[M] Turning Wounds into Wisdom

Lucia

POSTED: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:57 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.
[[Backdated: Feb 7th Evening]]

Heavy breaths gulped into his broad chest. The cold had dried his tongue and his eyes, the twisting winds only growing as he neared the looming mountains over head. The trail left behind him traversed through enough water to kill his scent and drag the trail down stream, weaving in and out of the water enough to break the footprints for anyone searching, though he was wise enough to know that from where he came wasn't a threat. Salsola, at this moment, was more a threat to him than anything else.

Blood dripped in a winding trail down his leg and seeping into the black of his linen pants, their thin fabric stuck to the wound with wet suction. The threads were filleted over the lesion, planted there by Nyx blade, and smartly so. Shaamah hadn't curled, but his leg retired from the fight early. It left him with a limp from tired and wounded muscles, that he only acknowledged as his leg nearly fell out from beneath him when he shifted his weight to it. It wasn't something he wanted to return to the Thistle Kingdom with, not while he wasn't mobile. They were shifty enough for him to want to be only at his best within their walls.

Yet, he did know of one place.

Gripping a tree, the various cuts that riddled his arm bleeding as well, though not so damaging, his eye scanned the maze of sleeping forestry. The trail hadn't changed but he was wary to walk into the area, should other's be present. It wasn't safe. The question therein lied. Safe for whom?

Dark paws took the uneven steps as he stood, a shadow against the waning sun, over the awning in the trees that he'd first stood beneath. His eyes traveled the scene. The cottage, the trail to the fallen tree, the winter gripped plants that were bare. Everything was in the same place that he had left it in. Wind claimed anything loose on his form that it could when he finally stepped from the trees and into the amber light cast by the colorful setting sky, followed by a low, winded bark.

Her scent was strong. She was bound to be here.

Blue scanned the world again, finding only the whisper of a fire's smoke trailing from her chimney. It was excuse enough to make way to the building, his uneven steps slowing his gait as he walked. A hop and a hobble was enough to keep the pressure from taking his knee out from under him, but it wasn't doing his leg any favors to be on it.

The beast reached the door, the wind curling in the small alcove created by it's frame, and the thick and heavy scent of Iron filled the rose tinted nostrils on his muzzle. It brought him to different places with each scent, and his fury for being incapacitated by that she-warrior rather than gifting Nova Scotia another grave was with him, but something else was here too. It pressed against the small of his back, tucked neatly away in the high waist of his damaged, charcoal pants.

It was his excuse for coming here, even if that hadn't been his intention.

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Last edited by Shaamah on Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Show'em the Ol'Razzle Dazzle
Salsola
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War is in My Heart

POSTED: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:12 am

Flower gleam and glow,
let your power shine
See the Light, it's blinding

The idleness struck at her, clawed fingers slowly picking away at her sanity. How Lucia disliked waiting, so very much. She constantly watched at the horizon's edges. The place where those tall trees faded beyond vision. She worried and she walked, tracking footsteps across this place she called her own.

Such steps were so small, when compared to his, but his were not present for them to be measured against. They remained alone, achingly so. It was absurdity that her feelings should coalesce to a kind of small angered flame. The distance of time stretched and stretched and Lucia grew impatient.

A dawn came that found the Amarok woman brusquely venting her frustrations to a young raven she had rescued from the freezing cold. The fur wrapped bird could do no more than sit and listen to the female gesticulate and express her feelings, and occasionally it would croak quietly, which always brought it another little morsel of meat tenderly prepared or a thirst-quenching drink.

When released, the small raven did not venture far, having learned the female was a source of food.. and comfort. With increasing frequency, the bird could be found roosting in a small nook of her cottage, hiding from the chill of the outside. Watching with black eyes as the female sung, and cooked, and painted and worse away her waking hours in lonely repose.

****

Lucia dozed fitfully, secured in her nest of furs. Disturbed by something she couldn't quite identify. A long, flat plain of high grass spanned across her sight. Not a tree to be found, nor a cloud adorning the blue sky. She paced the area of her existence, she could not see above the tall stalks, nor could she seem to remember how to shift so she could stand tall. The only choices available to her were to stay in stillness, or to ford on through the unknown.

