best he could. They sat low on her hips as he tried to decide how to handle her tail. Tucked or untucked? She darted away from him long before he could have made up his mind.

Iskra sank to the floor. Danger sat in the center of the bed looking just as guilty as he felt. *Iskra,* He started. Hands nervously twisting the folds of the blanket in his lap. Words prattled on in his brain without meeting his tongue. Which flicked uselessly across his lips while he sat transfixed by her movement. The long tail- her long tail- curled around to her front. Which she turned away from him as punishment while she fluffed out the fur he had pet down. The color was warm in the firelight, rich hues of brown. The silhouette she made with it curving from above her waistline to her front, and the tip peeking over her shoulder was about the most endearing thing he had ever seen.

Until she turned back towards him cradling it in her arms like a baby. *I'm sorry,* Dangerís smile was meek at her scolding, eyes nearly ducking in apology before movement drew them up. *And ears!* He lamented, struck by the small points right down to his soul. Gripping his chest Danger flopped backward on the bed. Face burning as it cracked in a disbelieving chuckle. It rattled the whole house, unchecked as he knuckled his eyes. Blinking over at her he shook his head. His chest felt like it would swell up and burst. Stomach flopping around lamely as he took the whole picture in again. *Mother Night youíre so cute- and fluffy.*

She told him it came from her fatherís side. But all he could think about was what other surprises she had inherited. What did she look like really naked? A pool of arousal spread through his limbs at the thought. Knees lifting to drape the blanket away from the evidence. His queenling was no less angry. He drummed his fingers on his sternum, watching her watching. Eyes tracing the word on her lips. It punched him in the gut. Betrayal? Rolling to his knees he half clung to keep the blanket over his spear. Reaching out to her with the other arm.

*Iskra, I am sorry. I didnít mean to hurt you.* Physically or emotionally. Were tails very delicate? Did they bruise easily? Were they sensitive? Had touching hers crossed some unspoken line, or frightened her? She had asked him to slip his finger into her pussy! A little tail fondling after having it sprung on him seemed at least a bit fair. Perching on the end of the bed he nodded up at her with all the seriousness he could muster. *You can count on me. I wonít say a word.* He tried to tease.

But Iskra was hurt. Arms wrapped around her tail as if it were a tether to comfort. *Please forgive me, Lady.* He tilted his head and tried to look as apologetic as possible. Making his eyes big and his free arm welcoming. *You really are the cutest thing Iíve ever seen. Darkness have mercy.* With those little fidgeting ears and swishing tail.

Iskra Graves

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Odense Apprentice
    Glacia Kaeleer
    83 Posts    2438 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2019, 04:32:08 PM »

Her shoulders twitched at her name, as if she could shake the word away. Fingers following the same path Danger's hand. But she did not test the strength of the bone beneath, or its girth, but fluffed the fur he'd flattened in his fondling. The grooming helped. Tail soft against her cheek. Like an old friend. She didn't often get to let it free. There was always a risk of being walked in on by a maid.

She continued her grooming as she turned. Each pass parting and stirring her fur back to its normal state. Claws slowly retreating back into their sheaths as her emotions settled. Settled but did not pass. Cheeks still red, heart beating hard in her chest. Gut sick and aching like it had been kicked. *You should be.* She told him, sniffing and turning her face into the tip of her tail.

Danger fell backward. Hand gripping his chest. For a moment Iskra was afraid she'd killed him. Shock making his heart stop. She took a step toward him, probes lashing the air as she peered over at him, standing on her tip toes. Danger laughed. Hissing, Iskra flatted her ears and flinched away from the sound, which rattled her eardrums and made her head ache violently.

"Ooooh!" She stomped her foot, face a scowl. He was laughing at her! Huffing, Iskra turned away from him, yanking at her pants, which kept catching on her tail and refusing to rise up over her hips. She turned back around, unwilling to expose herself to him anymore. He'd had a good look and some touching. She wasn't giving him anymore while he was being so poorly behaved.

