[P] More than the air I breathe
#1
[html]
Word Count → 380
OOC → Late January 13th, Inara has been missing from the City Square since the night of January 10th

The ache her body had was undeniable. Her feet hurt the most with small cuts from the ice. The first thing on her mind was to go check on Marlys, but the horse wasn't there. Inara was worried but she was too worn out and tired to think about it. Instead she stuffed down the emotion she felt from her beloved horse missing because there was nothing she could do to find her right now. Inara was too tired to do anything but go to the storage and get her skirt and shirt.


She was surprised to see the door closed, as she knew in all their haste they left it open. She shoved it open with whatever strength she had left and peered in. Almost immediately her head hung. Her clothes weren't there. It was odd to feel naked without clothing. She was covered in thick fur, after all. With a sigh, Inara closed the door and made her way to King's Bastion where she could fall face down in her collection of pillows and blankets. For a moment she thought she could just go to her nice bed that was still in the Fort, but she decided she wanted to be up at the Bastion.


Even though it was just minutes of walking she felt like the journey back to her residence was miles away. Each lift of her foot from the deep snow was a pain. There were obviously tracks that she followed that cut a nice path through the snow that was just as tall as her, taller than some areas. She halted at the door of the Bastion, her lids heavy as she looked beat. In truth she was happy, pleased really. She just protected the kingdom. It was the hardest pursuit in her life, and she hoped to never have to do it again in weather like this. It was risky and stupid, but she was sure that what her, Teagan, and Kalypso did showed that New Caledonia meant business. Blizzard or not, they will take back their stuff and punish those with great prejudice.


Inara opened the door, and felt a weight move off her body at just being inside the Bastion. She could rest, and she would rest.

<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#2
[html]

If there was a deity of winter, their power and ferocity was greater than any other that Percival had experienced before. Even the burning of Krokar, whose fall he found was easy to blame on their inadequate worship of their River Goddess, paled in comparison to the blistering, blinding calamity that had assailed them. In the thick snowfall and the screaming wind, his senses became useless; he saw nothing but white, he smelled nothing but snow, he heard nothing but the roar of the storm. When he ran, the drifts tripped him and he felt nothing but eternal cold.

The entire Realm was drowning beneath a sea of frost.


He had helped to care for their animals, offering aid to move them from Rhovanion to the confinement of the Market Place, were the high stone walls blocked the worst of the wind and allowed Caledonians to keep them contained. Pim and Striebro were cooperative, though it was clear that the journey through the thick snow had taken a great deal of effort. Marlys, though...


Percival drew a hand down his face, rubbing his eyes with his index finger and thumb. Thinking of Marlys reminded him of Inara and his stomach did somersaults. He hadn't seen her since before the start of the storm, despite his efforts to find her in all her usual haunts. But the ice and the snow and the cold had hampered him.


And so did the memory of that day, when he spied Torabera slipping from Inara's quarters.


Pinching the bridge his nose, Percy blew out a sigh and opened his eyes. His stared at his closed door a long while, wondering if they were together. Some of him hoped that they were, because it would mean that Inara was safe. But it would also mean that there was something between them, and entertaining those thoughts left him with unpleasant and complex feelings that he didn't like.


So he tried to ignore them, and the sound of the movement outside his room gave him an excuse to.


Percival rose from his pile of furs that served as his bedding and closed the distance to his door without hesitance. Sticking his head outside his room, he looked out into the evening halls of King's Bastion. "Goddess," he breathed. "Inara? Is that you?"


[WC — 389]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#3
[html]
Word Count → 210
OOC → words

In the time Inara took to the shut the door from the elements and turn around Percival called out her name. The sound of his voice saying her name caused her heart to do something she didn't quite understand. She looked up and immediately the feeling of being naked felt stronger than ever. Then his words hit her more. She laughed and looked harder into his eyes, "No." She said letting the silence fall for a beat, "I'm a form from your imagination, Percival." She gave a crooked grin, and put her hands upon her hips, one leg shifting to let her right hip sway out.


