Re: [M] Turning Wounds into Wisdom

Lucia

POSTED: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:10 am

Gentle words slipped from a melodic tone, but their note was stronger. A demand. Stay. Rest. A delicate hand on his chest held him at bay. Bridge wrinkled, but this time his throat was silent of it's threats. The weight of his gaze remained heavily on her own eyes, intent and deliberate despite his weakened state. Such a sweet tune could carry an order on it, but he wasn't going to listen. Stubborn with a head as solid as stone, he was convinced that the only reason he was going to heed her instruction was because he wasn't capable of retaliating. Sound enough reasoning to a mind in wavering consciousness that may, or may not, have any sort of control over a situation in which he could never admit to having none.

Even as he remained indignant, she sought nothing more than to answer his question and ease his mind. Still, glacier eye did not waver, even as she stretched to find an honest answer for the world outside. It seemed as the last word that left her lips explained the snowfall, his body found some ease. Tracks would be covered. His route to this location would be secure enough, but his mind couldn't release the full idea that he could be found. Again, an inquiry sought to ease what he could not explain on his own and her reply came like a wave of relief over him.

He exhaled, for what seemed like forever. A breath out that had been held for so long. Muscles eased. Mind slowed. The mad pumping of an over exerted heart quieted. The ringing in his ear silenced. He could feel the weight of his head in the top of his throat as the rigidity left him and finally then, did his eye slip away. A grain of sand on the beach. A drop of water in the ocean.

Black lips loosely parted his graying muzzle as he breathed deeply now,” Lost,” The word had never held a positive connotation before now, but it seemed that lost was exactly the right place to be. Tenderly, her fingers, soft and benign, cast a shadow over him. The last few wires left intact braced his distrust on the bridge of his nose as it wrinkled, the only warning that he had energy left to give. She must have known that his protest was waning just as quickly as he was, because rather than retreat, the woman brought her digits against him. The repetitive motion of her clement touch grew predictable. Acceptable. Calming. If his world could not become any more serene after such sudden chaos, the saccharine, lilting song of his first impression warbled sweetly in his ears. That was it. The key had been turned.

Sleep finally stole him with such a quickness from this world, it was as if it had been waiting for much longer than simply days. The rigidity of his masculine jaw no longer pulled at the edges of his face. Furrowed brows lifted, the wrinkles of age stretching from deep divots to shallow rivers. Without the stiff posture of his neck his muzzle cast to the side, lowering softly with each breath exhaled. Gingerly, his jaw laid to rest on her thigh as her notes drifted with him into the deepest slumber he'd ever known.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

His mind was what woke first. In his ears he could hear breathing, small snuffles caught in a throat, but it didn't follow to the rhythm of his own chest. It stirred him. His body shifted. Warmth ensconced him like a halo over his shoulders and crown. The air in his lungs was exhaled sharply as he came to. As he rose. Cold blue orb moved beneath a heavy lid as he sought the world out around him. At first, it was foreign. A place he'd never woken in before. It was unsettling until the moment his ears captured the quiet that surrounded him.

Night lingered outside of the two portals to the outside world while the quieting fire bade off the chill of the wintry darkness. The amber haze of the fire's light was growing dim, but it's pleasant popping and snapping to fill the hush that fell the cottage. It was still snowing. From the fire, to the windows, and round himself, his gaze finally landed on the woman who'd all but cradled him in her own slumber.

For a time, he looked upon her. She was no threat while asleep. It was the perfect opportunity for him to truly see her appearance in her stillness, while her eyes did not watch him, and her body could not follow nor turn away. The bracelet of shells rested with slack against her wrist and the small whispers of scars caught his eye. It had been the same arm that he had grabbed. Sight reached to the edges of her features. He could see it in her expression that day, when she had left her body and her mind had took her somewhere else. Where she had left herself, just as he had. The soldier still could not wrap his mind around the idea that she had come out so differently. How the world had made her suffer, but she had a choice.

Did he ever have a choice? He questioned himself, just as her lips parted in her sleep. Was it his name he heard on her tongue? Distracted from his internal battle, his mind wondered. Was she dreaming of him?