He was sitting up again, arm reaching for her as he tried to keep the blanket secure around his waist. Iskra ignored it, side stepping away from his empty hand. In no mood to be touched or placated. *I told you not to.* To stop. She wasn't hurt, though being touched so had been shocking and uncomfortable, it hadn't hurt. Not physically, anyway, her dignity more than a little bruised.

*It's not funny!* She shouted at him down the thread, twisting on her toes to face him fully. Ears swiveling away from him, as if she didn't want to listen anymore. Iskra's whole face was scrunched up in agony. *I would have showed you, if you'd waited.* Just a moment longer before he'd gone digging in her pants. Sighing, Iskra sank into the chair, tail curling across her lap and falling down the other side.

*You...* She huffed, unsure if she was insulted, or pleased by his insistence on her being cute. And fluffy. *You have to stop saying that. And staring.* Ears turning back toward him, before she flicked them back down beneath her hair. More comfortable with them hidden than exposed. There was no hiding her tail against without getting dressed, and her clothes were still drying. Fingers slipping behind her to pinch them.

Danger

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

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2019, 09:09:20 PM »
Danger knew the short stomp of her foot was a warning sign. He was not making her feel better. The petulance in her expression softened his amusement. But the way she tugged at her pants only made him want to laugh again. Sucking hard on the inside of his cheeks he fought to stay quiet. To settle down. Let it sink in. Look at her the same as he had before that thing had popped out of her pants.

Or been popped. By his hands. Same difference in the end.

So he edged to the end of the bed and did a little pleading of his own. As sorry as he could be, and sorrier still when she moved away from his hand. Letting it fall as if she had slapped it he did his best not to pout. *You do a lot of things youíre told not to.* He reminded her with a wrinkle between his eyebrows. Bottom lip just a hair fatter than usual with hurt feelings. He had done a lot of things to be sorry for. There were not usually people left to forgive him, though, and he felt highly out of his element.

*Ok! Alright. Not funny.* He agreed, hand raised in submission at her tone of voice. He did not like being yelled at. Doubly so by Iskra. His hand reached towards her again, a foot finding the floorboards to bring him a little closer. The look on her face tugged on his heart strings, in measure opposition to just how adorable he thought it was. *You could have told me. Last time, even. If you didnít trust me to know, to keep your secret, then you shouldnít have been in my lap.*

Scolding was probably the wrong choice. She flung herself in the chair with her tail laying in her lap like a cat. Danger sank back onto the bed. Frustration brewing fresh as he debated the fastest way to mend the mood. Compliments were not the answer, he learned the hard way. Wincing at her exasperation. And the way she checked her clothes as if she were suddenly in a rush to be free of him.

That, at least, was nothing new. Insides sinking into a low pit of mush he looked at his hands since she didnít want him to stare. *I canít help it. Youíre pretty, and now thereís even more of you to look at.* He had not once told her to stop staring. Even when she looked at the places he didnít like being looked at. Scarred throat and wrists. His fingers skimmed them unconsciously. It might have been for the best. If she were mad enough to leave. It was definitely safe. Swallowing a sigh he shifted his hand from the rings around his throat to the back of his neck. Rubbing the bones that stuck out against his skin he told her, *I donít know, Lady. I told you this was a shit idea. If you want me to take you home I can find you dry clothes.*

Then when he was alone he could let out the frustration boiling in his chest. Threatening to overheat his face and spill. This visit was much less nice. And he was not socially or emotionally equipped to turn it around. Just aware enough to know he had mucked it up and was not smart enough to fix her feelings.

Iskra Graves

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Odense Apprentice
    Glacia Kaeleer
    83 Posts    2438 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2019, 09:42:19 PM »

*This is different!* Iskra told him hotly. She wasn't stripping people of their pants and dragging their body parts out into the open. Nose too full of salt to explain it properly. *You don't understand.* She pressed a knuckle to the side of her nose and sniffed some of the burning away. Temper rising to surge over her hurt and confusion.