She woke abruptly, the low bark already fading to silence. A voice urged at her, the same sad one, 'up, get up'. Audits turned to the crunching of uneven footsteps in the snow and then, swiftly she was rising, shoving aside the crumbled furs. The rumbled look of the recently sleeping did not dissuade her from pulling open the door,

There he stood, as though not a day had passed them by, as if she had not been waiting for moon turns it felt like.

The shock fled precipitously, followed upon its heels by admonishment and the few words she spoke,

"Where have you bee-" Her voice was cut off personally. Copper and iron invaded her senses, filling them with the memories of a war, and cries of the injured and dying. Oh, oh they tore at her, so much sorrow.

He held himself injured, blue pools darting to the leg carried without its full support. With no hesitation, Lucia threw wider open her door and stepped backwards and asides so he could enter.

"Come in, quickly. Sit, sit." She impressed upon him, closing the door shut behind his person.

His blood, it was his blood she scented. That tender spot in her chest twisted, winding around and around. Someone had hurt him, on purpose. Lucia surprised herself with the fury that roared into being, in the sharp exhaling of breath passing her yellowing teeth. She would... she would bite them. With her own fangs, and make them bleed.

Lucia did not have much in the way of medical supplies. Herbs, and bowls. That was it, no bandages, nothing such as that. Wide eyes looked about, casting for anything that might be useful.

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SUNSHINE GIRL

POSTED: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:13 pm

It was as if she had known he was there, before he dared to knock or bark or make himself known of his presence. An ethereal quality was building around her, through no intention of her own, and as she breathed life into the world and knew of the presence of those in shadows, her self continued to confuse every ounce of sense he could make of her. An enigma of color and joy, of life and breath and as she asked of where he'd been, she was a place of compassion.

He'd never understand it.

Soft blue eyes were pooled in a startled daze, but as her senses came to her, her heavenly tune spit out a reprimand. Shaamah's instincts knew what to do with such a reaction. He was not child, no open arm to criticism or so soft-spined as to curl beneath her chiding. Still, what was Shaamah's instinct within this small space of cottage and yard? Heavy panting lungs didn't waver and the frozen color of his eye looked into her own, not a protest given. Instinct from war, he had learned, had no place here, despite how much his blood desired to give it strength. Yet, before she could expect her answer for finish her inquiry, he could see her shift. Only seconds it had taken for her to taste the blood on the tip of her nose, and everything she'd been prepared to say to him had been stolen from her breath.

Lucia stepped back and it came with good timing. The laceration across his thigh pulsed with fresh blood as his weight had sat further down on it, and beneath him his leg caved. A strong arm braced his weight against the door frame, and the walls shivered with the echo that it brought through them. His expression continued it's stoic gaze, his eye bore his exhaustion, but his mind wouldn't dare let him rest.

Into the door he walked, uneven gait, as the bolt latched behind him. From the noise of the winter world of branches breaking, birds cawing and snow littering the world in a rushing hum as it fell from unstable ledges, to the hush of the cottage, it's warmth and welcoming arms, he stepped. The colored walls were still lost on him, though his eye did sweep the home. Weapons. Still, he sought them out. Instinct still had it's pull with him, though weakened here in his confusion and the illness that curled in his stomach when he neared her.

He found his place. It was the very same corner, as far from everything as he could possibly be. Leaning against the wall, he brought himself to the ground slowly so as not to tear the wound more. A cold eye watched as Lucia's sights darted through her own home for something that might stave off the bleeding.

The soldier didn't so much as flinch with the notion of what was to happen. It was a familiar chore he'd learned to suffer the scent of,” Metal,” His voice broke her searching with a more demanding note that he might usually offer, and his eye remained solidly on her features. Charcoal digits plucked the tekko from his side. The weapons fell to the ground with a heavy thud, jingling only as they landed on one another,” Put metal in the fire,” Taking the tekko with the blade from the ground, a flick of his wrist had it skidding across the ground until it reached beside the fire. A test of his resilience was coming, and as he had enough time to wager the outcome, he'd allow her to do what must be done.