"Honestly, Perc, I don't know anyone else that is marked like me, so of course it is me." She let out a light sigh, then began to move. Her movement not as light and graceful as usual from the pain in the pads of her feet. They may be tiny cuts, but damn did they hurt. "...so..I take it you missed me?" She asked with genuine air. Her teasing of him was done with now. She barely had the energy to pull it off, but she had to get in a little jest to lighten her own mood.

<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#4
[html]

It was a dumb thing to say and he knew it the moment the last note of the last syllable of the last word faded into the winter air between them. His ears burned and, beneath the wiry fur on his face, so did his cheeks. He slipped out of his room, furrowing his brows and clearing his throat in that way that he had of attempting to hide his embarrassment. "You could be," he countered flatly, trying to ignore the way her posture made his heart quicken. "Considering..." With a wide sweep of his arms, he gestured broadly at the mess – both literal and figurative – that the blizzard had left in its wake.


He watched her move and wondered what was wrong. Because there was definitely something wrong. Percival knew Inara well enough by now – had watched her long enough and had danced with her enough – to know that her usual grace was missing. His brows furrowed more deeply, and the look on his face shifted to concern. When she spoke again, it was with sincerity.


"I— Of course I missed you! I was... I was worried." A twinge of guilt for having not searched for her pinched his heart. But in a rushing decent, something (Jealousy? Rejection? Humiliation? It was difficult to parse the complexity of what he was feeling) heavy and solid dropped into his stomach and he thought, again, of Tora. "You're hurt," he commented, a little flatly in his attempt to keep his emotions at bay. "What happened, Inara?"


[WC — 255]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#5
[html]
Word Count → 602
OOC → words

Inara was taken back by Percival claiming she could be a figment of his imagination. "Are you unwell?" She asked with some amount of concern, "Never known you to hallucinate...thought that was my job." She joked while she continued to move toward her room ready to have some wine in hopes of numbing her feet pain and crash down in her pile of blankets, furs, and pillows. She mulled over his reasoning for potential hallucinating; the storm. The naked gypsy looked down apologetically. "..sorry Percy." She felt the strong feeling of guilt while her left hand reached out for her her door handle. Her muzzle lifted and her brown eyes looked into his, "...I know you care about me...but I tend to forget how much you care."


It was hard for her to realize the love of others. Milos was the first to show her healthy care and what a healthy family looks like. When she got caught up in day to day things, and a serious situation she regressed back to her core. The afraid pup who doesn't know what love truly looks like.


She opened her door and she smiled softly, her eyes looking over to meet his own, "...Percival. I would be lying if I said those words did not warm my heart. I don't like to worry you, but to hear that I am in your mind when I am not present...." She looked down deep in thought, "I think it is because...I think of you too when I'm not around you." Inara wasn't sure what she was trying to say, but hopefully he understood.


He pointed out her pain, and she felt her ears burn. She wasn't actively trying to hide it, but she didn't realize that she felt shame when he pointed out her injuries. "Yeah...the ice and snow and frost cut all my pads up.." She looked at her hands seeing the small cuts with dried blood working to scab over them. It wasn't just her feet, but her hands weren't supporting her weight so the pain wasn't so bad there. "...Teagan, Kaly, and I got stranded at Sugar Loaf when we caught some thieves that stole from our pack storage." She said simply finally going into her room, leaving the door wide open.


The ache of the journey weighed on her more now that she openly admitted to the injuries. She found her muscles hurt merely from bending down to grab one of her wine bottles. Straightening caused her to wince with the effort. "Goddess..." She begged. She moved over to the bedding and let herself fall back onto the pile. Despite all of the layers and padding her rump found the hard surface laying beneath, "Oof, not as cushy as I was hoping for...but, luckily, not painful.." She laughed before looking up to him with a grin.


Inara then went about the task of opening the bottle, "So...anything else happen while us girls were snowed in with some silly yearlings?" Her mind flashed for a moment to Marlys. She knew as soon as she recovered she would find that mare. Dead or Alive. Marlys was one of the most important living creatures in her life.


Uncorking her wine she drank a bit too liberally before she could worry too much about the mare. Her mind jumped to Tora, and she stopped herself from chugging the wine. She didn't want to drown her emotions in alcohol. That was not how she would deal with stress.