She hadn't liked it! Laid out and stripped down, all her secret fears exposed with her secret tail. On display like a freak of nature.  The horror of it, and his instance on laughing and mocking her raising her voice until it was louder than even his. A shout down their thread finally putting a stop to it. Hand up to beg her to stop this time. Iskra squeezed her tail instead of letting him touch her.

Her outrage spilled out of her throat instead. Filling the room with much less violence than his laughter had wrought. A half strangled scream that made her lips grip her teeth as she threw herself into the chair. *That's not...* Fair? Right? Iskra wasn't sure, only that it hurt. A searing sort of pain that cut her chest open and made it hard to breathe.

*I wasn't ready.* Not like that. All the control of the thing taken from her hands. All the choice. Iskra still felt helpless and he wasn't even touching her anymore. They were seated across from each other like strangers. Danger rubbing his scars, and Iskra clutching her tail so tight her hands vanished into the fur. Her shoulders slumped. He would take her home.

In the end it didn't matter how pretty she was, or how much of her there was to look at it. She was a shit idea. *Mine are dry enough.* Maybe it was for the best. Danger wasn't wrong. She shouldn't have been in his lap if she hadn't been ready. Sliding from the chair, she shook her things out in front of the fireplace. A leg stuffed down each pant leg. Tail tucked in after the last one. She smoothed her fur down and pulled the drawstring tight. Just a girl again, hunting for her sweater.

It was on the floor at his feet. Iskra starred at him, and his bare toes, catching a chill on the floor probably. *I'm sorry.* And she was. Iskra reached down and picked her sweater up, hat tumbling free as she pulled it over her head. *You're right.* So sorry. Sorry for not being ready. If she couldn't stand to be exposed to Danger, how was she supposed to strip down for a stranger?

She felt like screaming. And crying. Neither of which she could do while he was looking at her. Jacket collected and boots stomped back onto her feet, Iskra pulled her hood up around her head and his beneath the fur ruff.

Danger

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

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2019, 12:58:41 AM »
*I said I’m sorry. I realize it was wrong. You don’t need to be ready, it was none of my business I just got carried away.* He told her flatly. Torn between hating that he could only speak to her across a thread, and being thankful. It hid the lump in his throat that would have cracked open if he had tried to speak. But the gaping hole in his barriers gurgled the gutted feeling in his stomach across and there was nothing he could do. Not being ready was the right thing. He hadn’t earned her trust yet, in fact he had spent a large portion of their limited time together reminding her of how dangerous a thing he was.

Head still carefully tilted away he thumbed the pressure from behind his eyes. Squaring his jaw and biting down on the insides of his cheeks. That kept his lips from trembling. Her declaration of dry enough clothing was all the answer she had to give. She wanted to leave. The smart thing. Leaving was the smart thing, the thing he should have wanted her to do. Cut from the same slip of Darkness. He had been wrong then too. She was cut, and he was just the hole left behind.

Slipping from the chair Iskra turned away to wave her clothes at the fire and dress. It gave him a second to compose himself. Shoulders stiff as he reached for his own long underwear. They were not dry enough. He worked them back up around his ankles anyway. Butt shifted to the very lip of the bed so he could get them up to his knees beneath the blanket. The fabric clung to itself, then to Danger. Wetness making it hard to unroll or pull up. Hips bucking he got them all the way to his waist without the blanket completely falling away. Knees twitching at the discomfort of the clinging transferred to his balls and spear. The latter of which started to wilt under the cold.

He stood as she swept her sweater from the floor. Not staring by staring at his own pale toes. *Don’t. Just don’t. You didn’t do anything to be sorry for.* And his control was already fraying. Even though she was till there for now he was afraid it was the last time. Something substantial had shifted between them. The loss was a potent flavor that rose up the back of his throat. Her words threatening to pull it out through his nostrils. *I have to go upstairs for clothes.* Words barely down the thread before he turned to escape. The room, the woman, the guilt. All of it. None of it. Knuckles dragging along his temples the moment he was alone. Like a bad smell the agony followed him up. Suddenly his spiral staircase felt twice as long. Every step heavy, knees turned to liquid that sloshed in their cores.