“Leave it to grow hot,” His voice, winded, breathed through the baritone with a gravely resistance as he leaned forward, the hand that had once tossed a weapon reaching behind his back. Fingertips touched the leather that bound the item that was hidden away, his features giving way that his mind was working silently beneath that stoic glower that rested on his wound. A moment of hesitation passed before he plucked the leather package out of his waistband and set it aside, making no more motion to it save to bury it beneath the leather armor that he took from his legs next. Piece by piece, the tawny leather was removed. It's weight was made known at it met the ground with heavy noises that moved through the flooring, until the only thing left on his legs were his pants. He'd have to remove all the armor to ensure that it wasn't damaged and that it didn't interfere with what he had to do.

Gauntlets came next and the ground heavily as well, before Shaamah was finding that he was coming a point where couldn't take any more off of himself. The bruises and the cuts that riddled him had their purchase on his body and though he showed no signs of pain, the stiffness and swelling were ever present. His lungs were being squeezed by his own diaphragm, and he needed to loosen up in order to breath. A dark hand dropped to his side as the other rested on his torso, his head leaned back on the wall as he panted, taking in all the air he could.

He could be as gray in the face as stone, but he would never give submission to the idea that he was aging faster than he was able to keep up. As his pallid muzzle pointed toward the ceiling, his eye still rested upon Lucia. He was half undone, and couldn't make it any further. He was bound to go dark in the eye if he continued his pace, but his drive was relentless. He wouldn't give himself the break he needed.

A heave of breath inward and he sat up again. Twisting, he curled over himself and reached to the edge of the armor that rested beneath the crook of his arm. Claws raked at the leather, seeking purchase on the rivets that he had to pull the hide through in order to release it, but bones and muscle fought him the entire time. Again, he fell back, panting, with no avail in releasing himself. Glacier eye rested once more on Lucia, taking the opportunity to kick the bindings from his feet, and gather his breath for the next attempt as the muscles of his injured leg twitched and spasmed in his neglect.


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Salsola
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War is in My Heart

POSTED: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:06 am

Flower gleam and glow,
let your power shine
See the Light, it's blinding

It had been much time since Lucia had been inclined to panic, motherhood and the tests of time had turned the frailty of her nerves into a coarse, tightly woven mesh. Here though, now, with him bleeding upon her floor, Lucia experienced the once-familiar twisting deep inside her chest. She pushed it away fervently, it would not aid her here.

She understood everything; the frantic beating of her heart, the sickening swoop that settled with ill-grace in the pit of her stomach. Logic told her that she was too old for this. Contrary to her very nature, Lucia no longer believed in fairy-tales.

Iron filled her little home with tremors, and with it did his copper pulse ever more and more.

The voice was tearing at her, urging action with desperate pleas. 'Please.. please... help him..' She could not, would not, ignore it.

Altair's pale coat smeared with dried blood, Tsytsaki's broken, un-moving body. They danced behind her eyes in a myriad morbid mingling.

The straining lines on his face proclaimed a weary exhaustion, and Lucia realized he had walked a long way to reach her. This revelation she also pushed away, there was no time to think upon these things. He would not take her attempts to help his gait, so she simply closed the door and locked the outside world behind it's wooden boards.

Lucia had precious little to fix injuries of this kind, frantically she worked for a precious solution. She could rip apart the contents of her bed, and fix it to him with a tie of some kind. Again she was empty of ideas till the errant lock of hair fell before her eyes again. She brushed it backwards with a rough gesture that never completed. Her hair! She could cut it and use it as a binding.

The rolling boulder of his voice caught her from her internal quandary, prompting her to truly look at him rather than continue frantic darts of her eyes. She bowed to his wish, and again shoved away the nagging significance of this gesture. Later, later she would consider upon everything that happened today, but for now she must stay focused.

The cast of his weapon was given to the heated coals. Such was her attention upon him that Lucia failed to feel the sting of injury herself. The sharpness dug into her fingers and drew her own blood. She remained ignorant, touching her hand to its sister palm and then to her arms, twisting them with worry.

Bit by bit, his armor came away from his skin and fur. Helplessly she watched this macabre show, bursting with anger and concern as more and more abuse became visible to her. Trepidation consumed her and Lucia reached forth with a grasping hand as his head slid back and Shaamah panted for breath. This was when she saw the blood staining herself, and the injury to her palm. In briefness she stared at her bleeding hand. It was inconsequential, she waved off the pain that blossomed into life with her notice.

