Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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Heart of the Hedge Maze [Estate Grounds - EAST]

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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
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(Syltamul) MAZE RoseGarden

The Heart of the Hedge Maze

(Hidden Garden)


At the very heart of the twisting hedge labyrinth is a gorgeous rose garden, overflowing with roses of many types and colors.  A distinct floral bouquet suffuses the air, and the secluded area exudes a true sense of peace and calm.  Not many people find their way to this special place, but if you do you’re encouraged to stay awhile and enjoy the peace and quiet.

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
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┠ DAETH 

The Bearer of the Mark

╺ ✽ ╸ 

At the center of the labyrinth, winding The Game 


 

Perhaps Planeswalkers, multi-dimensional Seers, multi-universal travelers, Psionists, and the like might be able to see the hairline slit in the fabric of this plane's reality, which is all that marks the entrance to the dimensional pocket that's been constructed.  Or perhaps they wouldn't, for there's no one set way for one to bend reality, to weave it into a space formed of the nexus between mind and matter, thoughts building the real until it simply is.  Or at least that’s how Daeth constructs his.  Sort-of.  It’s probably a little more complicated than that, but he’d be hard-pressed to explain it in any finer detail.  If asked, he’s as likely to suggest that you go and ask the wizards in Trinsic, as he is to simply shrug, offer an attractive albeit cryptic smile, and reply, “Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Really, it’s difficult to explain, because the Game is, in some ways, incomprehensible.  He’s no closer to  understanding the magick of the Kingship Bands, even as he wields their power with more ease, lays his paths with more finesse, and creates his labyrinths with more intricacy.  He wishes to understand.  So he manipulates the Game between his fingers like a game of Cat’s Cradle, shaping pathways like a spider spins the silken threads for its web; composing his own sort of maze with winding steps.  Then, with a twist and clench of his fingers reality will shift, turning this way, easing that way, as sure and as subtle as  continental drift, and the Game is laid. 

 

The Aegis that Daeth creates sits in the center of the vast webwork he’s laid over the Syltamul Estate, his pathways snaking and byzantine, a confusing tangle of lines that seem like they should overlap and yet never do.  He’s walked the four corners of the Estate Grounds, winding, unwinding, rewinding some paths, relaying lines, and generally doing maintenance on the defenses he’s placed.  That amalgamation of Death that he felt to the North of the Bridgeways has snagged his attention, for better or for worse, while at the same time concerning him.  He’s not sure if it’s prescience or just common sense that’s causing a curious sort of tension to wind between his bones, but either way he’s been dividing his attention between Callon, Amarice, and sussing out what’s going on to the North. He hasn’t looked into it too deeply or tried too hard, to be honest, having decided to wait until after the Masquerade to give it his full attention.

 

Still, now that he’s felt it and felt that seething anger at the center of the oh-so-familiar feeling, Daeth is impossibly aware of it, as if he’s unable to not be aware.  The shape of it is always lingering, on one hand,  so faint and muted as to be almost insignificant and easily ignored; on the other, it pressed so steadily against the edges of his awareness that it was as impossible to ignore as a persistent and unreachable itch at the back of the brain.

 

In short, it was maddening.

 

Daeth checks the Aegis once more and thus satisfied, steps into the shadows and disappears to take care of business elsewhere.

 

╺ ✽ ╸ 


[OOC: To the Hidden Garden Clearing]

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
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Daeth's Hidden Aegis

(Interdimensional Nook)

(Syltamul)DAETH Aegis(EstateGrounds)

The Aegis that Daeth created is a small nook in reality located within Isabella’s Hedge Maze at it’s very Heart.  The space within the interdimensional nook has been created in the image of a Halarian sitting parlor, handsomely appointed in deep purples, reds, black, and gold.  Upon first entering there is a sturdy mahogany bar to the right, with crystal decanters and glasses set atop it, and a copper wash basin and mirror to the left. Straight ahead from the entrance is a very cozy “sunken” sitting room.  The sunken alcove is tastefully furnished with a few low tables, rich fabrics draped over the ceiling, and a curved, Halarian style couch which invites those to recline as they converse.  

Daeth created the Aegis as a place he can enter to have some time alone, away from the pulse of the worlde and its slow decay which he feels with every fiber of himself that's able to feel.  

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 80
 

Eddellyn Wynterleaf

[OOC: from Pointing Boy Statue - Maze Crossroads [Estate Grounds - EAST]]

Ignoring the temptation of disappearing down a branching path, Wynterleaf kept her feet to the path in pace behind Daeth, following silently in his wake the soft crunch of gravel beneath their boots the only sound that accompanied them as they traveled further into the maze gardens. Though if she concentrated enough, she could hear the faint hum of music, far off in the distance, coming from the ballroom on the opposite side of the estate. Wynterleaf spared a thought for Travion, her conscience pricking her for abandoning him without a backward glance but then again, she had warned him she had her reasons for being at the estate, so he likely wasn't surprised she had left him at the first opportunity. 

The weight of the jewels he had placed around her throat brought to mind her secondary warning to the elven lord, that he had only himself to blame if she left with the necklace, and indeed it appeared she was going to do exactly that. However, she would see the jewelry returned to him, one way or the other; even though she was down to her last few coins, she had no need for the exorbitant value the gems would bring to her pockets. It had taken some years but she had learned the things of true value were not items that you could carry in your pockets or keep locked in a cupboard. Friends held more value than the jewels and her camaraderie with Travion, fledgling as it was, was included in that. 

Reflexively, her gaze zeroed in on the line of Daeth’s back to reassure herself that he was indeed here with her now, his jacket was a darker shade than the night surrounding them making it easy to pick his shape from the shadows. If only her lesson on value hadn’t arrived a few years sooner, she might have made different choices. 

In Terajin, long ago in her youth, Wynterleaf had witnessed a funeral procession, the mourning family trailing one another in a dark and somber line as they made their way to the burial grounds, ready to lay their loved one to rest. The march had been silent, even though their grief was obvious in expression and demeanor but not even the youngest of their number had made a sound. After they had passed the gathering of locals who stood watching curiously, she’d overheard someone remark the family was numb in their grief and she hadn’t understood the sentiment. Her emotions had always been accessible, perhaps too much so, always near the surface, turbulent and volatile. It wasn’t until she experienced a loss of her own that she understood the expression and the behavior of the mourners. 

The pain of guilt, regret, and loss clouded her mind to a degree it became impossible to function until she learned to shy away from the softer emotions, burying her feelings so deep they were barely a memory. It hurt less to remain emotionally detached, a mantra she found herself coming back to again and again. A mantra that was doomed to fail from the very beginning as she failed to recognize the vengeance she clung to meant she was anything but disconnected from the worlde. Doomed to further failure as the minutes stretched from the moment of seeing Daeth again and the careful wall she had built around her heart quaked and shook from repressed feelings, she couldn’t guess at what would come spilling out once that protective shell finally broke. 

Daeth’s steps had slowed, a fact that she didn’t immediately pick up on until she was nearly upon him. The aroma of roses hung heavy in the air and she could see they were amid a magnificent haven of flowers, the reward for those clever enough to reach the center of the maze. An auspicious and perhaps ominous location for this reunion but there would be no risk of party-goers stumbling upon them here. 

Wynterleaf warily circled the space until she could stand face-to-face with Daeth several paces away, her gaze swept over him appreciatively, unable to deny the fact he looked all too sumptuous in the well-tailored jacket and form-fitting trousers. She didn’t doubt his physique garnered more than glances inside the ballroom, his charisma alone would draw in the haughty nobles like moths to a flame. An unbidden thought struck her, what if he had been waiting in the music room for someone, and she had interrupted an assignation? The warm feeling that she had started to feel low in her stomach instantly soured. 

She was proud that she was able to keep her gaze steady as she, at last, spoke to him. “It would be safe to say that neither of us expected to run into the other at a masquerade in the redolent wilds of Ufaeria.” 

She still held the bundle of her clothes securely against her chest, in part as a shield from his gaze and as a tactile reminder of her intended task. “You seem to have made yourself at home here and undoubtedly busy this evening… and there are things I need to attend to as well, so this can be brief."

“You asked if I wanted to do this here, now? My honest answer would have to be ‘no’ but I don’t think there would ever be a good place and time. I… I regret… not taking the time to give my goodbyes to you in Seven Oaks when I had the chance and will not make the same mistake again.” 

Her speech was halting and stiff, clearly not rehearsed, as she pulled the words individually from out of the ether, none of which were easily forthcoming. "I was... upset and didn't stop to think about how that would affect anyone else. I am… sorry…” She deliberately omitted anything specific she might need to apologize for, the list was long after all, so she finished by saying, “I hope you don't hold any ill will towards me but I won't blame you if you do. If I could do things differently..." 

Wynterleaf let out a brief laugh, the sound devoid of humor, and didn't finish the train of thought, merely lifting a shoulder in a shrug. “What’s done is done.” 

 


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Lassroyale
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DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

and Sacrifice to none

╺ ✽ ╸

“I want to rip off your logic and make passionate sense to you.“ 

— Jeffrey McDaniel

 

The glow of the moon cast a pale corona around Daeth’s dark hair and scattered cool, waxy light over the large rose blooms that swam up out of the deep shadows in riotous bursts of red, orange, yellow, green, and white.  He breathed in deeply, taking in the ambient aromas as he paused and drank in the garden’s beauty, his gaze touching on the shafts of moonlight that highlighted the petals of the colorful roses that surrounded them.  The love and devotion that the late Lady Isabella Syltamul had poured into her beloved garden infused the hidden space with a palpable air that washed over him like a gentle breeze.  The sense of warmth and care helped to loosen the rusted screws that had kept the hinge of his jaw locked tight with tension as they’d traversed the maze.

 It helped.   

Somewhat.   

(Not really.) 

Daeth couldn’t drive the restlessness from his limbs.  He felt weirdly on edge, and he couldn’t decide if it was anticipation or agitation that wound through him.  It was probably both.  Either way, it wasn't a good sign, because for all of his outward calm and his loosely sketched expression of ambivalence, Daeth could barely focus.  Faex!  He can hardly hear his own thoughts, and there's so much chatter in his head, so many things flashing like live wires across the channels of his mind, that even the relative silence of the garden is deafening.  The memories of his time on the Minotaur's rack lingered perilously close to the surface, too vivid and slow to fade from where they'd leached down into the hollows of his psyche.  He felt them sink heavily into the spaces of his memory, viscid and unpleasant, like sludge oozing into the fractures of broken pavement. 

Neither he nor Eddellyn immediately speak to one another after they’ve reached the center of the maze, each of them seizing upon the tranquility of the moment and using it to stall the inevitable exchange of words, for at least a few more minutes.  And although they’d each agreed to have this–admittedly unexpected–heart-to-heart, the air seethed with tension.   

For a moment or two, Daeth felt Eddellyn stare at the back of his head like she was picking through his brain with sticky fingers, and combing through scraps of information he'd rather not share.  He only half-doubted that she couldn’t do it, because despite the lies he'd sometimes tell himself to soothe the abraded margins of his guilt, the plain truth was that he’d known Eddellyn.  And not just because they’d worked well together, either.  Sure, they weren’t perfect (and really, what couple is?), but they were good together where it actually mattered–they’d had mutualistic respect, and they certainly hadn't lacked passion.

No, it’d gone deeper than that: Daeth had touched her soul when they first met.  Granted, it had been a complete accident, but it happened, nonetheless. 

So yeah, he knew  Eddellyn.

At least, he used to.

 Which was how he knew that the 2 minutes and 25 seconds of tense silence that has fallen between them wouldn’t last much longer.

Daeth heard Eddellyn shift, heard her clear her throat with a soft noise–just intrusive enough to get his attention.  Just intrusive enough to set his teeth on edge and draw his spine straight and rigid, shoulders tensing like a cord was lashed across them and wound taut.  He didn't say anything in response, just grit his teeth and watched her coolly as she moved around into his line of sight.  Daeth studied the pleasing angles of Eddellyn's serious face as she stood in front of him–keeping a few feet of distance between them, he noted–and as he did so, he was reminded of something that he's almost certain is unique to the grey-eyed Elfess alone: the more taciturn and the more solemn her manner, the more interesting and appealing she seemed to become to others.  It was like her allure only became stronger as her frown grew deeper, as if people couldn't reconcile the picture of such evident beauty overlaid with such great austerity.  

 Daeth would bet Succubus that this unwanted magnetism vexed her as much as it had amused him.

He was on the verge of grinning, yet the fondness he felt made Daeth's heart hurt. He despised the sensation, the ache–that nagging agony he couldn't seem to categorize or label–so he resorted to the safe haven of contemptuous indifference.

 It was easy.  

 It felt safe.

 Or so he told himself.

Daeth kept up his ambivalent mask through most of Eddellyn’s short speech, his expression remaining neutral as he listened.  Although her speech was halting and laden with all that was unspoken between them, Daeth could feel the bite, the bitterness, behind each carefully selected word.  Yet everything she said also seemed more innocent than what she genuinely intended to express, because he heard that indignant flinch in her tone–the tone of someone who has had the time and space to go over their memories of the past and still came up wanting.  Daeth can’t say he blamed her for any bitterness, but all the same he found himself increasingly irritated with each word she spoke.  He saw straight through her discomfort and to the terror at the heart of her so-called “apology,” because whether right or wrong, he only saw her “apology” as a cowardly attempt to end the conversation before anything between them was resolved.

Nonetheless, as she spoke, he managed to keep up a cool, albeit distant demeanor, but when Eddellyn shrugged and stated,What's done is done, all illusion of complacency within him shattered.

The pair lapsed into a charged, discontented silence in the wake of Eddellyn’s short speech.  Daeth declined to give an immediate response, and merely studied her with a harsh, flinty expression, a complex mix of anger and remorse seething in the depths of his narrowed, purple eyes.  There were words on his tongue, words that desperately wanted to seep through the spaces between his teeth, but it's just been too long–too much time and space, too much life, has come between them.  Daeth has gotten too used to playing his cards face down, to keeping his hand folded close to his chest; he’s grown too used to guarding any softness within him, and outright denying anything real that cleaved too near to that empty space within his core that pulled heavily at him in the silent stretches of his remorse.