<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#6
[html]

His eyes narrowed, indignant. "I don't– I'm not–" Realizing she was only joking, he puffed silently to himself while he watched her move gingerly to her room. What had happened to make her move so carefully? His thoughts wound themselves within his mind. Frostbite was on the top of his list, followed by some sort of sprain. But, with all the snow and cold that had befallen them, it was anyone's guess.


When she apologized, his face softened. "It's... fine," he sighed, irritation replaced with relief. "I'm just glad you're safe."


But was she okay?


Percival watched as she let herself into her home, his ears and his cheeks and his conscience burning red-hot with every word she let loose form her dark lips. She thought of him, too? But what did that mean, if she was taking other men into her bed? Centering himself again, Percy took in a breath and reminded himself that he did not know if Tora had been in her bed. He only knew that he had been in her home. With her. Alone.


Quietly, he released his breath again and felt only frustration and confusion still. "Really?" he asked, trying to keep the skepticism from his voice. As a result, the sound of the word sounded lifeless and flat. Percival cleared his throat in an attempt at normalcy and listened as she explained the reason for her lameness. Gradually, the concerns from before faded away.


"I'm glad you had company," he began. "Stoping those thieves." And then, realizing how that sounded, he addended this by saying: "And being stuck at Sugar Loaf, too." He watched as she let herself into her home and flopped onto her bedding with a laugh that brought a smile to his face.


"No," he began, watching uneasily as she went about trying to release the alcohol from her bottle of wine. "Not much, besides snow and wind. We moved the horses from Rhovanion to..." He paused and gestured outside. "Well, you've seen for yourself" And then he remembered Marlys and his tail drooped. Again, he cleared his throat. "But Marlys... Inara, I couldn't find her. I don't know where she is."

He watched as she tipped back her bottle, letting the wine slide down her throat. Without a word, he wondered how she would react to the news of her mare's absence.


[WC — 405]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#7
[html]
Word Count → 000
OOC → words

Inara couldn't help but have a smile on her face at Percival's stumbling words and frustration. He was too easy to fluster, and yet the air of sadness kept her from being cheery. It left her in a solemn state as her mind kept reminding her of Marlys. Inara was caught off guard when he said really to her words. Her brows came together as she felt confusion. He isn't aware of how I feel? His tone sank in too. It wounded her already sensitive state, but she tried to push it back.


As she put on a smile and laughed she felt how fake it was. She was putting on a facade, she could feel it happening and the last thing she wanted was to be fake to Percival. She could put on the facade when entertaining others in Amherst but not to Percival. With her change in subject she let herself take the drink she hoped would numb the pain in her pads and the pain in her heart.


Inara put the bottle down not wanting to loose control of herself, just get a little tipsy; enough for that warm fuzzy feeling. Nothing beyond it.


It was hard for Percival to tell her the news, news she already knew. She let out a small sigh before she spoke. "...I figured. I went to see her and I saw she wasn't anywhere...." She trailed off her eyes looking back to the wine bottle. "I am in no condition to search for her." She felt her chest tighten and a lump forming in her throat as she talk about Marl missing. Her fingers played with the glass bottle, words unable to form at the moment.


She moved her subject back to a previous one, finding it easier to talk about that her fears of Marlys being dead. "...you don't believe that I think about you when you're not around." Finally her eyes left the bottle and she looked up, the large swig she took starting to course through her. Was she too friendly? Does he not notice how she acts differently around him? How genuine she was with him, and how she tried to get him alone in Casa....and how she didn't let their kiss fail. Inara, still remembered that kiss. Her eyes dropped as the memory came through her mind again as fresh as the day it happened.

<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#8
[html]

Knitted brows, ivory against her auburn mask, responded silently to his inquiry. He dropped his gaze, ashamed despite the ache that he felt in his chest. Had he seen uncertainty there? Confusion? Slowly sucking in a steadying breath, Percival wondered, but he did not revisit her gaze. He feared what he would definitively find there.


It was better to let it be; live and let live; que sera, sera.