Moving with a great effort put into keeping the cottage quiet, he came to rest his back against the far wall. A broad hand gripped his leg where the wound had been, fingertips searching for the ragged flesh. His muscle quivered with the touch. Curling his lip up at the complications this might bring later, his attention moved to the floor. His belongings were neatly stacked aside in plain view. From the tower of armor pieces to the corner of the room, he could see the smeared remains of his own blood that stained the wooden planks. She'd tried to clean it up, and the heavy scent of iron only lingered, but that stain would last years. He toyed with the idea of reflooring her home at his own expense, for the sole purpose of burning that wood. The idea that there was something of him here even when he left did not bode well with him.

Fingertips brushed the wound again, muscles of his thigh shivered, and he brought his hand nearer to his face in the low, flickering light. His palm, clean, despite his wound. Finding his unclothed legs stretching out lazily beyond him, the silvery hairs of his lighter colors were clear of that cardinal glaze save for the orange tint that blood stained with. She'd cleaned up everything.

His thoughts ran in circles in the quiet of the night, but the moon did not shift more than a degree before a sound found him. Sights snapped to the woman once warm and soundly resting in a curled ball where he'd once been. Where serenity once rounded her edges, tension now brewed. Brows curled as the curtain of her hair draped over her. As her features turned wrought with what he could only see as pain or terror, he felt as if his name on her lips had something to do with it. If she was dreaming of him, a nightmare it would surely be. Like a gargoyle, he sat at the edge of her bed, intense eye watching in silence as her dreams melted into nightmares that took her over. How strange it was to be on the other end of the night terrors.


1298
Show'em the Ol'Razzle Dazzle
Salsola
The Warden
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Luperci Mate to Kaeli
War is in My Heart

POSTED: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:04 pm

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

Lucia slumped in sleep, rid of the worldly sorrows that bowed her head and settled upon her shoulders, weighty burdens. In the lightness, she drifted deeper, the call of blessed sleep remained an irresistible temptation that was easily succumbed to. Some time during their joined unawareness did the woman slide to her side, and come to rest curling about his great head and shoulders, unconsciously curling fingers against the threads of his stone-grey hair.

Peace floated, cocooning her in a glorious shifting. Like clouds of condensed joy, and Lucia drifted for a long time. Her delicate breaths and quiet snuffling snores would tenderly brush his fur, a softly stolen not-touch.

She shifted, knees drawing closer to the heat of his greater bulk. The waterfall of her spectacular tresses flowed downwards, mingling with his own shorter locks, pale and dark together. The familiarity of such a position was inherent, Lucia had spent many a sleeping time pressed up against another body, male or female, drawing an instinctive comfort from the closeness of another form. She slept easier than she had in a long time.

He was such an adorable boy, her Harlequin. With his dark pelt and pale, starburst markings, his bright eyes. He squealed as she picked him up and held him high, spinning in a circle. The sun was so bright, shining down upon them, bathing them in golden glow. It was so bright, piercing into her gaze so that spots danced and she was blinded for moments.

A time passed, eventually the grey-stone man awoke, and Lucia remained insensate. A faintly worn smile gracing her pale features. The behemoth moved himself away, and caught within the cradle of her dreams, the prone woman reached out into the empty space he left behind, searching. Her palm rested in the place here his head had lain, curling peaceably.

Then she grasped a boy of smoke, Harlequin faded away to twisting tendrils with a single blue eye. She didn't know this son of Canis, but he laughed all the same, and Lucia's smile bridged again, white teeth gleaming. 'What do you look like, little flame', she whispered, 'Show me who you are.'

Disjointedness whirled about them, a woman she did not knew waved a gentle hand and then was gone as swiftly as she had appeared. The boy in her arms coalesced, slate and stone and iron grey; a yellow eye to accompany its glacial brother. The pink of his nose and paws were the cutest things she had ever seen. Shaamah, was his name, whispered on a breeze. He giggled as she bounced him in her arms.

Burdensome clouds were gathering though now, a stain upon their placid horizon. Darkening their sky, and rumbling threateningly. Lucia clutched the boy-child to her, muttering soothing words. Her hands closed on smoke. He was gone. A high, sorrowful keening filled her ears. She looked around, her eyes darting frantically, the panic rising, her mouth opening to call his name....

"Shaamah.." The woman mumbled, her hand that had been lax upon the pelts now reached further, grasping at the rabbit furs beneath it tightly. Between her brows, the furrow formed, her faint smile falling away as her lips tugged downwards. Lucia's face was not built for frowning, it was a saddening apparition quietly displayed.