His stomach twisted painfully, and the closer he got to the top the colder he was from the neck down. Face boiling hot with tears he refused to shed. It was stupid to cry. He had done worse things. Killed people. Made mistakes he would have given his life to rectify and had tried to give to forget. But he had been lonely then, and lonely after. No respite to show him how nice not-lonely felt. Rubbing the heat from his eyelids he shook his head and realized he had reached the top. Open gallery built outward into a balcony. Center of the floor dominated by the arrangement of pedestal and mirrors. An orb of witchlight in the center could be seen for hundreds of miles out at sea when lit. But he just hung his clothing up there to dry in the salty ocean breeze. Reaching blindly he pulled a woolen sweater and thick trousers down. Shoving them on before he pulled socks over his numb feet.

On his way down his socks made him slip and nearly fall down the first step. Swinging on his heel cocked his foot back, a hair’s breadth from kicking the stoop before his control reigned his temper in. It wouldn’t do to limp her home or scream his house down over a broken toe. Danger turned back with all the air trapped in his chest. Gripping the banister in one hand he leaned on the wall with the other. Head caught in the crook of his elbow. He had to pull himself together. What right did he have to be miserable for making her upset? He was the bad thing, Iskra was the one with the reason to be upset. Inhaling through his nose he set his shoulders at an angle. He could do this. He was good at ignoring pain. Lonely was a pain that didn’t hurt other people. All he had to do was take her home, then he could climb into his own bed for the rest of his life if he wanted.

Iskra Graves

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Odense Apprentice
    Glacia Kaeleer
    83 Posts    2438 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2019, 05:55:30 AM »

Iskra nodded. Nodded and shrank away to give him space. To give herself space. She thought he was angry. The thread between them to fraught with emotion she could tell which belonged to who. Or exactly what each one was. He scolded her for being upset and scolded her for being sorry. Iskra didnít know what she should be. Apologetic. Angry. Some mixture of both? Mostly she felt hurt and frightened, watching him leave to get clothes.

She was relieved to have him gone. Face pressed into the mittens sheíd found hiding in her pocket Iskra gave a shudder. And then another. Lips pressed tight and teeth holding the seal firm. She cried without a sound or a tear. All the pressure building and building until her nose ran. But if she clenched everything else tight enough, it wasnít really like crying. There was water behind her eyelids but it couldnít escape. Just redden her eyes.

It wasnít fair that one moment could ruin so much. Or that a tail could change the shape of everything. A tail that was pressed tight in sympathy. Tucked between her legs and down one thigh. Fur soft and warm. And fuzzy. Iskra gasped, air filling her empty lungs with a wheeze and trying to leave it on a sob, but she bit her mouth shut again, ears swiveling, their tips parting her hair. He was coming back.  Quickly she wiped her face, one mitten donned before the cadence of his footsteps changed.

Iskra raced out to meet him. The stairs were high and narrow, but she didnít know how high having never climbed them. Praying that the curve of them would slow down his fall. Her own wild foot steps and thundering heart drowning out the fact that he hadnít fallen at all. Iskra charged up the stairs, only to stop, and stare. Hand gripping the railing, her mitten made the banister slick in her grip. The other clutching her coat, its mitten dropped in her flight. Ears straining forward, Iskra leaned in, behind her her tail had come free in the running as if once exposed it would not stay hidden, all its fur standing up in fear.

*I thought you fell. Are you hurt?* His pants were damp, she noticed, looking at him again. Hadnít he gone upstairs to get dry clothes? Iskra sniffed, eyelashes fluttering to dislodge the bit of wet she could feel clinging to them. He was not hurt. Seething with emotion, but not hurt. Leaning against the wall as if he needed the support. The way he hid his face too familiar for Iskra to pretend she didnít know what at least some of those emotions were. Too much both queen and healer to do nothing about it.