Despite the fact that she had a right to know, he couldn't bring himself to admit to Eddellyn the true depth of his guilt or the truth of how low their parting had taken him.

Instead, he broke the silence with a cold chuckle, the sound harsh against the relative hush within the garden–he didn't even bother trying to soften its sharp, derogatory edge. Incredulous, Daeth shook his head and stepped aside for a moment.  He didn't speak or offer anything else by way of a response; he only stood for a minute with her in his profile and deftly unbuttoned his jacket.  Despite the cool night air, he slid out of the garment and shrugged it off with a roll of his shoulders, annoyance making him too hot.  He sighed in relief as the chilly air cooled his overheated skin through the silky material of his shirt.

Finally, he turned back to Eddellyn and fixed her with an intense stare.  Daeth stalked towards her, slinging his jacket over one of his shoulders as he moved purposefully into her personal space, heedless of the sword she held or the number of daggers he knew would be in the bundle of equipment that she hugged in front of herself like a shield.  He had half a mind to back her up against the row of hedges several steps behind her just to make a point, but he restrained himself, if barely.  Instead, he settled for moving in close–very close–close enough that she could easily feel the heat curling off of him as his blood thundered in his veins.  He leaned down to speak near her pointed ear, his voice a low, dark thrum, and brushed with the echoes of his frustration and disbelief that continued to churn in his bones.

I’m sorry, Edde,” Daeth muttered, not sounding sorry in the least.  “But I must be keeping you from an important date.”  He paused.  “I must be.  I must be keeping you from something that’s so  damn important, that you would honestly offer me a shrug and, essentially, tell me that it’s no use crying over spilled milk, so let bygones be bygones–after all this time.”   

He straightened, but didn’t move from his proximity as he found and held Eddellyn’s gaze with his own.  “Are you late for a date, Edde?” he asked, a ghost of a razor-edged grin sketching over his lips.  “Were you sneaking about and seeking an appropriate nook for a quick tryst?” Though his words were sharp, his tone was remarkably light. 

Without warning, Daeth reached out with his free hand and bridged the nominal distance that separated them, delicately pressing the pad of his index finger against the pale skin of her throat.  His amethyst eyes burned with intensity as he lightly traced the callused tip down the long line of Eddellyn's throat, gently brushing against the soft shadows at the hollow, before coming to rest in its shallow dip.  A second passed before he dropped both his gaze and his hand to take in the dazzling, jewel-encrusted torque clasped around her slender neck.  He gently smoothed his thumb over the glimmering facets of the blood-red ruby as he studied the beautiful stone.   

Daeth whistled quietly and arched an expressive brow, his hand falling away completely as he glanced at the grey-eyed Elfess.  “It appears as if you’ve moved up in the worlde, eh?”  He chuckled, genuinely amused, before releasing a hushed sigh.  He looked at Eddellyn from beneath partially lowered lids, his lips curving into a rueful twist, before he dropped his gaze to the side, a moment later.  Discomfited, Daeth rubbed his palm over The Brand on his neck in an unconscious and self-soothing manner.  “Look, Edde,” he began, the sharp corners of his words seemingly blunted, at least for now. “Have a drink in my Aegis with me, please? I won’t–” He broke off and waited for a second, his jaw straining, before forcing a breath through his firmly clenched teeth.  He relaxed after a second or two, and continued in a neutral, conciliatory tone.  “If you are meeti–if you have a prior engagement,” he amended, evenly enough.  “Then I won’t keep you from it for too long.”  

Daeth once more raised his eyes to hers,  and held out his hand.  After a moment and with a wary look, Eddellyn nevertheless placed her trust and her hand in his.  He didn’t ask her why; he just accepted that she did–at least right then. 

And that was good enough for him.

 

Daeth absently thread his fingers through Eddellyn’s and firmly gripped her hand as he walked forward a few feet.  He briefly glanced at her and then stepped forward once more, turning as he did so…


 

DAETH Aegis (Syltamul Estate)

Spoiler
Bedroom Side

Low Halarian Bed [Daeth AEGIS]

Spoiler
Aegis Bar

aegis bar(daeth)

 

WITHIN DAETH'S AEGIS

 

… And all at once they were standing in what was ostensibly the foyer of his Aegis.  

 

Unlike the times he'd brought Eddellyn across the Astral Plane when they needed to swiftly make short, cross-country, or intercontinental ‘jumps’ between two places, the transition between the rose garden and the interdimensional nook that Daeth had built should be almost seamless.  He's grown a lot better at planeswalking with someone in tow, and can now synchronize with their particular vibratory pattern to make the “leap” as seamless as possible. Passing into Daeth's pocket realm, however, required far less finesse and should therefore be no different than stepping through an exterior door to the inside of a house.  Regardless, Daeth remained holding onto Eddellyn’s hand for a moment to judge her steadiness, before he released her and moved further into the Aegis.   

From where she stood, Eddellyn would be able to take in the whole of the private space that Daeth created, which reflected the unmistakable design of a cozy Halari living space decorated handsomely in draped fabrics of deep reds, purples, black, and gold.  It appeared to blend the classic Halarian-style sitting parlor with a bedroom.  There were two main areas: a sunken living room with a low, pillow-strewn couch for reclining, that was separated from the sunken “bedroom” (which mainly consisted of a wide, low-profile bed with pillows, soft animal furs, and a random blanket thrown haphazardly across it) by a short wall.  The living room and the bedroom were both located at the rear of the Aegis, with a closed-off washroom area to the left of where they entered, and a large, well-stocked bar set in a little and off to the right. 

Daeth carelessly tossed his jacket across the back of an overstuffed armchair as he walked over to the long, mahogany bar and made an offhand, sweeping gesture at the comfortable living space.  “Make yourself at home,” he said, not looking at her as he walked around to the other side of the bar.  As he surveyed his collection of bottles, he absently loosened the collar of his shirt before undoing the top few buttons.  He made a soft, “Aha!” noise as he spotted one of the bottles he’d apparently been searching for, and reached up and pulled it down from the shelf.  He set the dark bottle on top of the bar, before turning back and randomly picking out a clear bottle of ‘mid-tier’ vodka from his collection.  (One of his weird pet peeves was when people used the best, “top shelf” alcohol in their mixed drinks–it was just a waste of good liquor, as far as he was concerned.)  

Daeth turned back to the bar and set down the vodka, quickly grabbing the rest of the supplies he needed.  The last item he produced was a glossy, piano-black box that was oddly cold to the touch.  Inside were two rows of perfectly molded, round balls of ice, each one inexplicably cold, frozen, and just the right size to fit inside the exquisitely crafted, crystal highball glasses he set atop the bar.   He didn’t offer an explanation for how he had a box of molded ice as cold as the snow from an Ice Krowne glacier, and simply put it away after setting one ice ball inside of each glass. 

He paused before mixing the drinks to remove the cuff links at his wrists, and linked them together before randomly tossing them to Eddellyn when she came up to the bar–a corner of his mouth twitched upwards when she reflexively caught them.  If she looked closely at them, she’d see a pair of handsome, silver, square-shaped cuff links inlaid with obsidian and diamond.  Daeth shrugged as he rolled up his shirt sleeves, exposing the smooth, roll and shift of lean tendons beneath lightly tanned skin.  “Hang onto those for me, would you?” he asked, frowning down at his slacks, and plucking at the dark material. “I'll either forget or lose them, because can you believe these don’t have goddamned pockets?” He indicated his pants, but wasn’t really asking a question.  He continued without waiting for an answer. “I guess that’s the price one pays for ‘fashion’.”  He snorted, his expression clearly conveying what he thought about that. 

After a second, Daeth resumed his task and made them each a drink.  He measured his pours by feel, though worked quickly and efficiently, not bothering with any unnecessary flourishes.  Eddellyn was not one to be impressed by fancy ‘tricks’ as far as he remembered, which he can appreciate.  Besides, each of their drinks were practically the same and simple to boot (ginger beer, lime juice, lime wedge), with the only difference being  their preferred alcohol: rum for her and vodka for him.  Out of sheer habit, Daeth took a small sip of Eddellyn’s drink and sampled it, before handing it to her.  Not bad–he made a damn good Dark & Stormy.

Daeth joined her on the other side of the bar and leaned up against it.  He turned and briefly clinked his glass against hers, before turning back to resume his slouch.  “Cheers,” he said quietly.  He didn’t care–he knocked his drink back in one go, relishing the spice of the ginger beer and the burn of the vodka.  He pivoted and started to make himself another.  “So,” he hedged, giving himself a liberal pour of vodka before mixing his drink and turning back around.  Daeth sipped this one a bit slower.  “Who’s the lucky Noble who accompanied you to the Masquerade?” he asked, genuinely curious and not wanting to delve into a more serious topic, right away.  “And, I simply have to know,” he began, his tone tinged with amusement.  “What you did to make such an impression, that Monsieur Chemaux saw fit to make you such a…” Daeth swept his gaze appreciatively over Eddellyn's silk-swathed figure.  “fetching gown?

 

This post was modified 2 months ago 9 times by Lassroyale

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 80
 

Wynterleaf knew her words were sterile, harsh, and didn’t give any hint to the true depth of her feelings, but they were the truth. She’d done her best over these last years to stick to the truth in all matters, her lies only technically done via omission, but she used the simple facts of truth. There was no changing the past, as much as anyone could wish they could take things back or undo their mistakes, there was no means to do so and if there was, would they even want to attempt it? For better or worse, those events had shaped them into who they were today.

She didn’t have to wait long for his reaction as he pressed close, invading her space, to whisper in the vicinity of her ear and she nearly flinched as this was the closest proximity anyone had stood to her in a long while. She’d grown used to being a solitary creature. Oh certainly, she had moved through crowded spaces and touched hands in various business dealings, and even earlier that evening Travion placed a necklace around her neck but it was all done with the social niceties of maintaining personal space. A barrier of etiquette that didn’t apply to Daeth, he stood close enough that the warmth from his body enveloped her like a warm blanket, the air they shared within their lungs nearly the same breath, his nearness evoking intimate memories. Her knees locked against the urge to take a step back and reveal the fact that she was discomfited, instead she stonily gazed into his face, compulsively cataloging each small change to his features. 

Daeth finally replied to her half-hearted apology, the words almost hostile. I must be keeping you from something that’s so damn important, that you would honestly offer me a shrug and, essentially, tell me that it’s no use crying over spilled milk, so let bygones be bygones–after all this time. 

He had no way of knowing how close he was to the mark with his taunt, though he assumed that she was meeting a lover. In that regard, he was far off but her reasons for being there were damn important, in her mind at least; she had made a promise, a vow, and she had no intention of abandoning that promise. 

Death grazed a finger down the skin of her throat and she did flinch then, not enough to move away from his touch but there was no pretending it didn’t happen. Her initial thought was that he wanted to test her reaction to his words, to detect if she might be worried about being caught in a lie or hiding secrets. But it seemed his interest really lie in the jewel she wore around her neck, his hand drifting over the blood-red stone and as his fingers held the ruby lightly for a moment, it triggered a memory from years ago… to the very last day she had seen Daeth in Seven Oaks, in fact, and a different ruby.

Spoiler
Some time ago, aboard the sailing ship The Felkin Duv

“We'll accept yer terms. Eleven years as captain and yew'll be allowed to travel the landes as yew must. But yew won't be able to turn yer back on us during that time. That's something yew'll have to swear on." The Feeann'ky first mate, Bulus, turned her hand over, spreading her fingers flat before he deposited a large, uncut ruby into her palm. The gem pulsed with a faint inner brilliance as the Wild Elf spoke solemnly.

"'Tis called the Heart of Rovaudin. All aboard the Felkin Duv must swear their immortal soul upon it. To protect, to give their loyalty and obedience for the term of their oath. As captain, yew also take an oath of responsibility for the actions and lives of all the crew."

Eddellyn weighed her options, wanting to refuse but knew she couldn’t. "For a period of eleven years and with the understanding that I will still be allowed my freedom within reason... I agree." She repeated the oath Bulus had recited only hesitating briefly over the last words, taking responsibility for the lives of others the hardest to repeat, yet she managed it.

No sooner had she finished the recitation than she felt a surge of energy from the ruby up her arm that was quickly followed by a strong pinch in her wrist. For a moment she thought the bones within the joint had snapped from an invisible pressure and she was tempted to drop the gem but instead tightened her fingers, the rough facets of the stone biting into her flesh. If she didn't know better, she would have said the stone was trying to repel her grip.

"An oath sworn on Rovaudin is a promise made to all Feeann'ky. Yew've done better than I expected lass." Bulus's voice had been oddly gentle as he carefully plucked the ruby from Eddellyn's hand, the effort of swearing over the stone visible on her whitened face. The Feeann'ky had a strong suspicion as to what the elven woman had experienced when she had sworn her oath over the ruby. After all, he had witnessed the telling sparkle in the stone's depths when he'd handed it to Eddellyn.

When she was ready to depart the ship, the first mate stopped her with a firm hand placed on her forearm and he leaned close, nearly touching his lips to her ear as he whispered, "I think 'tis only right yew should know Eddel-lyn, the stone didn't want yer oath... It cannot hold yew by somethin' that 'tis not yers to promise... And I think 'twould be wise to be askin' yerself why 'tis yer soul is not yer own."

Daeth made a sound, a light remark, and she blinked, his words not registering but it was enough to free her from the memories. She held his gaze, not a flicker to betray her thoughts. The Wild Elf’s words had haunted her for a long while after the experience until she had acknowledged the answer to his question and she was tempted to throw back at Daeth that there was far more than spilled milk between them. That she’d wanted to explain her position that day in Seven Oaks, that she was caught up amid duty to a birthright she hadn’t known about, and the fallout of which she was still caught in the thick of. To point out that they’d each had their obligations and she had made decisions that were both selfish and selfless, and that none of it had been done without consequences. But she couldn’t articulate any of it in any way that was clear and heartfelt - she wouldn’t explain it now, not when his attitude was resentful and yet still casual. 