He morphed before her, as she turned to flee, and Lucia bounced from his body to be stopped by grasping fingers that held her far too tightly. His dark form loomed over her, fetid alcohol-fumed breath pouring into her nose. She gagged, the stinging stink of drink assaulting her, making her eyes water with its strength.

She was shaken roughly, and his voice, a salacious slur in her ears, that tore all those sunshine dreams to shattering pieces.

Her precious boy... How could he...

Please...

He tasted vile, the bile churning in her stomach. Those kisses he forced upon her, the way she was touched, in places not meant for his appreciation. Not him, never him.

Her helplessness was a wound, the weakness that kept her clasped in his grip, there was no hiding or saving herself. She was wretched for her fragility, lacking the strength to tear herself away and flee his attentions.

Lucia moved fitfully, all of her peace gone, a fearful whimper forcing its way by numb lips, a choked sound.

"Noo.." Hushed, a moan filled with denial. She drew more into a ball, curling protectively of herself.

Her own voice, crying out in the echoing night, his hands moved and she shuddered, disgusted.

There were tremors to her fingers, clenched so tightly into fists, drawn close to herself.

No please... not you; my brother, my son. I love you.

All of her tensed, a shivering destitute figure upon the bedding.

Her gentle hand upon his face, even in her agony she could not harm him.

Writhing, attempting in vain to escape this demon.

The weeping of betrayal.

Contorting forcefully.

Please. Mercy.

Please. No.

Help me.

Help.

Unlike his gentle rising, Lucia burst awake in fear and flurry. The tearing sound from her lips echoed in the small space, ripped from her lungs with violence. She was shoving herself backwards, backwards and away from her sorrow with such fervor that her back slammed against the wall, skull colliding with the worn stone, a sickening crack chasing the echo of her scream.

The rapid rise and fall of chest stuttered and started, her mouth gaping in shuddering breaths, the cast of her eyes staring at something very far away and terrible. The woman shook, quaking with the aftershocks of panicked traumatic terror. It took gulps and many breaths for the fog to dissipate from her sight, for her little cabin to come into her view.

Any notice previously paid to him was now cast aside, she had no eyes for anything but her own suffering in this twisted moment. Smoke retreated, and following in its wake was pure grief. Her face cracked, splitting and falling in upon itself, her teeth bared in a grieving grimace. It stole the beauty of her, and made it into something awful and broken. The sobs were swift to follow, shoulders heaving as they fell over her, a secondary assault.

Lucia pulled her legs up, against her chest and trembling hands wrapped about them, in the dying firelight, the tears upin her cheeks glimmered like orange-stained pearls.

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Jace
Luperci The sun never truly sets
SUNSHINE GIRL

POSTED: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:37 am

Pale hands tangled in the furs that she reached through, grabbing at something that was lifeless and unforgiving to her begging fingertips. Frigid eye watched as she curled further into herself, her lips growing taut with sorrows that would remain a secret as she slept fitfully. It had only taken the time for him to look away for that soft, slumbering smile to be stolen and forced into downward corner in her pain creased features. As that time furthered, as he gazed on in silence from the edge of her hare lined nest, she seemed to worsen.

A whimper shivered through her lips where such gentle songs were sung.

Charcoal hackles rose at his nape and down his shoulders. His heart rate rose and his breathing deepened, as if his body was trying to speak to him. This innate reaction usually came before battle, in the heat of spar, on the fields of the murky mire and within him as he defended Salsola's boundaries. Yet, there was nothing to fight here. Instinct reacted where his mind fell short of understanding, but he wouldn't deny the blood that was beginning to rush through him.

Her small plea pitched inked ears toward her. As if he were hunting the woman that cried beneath her sleep, all of his attention was tuned in to her. No longer did he eye the windows and doors, and the reach he'd have to make to his armor wasn't even entertained. Delicate hands balled tightly were pulled towards her. Black digits curled with the strength of his forearm. As she trembled, so did his nape. The more fitful she grew, the more his body urged him to fight, but there was nothing here. Nothing but her.

Heavy brows pulled into the center of his features as he lowered his chin. A deep breath moved through him before his chest found stillness. A hand lifted from his side and it lingered before him, slack in the wrist and frozen in place. Onyx ear tips curled back, away from the ebon stripe that once held a tyrant's crown. Silvery lids narrowed as glacier sight spoke of his inner working.