Afraid, too, that if she left like this she would never see him again. Which was worse than him seeing more of her than she was ready for. Iskra climbed the steps between them until she stood one down from him, hand stroking the nearest arm from elbow to stiff shoulder. Pulling her mitten off with her teeth, Iskra dropped that one too, sliding up behind Danger and wrapping her arms around his waist. Cheek pressed to his back she closed her eyes. *Iím still upset.* She reminded them both. And then she curled her tail around him too.

*Your pants are wet.* She told him, instead of what she really wanted to say because it sounded foolish. They hardly knew each other. Bond or no bond, she shouldnít have been so terrified of existence without him, but she was. Even if he was a tail pulling, morose prince. He was hers in a way no else had ever been, and Iskra wanted to keep him.

Danger

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

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2019, 02:37:14 PM »
Danger couldn’t hear her coming up the stairs. Which were built so sturdily that he didn’t feel her rushing up them either. Not until she was only a few steps down. Shaking his head in the nest of his arm he tried to bite back the emotion from his face. Turning his cheek so he could see her Danger worked a slow exhale through his nose. Breathing out some distance between the ache in his stomach and the lump in his chest. That was the easiest way to cope. Categorize the pain, deal with them separately rather than combined. All of him hurt, but not in a way she should have to mend. *No, I just tripped.* He forgot that she would hear him from downstairs. Tallying guilt for frightening her to the building list of offenses he peeled his face from his arm.

Before he could start back down she came up. Closeness suddenly less a comfort and more a twisting agony. If she hated him, if she didn’t want to be around him, then there would be no more of that feeling. And he’d already started the building of an inner wall to block the memory out. That way it would haunt him later. Slips of good feelings to make him forget the monotony of his day to day. So he was stiff and awkward under her petting. Eyebrows swooping in a deep downward curve.

No less puzzled as she slipped around his back. For a split second he wondered if she thought pushing him down would be a mercy. It wouldn’t kill him, though, at least Danger assumed not. His Jewels had a frustrating knack for keeping him alive. Instead he felt the squeeze of her arms wrapping around his waist. Forearms to his hip bones as she rested her cheek between his shoulder blades. Heart pounding to flee his chest he tried to peek at her over his own shoulder. Not forgiveness, her words said. Making Danger cram down another apology. She already knew he was sorry. It changed nothing about what he had done. *I know.* Eyes drifting shut he soaked up the stabilizing touch. If it was the last time, then he might as well go all in.

When her tail joined in Danger’s eyes snapped open again. Rolling up to his skull as he sucked in a ragged breath. He was not supposed to stare at it, or be curious about it, or think it was cute. So why was she wrapping it around him like a fancy belt? Hands clutching the front of his shirt so that they didn’t offend her he stood as still as he could. Wishing he was familiar enough with the old warlord’s psychic scent to reach a thread his way. He had said he would tell no one, though, so how could he ask for advice? Women were so confusing! *They’re not.* He lied. Barely damp, at the most.

As his feelings went from a boil to a simmer he found them easier to sift through. To separate and give to their proper place. Fear in his stomach. What if she never came back? Loneliness in his chest. What if she never came back? Self-disgust carried in his shoulders. What if she never came back? Regret in his throat. What if she never came back? *I’m sure they're all waiting for you to get home.* He reminded her, too uncertain of their boundaries to know how to ease the transition. It was the breakfast. He should have left the first day. Made the break clean for both of their sakes. Rolling in the self-pity he shifted to let her down the stairs first. Eyes on her boots where it was safe.

Iskra Graves

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Healer Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Odense Apprentice
    Glacia Kaeleer
    83 Posts    2438 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2019, 06:35:23 PM »

Iskra listened to the beat of his heart. Hidden past muscle, rib and spines, it sounded hollow from his back, rather than deep, from his chest. But it beat. Fast and hard as her arms circled him. Fingers spreading so she could touch as much of him as possible. Counting the breathes that rose and fell beneath them. Eyes closed, Iskra held tight, but carefully, so he wouldn't know she was clinging out of desperation. The touch meant to sooth not worry him.