Her attention fixed on the muscles tensed in his jaw and she tracked the reflexive movement of his hand over his neck, smoothing over the Brand, a gesture she had witnessed before and her fingers twitched involuntarily feeling the desire to provide the soothing action herself. It was on her mind to ask if it still bothered him, if he still sought a way to remove it, but then he asked if she’d have a drink with him. He used the word please and again used the name no one else used, the name no one else knew anymore. She couldn’t refuse him. 

There was still time for her to do what she needed for the evening but she wasn’t about to admit she was chasing after rumors and ghosts, things that she couldn’t even tell if were tangible but her promise to herself, a promise she made over a grave, prevented her from abandoning the task. It was probably an obsession at this point, driven by the need to give intent and purpose to her continued existence after everything that had been lost… to give meaning to the many long years that extended into a far and infinite future… could she even die? Her train of thought caught on the question that often lingered in the back of her mind before it shied away from the boundaries of that thought, as it did each time she considered it. It neared too close to her deepest held secret, one that she had never shared with anyone and barely acknowledged to herself. 

“There is time,” She answered him quietly, an answer that still didn’t deny that she was meeting someone else. 

Wynterleaf transferred her sword into the crease of her other arm, her hold still secure on the bundle of her items as she placed her gloved hand into Daeth’s firm grip, the direct physical contact grounding her more at that moment than her feet on the pebbled walkways. This moment was real; it was not a fractured scenario of her mind. 

They stepped across a threshold of the physical realm to the Astral, into a space that she could only describe as completely Daeth. Separated from the plane they had just occupied, the entire atmosphere of the pocket dimension was steeped in his essence. Her fingers tightened over his hand for a brief moment, less from the transition of stepping from one reality to the other, and more because she was overwhelmed by the sheer aura of him; he was in every strand of fabric that comprised the space. It was like a shot of dwarven spice liquor; the drink was pleasant in the seconds until it hit your stomach but once it caught up with you, it knocked the breath out of your chest and kicked you on your ass. This experience was like downing an entire bottle of spice liquor. 

He released her hand and asked her to make herself at home while he made a drink. Her grip had already loosened on her belongings and she unceremoniously and blindly dumped them onto a nearby divan, using the freedom of movement to shake out her arms and get the onset feeling of anxiety back under control. Too late she remembered her right arm and that Daeth might not be prepared for the sight nor was she ready for explanations at that moment. She pushed her shoulders back and exhaled a deep breath, reminding herself that she was not embarrassed by the injury, nor would she allow him to pity her for it. Still, she kept her arm casually tucked to her side so as not to be apparent that she did so but no doubt he had still tracked the movement. Not much escaped his notice, except maybe when it was spelled plainly to his face, she thought with a touch of bitterness. 

She drifted closer to the bar, curious to watch the process of him making the drinks, noting he remembered her cocktail of choice as he assembled the ingredients. When he tossed her his cufflinks, she caught them without thinking, snatching them from the air with little effort. At one time she wouldn’t have been so adept using her non-dominant hand, it had taken lots and lots of rigorous training after her changed circumstances to get where she was today, another minor change to her behavior that he’d probably clocked. Her brows pulled together as she frowned at the expensive accessories in her hand; twice in one night someone had handed valuables over to her without her having even asked. She eyed them wondering what she was supposed to do with the jewelry. A bit perplexed she muttered aloud, absently, in response to his comment, “Gowns don’t have pockets either.” But she did have a small valuables bag hidden in the folds of the navy silk skirt where she deposited the cuff-links for now. 

He handed her the drink and she politely touched the rim of her glass to his, the clink of crystal a normal, mundane sound and welcome in the stillness of his Aegis. The otherworldliness atmosphere in the room should have been unsettling but there was a peace to the space that she hadn’t experienced for a long time and Wynterleaf appreciated the reprieve. "Ana i anann tea,"* she said as she took a first tentative taste of the drink, the sweet and spicy drink mixed to perfection, and she made a soft sound of appreciation. Daeth made himself a second drink before he spoke again, making another light comment about her date. If she didn’t know better his words were touched with jealousy, except that she did know better. 

He would be a hypocrite to judge who she spent her time with; just as she wouldn't say that she knew about the serving girl with whom he had spent the afternoon in Seven Oaks, after the fight with the Jotunn, at the moment that should have been their reunion. And discounting that tryst, there was the fact that there was an entire assembly of nobles gathered out in the other realm for the sole purpose of seeing the display of the creature that warmed the beds of both the Lord and Lady Syltumal. 

The more that he continued to needle about her activities and put on an air of nonchalance, the more grating she found his attitude because she recognized it for what it was, a deflection to avoid saying the things that were truly important, a shielding mechanism. They'd been her own tactics in the past and it was exasperating. She wanted to shout, not at him (maybe a little), but at the entire situation they had found themselves in. It felt manufactured specifically to target all her weaknesses. 

Wynterleaf took another modest sip of the drink, the sugary sweetness a blast across the tastebuds and the peppery ginger beer tickling her nose, and silently counted to ten. She’d worked hard to keep her temper under control in these later years, taking to heart the lesson Wynter had patiently and repeatedly tried to counsel her with over the years. 

Turn a new leaf, winicë raumo*. You can not nurture the old hurts without them affecting your life as a whole. 

Still the same tree, she always reminded. 

But then Daeth asked about her dress again, his tone amused and teasing. The hells-blasted gown she had never wanted to begin with, the subject grating, as was the innuendo of what she had done for Vincen to warrant his services. She could feel the resolve to hide her irritation start to slip. 

“I hate to shatter your illusions about me but if you really must know, I’m here for a job. One that Vincen has a stake in.” Wynterleaf kept her body face-forward to the bar, her gaze fixed on a point on the wall before her as she spoke evenly, her tone flat. She forced herself to take another sip from her glass, the alcohol warming her from the inside out, her core feeling cold despite the simmer of frustration that was leaking slowly through the cracks in the wall she’d built around her heart. “But I expect you already guessed that.”

She looked sideways at him, assessing his appearance, the luxurious fabric of his clothes, and the fine tailoring of the trousers. Her expression was smooth and impersonal, one dark brow arched as she observed, “I would guess that you were the one that made an impression on Vincen, to warrant the expense of your clothing.” If he wanted to keep things surface level, speak nothing of the more serious matters between them, she too would do the same and keep things business-like. “You seem to have found an interesting place to establish yourself, a bit innocuous compared to your usual choices maybe. You seem comfortable at least.” 

Wynterleaf emptied the glass before she set it on the bar and finally turned to face Daeth, leaning slightly against the counter. She folded her arms across her chest forgetting that the stance would only emphasize the deep V-neck cut of the dress and her cleavage. The heat of a blush crept up her neck as she hoped he didn’t misinterpret and think she deliberately wanted to draw his attention (okay, perhaps a teeny bit, a small voice whispered). “It occurs to me that you could help me with my task. I was looking for the Syltamul's private quarters, or more specifically their study or where they might keep any records of their business. They have some connections that I'm interested in locating.”

 

Spoiler
Ana i anann tea
elvish toast: to the long road

Spoiler
winicë raumo
elvish: little storm


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

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"Sometimes love is so intense that it turns into this gray area that borders on hate. That's what happens when the people you love have that type of power over you."

– Julie Murphy


WITHIN DAETH'S AEGIS


 

Daeth leaned on the bar, his head bent and his face slanted downward. He listened to Eddellyn while watching distractedly as the Aegis's low, inconspicuous, and magical light poured through the crystal facets of his glass and spread across the bartop, only to be engulfed and devoured by the deep fold of his shadow whenever he moved. The cynical side of him regarded it as some strange, dumb omen from The Morai, but he dismissed it. He didn't believe it signified anything in particular–after all, not everything was some kind of moronic, allegorical portent delivered by the Fates–but he wouldn't rule it out. Especially given how their previous visit went–

–Daeth’s skin prickled in unwelcome comprehension as the vision the Fates  pushed upon him suddenly makes sense.  He took a large swallow of his drink as understanding dawned in a kineograph rush of images snapped through his mind: the rough, alligator cracking tessellations spiderwebbed over the ground; Hellfire licking the sky with an ultramarine tongue of flames; the cinder-gray, ashy snow of carbonized bodies swirling through the air; demons juddering in their meatsuits, writhing in the flames; the knife-edged curve of his doppleganger’s rictus smirk; the sensuous flare of silky hair flowing around the shoulders of the two women like ink-black, liquid fire.

The insight doesn’t do much–or anything–to alleviate the bitterness that’s taken root in the rich, decadent soil of his once-buried anger, fertilized by the smoldering intensity of the freshly tilled feelings that have been unearthed by Eddellyn’s unexpected presence.  

Which, it turned out, had actually been foretold.  

Damnant in Fata,he thought, biting down on the cusp of a snarl before it could escape the cage of his teeth.   The insinuation that, no matter what he did, he’d be held in thrall to the merciless and shadowless depths of kismet, sent a flash fire of disgust searing through him.  The whole idea of predestination in general left an acrid, curdled milk aftertaste in the back of his throat, and ignited within him a slow burning resentment that set off a cauterizing heat seething in his marrow. 

He touched the Brand on his neck out of habit, absently skimming the tips of his fingers along its raised edge as he traced the outline in a practiced, self-soothing gesture.  He let Eddellyn’s words filter through him, grimacing when he realized what he was doing and curled his hand over his shoulder instead, digging into the hard muscle where shoulder meets neck.  His eyelids fluttered for a second and he sighed in pleasure when something unexpectedly loosened and relents under the pressure of his fingers.  Daeth peered down into his glass as he scrubbed his palm idly across the back of his neck, before carefully pushing his hand through his hair–his fingers paused, almost imperceptibly, at his hairline before he roughly pressed them through the dark strands.

And now…he glanced at Eddellyn, his face not blank, per se, but rather carefully neutral.  None of his thoughts were reflected in the depths of his too-purple gaze or even in the usually expressive arch of his brows.  He studied the small changes that the years had wrought in her appearance, though, except for the most obvious difference–the elephant in the room that neither of them seemed willing to be the first to bring up–Daeth is struck by something that is both disconcerting and intensely intriguing to him: even for an Elf, Eddellyn has not aged the way that someone should have, given the number of years that spanned between them.   In fact, if he really concentrated on it (and he did, albeit in a brief and truncated manner) the death angel picked up on an aberration in Eddellyn’s canticum mortis–her song of death.  It’s not something he would dwell on or even bring up, but he filed it away to reflect upon it later, nonetheless. 

Instead, Daeth mulled over Eddellyn’s words, focusing more on what was implied within the rise and fall  of each spoken syllable–focusing on the conversation running beneath the surface of their strained conversation.  He didn’t like what was said, what was assumed underneath what was tersely spoken.  Not in the least.

Plus, Eddellyn’s valiant play at remaining even-keeled was really not working for him.  There was no passion or even a shallow depth of emotion in anything she said or even in the way she arranged her features.  It was like some part of her had been lobotomized or worse, tamed, and Daeth didn’t like it in the least.   He knew that people could change a lot in the time–in the lives–that they’ve lived apart, but the wildness within her, the boundless depth of passion that she was capable of, is something that is so fundamentally Eddellyn, that Daeth couldn’t accept this undemonstrative, restrained version of her, that’s standing in his Aegis.

It’s so…listless.  

It felt dishonest.

Daeth was almost offended.  

Almost.

Still, some part of him, whether conscious or unconscious, sought to push her to some sort of edge, to bridge the distance that’s grown between them, even if that meant having her anger, her rage, directed at him.  At least it would be something.  Some distant part of him knew he was being impulsive, maybe unfair, but something about the grey-eyed Elfess had always seemed to push that button of irrationality within him.

And her indifference (forced or not) was akin to slamming her fist down on that Big Red Button.

"Vae, Edde," he responded, mirroring her distant, business-like tone. He reached over and seized her glass, turning and making her another drink without asking if she wanted one. He poured her a generous portion of some really good island rum and mixed the contents of the glass while he continued speaking. "You must believe that ego podex perfectus." He whistled and gave her drink one more swirl before taking a sip and sliding the glass across to her. "I'm just speculating, since you make it appear as if I believe you're some kind of lupa, or that I've hinted you whored yourself out to monsieur Chemaux in return for a ballgown."   He snorted.  “C’mon, Edde, I know you wouldn’t sell yourself for a damn gown, as nice as that one is.”  He gave her a sleek grin that was sharp enough to cut.  “I wouldn’t expect you to sell yourself for anything less than a legendary blade or a very fine dagger–at the very least.

Daeth let the statement hang in the air, then he laughed to show that he was kidding, although the sound was somewhat biting.  “Christ, you really must think so little of me to believe for even a second that I would ever suspect you of trading your body for anything, let alone a damned ballgown.”  His tone, which had started out light, flattened out in disgust.  He shook his head, then sneered.  “Besides, that’s my gig, right?” He paused and pinned her beneath the heat of his amethyst stare.  “Or was that not what was implied by your comments?” he asked pointedly, if blandly.   

He shrugged and turned away from her, presenting her with the sharp angles of his profile as he picked up his glass and took a sip.  "I'm not going to dispute it." He gave an indifferent shrug.  “What's the point? There's nothing shameful about it, and neither Amarice nor Callon have ever proposed that I share their beds in exchange for a place to sleep. And, contrary to popular belief, it's not sex that kept me here for so long." He snickered and sipped his drink, muttered something akin to, "As if." Daeth sighed and frowned into his glass for a time, swirling it slightly to mix the contents around.

I don’t know if you felt it…or can feel it, even now, but the Syltamul Estate is protected.  And it’s not protected by any two-bit street mage, either.”  He looked up and caught Eddellyn’s wintry gaze, briefly allowing his focus to wander a bit lower than eye-level.  As he carefully pulled his eyes back up to hers, he examined a little piece of an intricate tattoo he could see inked on her chest; the weight of his stare was almost tangible, like the sensation of calloused fingertips grazing smooth flesh.