She was moving, unwilling to sit by and watch him suffer without assisting a moment longer. The cast of her palms spread wide to capture long tendrils of hair that framed her face and swiftly tied them back, leaving behind a streak of red on one cheek. In her own, sententious way, Lucia was also a warrior.

The wild princess stooped by him,

"I will help." She spoke, Lucia had never removed a single piece of armor in her life.

"Tell me what to do." She was stubborn; with the weight of mountains, with the endless crashing of the ocean. She was as stubborn as the grey of his pelt became stone, as the blue of his eyes reflected glaciers.

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SUNSHINE GIRL

POSTED: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:41 am

Obediently, she did not contest him. Rather, as he began the chore of undoing himself of his leather shackles, she did as was told. Metal to the fire. It's iron hand heated by coals as the instance of crimson was burned from it's sharpest edge. In his dressing down, he could not scent the new taste of iron that found the dry, warm air between them. Only as his head fell back initially, did his eye find the cardinal stain that she spread like bands across her arms.

He had once been worried of her ability with a weapon, where as now, he knew her to be so novice that it all seemed novel. It was a vital and unintended admission, a crucial stepping stone that she crossed, without knowing what was to come of it.

In his exhaustion, he could not react when she reached out to him. Still, his own blood was all that filtered into deep, heaving nares. Where is bull-headed nature wanted to struggle with this for eternity, the better judgment within him knew that time was a crutch and he had much more to do before he could allow the dark edges of seeping blood take his consciousness. Yet, he could not dismiss the fact that the very stain on her hand, of her own blood, was brushed off as nothing. She felt no instance of her pain, and if she did, she made no show of it. Blue gaze narrowed as he analyzed this, and every motion she made, and in it, their similarities were multiplying.

Still, she seemed so pure of all that tainted him.

After his second attempt to remove his chest piece, his body was working more on an automatic function, a subconscious survival instinct that drove him in times where he could not drive himself any further. Panting, his eye followed her movements. As she neared, the shiver of his lip as it sought to lift in protest fell to his weariness, and she claimed what she would do, without leaving room for a word to be said against it.

For a long, quiet moment, save for the rapid heaving of his lungs and the shaking of his body as he breathed, his eye bore into hers. The wheels were turning within him, and a battle was fought with who he was against what he needed. In the end, as he had allowed Asura near his most severe injury, his judgment trumped his suspicions. As one hand lay overturned in his lap and the other sat cold against the ground beneath him, black lips parted.

“Straps sit in bindings at the seam, here,” A small motion turned the arm nearest her outward. His voice, labored and rumbling, did not share a small nuance. It could have been a shift in him. It could have been the breaths he gulped up,” Three... and,” Eyelids moved sluggishly for a moment, as his eye turned back in his skull, his breathing steadying. His body began to slump downward before suddenly it was rigid again.

Rapidly, he jarred alert and swallowed enough air to spit his instruction out more clearly,” There are three that need to be release,” Red tendrils drug their rivers through the black of his sclera, his gums and the thin skin of his ears falling to pallor as air became more and more difficult to take in. The swelling beneath the leather cuirass was suffocating him, even more so as it warmed without the winter's wind to keep it at bay, and rather than fight her, he would find his own weakness as a better enemy to be challenged.

Strip by strip, the belts came undone at her hand, but how steadfast she worked wasn't the focus that he craved. The world blurred and twisted, almost as if beneath waves, as his eye fought for sight as his breaths became shallow. In his view, he could find her delicate features. Her emotion. The warrior paint that crossed her cheek in asymmetry. It was as if watching the world in motion, while the ringing in his ears pulled him away from this corporeal thing that was her home. In his last, struggled breaths, however, his body tightened. The darkness crept in, and his features wrinkled as veins lifted in his face through the thin fur that grew there.

As the last strap came loose, a heave of air rushed through him and the front plate of the leather curiass flopped to the side. It brushed his limp arm away with it's weight and the force of his ribs expanding without the hide that once bound them. Heavy breaths brought speckles of light to his eyes, and he blinked to rid them fruitlessly. It took a moment, but slowly he came to, and found himself in a steady gaze entrapped in soulful blue.