She took comfort from it too, though. He didn't pull away. Body almost relaxing in her arms until her tail curled around him too. Reflexive. Iskra wasn't sure if she was trying to keep him warm or just find another way to hold him to her. Danger stiffened, his breathing changing from shallow, steady breathes to something that caught and stuttered. His heart beat changed too. Faster. Harder. "Shhhh." Thumbs making circles as she tried to distract him by chastising him about his pants.

*Then why are mine wet now?* Absorbing the damp that soaked through his outer layer. Thighs beginning to chill where they were connected. Her lower stomach too, coat undone so it didn't protect her from the contact. Or the wet. Iskra unwound her tail, hoping he would calm again without it touching him. Too late. He didn't pull away, but he reminded her that she was supposed to be leaving. Then eased away from her arms when they went slack.

*I guess so.* Tail under her coat, Iskra fastened the buttons up the front and started down the stairs. Danger followed behind her in silence. This one different than his usual quiet. Opening the door below, Iskra stepped out into the cold, face tipping toward the sky. *There is a landing web at the sjefholme. I can reach it on my own.* Her ability to catch a Wind that good at least. It wasn't far, and she was familiar with that landing web.

*I'm really sorry.* Iskra smiled wistfully, looking over her shoulder at him. Memorizing his face, because she didn't think she'd see it again. *Make sure you eat.* She reminded him. And see a healer. And stay warm. And eat. *And get out of those wet clothes before you catch a cold.* She didn't want to go! For once, running away didn't feel like the right choice.

*I'll just be down the hill.* In case he forgot where Odense was. Where Iskra lived. Where she'd be waiting.

Danger

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

    weapon of mass destruction
    Glacia Kaeleer
    63 Posts    575 marks
Re: Twinkle toes
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2019, 09:20:02 PM »
*They were never dry.* Danger answered before he could stifle the thought. While it might have been true, he didnít want to upset her with half-truths that could be mistaken for snark. Throat working silently he worried for a way to salvage any part of the visit. But it seemed more likely he would fracture it further. Silence was, per usual, the best option. How one queen-healer with smirking lips and long lashes had convinced him to forget that he would never know.

Their bodies slowly unwinded. Tail drooping. Hands falling away. The soft circles they had traced still tingled. And his back felt empty without her there. Iskra went ahead, and he trailed behind without a sound. Silent as the ghostly shell he felt like. Dread filling him from the toes up as they got closer to the bottom step. Skin prickling. He must have felt her plotting to be away faster. Just as he tightened the link to tell her he would get his boots she spoke.

She didnít even want him to take her back. Blindsided he gaped at her without knowing how to respond. Face tipping away as if she had slapped him with her tail again. Sucking his lip Danger opened his hands, palm up, and shrugged. *If thatís what you want.* He could not follow her on the Wind or protect her there. The secrets of reaching it beyond the scope of Craft knowledge he had pieced together through books and observation. It would get here there quickly, he thought, and was safer than walking.

Jaw squared again he shook his head at his toes. *You didnít do anything.* Sorry for what? Danger was the one that had behaved poorly. Too caught up in the moment to use common sense. At least now he knew he wasnít the sort that handled being surprised very well. The goodbye part was on them. Iskra hemming around the actual words. But doling out advice that confirmed she had no intentions of ever coming back.

He inhaled through his nose, to keep it from dripping. Nodding along to her words. *Sure.* Food and cold were the farthest thoughts from his mind. As much as he wished she would stay, he wished more that she would just leave if she were going. Dragging it out that way was like rubbing salt into a wound. He knew from experience. Except this didnít stop the hemorrhaging the way salt on open flesh did. Blinking fast he rolled a shoulder at her, hands worrying the triangle of hair where neck and head met. *Iíll be here.*

By himself. Again.
 

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