Daeth chuckled quietly to himself. "Getting hounded by Feeders practically every night gets old, quick," he said, speaking honestly for the first time, no glibness in his tone. "Even without my own safeguards, coming onto the estate was like..." he trailed off, drawing his lips together, unsure how to express his relief. "It was like walking into stillness."  He looked at her.  “When I crossed the threshold, there was nothing–I felt nothing." He closed his eyes for a minute, a faint smile unconsciously curling his lips. "It was pure bliss.  No death, no life, no daemons–only stillness." When he opened his eyes, though, there was something dark in their depths.

“But something like this can’t last forever.”  He looked out into the middle distance, towards the North where he could still faintly feel that seething mass of death.  His eyes were unfocused.  “I’m leaving here soon," he announced abruptly. "Neither Callon or Amarice know it, and I intend to keep it that way.”  Daeth looked back to Eddellyn and gave her a pointed look.  “There’s something that I only recently became aware of that requires my attention.”  As if he could ignore what he sensed–all of that delicious, sacrificial death–now that he was aware of it.  He was struck by a thought that sent a jag of worry through him, because no matter the time or distance that had grown between them, Eddellyn was still, well, Eddellyn. 

You shouldn’t stay in this area, Edde,” Daeth said quietly; sincerely.  He touched the Brand on his neck again in a thoughtless, habitual gesture.  “It feels like the wick to a powder keg is about to be lit, and once it is, I don’t know how far the path of destruction will travel…”  He dropped his hand and looked ruefully at the bandit. 

His former bandit. 

Daeth's mood instantly shifted. 

But who am I kidding?" he said sourly, his jaw tightening.  He made an offhanded, flippant gesture that he didn't really feel.  "You’re just going to do what you want and you don’t care about that anyway.  You want to know how I can help you with your task.”  His smooth, amber tones held a cold, cutting edge, and wasn’t particularly kind.  “You’re right, I could help you with whatever your task is.  But now I will ask, Edde,” he said, his voice going sleek and somewhat dangerous.  He took another sip of his drink, finishing most of it as he pushed away from the bar and moved closer to her.  Daeth leaned down to speak near her ear once again.  “What’s in it for me? What will you give me, for the information you want?”  

His tone was dark.  

His tone was teasing.

And oh yes, now he implied what she’d originally thought he had, when he’d asked her what she did to impress Vincen so much that the master tailor saw fit to gift her with a gown.  He chuckled, not necessarily nicely, his alcohol-tinged breath stirring the fine hairs by her ear.  

My information doesn’t come cheap,” he murmured. 

Then, completely without meaning to, he thought at her.  Gods, Edde, do you remember the last time I even saw you in a gown? Although...I think I might like you better in red.’ 


Spoiler
ego podex perfectus
...you must think that I'm a complete asshole.

Spoiler
Lupa
whore/slut

 

This post was modified 1 month ago 11 times by Lassroyale

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
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RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 80
 

Eddellyn Wynterleaf

Though she didn’t want any more to drink, Wynterleaf cradled the refilled glass in her hand nonetheless, holding it in front of her as yet another barrier. She wondered if this was how it was to be between them, to always be on guard. 

She remained silent as he needled and circled her like the proverbial predator looking for a weakness in her defenses, the perfect place to strike; she remained determined to not react or provide an opening. At his offhand statement about the estate being protected, Wynterleaf perked up, her attention focused on his assessment that powerful magicks were at work. Without realizing it, he was providing her with information to questions she hadn’t even asked and she wondered if he was speaking of the Order of Light? Vincen had said their stronghold was in the Bridgeways, if Daeth had been here for any significant amount of time, surely he would know. She became distracted, her forehead furrowed as she tried to piece together the details of everything she knew, the frown still in place as Daeth spoke quietly, his demeanor sincere as he gave the warning about the dangers of staying in the area. 

Where previously she’d been annoyed by everyone warning her away from the area, she believed Daeth, and sensed no matter how much she might pretend otherwise, he did have her best interest at heart. She wet her lips, ready to respond with a Thank you, when the atmosphere between them changed yet again, the hint of concern that softened his features briefly was gone again just as fast, as his jaw squared and his next words became goading. She tipped her chin up, her lips pursed as she listened to the terms he bargained for in exchange for the information she asked. 

Her eyes narrowed, “I’ll find the answers on my own.” 

Wynterleaf moved to slide away from the caged heat of his body but he wasn’t finished speaking, except this time he thought the words at her, spoken through mindspeak. For so long she had wanted to pretend the ability was no longer with her, indeed a great deal of discipline had gone into literally and figuratively blocking it from her mind but hearing the intangible resonance of his voice speaking into her mind broke through all her carefully laid restraints.

It triggered the memory of the last experience anyone spoke to her telepathically, the last people that knew she held the skill. She remembered the voices as they invaded the space of her mind, one voice smooth and insidious, while the other was sad and pleading. 

Put your hand back on the Stone and we'll let him live. 

Don’t listen to them, Eddellyn. They lie. Sacrificing yourself will only lead to more death. My life does not outweigh the balance of that.

In a knee-jerk reaction, without malice or forethought, Wynterleaf hurled her drink across the room at the opposite wall, the contents spraying everywhere as it hit a bit of draped fabric with a muted thud in an unsatisfying sound before the tumbler succumbed to gravity and fell to the floor where it shattered into pieces. Dimly, she was aware that was the sound she'd been looking for, the sound of something breaking to echo the hold she had been maintaining on her emotions.

No, Daeth! The thought blasted from her mind. 

Wynterleaf doubled over, her eyes squeezed shut as she lowered her head to cover her ears; a foolish reaction, as her ears held no part in hearing the soundless words, words that had already been said. She inhaled deeply before straightening, the calm before the storm was over. Her silver gaze darkened, flashing of brimstone and smoke. 

“NO!” This time she gave voice to the words, the shout loud, leaving her throat raw with the force she put behind it. “You do not have leave to talk with me thusly.” She brushed a gloved finger across her brow to indicate she referred to the mindspeak. 

All the words that she had held trapped behind her breastbone bubbled to the surface.

“I’ve tried being polite, to hold a semblance of civil discourse, and whether you wish to believe it or not, I am sorry. The words might be simple but anything else would be an excuse and I will not make excuses to water down the sincerity of my apology.” 

Wynterleaf took a step in Daeth’s direction, her hand fisted at her side and her muscles tensed as if ready for a fight. 

“I hold no judgment on who you spend your time with or what you do with them. And the gods know I cannot begrudge anyone finding a moment of peace in this jookan worlde but to find you here coddled like the demigod you are, after all this time…” She paused to take a breath. “While we mere mortals hold the uncertainty if you’d ever deign to grace us with your presence again or decide if we were nothing more than a passing diversion. To continue to forge ahead with living regardless…”

Wynterleaf was starting to lose the plot as the passage of time blurred together and she was transported back to the early days before they had met again in Seven Oaks. She remembered the red dress he referred to, the one she had worn in the dreamscape, but more vividly she remembered afterward when they awoke. When she had finally, fully put her trust in him enough to tell him the words in her heart. More the fool for her.

Her gaze was baleful as she ground her teeth together.

“As for your terms for information, I have given you all that was truly mine… I have nothing left to give. Not that it was ever enough,” she sneered, her lip curled in derision at him and at herself for ever thinking differently.

She yanked the jeweled necklace from her throat, uncaring that the clasp broke and the finely set stones and gold bit into her skin, leaving behind red marks. It no longer mattered to her that she had intended to see it returned to Travion, that she hadn’t wanted to abuse the fledgling friendship with the elven noble in keeping it for herself. Yet another mark of folly, thinking it smart to foster any semblance of bond with someone else.

She tossed the necklace at his feet, snarling, “Payment for your time and the information already shared.” 

Air sawed through her lungs in angry bursts, she no longer cared to continue at courtesy and closed the gap between them, her hand shooting out to grasp Daeth's shirtfront in a taut grip, tugging him so only a handsbreadth separated her face from his. She no longer cared to pretend at a reunion with a friend, a former lover, or whatever category Daeth fit into. She wanted out of the Aegis and to return to the Estate, with that in mind, she gritted out, “Release me from this place, so that I waste no more of your time.”


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
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DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

╺ ✽ ╸

“Our parting was like a stalemate…. Neither of us won.  Neither of us lost.   And worst still…that unshakeable feeling that nothing was ever really finished.” 

– Ranata Suzuki

 

The air between them is seething with tension that coils heavily in his chest, its contours scraping jagged edges against the walls of his lungs with every harsh, cutting sentence spoken. The pressure in his diaphragm grows heavier with each little barb and razor-edged remark, making the next breath a bit tighter; it makes their next words a little rougher and a little more raw, as each syllable is dragged between stiffly gritted teeth.

Daeth doesn’t truly know what he’s hoping to accomplish by goading Eddellyn into an outburst, but he keeps needling her, regardless of her obvious annoyance and distress at his words and actions.  He just…wants to see something.  Something of the old Eddellyn.  Something of the Eddellyn that he once knew and had once loved, because that Eddellyn–his Eddellyn–carried something  within her very core that was wholly unique.  Something he hasn’t seen in anyone else, before or since: an inimitable spark of pure, unconstrained passion which, once ignited, made her soul burn brighter than a white dwarf star.  

She’ll never know it, but the supernova burn of her soul had been his lodestar, a beacon he could always follow to find his way back to her.  It had been his guiding star out of the void in the Maelstorm after he’d offered himself as a sacrifice and received the Brand.  When he’d been on Batur’s rack, its memory had pulled him back from the brink each time the Minotaur’s torment threatened to break him utterly.  And, before he forced himself to fade from her life entirely, that dazzling radiance is what had always allowed him to find her.

Maybe he just wants needs  to see if that spark is still there, or if it–if she–is truly gone.  Maybe he needs to see for himself if his bandit–the one who’d stolen something that’s so fundamental to him, that he’s not sure he’ll ever be the same–is as truly dead to him as her flat tone and polite demeanor suggests.  

Maybe he just needs to know if any of it was ever real, because there are days where it–their time together–feels like something that happened to someone else.  Moments when the scar tissue of his memories makes it all seem so other, like he’d lived them in borrowed skin, in borrowed clothes, and on borrowed time.  Moments recalled in periods of heavy-eyed isolation, during those long, still stretches of craving in his skin and regret under his tongue, where any hope of chafed palm relief is lost to clenched teeth and curses and begging; any pleasure punched out of him leaving him aggressively unfulfilled and even more frustrated than before.

He needs to know if any of it actually meant anything.  

He needs to know if any of it means anything, now.  

And he needs to know if the scars he bore for, because, and after her–as well as the ones she’d left as a parting gift–are all that is left of her…of his Eddellyn…of them.  He needs to know if all that’s left of her is the scratched pattern of her signature scribed onto the curve of his bones. 

Still, Daeth is almost surprised when all of that pushing and prodding and meanness actually works.  

As he traces the path of the hurled glass arc through the air, he thinks, first (to himself), “Hn, that’s actually some rather fine crystal you’re throwing there, Edde, could you maybe choose a different glass?”   After he successfully quashes the suicidal urge to laugh (not at her or her action, but rather that randomly misfired, stray, incongruent thought), Daeth admits to himself that he hasn't thought much further past, get a reaction.’  Then again, when has he ever?

It’s like a dam breaks inside of her, and for the first time that night Daeth sees the real Eddellyn–the one that he knew.  The one that’s full of life and passion and seething intensity.  And seeing the flare of that bright spark, no matter the context under which it was lit, makes his gut tighten and sends a powerful, zero-gravity thrill lurching through him.

Oh, but she is pissed.  

No, it’s more than that.  Eddellyn is fumingHer grey eyes blaze with the vibrancy of her anger, though at the center of her fury is a great, sucking wound of raw hurt.  It’s the type of hurt that’s partially self-inflicted; the type that causes you to suck ulcers onto your lips in teeth-grinding, shoulder flinching anxiety.  She’s hurt.  He hurt her.  They’ve hurt each other.  They’ve hurt themselves.   And each of their injuries are old hurts made new, slit-seam wounds that’ve had years–decades–to fester and grow gangrenous.  

Daeth has a single moment where he feels himself start to soften towards her, the hard edges of his expression gentling as his gaze brightens, shifts, and for a split second he’s able to glimpse the true breadth of Eddellyn’s deeply entrenched pain.  It causes something to twist within him, and he feels some tender, long buried emotion free itself from the catalyzing hash of gnarled scar tissue that encloses the raw, exposed nerve of vulnerability at his core.  The feeling slips through the empty spaces that pull heavily within him, the edges of its warmth fraying as it fills him with the wan, long-atrophied need to comfort her.

Then Eddellyn’s words actually registered.

His mood shifts in a snap. Whatever guttering warmth or tenderness that’d wormed its way out of the dusty catacomb of their buried past, is extinguished as surely as the sputtering flame of a torch stupidly carried into the midst of a howling tempest.  He looks down at the ruby and diamond encrusted necklace Eddellyn tossed churlishly at his feet, the full curve of his lips pressed into a thin line as he watches the low light of the Aegis glint off of the facets of the blood-red stone.  

He doesn’t react when Eddellyn grabs a fistful of his shirt with a violent tug and brings them closer together, a sneer turning her lip as she pelts him with spiteful, embittered accusations.  He doesn’t look up when she demands to be let out of the Aegis, scorn making her voice tremble.  He doesn’t move as the sound of her harsh breathing rends the air, their faces drawn so near he can feel her breath on his skin and the anger in each breath.

And still, Daeth does nothing.   

Tension sizzles in the spare gap between them, and the atmosphere within the Aegis becomes fraught with dangerous uncertainty and explosive potential.  Silence settles over them, so heavy and absolute that time seems to warp and lengthen, stretching minutes into hours and hours into eternity.  

"Flocci non facio."

The words cleave the air, whipcrack sharp and twice as sudden, each one heavy with blistering rage.  Daeth’s voice is of thunder and honey.  It’s a voice that recalls things both olde and elemental, the sound dripping with power and naked anger that’s at once terrifying and so impossibly magnetic, that it feels almost sinful to hear.  When Daeth speaks again, the resonance of his words is marked by lightning more ancient and tangible than state lines.   

He clarifies: “I don’t give a damn.”  Daeth, head still bent, enunciates the words slowly, scraping the syllables over the blunt rim of his teeth.  Finally Daeth blinks, and with a single, extraordinary sweep of his lashes a categorical change overspreads him that’s so intense, it’s palpable.  He slowly raises his head and looks at her.   The amethyst eyes that reopen are darker, the purple hue so rich and deep as to be almost black in the dim light. Something writhes, electric and alive, within their dark depths; something that sends a jag of forewarning shuddering through the spine.

Daeth is angry  furious.

The sharp lines of his features are chiseled into a marble veneer that smolders with cold fury, the nucleus of his passions no less fierce or intense than the explosive heat of Eddellyn’s ire. People who have witnessed Daeth's wrath (true anger, not the short flashes of irritation occasionally seen when he fights–provided he's taking the battle seriously, of course) are frequently surprised to learn that it is a frigid, frozen form of rage.  Mid-battle piques and everyday annoyances might flame as hot as flash fires, but his anger–his real anger–doesn't lick the skin with tongues of flame; it bites deep into flesh with frozen fangs that burn with cold fury.

Daeth strikes without warning as he pushes forward and crowds Eddellyn back against the bar, trapping her in place with the slant of his hips and the cage of his arms, his palms planted upon the bartop on either side of her body.  What little space they'd kept between them is gone when Daeth hooks her leg with his own and locks it down, the pressure of his ankle against her instep preventing her from reaching the dagger hidden there.  He brings his face close, fixes her with an icy glare.

You have some nerve, Edde, to think that you can simply unload your anger, lay all of your baseless assumptions at my feet, and then simply walk away,”  Daeth states, pushing the words through the tight press of his teeth.  His jaw tightens, his lips pulling back into a snarl.  “As if you were–are–the only one who’s suffered,” he spat.  Irritation bleeds through him as Eddellyn’s words grate against his gums and abrade his esophagus as he tries to swallow around their awkward shape.  He sneers.  “If you’ve been wondering this whole time, whether or not I would ‘deign to grace you with my presence’ ever again, I would go back over our meeting in Seven Oaks,” he says flatly, without even a tiny hint of amusement.  “Or was I mistaken that you fled me?” he asks, eyes flashing.   “That sent a pretty clear message, Edde–one that I took to heart.”  He pauses, then snorts.  “And as to what you gave me having ‘never been enough’–spare me the histrionics.”  He looks disdainful.  “You’re better than that.

Daeth drops his chin and shuts his eyes for a moment.  He heaves a breath, pushing the air from his lungs in a slow, steady exhale.  When he looks up again, his eyes have regained their usual brilliant amethyst hue.  Likewise, when he speaks, his voice has lost some of that ancient otherness, reclaiming its smooth amber familiarity.  “Nothing more than passing diversion…christ Edde, how could you even say that?” he mutters, staring hard at the point just past her shoulder.   “Do you really want me to answer that?” Daeth shakes his head and ignores the twitch in his fingers that wants to touch the Brand in a palliative gesture.  “Do you actually need me to?” The way he says it tells her that he’s not truly asking, his tone momentarily as distant as his gaze. 

Daeth falls silent, a muscle in his jaw ticking as he clenches and unclenches his teeth.  He apparently comes to some sort of unspoken decision, because he abruptly scoffs and shakes his head, perturbed, before bringing his attention back to Eddellyn.  He levels a hard, flinty gaze at her, though something soft and regretful is impressed into the gentle curve of his frown.  The terse set of his jaw indicates his anger still remains, though, as he searches the recesses of Eddellyn’s steely-grey eyes, something heart-stoppingly sincere moves within his own, stirring within their vibrant purple depths.  

Seven Oaks…” Daeth begins, his voice evening out as he speaks in a low, velvety rasp, the sound like silk dragged over rough stone.  “...was not the last time I saw you, Eddellyn.”  He smiles bitterly.  “Fool that I am, I couldn’t stay away.  So I found you…” He says it simply, despite trailing off, and his tone seems to blithely imply that ‘finding her’  was just a foregone conclusion–like it was something he always had, always would, and always will do.  “...in a healthy and stable relationship,” he concludes, unable to shake the thin note of sharp hurt from his voice.  Daeth lets his gaze wander to sketch over the contours of Eddellyn’s face, his eyes tracing her features as he continues speaking.  “You looked...content, happy, and at ease in a way that only comes from having stability, support, and–” he grimaces as he cuts himself off.  He works to keep the scowl off his face and contempt from icing over his tone. 

He’s only halfway successful.  

He's quiet for a moment.  At length, he says: “I saw that you were loved, Edde.  He loved you, well and truly.”  There's a pause.  Daeth dry swallows; his airway suddenly feels too narrow, clinched, and constricted.  "And I saw that you loved...him." The words snag in his throat.  “When I glimpsed his soul…christ, it was almost boring how good he was.”  There's a brief ripple of something across his face, momentarily darkening his expression.  “In that moment, I was struck by how different he was from me, and I have to admit, Edde, that one hurt.”  A lot.  He sighs.  “Doesn’t matter.  I just…you looked so damned  happy.  And I just...I just couldn’t.  Damn-it, Edde, I couldn't disrupt your life like that.”  His tone hardened.  “I couldn't be responsible for uprooting all the stability, all the peace you'd found.  I wasn't going to come between you and your happiness...or who you,” he takes a deep breath.  "Or who you love.Even if it's not me.  He'd lost that right. 

Daeth met Eddellyn's gaze and held it.  So I walked away.” From you.  The words are hoarse, nearly whispered.  The admission is blunt and would almost be cruel, if it wasn’t obvious that it'd cost him a lot to even say it.  “It wasn’t easy–in some ways I’d rather be branded again.”  He swallows.  “And I did it twice.  I don’t think I could have done it a third time.  After the second time, I forced myself to stay away, to remove myself from your life–for your happiness and my sanity.”  

They lapse into a charged silence in the wake of Daeth's bombshell confession.  He doesn't look at her.  Instead, he stares down at the faded, circular scar that marks the back of his right hand, which is mirrored by the matching scar he bears in the exact same place on his left.  It’s not lost on him that he received the wounds that made each scar, on the same day he’d answered an incredible psychic cry that had reached him in Kioko Rinn from halfway across the world.  

That day seems like it happened a lifetime ago.

It was the same day he'd accidentally touched, merged, and bonded--however briefly--his soul with another's.

It was the same day he'd been crucified by his former lover, War.

It was the same day he'd saved a soul, instead of destroying it.

It was the same day he'd met her. 

It was the day he met Eddellyn.

This post was modified 1 month ago 3 times by Lassroyale

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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
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Eddellyn Wynterleaf

As she gripped Daeth’s shirt, breathing deeply still as her temper ran high, Eddellyn missed the critical signs that she had gone too far in her diatribe against Daeth and at herself, her thoughtless words had struck a nerve. Too late, she noted he had stilled, unnaturally so, and the expression on his face was a smooth mask of indifference until it wasn’t. The fine hairs on the back of her neck raised in a brief warning, as an electric shock ran through her body as the energy and power gathered within the confined space of the Aegis. 

“I don’t give a damn.”

The words exploded forth from Daeth, the force and sound felt as if tapped from another realm, his voice resonating reverberating into her bones. The change in his features was arresting, the heliotrope of his eyes darkened to deepest indigo, their inner depths sparking and swirling with barely leashed power. He was every inch the Death Angel at that moment, as she had never seen him before, not even in their first meeting when he served in that role and touched her soul, changing it and her forevermore. For the first time, Eddellyn saw him

And he was glorious

Instinctively, Eddellyn released her hold on his shirt, her mouth agape as she took a tentative step backward. But she wasn’t frightened in the face of his righteous anger, as any sane person should have been, she knew he would never physically harm her, their flavor of hurt seemed to only lie in the words they slung at each other. No, the emotion, the sensations that pulsed through her body were entirely the opposite; she found herself captivated, wanting to meld herself to him and claim that fierce energy as her own. 

Color rose high in her cheeks as a feverish heat washed over her skin and she was ready to reach for him again just as Daeth advanced on her, pushing her physically back toward the bar where he pinned her in place with his body and subsequent words. The stance he had locked them in prevented her from doing nothing more than staring up into his face as every facet of his anger and hurt rained down on her spirit. 

She knew she wasn’t blameless in what had happened, that she wasn’t the only one that suffered, she knew it. Neither could she deny that she wasn’t glad to have finally released a bit of the pressure in her chest, to air thoughts that had entrenched themselves in her mind and festered over the years. Similar lingering hurts were evident in Daeth’s voice even though his mannerisms and words were full of wrath. Even though he sneered and responded to her disdainfully, the very particles of her being were drawn toward the gravitational pull of his aura. 

She could have spoken up, to explain the mental processes that drove her to flee Seven Oaks before saying goodbye. To share what had occurred during the time they had been separated prior to that reunion, all the little burdens that had piled onto her plate until she could no longer ignore them. The uncharacteristic feeling of insecurity - inadequacy - to be an equal partner to him, a flaw she had deceived herself into believing. 

Eddellyn realized this fight had been inevitable, had always been inevitable, they were meant to voice these grievances in Seven Oaks. By delaying the confrontation, and avoiding it altogether, had only made matters exponentially worse. She swallowed past a painful lump in her throat as she accepted that this was her doing and she would have to carry that knowledge with her forever. She bowed under the weight of that guilt but his next words broke her. 

“So I found you…”

He’d tracked her down, twice, and walked away without her knowing

If his body hadn’t been pressed so close, the length of her leg anchored against his, without an inch of free movement, she feared she would have collapsed. As it was, she blindly clutched the corded muscle of his forearm in a death grip to maintain her balance as she searched his eyes for answers. Her pupils were blown wide, the steel grey iris of her eyes was almost nonexistent, as he recounted locating both her and Wynter. Every iota of her being came to a halt, she couldn’t even say her heart beat as she tried to discern what he knew. If he had learned the reasons that drew Wynter and herself together, the reason why she was happy with “boring”. 

But there was nothing in his penetrating gaze to indicate he knew all her secrets. And he won’t know until you tell him, the errant thought buzzed through her mind like an angry gnat. 

In the wake of the stunning sense of shock she felt at his revelation, there was anger, hurt, sadness, guilt… the range of emotions too broad to define a singular feeling. The same thought kept repeating through her mind - he’d walked away when she could have used his counsel most. 

She didn’t even pause to consider her reaction. Her hand dug into his arm, the pressure of her fingertips biting even through the barriers of the glove, as she spoke in low tones. 

“His name was Wynter. He helped me to remain sane in a time when I needed it most. And yes, he loved me, of that I have no doubts. In my own way, I loved him too.” Eddellyn didn’t look away as she said the words; there was no malice toward Daeth with them, she had to say this so there was no ambiguity. Her breathing became shallower as she continued, the heart that had been so still moments ago now pounding with an intensity that made her chest hurt. Her eyes burned, spots forming at the edges of her vision. “Except, I couldn’t love him in the way he deserved. Because I had given my heart elsewhere; he knew that and still accepted me. He knew that I had given my heart to you, Daeth, and was willing to settle for whatever I could offer.” 

Overwhelmed, her voice broke, she would never not feel guilty about that aspect of her relationship with Wynter. But giving her heart had not just been a figure of speech for her, nor be recanted; when Eddellyn had said the words she had meant them down to her soul. She felt a tickle on her cheek and brushed the back of her wrist over the spot, aware that the tear had escaped against her will. 

That still didn’t change the need to lash out, perhaps not a particularly wise decision on her part, as the magnetism that she’d felt in the wake of his fury had not waned. 

“With that put to rest, I'll spare you the need to walk away the third time. But before I go there is one thing…” 

Eddellyn slid her hand up his arm, satin gliding over silk, and settled her palm over the nape of his neck in a firm grip, mindful to not brush her touch across the Brand. She tipped her head the expression in her eyes making her intent clear without words, allowing him the choice to pull away. Seeming to accept her challenge, she raised on her toes simultaneously pulling his head down to close the distance between them, to join her lips with his. 

The kiss wasn’t gentle, the need to punish him with her hurt, anger, and guilt came through with the action. Had she’d been able, she would have had her dagger in hand - he'd been smart to anticipate her desire to pierce his skin with a blade - but the kiss seemed the next best thing. Her mouth shaped itself to his, relishing in the curve of his lips a moment before she parted her lips and snagged the bit of plump flesh of his lower lip between sharp teeth and nipped at it with enough force to break the skin. The metallic taste of blood touched her tongue and she felt satisfaction in that she would at least mark him in this manner. She tangled her fingers in the ends of the hair that brushed the collar of his shirt and deepened the kiss further. She had a fleeting wish she'd removed her gloves so she could properly feel the softness of his hair but it wasn’t enough to make her put an end to the embrace.

As the seconds extended to minutes, her anger began to dissipate, leaving her to only relish this stolen moment.


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Lassroyale
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DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

╺ ✽ ╸

"Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual"

– Octavio Paz

 

Daeth can’t remember (and doesn’t care, if he's being truthful) how many beds he’s woken up in since Eddellyn.  There were a few who stood out from the rest, and of those few, only one had even come close to satisfying him for longer than a night.  Just one out  a blur of dozens–closer to hundreds–of faces, the balm of fleeting pleasure that had to be applied night after night after night.  Faex, he doesn’t even remember–if he even knew to begin with–their names anymore, and can hardly even recall what half of them looked like.  For a while, it was just a series of blurry snapshots of nails down his back, sultry breath in his ear, and soft skin under his palms–all temporary gauze for the yawning chasm that seeped infection into his core.

Eventually, it got too sleazy even for him. 

He’s definitely made some questionable choices; he’s not proud of the empusa and cambion, and not just because the former tried to rip out his throat right after she'd...well, right after. Still, he knew he’d hit his lowest point when he surfaced from the fog of a weeklong bender to find that he’d been slumming it with a pair of (admittedly) attractive Lamia twins. Sisters. Thinking back on it, he's surprised he survived a whole week given how ridiculously inebriated he'd been.  From what he can remember – and it isn’t much – it’d been a wild week. Or at least it’d been a unique experience, and he still can’t decide if he recommends it. 

No matter, Daeth knew that something had to change after he’d sobered up long enough to acknowledge two cracked ribs and no real memory of when in the week it happened. (He knew how: like their Nagina cousins, Lamias tended to coil and squeeze in their ardor – and the twins were especially enthusiastic.)  

And still none of it holds a candle to the real thing, to the real touch of Eddellyn’s lips to his as she forcefully kisses him.  

There is a lot behind that kiss, more than he cares to try and parse right then.

He’s really not even sure how it happens, whether that was her goal or if they were always heading towards this one,  inevitable conclusion, but somewhere between being pulled off-balance and her aggressively shoving into his personal space, he finds her mouth on his as they crash together.  Eddellyn kisses like it’s a backstab, like she expects teeth and pain and wants to go down fighting.  Like she wants to take Daeth down with her because it’s personal and always will be. 

It’s a warning, a challenge, and Daeth has never, ever been so turned on in his life. 

He meets her escalation, pushes it even further as he pulls her against him and returns her kiss with just as much anger, aggression, and desire.  It doesn’t matter that it’s filthy and uncoordinated, just a little drunk, and far too angry and desperate for any measure of dignity: there was no stopping what’s been set in motion.  They certainly don’t stop as he slams them backwards into the bar; he’s distantly aware of the sound of expensive glassware breaking, along with the bottles of rum and vodka crashing to the floor.  He turns and shifts the power between them as he lifts her atop the recently cleared bartop.  Eddellyn makes an angry noise in the back of her throat and bites down on his bottom lip.  

Again.  

And hard.

Daeth jerks back, eyes dark, and touches a finger to his lip.  It comes away smeared red.  His grin is all teeth. I can’t remember, Edde — do you bite everyone you kiss, or am I just special?” he asks, his voice obscenely rough with anger, want, and a million other things he’ll never name. He pins her against the bar with the hard line of his body and chuckles darkly when she glares at him, her gray eyes nearly black with anger and desire.  He curves a palm around a silk-swathed hip and pulls her forward to the edge of the bar, his other hand skipping up the curve of her spine to find the zipper of her gown. 

He leans forward, his words a low rasp against the shell of her ear.  You look like you want to kill me with your eyes,” he says, breathing out a laugh, the sound low, husky, and stained even darker than before.  “Is that it, Edde? Do you want to do me,” he pauses, and nips her ear none-too-gently,  “...in?” 

Daeth doesn’t wait for an answer as he kisses her again, though it's less a kiss than it is a campaign.  It is something closer to a blitzkrieg, to be honest; the force of it is domineering, meant to overwhelm…it's designed to break down defenses and take.  The zipper travels halfway down before it snags on something, the smooth motion coming to an abrupt halt. 

He snarls.

The sound is distinctly Other. 

When Daeth tilts his face to Eddellyn’s, the eyes that meet her own are darker than before, an unmistakable hunger  uncoiling within their depths. 

Unlike the cold, frigid fury of before, the hunger writhing within the darkened depths of Daeth’s eyes is a tempest–one that he doesn’t try to hold back.   It’s a riot of feeling that screams through him like a battlecry, spinning out from the center of his being, cleaving through metal and stone and air and earth, and her.   

Daeth isn’t going to hold himself back from her.  Not anymore.  Not like he has in the past. He doesn’t think he can; he doesn’t think he wants to.   No, that’s a lie–he knows he doesn’t want to hold back, to keep that aspect of himself in check.  And if her reaction to his earlier fury is any indication, she doesn’t want him to, either.

Because Daeth is truly more than. 

He’s unique.  

He’s a creature, through and through.

He’s one of a kind; beautiful, sleek, dangerous, passionate.  He’s made for liminal spaces, for the places between shadow and light, because if he’s beautiful in the light and sleekly dangerous in the dark, glimpsing him within the stretched shadows of the semi-darkness will steal your breath.  He is all shadows and angles, feral, barely chained by skin and bone.  He is made for the half-light and is at home within that intermediary space, wearing shades of darkness pressed into his skin like tattoos formed from the ink of shadows. 

And settled within the folded shadows of the Aegis, highlighted by its soft, luminous glow, the dark angel is something more, an untamed, elemental force painted by a master artist in the deft strokes of chiaroscuro.  When he moves, speaks, he himself is a dozen shadows, now flickering; now overlapping, now springing apart; now coalescing as Daeth presses the pad of his thumb against the seam of Eddellyn’s lips.  Slight pressure; they part.  He leans in, his breath warm, teasing, and when he speaks, his voice is sleek, almost dangerous; the sound is that of honey dripped over razor wire.

It’s funny, Eddellyn,” he says, drawing her name along the groove of his tongue, tasting it, sampling each syllable.  “ That you honestly think that you’ll be going anywhere, anytime soon.”  He pauses. "Or that I'd let you just...walk away. Daeth chuckles.   The sound is dark, dirty.   He leans close, dropping his voice until it’s just quiet murmur, a mere whisper in her ear.  Do you really think you’ll even be able to move, after I’m done with you?” 

Daeth spread his fingers against Eddellyn’s jaw, dragging them over her cheek, his palms warm as he cups her face.  

There are promises in those palms.  They fill the channels of Daeth’s hands as he slides them down Eddellyn’s neck, her shoulders, dropping them to her hip.  Those promises trickle down his wrists, flowing around the tendons that roll beneath smooth skin.  They gather in the pleat, settling within the crook of his arm. 

His palms promise many things.

They promise to curve beneath the frame of her ribs and lift her, cradle her, restrain her.  They promise to press against the length of her spine, tracking each rivet of bone as they journey up and down; once, twice, evermore.  They promise to relearn everything about her, to map her contours, stain them in invisible ink.

They promise that she’ll feel the ache of him impressed into her skin, for days to come.

He kisses the corner of her mouth, then mutters, growls,  “And if  you don’t remove this barrier,” he plucks at her dress, “that’s keeping you from me, I will do it–and there won’t be much of Vincen’s fine work left to salvage.

Then Daeth kisses her properly. 

It's followed less than a minute later, by the sound of shredding silk.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago 14 times by Lassroyale

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
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Eddellyn Wynterleaf

Eddellyn wasn’t certain what her initial intention had been in kissing Daeth but any motive abandoned her during the pure all-consuming sensation  of the embrace as he pressed her to the bar counter. No, embrace was too tame a word for their coming together. It was a leave-taking and a home-coming all at once; years of repressed emotions bubbling to the surface and battling for dominance.

She lost herself in the heat of the kiss, her mind blissfully blank as she used her lips to learn every aspect of his face anew, pressing them to every inch of it she could reach only stopping to inhale deep gusts of breath when Daeth paused in the assault on her senses long enough to ask her, “I can’t remember, Edde — do you bite everyone you kiss, or am I just special?

Reason returned and she glared, the spark of anger evident in her eyes. He teased though, a small chastisement for her action, but the remark hit too close to the truth for comfort. He  was  is?  had been  special; she kissed very few - shared anything more with fewer still - and there was no one that she allowed her passions to reign free as she did with Daeth. Trust was a dangerous and fragile thing and spirits knew Eddellyn was never one to trust easily or to show any amount of vulnerability. Nearly being killed at the hands of family had made her forever wary of the intentions of everyone, especially those she allowed closest. She had trusted Daeth but at this minute she wasn’t so certain she even trust herself.

“A small souvenir to mark the occasion,” she answered, a flash of teeth to accompany the biting words.

He returned to her space and she tilted her head to allow him access to her throat as his voice rasped at the periphery of her vision, a throaty laugh that promised darkness and punishment. He nipped at her ear - Her. Ear! - and she made a sound partway between a growl and a moan. An elf’s ear tended toward the sensitive and Eddellyn never failed to respond to even the smallest of caresses on the delicate appendage; she suspected that Daeth remembered as much and employed that tactic to his benefit now. She had no chance to respond to his innuendo-laden question of whether she wanted to ‘do him in’ as he resumed the offensive on her senses, his focus singular and overwhelming. She was trapped in a vacuum, air no longer available for her lungs, and stars danced behind her eyelids. A hand moved down her spine, following the closure of the dress, abruptly stopping as a snarl cut through the air. Belatedly, she realized the zipper had snagged.

The brush of Daeth’s cheek grazed across hers, his nose touching briefly alongside her nose as took a step back far enough to stare into her eyes. Earlier, the fury that fueled the flames in his eyes had been cold, a frigid blast that promised frostbite on everything it touched, creating cold that started from the outside and burned inward until you were completely numb. Now, the flames in those depths guaranteed to burn from the inside out but with a fire that scorched the worlde. She saw the enigmatic creature that lay within, a beast that writhed and waited and wanted, the magnetism of its allure a black hole, one that Eddellyn was willing to fall into. In his eyes, she saw the being that had been at home in the plane where they had first met, the in-between place that was neither for the living nor dead.

She saw in him now as he had been then, the death bringer, ready to ferry her soul to the afterlife, his eyes dark and the skin taut over his features as he strained to hold onto something, or was it he held something back? But he was also the angel. That side of his heritage was a beacon of light that tugged at her soul, a lodestone that she had clung to in that never-ending nothing of limbo, and the pulse of light that lingered in the thread of her life afterward. As if echoing her silent contemplation, the shadows of Aegis merged and parted in a mesmerizing dance, coalescing and parting in a rhythm that matched their breathing, until they took on a shape of their own. Eddellyn blinked slowly, not trusting her mental acuity at that precise beat, but in the space behind Daeth, insubstantial as smoke, she saw the silhouette of his wings. Eddellyn closed her eyes and exhaled softly, remembering those wings in vivid detail in their physical form, the silken rasp of the texture as they had enclosed her like a cloak.

Daeth ran his thumb over her lip, bringing her back to the present, applying pressure as he daringly slid the digit between her lips. She nipped at him again, albeit lightly, and swiftly followed with gentle suction as an apology, a promise. He challenged her both with words and the heat of his gaze, the skim of his hands over her face and she was ready for that challenge.

His lips were on hers again, the low growl of his voice echoed the one gathering in her chest. Eddellyn slid her hand up his arm, trying to get closer, her palm moving higher to gain leverage until it encountered a hard and unyielding circle of metal around his bicep, hidden beneath his shirt. Curious, she kept her grip over the band as she angled herself closer to him, trailing her lips from the corners of his mouth in a line down his jaw until her nose settled at the base of his throat where she inhaled deeply. His scent evoked both buried memories and feelings, things she had wanted to forget. Any further exploration was hindered by his shirt, and she agreed with his assessment, there were too many barriers between them.

Releasing his arm, she made quick work of removing her right glove to bare the stump of her wrist so she could use that to peel back the glove on her left. A quick, rough swiping motion of her wrist caused the satin to sag before the glove rolled down her arm, a maneuver that hinted at practice, and it joined the first glove on the floor. Free from the gloves, she kicked her boots off next, ignoring his command to deal with her dress - she cared little what happened to the garment - and did as she wanted to earlier, her fingers retracing the line of his nape and into his hair. An imperceptible sigh left her as she rubbed the fine silk of the fringe between her fingers, the tactile sensation one of rediscovery - of locating something significant and belonging entirely to Daeth.

It was his hair that she had first noticed and perhaps had fueled her attraction to him in the first place. The irreverent thought drew a smile to her mouth and she couldn’t deny that she was inexplicably fascinated by the ebony strands. Eddellyn hooked her foot around his leg and pulled him closer, her lips murmuring small, indecipherable words of elvish along his jaw that ended with a quick kiss at the point of his chin. She gave no warning as her hand slid back around to the front of his shirt and she yanked it open, ripping the buttons from their mooring, sending them scattering to the winds, lost to join the other secrets of the Aegis. Whether it was by her hand or his (she wouldn’t remember later) but her dress quickly followed suit, the dark blue weave rent in half, the fabric unrecoverable as it pooled in shreds about her waist.

Eddellyn held still but a scant minute if Daeth cared to track the changes in her body. They were mostly inconsequential with the exception of the two most prominent. The first was obvious to anyone that spent more than a passing glance in her company. But the second was no less significant and something that no one had ever seen (least of all in its entirety), the winding representation of a vine tattoo that began mid-breastbone and ended on the instep of her right foot. Long stems of leaves, flowers, and thorns, interspersed with errant feathers, the tattoo curled about her body crossing behind her right ribs until it wrapped back around again above her knee and trailed to her foot.

She had a practiced remark about trading one magickal tattoo for another but paused, he hadn't known about the vine-like brand that had marked her right hand and arm. That tattoo had appeared in the months between their separation following Ufaeria and before Seven Oaks - and she had run instead of sharing any of those details with him. Ashamed at the reminder of her behavior, a red wash of color spread from her shoulders and up her neck, and she kept the quip about the tattoo to herself. She forced a coy smile instead. This was not the hour for explanations or more apologies but to make up for lost time.

Greedy for the contact of his skin against hers, to feel the warmth he harbored within, she launched herself at him, her hand skating across everything it could reach, mounting a discovery campaign of her own. Her touch returned to the band over his arm, noting it was part of a matching set, and a thrum of something just beyond her comprehension teased at her. A fleeting wrinkle marred her forehead before she abandoned her examination of the band and continued her journey under his arm and around his back, her fingers tentatively brushing across the damaged tissue that followed the ridge of his shoulder blades to the place where his wings would emerge. She hovered her hand just behind him and rifled her fingers briefly through the air where she still saw the shadow limbs but their lack of substance only bedeviled her.

Her right arm settled into the divot of his hip, the finer nuances of the contact lost to her but she could still very much discern the contours of muscle and bone, and used that arm to hold him in place as her other hand returned to his back, growing bolder as she traced the belt of his pants around to the buckle.

She peered up at him through the sweep of dark lashes, holding his eyes as she released the fastening and slowly pulled the strip of leather from the loops. It dangled from her fingertips for a heartbeat before she let it fall to the wayside.

“Daeth.”

A question, a demand, a promise, an apology all rolled into a single syllable. Her touch sought him out again, wrapping herself around him. Anything else she might have said was vaporized from her mind as she followed him into the abyss.


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
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DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

and Sacrifice to none

╺ ✽ ╸

"Listen to me as one listens to the rain; without listening, hear what I say"

- Octavio Paz

 

It looked like there’d been an explosion of black feathers in…well, pretty much every part of the Aegis.  In fact, it looked like there’d been an explosion in the Aegis, given its current wrecked state.  Evidently, no surface had been spared as they waged war with one another, matching passion to passion in a push and pull that had only spiraled to ever greater heights.  (They’d eventually, after the third or fourth try, made it to the vicinity of the bed, and finally fell onto it, after another couple of attempts.) 

It’s something he’s missed: someone who could match and who had always matched, his intensity–someone who could handle his intensity.  She–Eddellyn–always had.  She had never backed down in the face of that potency, no matter his fervor or the strength of his ardor, rising instead to meet him head-on, every single time. 

Which is, he supposed, how the Aegis came to be littered with feathers.  

It’d been at the peak of one of their most intense liaisons, after most of their aggression had bled away and there was finally–truly–nothing between them.  They were pressed close, back to front, her head tipped back against his shoulder as he supported her with an arm looped under her ribs, her knees bracketing his.  Looking back, it’s mostly a blur of sensation and feeling so intense that it seemed almost like an out of body experience, but some details were vivid, clear: Eddellyn’s white-knuckled grip on the sheets, her fingers interlaced with his own; the way she molded to him and fit perfectly within his contours; the sharp angle of her jaw in his periphery as he tattooed nonsensical words against the long line of her throat, before marking her pale skin with his teeth; the dark strands of her hair as it shook free from its intricate bun and tumbled over her shoulder like spilled ink.  

Daeth can’t remember the last time he’d been so in sync with someone, so perfectly aligned where he could scarcely tell where he ended and she began, that his already tenuous hold on the ‘more than’  aspect of his nature simply…vanished, if it’d even been there in the first place.  Something had surged up from within him, an ever-present darkness that lingered in the depths of his gaze; shadows that moved beneath the surface of his penetrating amethyst eyes, which mimicked the shadows that had begun to coalesce beyond the placard of his shoulders.  Slowly, from the base of his spine, the darkness unfurled.  It fanned out like a cape, splashed against the walls, joined the shadows in a joyful reunion.

The darkness had merged, parted, and consolidated, until it’d fanned out into the unmistakable shape of adumbral wings thrown against the walls of the Aegis.  Wings, whose shape grew increasingly more distinct the higher they climbed–something that they’d both understandably failed to notice the heat of the moment.   When Eddellyn had reached up and tangled her fingers in his hair, gripping the dark strands in a tight fist as she yanked him down and claimed his mouth in a lingering kiss, the adumbral impression of his dark wings had become substantial.

Essentially, the moment she kissed him, his wings had exploded into reality.  And that sharp jolt of pain, the warm sensation of blood suddenly trickling down his back, and the relief as he automatically stretched and flexed the feathery appendages, had tipped Daeth over the edge and brought Eddellyn with him as he’d wrapped them both within a cocoon of velvety black feathers.

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

Things were quiet in the Aegis.  It was a loose-limbed, satisfied, sated type of silence, for once not fraught with tension or anger.  It was relaxing and comfortable in a way that he hasn’t experienced in a long while.

 The Aegis had been muggy–sweltering, really–and so Daeth had, for all intents and purposes, “opened a window”.  Sort of.  Like all things that had to do with bending and shaping reality, no matter how minor, there was no one way, no “right” way, to do it–everyone did it a little differently.  For Daeth, he’d reached up towards the roof of the Aegis and unwound part of the construct that lay directly over the bed.  He couldn’t walk you through the steps if asked, but he more or less made a couple of eloquent flourishes with his fingers, and, with a twist and flick of his wrist, that portion of the roof had melted away to reveal fresh air and a star-strewn nighttime sky, the pale light of a full moon filtering down upon them.  If Eddellyn had been touching one of the Kingship Bands at the time, she would have felt an unmistakable pulse of energy hum through the metal, and if she were paying particular attention, might even notice that it thrummed in time with his heart. 

He declined to mention which moon it was–or what reality it was from–and hopefully Eddellyn didn’t remember that the moon hadn’t exactly been full as they’d walked the hedge maze earlier.  Mostly because Daeth didn’t really feel like explaining all of that, right then.

Actually, Daeth didn’t feel like doing much of anything except continue to lazily trace the sinuous outline of the tattoo that teasingly adorned much of Eddellyn’s body, the flowing lines of ink dipping over curves and twisting across contours in a manner that honestly drove him a little crazy.  He couldn’t get enough of it, as evidenced by the clear impression of teeth and bite marks along the tattoo’s path–they were especially conspicuous by the elegantly inked feathers that were interspersed here and there amongst the thorns, flowers, and leaves.  Though, as he skimmed his hand across the smooth planes of Eddellyn’s skin, he felt heat sweep through him and his gentle touch became firmer, intent written in the scrape of his calloused fingertips as he began to stray off path.

He veered wildly off path somewhere between knee and navel, and Eddellyn roused from her light snooze with a small gasp.  She stretched lithely, very feline in her movements, and he watched as she settled back against the pillows and regarded him with a heavy-lidded gaze and a soft smile.  Her features were free of tension, relaxed and content, and something in her expression gave Daeth pause.  He recalled her words from earlier, and something constricted in his chest as their meaning was finally able to settle into the quiet margins of his mind. 

 

“Except, I couldn’t love him in the way he deserved. Because I had given my heart elsewhere; he knew that and still accepted me. He knew that I had given my heart to you, Daeth, and was willing to settle for whatever I could offer.” 

 

At the moment, Daeth didn’t know what to do with that information, but felt he needed to address it or respond to it in some way.  He just...didn’t know if he could–not directly.  Not right now.  It was pathetic and cowardly, but the things he wanted–needed–to say to her felt too immense in the moment, too nakedly honest, like their rawness would shatter the peace that had fallen. The darkness was heavy as it pressed in around them, the air infused with something still and fragile; something that might easily shatter with the first discordant note struck upon a misspoken word.  

His gaze touched upon her missing hand, tracking the gnarled scar tissue, and he finally understood that she’d lost far more than just her hand–far more.  And without really thinking about it, he acted.

Daeth shifted over Eddellyn and reached out, sliding the callus-roughened fingers over the sweep of her cheek.  His amethyst eyes were dark with focused intensity, pupils blown out in the half-dark as he leaned down towards her.  He grazed his lips against the hollow of her throat as his fingers moved from her cheekbone to jaw, brushing along its curve before delicately tracing the outline of her ear with the pad of his thumb.  He then sat back and drank in the full picture she presented, the darkness of her hair in stark contrast to her pale skin, which, though tanned in some places, fairly glowed in the moonlight.  The thick fringe of her lashes cast the barest of shadows beneath her winter-grey eyes, the kiss-bitten redness of her lips like blood against fresh snow. 

He skimmed his mouth down the topography of her body, stopping when he reached her missing hand.  The moon pooled silvered light on the pale skin of Eddellyn’s wrist.  The skin was delicate there and lightly tanned, smooth against the warmth of Daeth's lips.  Then he spoke, his voice a careful, quiet whisper threading into the folds of shadow spilled across bedsheets. 

Ama me fideliter," he murmured, stitching the words against the marred flesh. "Fidem meam nota."  He whispered softly, brushing words and breath gently over the uneven edge of scar tissue that marked the border of her missing flesh and bone. 

He shifted, turning slightly to offer up a white-toothed grin (the sliver of a Cheshire’s Cat smile) like a crescent moon against the shadows of the room; though the shadows that lingered in his depths of his amethyst eyes and within the curve of his lips, were deeper still.   His hair was still slightly damp from earlier, dark spikes framing his face.  His breath was a brush of easy,  steady reassurance as it ghosted warmly across the delicate crease of her inner arm.  "De corde totaliter,”  Daeth spoke, low, hushed.  The words gathered fluidly on his tongue; they trickled from his lips and slipped off into the darkness. "Et ex mente tota."

If she were to ask him a question, ask him what the words meant, Daeth wouldn’t answer - not immediately; not directly.  Instead, he shifted his attention, strong fingers brushing gently against the bumps of Eddellyn’s spine, counting each vertebra as he trailed a hand up towards her shoulders.  He leaned over her and dropped a light kiss below her collarbone, just above a few silvery lines which scribed a story in the thin, long-healed scars that tell a tale of having once been stabbed in the heart.  

"Sum presentialiter." He inscribed his words against her skin, the syllables dripping together in liquid cadence. Daeth curved both hands around the hull of Eddellyn’s ribs, pushing up, pressing in, lifting her, holding her.  "Alens in remota,” he whispered.  His voice was a low burr in the quiet of the Aegis, deep as the night and twice as complicated.  He counted each of her ribs with a gentle touch of his thumb; the rough slide of whorls and calluses scraping delicately over bone and flesh.  

Daeth slid his hands beneath Eddellyn’s shoulders, palms hot on her skin.  He slid them between her shoulder blades, pressing in, pushing up.  He nipped delicately at her throat, his mouth soft and warm against the throb of her jugular.  ”Quisquis amat taliter.”  He stitched the words against the throb of her heartbeat.  

He moved up, kissing one corner of her mouth, and then the other.  This time when Daeth kissed her fully, it was slow, languorous, and dripping with a kind of sensualism that had been missing in the primal frenzy of their earlier encounters.  “Volvitur,” he murmured against her lips, “in rota.

He kissed her again and this time when they came together, it was slow, powerful, significant in a way that was difficult to articulate.  It was infused with a level of intimacy that made him ache.  It felt somehow primeval, ancient, ritualistic; time seemed to stop to keep them in that moment at a level where all higher brain function was just gone.  

And it was in that space, in that moment–those moments–when Eddellyn looked into his eyes, she’d find that they were almost glowing, the color shifted to that of his verum conspectu–his true sight.  Daeth wasn’t aware of it, lost completely to her as he slipped his arms under her shoulders and leaned down, finding her ear as he became unraveled utterly.

Cor meum,” he whispered.


 

Daeth's poem in Latin is an excerpt from the 'Carmina Burana' 

'Ama me fideliter,

fidem meam nota,

de corde totaliter

et ex mente tota,

sum presentialiter

alens in remota;

quisquis amat taliter 

volvitur in rota.' 

Spoiler
Translation

'Love me faithfully,

Taking heed of my loyalty,

With all your heart,

With all your mind.

I am closest to you

When I am far away;

Whoever loves like this

Rides on the wheel (of Fortune).'

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Lassroyale

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
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Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 80
 

Eddellyn Wynterleaf

Eddellyn ached in delicious ways, muscles that had forgotten their function were awake with marvelous purpose. She stretched her whole body and sighed, any consideration of what she had intended to do at the Syltamul Estate long forgotten. True to Daeth’s promise, she did not think she would be walking away any time soon.

Something tickled her nose and she plucked at it absently, lifting her fingers to reveal a piece of midnight black fluff, a single downy feather. Surprise had her lifting her head abruptly to look down at her body, seeking out the tattoo, inexplicably worried it had taken a life of its own (it wouldn’t have been the first time), before she gazed about the room as a whole, taking in the destruction of the Aegis. Broken glassware littered the floor; furniture was overturned; pillows and blankets were thrown far and wide; not a single aspect of the room resembled the immaculate space they had first entered - Perhaps that picture was untouched? No, it definitely hung at an angle now. And throughout it all black feathers lay everywhere.

“Oh!” She vividly recalled the emergence of Daeth’s’ wings, the tear of his flesh with a shout - his? hers? - a brief ruffling of air on feathers and effervescent feel of them against her fingertips. And afterward, being encased in the sable wrap of his wings, a taste of security, the first in a long while.

The mystery of the feather resolved, she settled back into the crook of Daeth’s body and enjoyed the silence as it stretched around them in an endless moment. She rubbed a foot along his leg idly in a form of comfort and lulled herself into a meditative state, content to enjoy the unspoken truce between them.

A change in the atmosphere in the Aegis had her blinking back to reality with another languorous stretch and she watched as Daeth sketched a hand through the air above them to open a skylight over the bed. Her cheek was pressed against his bicep, warming the golden band that circled his arm, and she felt the telltale vibration of power course through the metal before he lowered his hands. That flare of curiosity was piqued again as she realized it was not a simple accessory, the magickal nature of the bands apparent and she wondered how he acquired them but it wasn’t her place to ask. It was hypocritical of course. She'd made a vow to destroy powerful artifacts but Daeth was no wizard; her obsession was solely focused on stopping magus. Perhaps that separation of reasoning should have worried her but she set it aside to think on later.

Eddellyn returned to dozing, a restful state of oblivion that was so different from what she was used to - she had grown used to dreams of guilt and regret, the countless faces of those that had been lost to time and chasing after something always out of grasp.

-

When she woke next, it was to Daeth’s tormenting touch driving her wild with unexpected pleasure and emptying was little thought was left in her head. At this rate, it would take her a week to recover from this experience.

When she could breathe normally again, she turned her head to look at him and gave a husky laugh. “I think masquerades might be to my liking after all.”

The smile lingered on her lips, she was surprised at how relaxed she felt, all the tension and anger gone from her mind and body. At the same time she recognized she was feeling, she had lived in a state of numbness for so long - had forced herself to exist in that state - these past few hours had been invigorating. This was not where she had expected to find herself when she woke that morning but if she had to do it again, well... she would do it again.

Eddellyn expected a chuckle or wry comment from Daeth at her lighthearted comment but when she glanced in his direction, he was staring at her with a disconcerting intensity. His eyes dipped briefly to rest on her missing hand and she knew they had come around at last to the elephant in the room. She resisted the urge to pull it closer, to hide it, and braced herself to hear what he would say. But he surprised her by reaching out to touch her face instead, his fingers skating across her cheeks, her nose, her jaw in a manner that had her relaxing further into his touch with a sigh, willing to discover where this new interaction would lead. She shivered as his thumb traced her ear and fleetingly wished she had discovered a similar manner to drive him crazy with a simple touch.