Percival released the breath that he had been holding, its escape slow and silent and secretive. And, when she laughed, he found himself wondering after its authenticity. There was something different about it, he thought. Stilted. Disingenuous. Again, he breathed in and glanced away from her masked face and the bottle that she held to her dark lips.


When she confirmed Marlys' absence, however, Percy found himself sinking back into the deep chocolate depths of her eyes. "You did?" he asked, his voice no more than a breath. He nodded, subtly, when she acknowledged her current condition. "I'll help search for her, Inara," he promised, maple eyes firm and focused upon her masked face.


But then, after a carefully-calculated swig of her bottle of wine, Inara addressed the elephant in the room and Percival felt himself shrivel into a dried-up mushroom. He found a dark spot against the ivory at his feet an focused on it in vain. His umber brows hung heavily over maple eyes. Percy cleared his throat. "I dunno what to believe," he admitted, more openly than he intended. He meant to say more, but he paused, stopping himself as Inara tipped back her wine and allowed the substance to spill down her throat.


"Should I?" he asked carefully when he saw the bottom of the bottle lower again. His maple eyes searched for hers.


[WC — 300]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#9
[html]
Word Count → 434
OOC → words

Her smile grew, she flashed a bit of a side-eye stare. "Yeah, it was where I went first when I got back...I was worried about her and wanted to make sure she was okay..." It was an unintentional jab to Percival. She knew he was worried about her missing, but there was something there, something she couldn't pin down with him.


Her eyes went down to her feet when he made the promise of helping her find Mar. He would help her too, she knew that. Percival was a reliable guy, though emotionally distant. She didn't understand the emotional distance. That was suppose to be her job. She was the one who lost her family, he didn't. His family was all safe now, they all made it. Why was he always so guarded?


Inara went with the first thing she needed answers too. His words wounded her, and frustration bubbled within her hardening her stare. Brow lowered and she looked at him. She didn't have the patience and she regretted bringing poking at the subject. Still, there was no better time than the present. The cork was shoved roughly in the bottle and she set it down harder than intended.


Words almost came out, but she shut them and growled instead. Why was she so upset? Her right hand went up to her stop, her fingers rubbed the stress that rested there. "Percival. Why is this an issue?" She was just too tired to deal with the complication. "What have I done? Is it because I'm a heartward? I don't go to Biff's as much, but then again the winter makes it hard...and hell, now I don't have a horse...so what have I done that causes you to think I don't have feelings for you?" Just as the words came out of her mouth she also suddenly became angry, "And, again, why is this an issue!? We're not even a couple. "


It was a challenge. Her last set of words were to provoke him in admitting something. Did he want her like that? Because she would have no problem with it, if anything she'd be pleased to be his, and him to be hers. Being stuck up in Sugar Loaf left her with a lot of time on her paws and she knew one thing, she was not getting any younger and she was not going to waste time with uncertainty anymore. Either she would know how he feels, and she would tell him how she felt. But first she wanted to know his stance.


<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#10
[html]

Unintentional though it was, the jab was felt all the same. He caught her side-eyed glance and shifted his eyes to the ground. Shame and guilt. They were a match made in hell and Percival hated the way they pecked and prodded and pulled at his conscience. "Yeah," he breathed, nodding. Inara cared deeply for her horse; of course it was the first place she'd gone, even if it hurt her to walk the extra distance to Rhovanion. If the tables were turned, Percy thought it likely that he would have done the same for Pim.


And so, had he been privy to Inara's musings, Percival would have argued against her assessment of him. Emotionally distant? Not he! But the fact remained that, for all that he was passionate about and cared deeply for and loved unconditionally, Inara was right. He was careful with his heart and embarrassed of his feelings. But why? Why was he always so guarded?


Because Percy had seen what happened to people who trusted too easily and carried on with reckless disregard for their own wellbeing. It never ended well.


He didn't think about any of this, not before and not after Inara had angrily re-corked the bottle and set its base onto the floor with a clap, but it would have made a suitable case point. "Why is what an issue?" he challenged, and wished that he hadn't because every word she let fly thereafter felt like knife wounds to his heart. Exasperated, Percival opened and closed his mouth for several beats, looking not unlike a fish out of water.