Grimacing, he turned away and sat up, his panting still heavy but not so urgent, now. A slow, cautious shake of his head spread the wakefulness through his features and the branches of the brocaded veins in his face softened. Shadows could no longer take purchase on the suffocated veins, but suffering in the edges of his features were still wrought by his travel, injuries, and a newer sense of weariness that paved it's way over him.

“See the metal is searing hot,” He needed her away from him. Words were formal, again, losing that freer note it had held for only that battled moment. Hopefully, she might have meat around. A foreshadowing of what was to happen. If not? Spit would do, or blood. Even tears would work to test the metal's boiling heat,” Bring it here, when it is.”

Shaamah was still struggling with more than simply breathing, but a hurdle had been passed on more than one front that he was willing to admit to. The blue of his frigid sight was no longer static on her, but now it diagnosed the wound on his leg. He was formulating a plan to remove the fabric of pants, a plague he'd not dealt with in his more feral years with wounds like these. His mind, however, did not churn to that single thought. She had neared him and he had permitted it. She had placed her hands upon his body and he had allowed it. Sure, it took him nearly dying of suffocation by complication of swollen injures for it to happen, but it was a monumental step that the soldier scrutinized himself over. Her own blood now wafted into his senses. It's stain on the straps of the armor that she'd opened up.

He had been had freed from armor, the very thing that was sought to protect him. The irony wasn't lost on him.

As she fiddled with the weapon and the flames, he managed to lift himself up and fight with the pants that entwined his legs. Now that he could breathe properly, he could do, at least that, with the last remaining ounces of energy he sought to sap before he was to be wounded by his own blade.

Kicking the last of the fabric off with his good leg, he leaned back and huffed a throaty and gutteral growl throughout himself. He needed the adrenaline that pumped him through battles and the clarity of mind to hold still. The woman he thought to stab him the day before, was about to prove Shaamah's instinct right, but the consequence would lean in a favor he knew he couldn't grasp,” Bring it here,” The demand rang out. Whether it was hot enough or not, it couldn't wait. The beast was too big to lose any more blood, and he wasn't so much a fool as to think he was immune to a death so cold and inglorious as that.


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Salsola
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War is in My Heart

POSTED: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:48 pm

Flower gleam and glow,
let your power shine
See the Light, it's blinding

Those revelations continued to blossom, a cascading field of wildflowers poking precious heads above the solidly grown grass. The tumbling waters that raced to leap from a cliff's edge and fling itself at the mercy of the rocks below. Lucia had known fear before, had known it very deeply into her most secret places of heart and soul. The tremor of his lip, a waning warning, did not give pause for that sticky feeling to rise. Not even in the throes of his prior far away torment had she been afraid of him, afraid forhim yes, but, not of him.

Not that she was lacking in awe - in great appreciation, for those skills he held at the fighting arts, a male like him would have turned the tide in the fight for New Dawn's life. Lucia did not believe that Shaamah would hurt her, something profound demanded so with iron-clad clarity.

Lucia did not count his harsh grip upon her wrists, so callously caused by lurking demons that watched for any opportunity, as a hurt against herself. A consciously made decision had no place next to a battle of memory and the past. Lucia was indeed a warrior of a different kind, her held weapons struck as compassion and kindness rather than iron and wood. A voice to soothe the most savage of beasts, reaching inwards to draw the man from the monster's exterior.

She, alone, had dared to even look and see what else may lay there.

The little voice, pushing at the back of her mind, urged her forwards though she had no need of it. Lucia was already moved, already reaching to kneel next to him on the ground of her cottage. She kept his stare, steadfast returning her own that brokered no opposition. The world fell away, leaving only the great arch of his muzzle and the solid gleam of his eye.

She waited, and she waited, if only for her own ignorance. If Lucia had known how to remove his armor then she would have already reached forwards to complete this task. Instead she was forced to wait for his direction.

Long moments stretched, with only his labored breathing to fill them. From peripheral visage she caught the fine and the weighty tremors of a body pushed to its extremes. Finally the deep, rock-tumbling tones gave to her the knowledge. He turned his arm to her, only just. Lucia stiffened, alarm flowing through her as he began to wane, she perfected herself to stillness for stained seconds, not wishing to cause him alarm by being in motion when he came back.