Is this uncertainty?

As the pressure boiled in his ribs and his captured breath remain ensnared in tight lungs, rough digits uncurled. Fingertips found her direction. A stretch began in his shoulder and met his bicep, until chaos unfurled.

Bursting into reality, she came alive. Her sudden jolt upward lit the short fuse of the soldier but feet away and incited a frantic reaction. Coal lips peeled away from vanilla fangs and the roll of his throat vibrated, but was lost in the terror that escaped her in a outcry. Arms coiled back and supported him as he attempted to rise, but a weak leg slipped against the furs beneath him, leaving him lurched forward and snarling wildly at the woman who couldn't even see him.

Maw agape with heaving breaths, the threaded curtain of pallid ombre trickled like a waterfall to frame her fearful features. There was no focus in her eyes as they looked beyond the corporeal world. Realization came to a warrior's intimidating display and instinctual fury fell to the wayside only to have scrutiny find her in it's place. She was petrified, frozen, in the terror that her mind had played for her and not only did he recognize this, but he quelled his own ferocity for it.

A soldier watched a rare, tender flower return from war this night.

The silver and tawny touched petal of her spirit, kissed twice by azure dew drops, slowly transitioned from nightmare to actuality. Every edge of her visage wrinkled and contorted as a sorrow gripped her from her soul and pulled at her from within with a force no mortal could match. Into herself, again, she curled. Shaamah, motionless after his own baleful paroxysm, remained leaned over himself, and watched the transformation from trepidation to despair in such a proximity that he could taste the salt of evenflow tears that coalesced on the swell of her breath.

Ariose notes made the aura of the cottage heavy, weighted by something so powerfully malevolent, and no longer did the intonation of her voice hold the innocence he'd perceived inadvertently in her fragility. Patient came the undulation of his chest while sobs erupted and powered from a brilliance now snuffed by the marring scar of the reality of this world. Amber light played unknowingly on the reflection of crystalline beads that blemished the ivory around them.

He had thought that he had created where her nightmare had been, and he'd not accuse her subconscious for reaching such an easily assumed conclusion. Could it be, however, that the artist that had painted the lesion upon her wrist had part in this? When his mind took over his body and his eyes found history instead of the world around him, he always left to the same place. Even as she grew to be a light in the obscurity of existence, did she not leave as well? Where did she go? Was it the same place that she sought to shield from the world with cord and seashells?

Quietly, he laid his back against the wall. Muzzle raised to the ceiling as he closed his eye, resting his crown on the sturdy stone that bordered them. To the side closest her, his arm lifted from the bed and stretched across the space between them. The tips of cracked, gnarled fingers found her forearms, even as it tangled in her hands and embraced her legs. Electricity darted through him. Throat undulated as he swallowed and breathed deeply to stave off the hesitation and uncertainty. From tips to fingers, and from fingers to a broad palm, he rested his hand upon her trembling limb.

A soft touch became a pressured grip and there he held her arm in silence as he breathed through his own apprehension and fought back his better judgment. A jingling tune played on the chimes that whispered from the awning through the weight of her entry door. Crackled flames popped in the dying amber light cast on them from the hearth. The soft breath of winter muffled by snow and wood. Smoke flavored the room. Firewood. Ash. Stone. Mud. Mulch.

Flowers.

Sound. Sight. Scent. Taste.

Touch.

Bring her back.

It was everything Shaamah ever needed, yet never thought of, until it was someone else's wound.

“Stop,” The gruff of his quiet hum stole the silence beneath the tattered rafters. Reticence still plagued him even as he fought away the urge to return his hand to himself,” A grain of sand upon the beach,” He replayed her words. The simile of solace and security that she had given had done enough to quell him. Would it be enough for her?

“I will keep you safe.”


1153
Show'em the Ol'Razzle Dazzle
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Dark
Luperci Mate to Kaeli
War is in My Heart

POSTED: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:44 pm

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

For the ferocity of his reaction, he might have snarled at the wall behind them for all the notice she took. It was wasted upon herself in those moments as she labored under the weight of love and mourning. Those thorn tipped rose stems dug all the tighter, sunk into her all the deeper and replaced her sunshine dreams with melancholic nightmare. She wept, and she wept, as though her heart was all broken, as if the pieces of herself might never be put back together whole again.

And though she did not implicitly realize it at present, the scent of another eased her distress considerably, and yet so great was her desolation that one outside would not be able to compare this simple thing. Alone, this lamenting would have keened unbearably in her soul. Crying out for the little boy she loved, and who had once loved her in return -- her sunshine boy.

Her awareness of him hardened upon floating wisps and would have taken much longer to properly solidify had his hand not come down upon her arm. Lucia flinched, a small motion, the sudden connection an unexpected assault upon her senses. Her hiccuping noises paused, however briefly, as she beheld this marvelous apparition.

Side by side with her smaller stature, his hand upon her fur and flesh was huge, almost an impossibility. The long fingers spread wide, covering up those callously caused scars, and the beaded bracelets she used to obscure them from her eyes. Lucia knew, that he could snap her arm with a flex of his muscles, that if he wished to do her ill then she would be powerless against such an attack. Shaamah's hand squeezed, only gently, only enough to feel.

She took an easier breath, still only staring at where their two earthly forms were connected. A single hand hold.

Blood, and the leavings of male aggression were her companions in a hastily inhaled breath drawn inwards through nares, and then... sunflowers? Lucia's head moved, to look up at him with the tears making her eyes into blue pools with their ripples. He stared at her ceiling, the cast of his throat bobbing, carefully controlled breaths making his vast chest rise and fall.

Now, this was her turn to be lost and confused, for fractional instants. She breathed in the scent of him, and let it calm her; felt the grounding quality of his touch, and let this soothe her too. The physical response slowed, the body bracing so for a flight or fight. There was neither to be performed, and the adrenaline rushed away, leaving behind a sense of nausea and shakiness.

A heart's crying could not be so easily assuaged, neither bandaged with mere shreds of comfort. Lucia wished fervently for her mother, for her sisters, for her brothers -- these she did not have however, all she had was the large man besides her, and his offered brand of consolation.

Rough-hewn words were drawn with a gravel voice and they danced in the space between them; pain lessened considerably by one small act of kindness.

It was an innocent thing, it was only intended to be for.. barely a touch at all. Her free arm unwrapped from about her knees and fingers reached to lay atop his hand where it gripped her so quietly. Startled she was, to find that once placed, she could not will herself to draw it away. There came a crack, in the dam of her restraint. Lucia held much and more behind this wall, knowing as she was of his predisposition against the physical touch. Once a sweetness tasted however, could no further be denied.

Within the bounds of normalcy then the Amarok woman would have ne're been so bold in her motions. Nightmares had thrown away the rule-book, and she remembered the little boy with blue and yellow to show, she remembered him disappearing like a blown fog from her grasp. She moved, leaning sideways, until her head rested against his shoulder, still the shuttered sobs that came less frequently.

Lucia closed her eyes, against the presumed tensing of himself. Predicting it -- predicting that she had ruined this quiet moment and he would pull away from her now. She could enjoy the scant moment to have this, just for now. It would be enough.

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Jace
Luperci The sun never truly sets
SUNSHINE GIRL

POSTED: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:54 pm

A stolen breath inward split the silence as soft sapphire's lifted to rest on the stranger against the wall, in her bed, in her home, that placed his hand on her. The heat of her gaze lifted his hackles at the root, the energy spilling through his body as he pressed down the instinct against his purposeful action. Despite his calm, he loathed the way in which her gaze hung on him. How her eyes sought something of him that he'd be damned to admit might linger there. Her attention applied a weight to his struggling shoulder, but he remained stoic to this change, almost to a daring point of acceptance of it.

Then, she stirred.

His words, his touch, had moved her beyond what he understood them as capable of. His mind, murky and subdued by the pain omit from his perception, save the twitching muscle that protested the snarling motion he'd succumbed to out of urgency before. He could not see beyond it all, but only knew the amber beams cast upon the ceilings to be real in this place of illusion, where the wounded could heal to a stronger soul than he possessed.

Warmth from her palm embraced the back of his hand and there it remained.

Movement brought his muscles tense and his hand to clench the fibers of the furred bed between the digits far from her. Each thread suffocated, patches of hairs pulled from the hide as she moved near him. A shallow tearing accompanied the fire lit hum, but he did not pull away from her as she usurped his claim on his own boundaries and why it was they had been set in the past.