But her closing sentence dealt the final blow. "Because I'm confused, Inara! Okay? I don't know what to feel or to think or— I— We—" In his agitation, he mussed the short fur at his head with a broad hand until it poked out at odd angles. "I saw Tora leave your place, a while ago," he admitted finally, his nutmeg eyes holding hers for the first time in a long while. "And I... it made me think— wonder... I don't know, I thought we.... But then seeing him..."


He didn't remember his breathing exercises or centering techniques or anything else Keabetswe had taught him, not while his heart raced and his thoughts swirled and his defenses were dismantled. "I like you, Inara," he said at last, his eyes on her face. "But it— I'm... I don't know." He swallowed. "Scared."


[WC — 419]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#11
[html]
Word Count → 525
OOC → *watches intensely*

Playing dumb was not something Inara had the patience for and it wasn't often that she seen others do it. She'd never pinned Percival to play the card, and though his question and tone came out more as a challenge on the subject, she felt her anger begin to boil. They'd been tiptoeing around it for a long time now, and neither one of them ever said it point blank. It was probably because Inara had a fantasy about how things would go. Obviously, it wasn't going that way at all.


Inara let her rich eyes glare into his as she awaited for him to figure out exactly what she was talking about. He spoke, and she lowered her brows again as she listened. He stumbled over his words, something she knew he had a habit of doing when he wasn't sure how he felt. Inara could relate to the issue of figuring out ones own emotions, but she worked hard on figuring herself out. If she hadn't the voice would have her in its snares.

Inara's brows raised at the mention of Tora, and her ears, nose, and cheeks burned with embarrassment. Now it made sense. His attitude about how she felt for him. Her anger fell away causing her eyes to soften with more understanding. "Percival. She said softly trying to stand, wincing at the pain but not letting it stop her as she closed the gap cautiously. "You should have told me about Tora. Him and I didn't do anything. He was completely drunk with no clothing out in the cold. I brought him here since it was closer, and I talked to him. Nothing more." Inara didn't think it wise to mention how Tora made a move on her. It was unnecessary information that she was sure would only upset Percival more, and nothing more.


"I, honestly, think I love you...and that scares me. I don't want to put myself out there to be turned away, and you being so distant I feared making any moves because I had no idea where I stood with you." She took a breath as her heart felt like it was pounding against her chest. She looked down, "The only time I saw any emotion from you was a handful of times...and the first time I realized you liked me was when you kissed me at Casa..." She felt her eyes burning with forming tears. She loved that kiss and had wanted to repeat it more times than she could count, "...I will always cherish that kiss, Percy." Her first kiss, and the only canine she ever wants to kiss.


Her eyes looked up and cautiously she lifted a hand to gently fix his fur. She looked from his fur to his eyes, "...I haven't been with anyone, just so you know....and.. She stopped herself as felt her ears going red as the heat once more radiated from them, "..nevermind..." She thought better of the words she thought of saying. It seemed like it would come off too forward and strong.


<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#12
[html]

Her eyes were like daggers, shooting out from beneath those heavy brows with such ferocity that it was all Percival could do to not turn away. His words came out staggered and his sentences were stunted, but primarily out of uncertainty toward his feelings and less from the intensity of Inara's glare. But that, those earthy pools turned into molten chocolate, did not help his ability to convey his layered emotions or reason his poor judgement.


And then, like rain washing away dirt, the anger appeared to as though rinsed from her beautiful face. Where once there were wrinkles of dismay and creases of displeasure, now her eyes peered open and wide and soft. In his chest, where it was embraced in cartilage and bone, his heart hiccuped before accelerating its incessant cadence. The sweetness of hearing his name on her tongue with such gentleness that it could almost have been a caress was sullied by the grimace of paint that pinched her face when she moved toward him.


And then he realized that she was moving toward him.


Instinctively, but imperceptible only to himself, Percival stiffened. "I didn't... I didn't know...," he began softly. And then he cleared his throat, looking away for several beats. His heart was like a jackhammer and his skin was like a heater and his brain was abuzz with thoughts and emotions and worries. Eventually, though, he found her face again and held his nutmeg gaze like an anchor. "I didn't know how. Or what to say," he admitted softly, falling quiet again as she spoke.