The breath caught in her throat at the first tender touch of his lips against her wrist. He murmured words into the skin almost reverently and she thought he might have spoken the language of the gods but she didn’t know what they meant. She assumed that he apologized for the pain she’d experienced and then he grinned at her, the full curve of his lips signaling he wasn’t put off by her injury, and she returned it with one of her own. She couldn’t help it, his appearance in that moment itself was enough to smile about, his hair the epitome of 'bed head' and his face looked youthful, relaxed, and carefree.

The rhythmic cadence of his voice continued as he breathed more words into her skin, the mystery of their meaning no longer holding her attention as he drew ever closer to her mouth and she grew impatient again to share a kiss. Their movements until now had been shaded with urgency, the need to recapture something that had gone missing but their coming together this time was different, softer, sentimental, evoking something she’d never experienced before.

Much later, she stroked her hand over Daeth’s shoulder, slowly moving upward over his nape and onto the back of his head. She really couldn’t keep herself from touching the glossy locks of hair but this time she was intent on examining something her fingers had grazed earlier. In the heat of the moment, she had not lingered but she recognized what she felt had been the healed ridge of a scar. Boldly, she traced the seam from the place behind his ear all the way around to his brow. Whatever had happened to him had been painful, she didn’t need to be told, it was the mark of a serious injury.

“What happened?”

Daeth had been lazily tracing a pattern along her side with his hand during her exploration but grew quieter as her inspection continued and at her question, he stilled entirely. He remained silent, obviously reluctant to talk about it, and Eddellyn was ready to retract the question as she had no right to pry. But he surprised her as he told the story of his imprisonment and torture at the hands of Batur. How the Minotaur had inflicted punishment by taking him to the brink of death and back again; how one point in this endless process, his head was shaved and cut open to allow Batur to play within his mind, both physically and psychologically.

Daeth kept the explicit nature and details of the punishment to himself and Eddellyn didn’t push; however, she was perceptive enough to know that it had been cruel in a manner that any sane person would recoil from. As it was, she was horrified to hear what had been done to him, tears threatened to spill over her lashes and she tactfully averted her face so he wouldn’t see the bright sheen, she didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. Internally though, she shook with impotent rage, the desire to hunt burning in her blood; she hoped that Daeth had already killed Batur if only to save her the trouble.

“Ir abelas.”

She laid a hand across his collarbone, pressing him back into the pillows, and leveraged herself to put her lips in range with the scar so she could trace the path with her mouth, her warm breath passing over the reminder of his suffering but knew the most grievous scars he carried were not visible.

A thread of her consciousness stretched out through the ether and she repeated the words telepathically, faintly, like the light touch of a kitten’s whisker. I’m sorry.

She walked a line of kisses from his ear, along the column of his neck, to find the hollow above his collarbone where she spent more than a passing minute before she continued the path further down his body moving with a singular purpose, intent on reciprocating his earlier attentions in kind. His body became a map that she read with her fingers and lips as she traced a journey from head to toe and back again slowly, memorizing the route as if she expected this to be the only chance she would have.

After a few teasing laughs and a deep growl later, Eddellyn collapsed back onto the bed, happy her efforts had provided satisfying results for them both.

-

Eddellyn was staring at the stars, searching for familiar constellations without success, until she abandoned that endeavor to turn her gaze inward. She held up her right arm stretching it toward the ceiling, picturing her palm, fingers spread wide, in a position to obscure the moon. If she concentrated enough, really searched deep for the connection, she could feel the hand, her fingers flexing as she curled them into a fist. An irrational thought but she knew that piece of her still existed somewhere just the same.

Daeth had shared about his scar, she could do no less.

“A mage bound me with a mark on my arm and cursed me to never set foot off Tenara until I retrieved something for him.” A trap. “It took some time…”  years  “but we figured out a way to subvert the curse.”

There were details (harsh truths) that she omitted not realizing that in using telepathy before, it had uncorked the proverbial dam and she unknowingly telegraphed thoughts in those stuttered gaps, sharing the parts she couldn’t say aloud yet.

“Wynter began the spell to reverse the curse that bound me to the land.” He may have taken it too literally and sent the magick into the land through my foot.

A small sound that was both amusement and sadness rolled into one escaped her because she would never have the chance to find out what his intention had been.

She finally lowered her arm and traced a path over the trail of vines adorning her torso. It wasn’t exactly the same as the tattoo that’d branded her arm, there were some subtle changes made to make this one hers and she liked to think it had been a parting gift.

“The spell was interrupted but not before I was freed. But to say the mage that cursed me was not happy was an understatement.” And then I had to make a decision - trade my life for Wynter’s.

Her breathing became shallower and her heart started to pound, her muscles tensed as her fight or flight response triggered, her mind trapped again in that cavern.

“My hand had been on an artifact as part of the spell.” The same artifact the mage wanted to sacrifice my soul into. “If I kept my hand on the stone, Wynter would live.” And I would die.

“The next thing I remember is an explosion and everything was gone.” The temple, the mage, Wynter… 

She rubbed her hand over the knotted scar tissue of her forearm. “I think… I did this. My sword...”

Eddellyn shivered and came back to the present. It was not the entirety of it but more than she expected to reveal (not even realizing the half of what she shared). "I thought stability and certainty was what my life needed but it would seem the Fates have always had different plans for me." 

She exhaled slowly, returning to silence. 


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
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Joined: 10 months ago
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DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

╺ ✽ ╸

"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."

– Kahlil Gibran

 

As Daeth listened to the low murmur of Eddellyn’s voice thread through the quiet atmosphere, he rolled onto his side and settled behind her, dropping a light kiss onto her shoulder as she recounted the details of how she’d lost her hand.  The words freed themselves from her throat slowly, painfully, and Daeth got the sense that telling him the story of her injury was a somewhat cathartic, albeit difficult endeavor.  As Eddellyn went on, he also realized that she was unknowingly communicating with him via mindspeak.  Unbidden, Eddellyn had inadvertently said everything that'd been purposefully left unsaid, telepathically speaking her unguarded thoughts and giving (silent) voice to her feelings revolving around the curse and her relationship with Wynter.  Daeth didn’t know why he was hearing her thoughts so clearly…was it possible for the close mental connection that they’d once shared to be reestablished this quickly? Why? How?

Ultimately, Daeth decided that it didn’t really matter.  He’d missed the touch of her mind to his for the purely selfish reason that he liked knowing that he could hear her voice when nobody else could–even though she’d used mindspeak with others, he’d only known it to be out of necessity.  That she’d used it freely with him was something he’d unconsciously cherished, an intimate aspect of their relationship that he’d missed for a long time when they had parted ways. He felt a small prickle of jealousy at the thought that Eddellyn had probably shared the same kind of intimate mental connection with Wynter, but tamped it down.  He was the one who chose to walk away, after all–he could hardly be jealous of the relationship she’d formed in his absence.  (Easier said than done.)

Daeth also decided he’d keep the fact that he’d heard her unspoken thoughts to himself.  For now, at least. Instead, he stretched out behind her and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her against him in a warm embrace.  He was quiet for a moment, then pressed a kiss to the underside of her jaw and declared, “Damnant in Fata.”  The arm around her waist slipped away as he echoed Eddellyn’s actions, his palm tracing the path of the tattoo that wound around her body.  His lips grazed her ear as he translated the words.  Damn the Fates,” he growled. 

He grinned darkly, and kissed the corner of her mouth. There was a complicated mix of anger and desire stirring in his amethyst gaze when Eddellyn tipped her head back to look at him, though this time the anger was not directed towards her.  “Possunt meos suaviari clunes,he muttered, catching her gasp as he slid his palm under her knee and closed the distance between them.  “They can kiss my ass,” he clarified, and then no more was said between them–at least nothing coherent.  

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

It’d taken all of his willpower, but eventually Daeth forced himself to pull back from Eddellyn.  No matter what he might wish, he couldn’t keep her in the Aegis with him and stay in bed for oh, at least the next week or so.  He dropped into an armchair, still perfectly nude, sipping a cold drink–aside from glassware, most of the bar had been spared from the brunt of their…enthusiasm–and watched Eddellyn move about the wreckage of the Aegis.  He chuckled, shooting Eddellyn a smirk and attempting to look apologetic, sort of, (not really) when she picked up the two halves of her ruined dress.  She glanced over to him with a raised brow and wry smile.  He took a sip of his drink.

I warned you,” he said, shrugging.  “I mean, I gave you at least thirty seconds or something to remove it.”  Daeth grinned and snagged an arm around Eddellyn’s waist when she made the mistake of passing too close to where he sat as she continued her quest to find her things, most of which had been tossed around and buried beneath furniture, pillows, blankets, and colorful fabric which had been pulled down from the walls.  He set aside his drink and pulled the petite Elf into his lap, curving one hand over her hip as he casually began to undoing the buttons of her shirt, with the other.  

You know, Edde, you did ruin the shirt I was wearing,” he said, voice pitched low near her ear.  “ So I was thinking that I should probably take this one as compensation,” he teased, slipping his hand under one of the front panels.  He gave her a perfectly impudent grin.  “It’s only fair.”  Daeth leaned forward and nuzzled the back of her neck, smelling her.  Eddellyn smelled like him.  She smelled like him–as if her skin had been infused with his scent.  And wow, he really  liked it.  The arm around her waist tightened.  “Of course,” he said, thumbing open the last shirt button.  “I’m open to negotiations... or fair trades.”

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

Finally–finally!after several  a few  firm light  admonishments, another distraction, and some idle conversation while sharing a refreshing beverage, Daeth and Eddellyn were once more dressed and ready to rejoin the party.  Well, sort of.  As mentioned, Eddellyn’s gown wasn’t salvageable–at all–but there was nothing to be done for it.  The clothing she picked out of her bundle of equipment (once they’d located it in the chaos of the Aegis) was casual but well-tailored, and it honestly suited her more than the dress–as gorgeous and exceptionally made as it’d been–ever did.  As for him, aside from his tousled hair, Daeth looked more or less the same as he did when he’d slipped away from the masquerade earlier. 

 

Sort of.

 

Okay, not really.

 

The fine fabric of his jacket and trousers now sported notable creases and wrinkles, and his shirt, like Eddellyn’s dress, had been beyond saving.  So he simply didn’t wear one.  Without a shirt underneath, the top half of the Brand peeked out from under the jacket's mandarin collar, and the lack of lapels revealed the somewhat faded edges of the scar that bisected his chest and torso.  Between the change of clothing and the various marks (many suspiciously looked like bites...) left upon one another, there was really no denying or hiding the nature of how they'd spent their time–and Daeth had not been the least bit worried about languishing.  Not at all.  Time passed differently in the Aegis. Inside the pocket dimension, several hours had passed; outside of it, he judged that maybe forty minutes to an hour, at most, have actually gone by.  He relayed this to Eddellyn.

Daeth was fairly certain that his missing presence had been noticed and noted, but was hopeful that it wouldn't be questioned.  After all, from what he’d gathered, a Syltamul soiree always devolved into utter debauchery, though as the guest of honor–and as the person who’d been warming the beds of the Lord and Lady of the most powerful noble house in the Kingdom Bridgeways–that might be hoping for too much.  As bold as the nobles had been with him, he could tell that most of them were also wary of crossing either Callon or Amarice and falling into disfavor with them. 

Oh well, there was nothing to do for it now and he really didn’t care if Amarice and Callon were piqued.  He’d bet anything that Eddellyn didn’t care, either.  At all.

A slight crease formed in his brow as Daeth thought about the Syltamuls, and he stepped up to Eddellyn and fixed her with a serious look.  As he looked down into the achingly familiar gray-eyed gaze that he never expected to see again, Daeth knew that he couldn’t walk away from her again–and he couldn’t let her  walk away, either.  In a gesture that mimicked one he’d enacted a lifetime ago on a beach on a faraway Ufaerian coast, Daeth hooked his fingers into Eddellyn’s sword belt and pulled her close.  Impulsively, he leaned down and kissed her like he would never get another chance.  After several long minutes, he pulled away, but didn’t relinquish his hold on her belt.

Eddellyn,” he said, his voice a good deal rougher than it'd been a minute ago.  He found and held her gaze.  “Look, I know you’re here on,” he trailed off, thinking of how to phrase it.  “Business,” he said finally.  “And that’s fine–I don’t care what it is.  But…” he sighed, then cursed lightly.  “Faex! I can’t walk away a third time, and damnit, Edde, I can’t–I won’t–let you walk away, either.”  He held up a hand, as if expecting an interruption at this point. 

Just let me, just,” as he tried to spit out the words, it was obvious that Daeth hadn’t planned any of this out, but his intent was sincere.  “Come with me,” he finally blurted.  “Please,” he added.  “I won’t lie to you–where I’m going will be dangerous, but I’d rather have you with me, than here, where I can’t…”  Where I can’t know that you’re safe.  The thought unknowingly trickled from his mind to hers.  His fingers tightened over her belt.  “Let me help you with your task,” he stated.  “Whatever it is.  Fulfill your obligation and then come North with me.”

Whatever her answer, Daeth would lean in one more time and brush his lips against hers in an unspoken entreaty.

Then, when she was ready, he took her hand and walked them out of the Aegis…

 

AT THE HEART OF THE HEDGEMAZE

[OUTSIDE OF THE AEGIS]

 

… And as soon as they exited, Daeth froze, pausing mid step as a shiver of premonition washed over him.  Warning jagged through his system like chain lightning and he straightened, a visible change coming over him as a new awareness settled in his veins.  His shoulders pulled taut and he tensed, his jaw clenching as he grit his teeth in sudden anger.  

Faex,he swore, spitting out the word.  His amethyst eyes blazed, almost flashing in the shadows of the rose garden.  “Someone or something has destroyed my wards,” he growled.  It was impossible to tell if he was speaking to Eddellyn or himself.  Almost as soon as he spoke the words, the air seemed to become unnaturally still, the sounds of the night ceasing, as if they’d been abruptly muted. 

He reached out for Eddellyn’s hand, though he wasn’t exactly sure why.   “We need to get back inside,” he said.  He wasn’t asking.  “This way, I know a shortcut back to the estate.


[OOC: to the Estate Grounds - WEST --The West Garden Gazebo]

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 6 times by Lassroyale

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