It was so tender, the way in which she placed her head upon his shoulder. A touch so innocent that for a moment, Shaamah didn't taste the notion of deception in her air, or place the risk of duplicity in her actions. Warnings in his mind fired distress, but for one single instance in time, he neglected the internalized sirens. His posture, sinking into the wall behind him, unwound. The shoulder that bore her weight moved with the fall of a tight breath finally released of his own accord. Audible was the sigh that escaped him. Every part of him was slipping into the serenity of something adjoining him, touching him, with no other purpose than to simply be. His skin seemed to fit just a little bit better for that moment, having slowly grown to fill hollow edges with something substantial, different, and satisfying to the point that when he realized what he had slipped into, he'd find that nothing lesser was enough.

Stiffened, as if a switch had been flipped, he brought himself flat against the wall at his back. Charcoal hand, once embraced by gentle hands, slipped from her fingers and found her, again, but so differently. Placed against the manubrium of her chest, above the soft silver diamond laced in tawny sienna, he pushed her away. It came just as her sniffles began to find rest, and her tears that might soon dry on her features. Her place was at the head of her own bed, away from the man that was unable to trust her, despite his commitment to her safety. The very same man that could take her life on an order, on a whim, or something so simple as a misunderstanding kitchen knife.

A second consideration found that maybe he belonged somewhere so very, very far from here, instead.

“You've struck your head,” Words spoke formally, a little more cold and aloof than his tone had been before. The hard transition of his dare to utter something so empathetic so as to make her feel secure and the harsh reality that his words spoke the fact of her injury than concern for it was stifling. He did not express worry for her potential physical injury as much as he understood her chaotic awakening, and as he caused the space between them to grow, it seemed the only word to suffice the distance.

He was pulling away, but the reasons were increasingly unclear to him, unable to argue with fact against logic, the permanence of this place, and her intentions. Perhaps, it was that he might not be able to contest why he should leave, in vast comparison to the reward that remaining could bring. He was still a risk in his own right, and in that, a kingdom of snakes and thistle might come to deliver this woman from her cottage at his expense.

Shaamah would kill her, should that day come, but reasons past and present differed vastly. Salsola was a pain that a wildflower could only endure in shackles, and even Shaamah, in all his awful nature, couldn't bring reason to be cause for this. Soft is the word some might warrant, but there was more truth in guilt than something so singular and selfish as soft.
Show'em the Ol'Razzle Dazzle
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Dark
Luperci Mate to Kaeli
War is in My Heart

POSTED: Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:34 am

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

For her, the moment stretched infinitely and was over much faster than she would have liked it to be; And to give weight to her own considerations, he did tense and harden beneath her touch. It was a regrettable thing and Lucia wished she could rescind the action almost as soon as she had made it. Again though, that receding of will was a bane to her, and allowed her to linger for longer than she would have assumed herself.

She thought, however, that just for a breath, he might have softened and become calm. Wistful dreams would always give merit to evidence that backed its own claim whilst ignoring that of a differing hypothesis. Then he sighed, and Lucia's self-insistance that she was wrong crumbled away into a quiet astonishment.

There was never a lasting however, and it was the truth that Lucia was already pulling herself away from him as his hand came to press against her chest. She let the weight of his palm touch her, and send her alone, bereft of his heat and solidness. The sobbing have stopped, she wiped at the dampness on her cheeks with numb fingers.

Shaamah donned his mask, the front that the world saw and Lucia regretted to see it brandished here, in her little suspended world of serenity. She did not draw her knees up and cradle herself a second time though, simply let legs stretch out before her and sit quietly next to him until he spoke.

"Oh..." Now that he mentioned, the welt on the back of her head made itself known with a throb of pain. Her gentle touch against it only gave her cause to wince. Lucia shrugged, a helpless motion, and let her fingers wrap together again in her lap.

Suddenly the whole thing seemed too much to keep it to herself, to keep Harlequin's actions in the darkness -- there in that infected part of her heart where he was shuttered away. He was coming up her throat, like a verbal cleansing of herself,

"When I was young.." It was not a strong start, her voice tailed away to a stuttered silence. From beneath lashes, she could see he did not glance at her, but she carried on regardless -- maybe his ear twitched towards her.

"When I was young..." And it all poured out of her, like a bile needing to be expelled. She wove the tragic tale, of helping her dear friend to raise her four children, and of her love for the boys who may as well been her own sons, who had called her Aunt or Sister or Mother depending on their mood.

The boisterous nature that consumed the two troublemakers, and how they had grown from boys into men and become menaces of their own pack. Her valiant forays to drag them back, drugged up or drunk, back to safety.

When it came time to tell of the terrible night upon which Lucia had been assaulted, her fingers shook and the breath in her throat grew heavy and thickening, choking her, creating hoarseness in her lyrical voice. Her claws picked at the cords and seashells at her wrists, peering without flinching at the scarring on each of her wrists where Harlequin had forcibly held her down.

That her bracelets used to be a headdress made from those tenderly held pieces of the children's love was told, that Harlequin had broken it when he had fallen too had passed tense lips and she had used those fragile memories to cover up the one thing she wished never to remember at all.

Finally, finally, her ever painful love for this boy that she had raised with warmth and dedication only to be repaid with pain and wretched assault. The inability to reconcile the boy she had known with the man he had turned into.

"I see him in my dreams, I see him in my nightmares..." Lucia breathed out, a single, deep exhale and fell silent.

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Jace
Luperci The sun never truly sets
SUNSHINE GIRL

POSTED: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:05 am

Her hands did not cling to him, nor did her arms reach out. As he pushed her away, she went obediently, though she did not coil up as she had after she calmed from waking. Despite his lack of tact, she nursed her bruise with a touch and sat quietly save for one single chiming sound. It was a weighted aura between them, and Shaamah, again, figured it of his own doing. No apologies would come him. No one was to be trusted. Not even creatures of fantasy. Especially, not creatures of fantasy.

Yet, it seemed, there was something to be said, despite it all.

A quiet lull met his ear, but demanded nothing of him. Her first attempt, frail, was followed by something much more powerful. Silver tipped charcoal ear twisted toward her. His chin lifted but a fraction as his eye burned a hole on the far wall. A story was being told, with being prompted. It was unusual, how it came so easily through her, out of the same mouth that sung songs of glory, beauty and mirth.

Unraveling her history carried on. Thread by thread, she unwound a harrowing event and it moved through her with an unbearable weight. Shaamah breathed quietly, expression unmoving, eye solidly glued to the opposite wall, but a dark ear remained cast to her. In the edge of his sight, he could just barely note the quaking of her hands, but her words trembled far greater. It was the shivering of her soul, erupting in unseen pain and the trepidation that plagued her.

How did she find such a different place?

Was is fear?

He wasn't afraid of anything. Was he?

It wasn't so simple as thinking everything is better now, or that everything will be okay. Claiming survival didn't excuse the past. Not all things were meant to be worn proudly. The shells on her wrist rattled as she fiddled with them, and the image of her features turned downward in the corner of his eye. Her compassion was rewarded with cruelty, but nothing so grave as death. Would it have been a blessing for her? Even alone, deep in her woods beneath the mountain, in her lonesome cottage she thrived. Even so, one night was not a lifetime of torture unless the accusation came from within. Where did she blame herself?

As her last words rung clear into the night, Shaamah's only motion was to reclaim the purpose of that single ear. Stole away from her, the gray laced ebon peak found it's dominant position. Only her drawn breath out filled the space between the rattling chimes and the crackling fire, fading into the embrace of the breath of snow that muffled the world beyond her walls.

Her torture was daily justice under his rule. Weakness begot weakness, and the frail fell to corpse in the mire. Soldiers vanished daily. Let them die, he would say. They've earned their fate, he'd declare. In all of that, now he wondered, was a sentence of death a forgiveness?

No.

She would not have survived his golden years. Not of her own metal, and certainly not of his.

Broad hand found the wound on his thigh again, sweeping over the twitching muscle as if he'd expected blood to be there. A dry hand returned to his side before he took an inward breath,” It is late,” After such a long silence, the low tone of his voice, despite it's hum and winded intonations, commanded the space between them. The vague nature of the single word was not lost to him, but it's emphasis was powerful amid the hush that remained.

No soul could be an innocent sinner, no mortal in an area of gray. Actions define purpose, and purpose defines moral leaning. Despite the fact that the idea of morality resided on the blades edge of perspective, did not excuse leanings. Shaamah knew this, and it seemed he was more in his right might for knowing it. Just as the soldier himself knew that he could never walk on a lighter air of a destiny that may or may not have been his own, there was no sake in holding on to what wasn't.