And, oh, how his heart thudded and his ears burned and his head spun.


Slowly, he lowered his eyes and, quickly, his bliss turned to shame. Because, deep in the center of his soul, he knew that he hadn't been fair to Inara. He had kept his heart buried deep, tucked safely away from everyone, and made sure to carry himself only with the greatest of armor to shield himself from the messiness of those deepest of emotions.


He looked up again sharply, curiously, when she admitted that she hadn't been with anyone. His reaction was mostly out of surprise, not because of her role as Biff's dancer or her co-rank as the Realm's Heartward, both duties of which she was someone many folks were interested in seeking out, but because he hadn't been questioning that. Not exactly.


With his pulse roaring in his ears, Percival cleared his throat and tried to reply. "You wouldn't," he began, feeling as though his mouth were a desert. "You wouldn't be turned away. I'm– I'm scared, too, but I... I think that I..." The words stuck in his throat, not from dishonesty but from anxiety. He changed tactics. "You've been in my life for so long, and we've been through so much together. And... When we were at the Summit... When I watched you dance..." Again, he cleared his throat. "I think that's when I realized that I liked you, too."

He had caught his breathed softly when Inara reached out to smoothed the mussed up fur at his crown, and swallowed hard at the touch. He thought of that again distantly when he continued. But of whatever else she meant to say, he was oblivious to. He had too much else on his mind. "I think I want— Do you–?" He exhaled, exasperated. "Would you want to... to... be with me? Or...? I mean, it's okay if you don't, I just... just..." With his mind in tangles, he struggled to find the words; the meaning.


But the feeling – the emotion – burned bright and thrived wholly.


[WC — 624]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#13
[html]
Word Count → 641
OOC → words

The air changed. The frustration and anger that had, just a moment ago, filled the air in the room dropped away at the moment she said his name. He allowed her approach and as their eyes looked to one another, Inara didn't see anything but him. The world was gone and all that was there was her and him. His eyes found hers and she watched his with ears trained on his words. A soft smile found her muzzle when the understanding shown in her eyes.


He overthought things, she thought. just like she does many a time.


She saw his surprise, and he looked at her with a sharp curiosity. This caused her to flush and the burn with embarrassment. Should she had kept that to herself? She had thought his attitude was against her work, and she thought perhaps it was because she flirted and flaunted herself when dancing. Then her heartward work, and seeing Tora in her bed chamber. Why did he give her that look? Why did he act so frustrated and cold to her if that was not what had him so upset?


He then spoke and she stopped flustering inside, she watched him with vulnerable air. She was bearing herself raw to him in this moment and she couldn't help but be wide eyed. He was stumbling but she remained patient and didn't pressure him to get it out. It seemed she watched him unfold his words like a flower blooming. You couldn't rush it, you just had to watch and let it flourish as it will.


This patience allowed her to absorb his words, his words that caused her to feel a warmth at the simple words. He would not turn her away. But she wondered, what did that really mean? He wouldn't turn away her affection? What about her love? She continued to listen. Her tail wagged and she smiled with amusement as a thought came to her about the Summit and what it meant to him. That was when he realized he liked her....and yet she realized she liked him within the Shoal. Her eyes had dropped for a second at that thought and her smile remained keeping her features soft and warm.


When her eyes looked back up she could tell he had something important to him to get out. That was enough for it to become important to her, so she didn't fuss over fixing his scruffy fur to perfection. She listened as he once more stumbled. Ears perked more intently when he addressed her directly. She found herself lean just slightly as he exhaled before rewording. When his question finished she quickly without a single bit of hesitation, "Yes! He continued with an Or? and she smiled brightly, "Percival. I want to be with you. I have wanted to be with you for...for ages, so, yes! I want to be with you." and only you. Her had not stopped wagging since his 'do you' and 'would you'.


This had been a moment she had been waiting for since the Summit and now it was happening. Unable to contain herself any longer she embraced him with a hug. Burying her head into his chest as she gave him a firm and loving hug. Pulling her head away she looked up at him. The joy bright in her eyes. Her mind and heart reeling as she couldn't believe this was happening, he had asked her. A small part of her was saying this was a dream, or a sick joke. That he would pull away and say just kidding. But she knew that Percival would never do that, and yet she had to battle that thought and keep it away. She wouldn't let anything ruin this moment for her.