With instructions given in full, Lucia's fingers crept quietly forwards until they found the flesh and armor. Her breaths wanted to rush themselves, and she forced them to be stately and slow, the quiver in her whiskers the singular thing giving away her trepidation. Time raced, giving him closeness to the abyss with each second passing.

The cast of her face was determinedly set, the pooling blue eyes focused sharply upon this problem, her jaw parted slightly to give an ease to her own breath. She could feel him slipping away, in the tightening of his body and the stilting of heavily taken inhales. Panic rose again, though heavily contained, it burst to life in the straining of the lines of her face. The Amarok woman worked with a thing she had no experience, to the tune of a fervent emergency tone ringing in her ears.

A first, and a second, and a third, each was released in its turn and the suffocation of him was halted. Shaamah drew in a tremendous heaving breath, and Lucia did the same, compassion compelling solidarity. The front portion of his leather armor was left to lay where it had slumped, a smear of her own blood staining its bister facade. Anxiously she watched his breathing, eyes flicking between his chest and his face, the welling concern apparently obvious in pooled blues. Her fingers trembled faintly as they twisted together.

It was not a demanded request, but she was adept at reading the unasked questions that the body spoke. Wordlessly, she acquiesced, she leaned back and then rose to her feet, giving him the space so desired. As she was within this motion, his words came, Lucia nodded. Her mind raced, now free to focus on the 'why' of him putting the metal within the fire. It leaped through the rungs of logic, Lucia might be a simple woman but she was by no means stupid. She had seen meat sizzling against the blackness of iron before. It would stop the bleeding, inwardly she cringed.

Somewhere within her a horror-stricken part recoiled at such a violent act of self-inflicted pain. It was smothered by the ascertainment that without it he would bleed to death on her cottage floor. Already the staining was seeping into rough wood planks, through the material of his clothing. Again the little voice cried out, plying her assistance, 'Please.. please...' Showing again the vision of the little boy with diamonds sparkling in his eyes. This time Lucia was not moved to tears, but it did set the catch of her jaw, brokering a truce between these parts of her that warred against such things.

He breathed and labored against his clothing behind her. Lucia trod swiftly across the floor that groaned and creaked with each light step. The little skin of water from besides her bed was scooped up, along with a thick pelt to grab the tekko with, and carried back to the heating metal. She ripped the pelt into strips, and doubled one over and over until it made a thick wad.

Those tiny drip drips of the water onto the searing iron burst like stars, bubbling and fizzling away to steam instantly. Rising into the air and disappearing. Petite ears sunk into the crown of her hair, it would be a great deal of pain. She was not a stranger to the concept of 'lesser of two evils'. Casa had executed her litter-brother for his crimes, which still pained her gentle heart, but to allow him life would cause suffering and strife to a great many others.

Shaamah's voice burst through, and the rolling growl thundered as a landslide through the small space of her home. Resolute, Lucia picked up the searing metal with the thick strip of pelt as a guard for her own fingers. A burning stench assaulted her nose, that of crisping hair. The thick wadded pelt Lucia held out to him, prompting him to take it within his fist,

"Put it between your teeth, you can bite down, it will spare your teeth." Even in the midst of this soon-to-be agony Lucia was sparing him even the smallest of pains that she could. A cracked tooth would bleed agony for moons and moons until it was removed.

Lucia was unsure of how far his trust of her would stretch, she would not push the fragile tendrils that twined into life. The muscles in her jaw bunched and strained, those veins in her neck throbbing much as his own had done,

"If you cannot, then I will for you..." She let the offer fall into the air between them, occupy its space like the smoke that curled from her fire.

The wideness of Lucia's eyes, how their whites starkly contrasted against their blues, the expanse of her pupils that swelled; The ears that remained dipped into the waterfall of hair; it all spoke of how this railed against her very nature, to nurture and care. To soothe away the hurts, and soften the harshness of the worlds blows.

Woven between this remained a strength of heart and soul, an acceptance of the need, an understanding of the outcome if this particular blade was not wielded. Determination danced with resolute sacrifice.

Lucia hands did not tremble now.

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