Shaamah had chosen. It had lead him to a life of strength, survival and purpose, even if it was all only invented of his own accord. She would have to choose, herself, just as he had. Dream, or nightmare? Even as this man was the child she had loved, there should be no separation from the monster that he had become to her. The world did not have so many shades of gray.

He was in no place to offer advice, or insight.

Arms found his chest and crossed over himself, hands tucked away and sight still drilled into the far wall,” Where is he now?” The inquiry came suddenly, a mental note ticked away. He wasn't one to leave loose ends, and should this man be present in this land, perhaps it would be best to know where he resided. Salsola kept it's secrets, after all, and Shaamah wasn't one to have the thistle sticking their noses where it should not. Yes. Loose ends. That was certainly his reason.


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War is in My Heart

POSTED: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:17 pm

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

In this retching of words and voice, something was gaining a clarity. Whether it be wrested from the haze of uncertain mind or plucked from the bonds of insecurity. As if forced to finally see, the result of grievous actions. There was no faulting in her own actions when for length she had scoured her memory, searching for the cause, seeking which of her actions had prompted such a betrayal.

Stone weighted her down, even in the absence of collision. Lucia could still feel his hand upon her own, and the solid weight of him beneath her shoulder. There were the differences, of the rock that grounded and the rock that crushed. She was held by both, one suffocating the spread of her beneath its burden. The pale woman sucked in breath caked with ash and wood smoke, and reflected upon a time where she had not know the scent of burning wood.

Silence stretched and the strain had not eased, she did not expect a response forthcoming from him, and in this, she admitted one of her greatest weaknesses to him, a man who did not suffer the weak. It was written there in the pallor of his skin, in the dust of his pelt and dragged into the scars be bore so proudly.

A tapestry, a painter's canvas -- stories written with blood.

Again, as Lucia stared up at the ceiling, she thought of him as a broken masterpiece, and did not regret his changing of herself. Now allowing admittance to herself, that there had been catalyst within his actions. Swept away by torrential dreaming thoughts, Lucia explored this newer part of herself with tremulous devotion; a calf upon new-birth springtime legs, she wobbled and stumbled, but became more secure in her stride with each tracing step.

Before she could realize, she was running, taking strides of length along this plaintive meadow, this spring-green grass of her own self.

Ashen taste faded, and instead it was sunflower she breathed in, the yellow and orange settling upon her tongue.

Pollution still plagued, and there were echos of herself that pulled away, those broken fragments seeking a refuge no longer given. Their shelter had been burst wide open, the roof ripped away from their heads and shed onto them the light. Within illumination, darkness could not suffer to live.

Time would be taken, and as ever, the ocean washed against its cliff faces and wore away the rocky surface of it's brow-ridge. The stone would crumble, in tempo, reduced to pebbles and then diminished to the glassy sand and finally condensed down to dusted flour. Where it would wash away, be blown and scattered by winds, where she could consume it back into herself without pain, without fear and anguish. That was a future she did not grasp within her paws yet, but someday, someday...

All of this the pale woman considered, as the gunmetal grey man sat by her side and studiously involved himself with his own internal grinding. The boy could be forgiven, he was a creature of innocence. Actions of the man were irreparable, irredeemable. Why should this be made so clear when in memories past it had been rendered so obscured?

Wherever this was taking her, she was interrupted by rumbling voice. The silence of himself, and her own quiescence had been scarcely noted, and it appeared all that required was his presence to break through covering of earth to uncover the exposed mineral veins beneath. Lucia was thunder-struck. The strings of her own voice felt fairly fragile by comparison,

"It is. Sleep, if you wish to do so." It was a suggestion only, Lucia knew she would find no further rest on this eve.

Composition upset, it was the liquefying of differences and the production of something purer, filtering out those imperfections. Query was put to her, and for the first time since their silence began did she move, folding legs up and tucking them beneath herself.

"I don't know, I assume far away. It has been years since I have seen his face." She saw the rose for what it was now, a parasite tearing away at herself, digging roots and vines into the places of her and quenching thirst at the vast edges of compassion, eventually this lake would run dry, and this must be stopped.

Lucia's head turned to gaze at him, eyes covering his body, and flicking down to the soldered wound upon his leg that he touched. The edges of lips may have curled ever so slightly, or not, there really was no telling - her look returned to the ying embers of her fire, and she exhaled a slender breath.

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