<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#14
[html]

She replied with such speed and tenacity – even before he could fully complete his stammering thoughts – that Percival almost mistook her jubilant approval for horrified dissent. But as he looked at her, his maple eyes wide with wonder and fear and hope and worry and affection and alarm, he saw only unadulterated elation. This was evident not only in the incessant cadence of her tail or the brightness of her smile, but in her eyes and her posture; in her very being.


He couldn't remember a time when he had ever seen Inara happier, or more beautiful, than she appeared to him now.


Percival released the breath that he had trapped in his chest, relief and excitement washing over him in warm and electric waves. And, before he could do much else than smile, Inara had nestled her head into his chest and he was wrapping his arms around her torso and he realized that his future hadn't looked so expansive or so promising or so bright since he was just a small whelp with big dreams.


So when Inara drew away and looked up at him with eyes filled with the same joy that he felt in his core, Percival scarcely hesitated. Bending his head, he searched her face before pressing his lips to hers, taking care not to mash his teeth into hers like before, and savored that strange, soft, perfect moment of intimacy.


Then, pulling away again, he smiled. "So... I guess we're courting now," he said softly, and laughed in a gentle and warmly giddy way.


[WC — 263]


<style>
.Percytext {padding:20px; font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; text-align:justify;}
.Percytext p:first-child:first-letter {text-indent:60px; margin:0px; float: left; color: #000000; font-size: 75px; line-height: 60px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 8px; padding-left: 3px; font-family: 'Amita', cursive;}
.Percytext p {font-family: 'Crimson Text', serif; font-size:18px; margin:0px; padding:3px;}
.Percytext p + p {text-indent:60px;}
.Percytext .npc1 {font-style: italic; font-weight:bold; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext .npc2 {font-style: italic; font-weight:normal; filter:alpha(opacity=65%); opacity:.65;}
.Percytext p.ooc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: left; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
.Percytext p.wc {opacity:0.7; padding:3px; text-align: right; text-indent:0px; font-size:16px; padding:10px 5px;}
</style>

[/html]
[Image: oxCat.png]
[Image: player_wiki.png] [Image: post_log.png] [Image: adoptables_available.png]
[Image: character_wiki.png] [Image: optime_preference.png] [Image: character_typical_location.png] [Image: npc_accompaniment.png] [Image: skill_spirituality.png] [Image: skill_hunting.png] [Image: skill_fighting.png]
[Image: soulswiki_88x31_5.png] [Image: openchar_88x31_2.png] [Image: votesouls_88x31_5.png]
#15
[html]
Word Count → 182
OOC → words

Inara would never forget this day. It was such a trying few days. The blizzard had taken such a toll on her, and yet the pain in her body was muted by this sudden and unexpected event. How was this possible?


She could feel Percival's mood, and she hadn't felt him be so jovial since they were pups in Krokar. It pleased her heart, and she drew away to see his the brightness in his eyes that she'd missed desperately. A look she only saw glimpses off since the tragedy. He bent down, and she knew what was coming, and she welcomed it. This was not their first kiss, and yet, this one held so much more to it. The love she felt in this kiss was unabated due to the confidence he delivered with it this time. It was like she was swimming. Weightless.


This moment couldn't have been any better. His smile had her, and she burned it into her memory. A smile she would never forget. "...finally." she teased softly with her own giddy giggle.

<style type="text/css">
@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto+Slab');
.inaradance {width:90%; margin:15px;}
.inaradance p {font:14px 'Roboto Slab', serif; line-height:180%; text-indent:50px; text-align:justify; }
.inaradance .ooc {opacity:0.7; text-indent:15px; padding:0px; border-bottom:1px; margin-bottom:5px;}
.inaradance .ooc + p {padding:0px 5px;}
.inaradance .wc {text-transform: uppercase; font-weight:bold;}
.img {width:300px; padding:10px; float:right;}
</style>[/html]
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *


Forum Jump: