Please Don't Run From Me, Please Just Dance With Me

Ball thread, Arlen

POSTED: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:26 pm

Damon
Among all the stars I see
You're still the brightest one for me

A tug at a cuff, a smooth of an invisible wrinkle. He didn't know why he felt nervous as he looked up at the venue of the festivities for tonight. He'd been here before, as a younger male at the side of his mother on a diplomatic visit. This time, it was a ball, a masquerade ball.

Of course he'd dressed for the occasion, a deep, rich green tunic with fitted cuffs and a lace closure at his neck. His legs were clad in a soft, warm brown that hugged his hips and ankles. Rather simple, but it was one of the finer pieces of attire the male owned.

Following with the theme, of course, his face had also been obscured by a finely tooled purple leather mask. It did nothing to hide his identity, especially if anyone glance at his hands to see his one natural white glove.

He tried to skirt around the edge of the party, enjoying simply watching rather than participating, one hand nursing his third or fourth glass of drink as he scanned the crowd of guests with a keen ruby gaze. If asked he wouldn't admit who he looked for, would probably deny he even looked for anyone.

Secretly, however, Damon searched for the one canine who completed his heart. Maybe not as of late, but even if they weren't on good terms and occupying the same space had an awkwardness to it they'd never struggled with before, it didn't mean he cared any less. No, certainly not any less.

The dark male still craved his red vixen at his side; his heart had leapt into his throat every time they'd been near one another, pounding out a plea for their rift to be culminated.

Damon cleared his throat roughly to extricate himself from delving too deeply into those thoughts. But also taking a larger than normal mouthful because, to his disappointment, he couldn't find the red hellion's whirlwind that was his best friend; more than his best friend.

ooc Sorry if it's a bit hard to read, balancing the text, background color, and link color was difficult.//WC 345

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Damon
I'll be here. I'll always be here.
Casa di Cavalieri
Second Cadet
User avatar
Amoris
Luperci Cook

POSTED: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:10 am

(489)

OOC text

While Arlen rarely let anything dim his spark, the annual ball between allies was always his time to shine. Flamboyant as always, he planned way in advance for the event, eager to make an impact on all who witnessed him. This year's idea was actually inspired by a drunk occurrence that had happened several moons ago where he and Theo, the barber, had gotten drunk together and decided to dunk Len in a concoction of dyes. The results had been as expected: a full coat of fur dyed a blackish brown.

But it was inspiring! This time, he and Theo had planned for a much less permanent and less stinky dye. Rather than bring him close to back, it merely darkened him a few shades and dulled the russet tones that were so hard to mask. The dye had an added attribute of masking his smell for several days. Now, he smelled of an odd mix of berries and leaves that wasn't altogether unpleasant. It was a disguise in itself without the mask.

But of course, being Arlen, he pulled out all the stops. He traded Helena Lykoi for about five peacock feathers and designed his whole outfit on them. His mask was black with green embroidery around the edges and three of the feathers' ends sewn into the left corner. His black pants were tied against his calves in a jade ribbon that matched the one holding his now shoulder-length hair away from his face. The ensemble was completed with a tight green shirt tucked into his pants that hugged his forearms layered with a looser black tunic with bell sleeves and the remaining two peacock feather ends sew onto his left breast. It was a well put together look that only Len could pull off.

Despite all his frills and bells and whistles, there was little joy in it anymore. Len lurked near the tables for once, nursing a spiked beverage. His fifth, in fact. After dancing with several of the women of the party, he'd finally caught sight of the red-eyed cavalier that he'd been avoiding for weeks. And upon the sight of him, Len had immediately ran to the alcohol to sooth him. Another dance went by, another drink, until finally, Len felt that old liquid courage working its magic.

Smiling and swaying to the music, he waited until Damon drew nearer of his own accord before making his move. He circled his prey like a bird, waiting for the right moment to swoop. It came when he fell out of conversation with one partner and turned to the foods. Len waited for Damon to help himself to the food, emptying his hand, before he darted in and grabbed it with his own, leading his friend to the dance floor. He kept his head down for fear of being noticed, but kept a tight grip. He wouldn't let Damon run away this time.


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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:46 pm

Damon
Among all the stars I see
You're still the brightest one for me

The dark male had wandered to the tables for a bite to eat, partially out of hunger and partially to soak up the amount of alcohol he'd drunk so far tonight. He'd taken some meats and cheeses, stacked onto thin crackers, already on his fourth, when his sustenance questing hand got cut off abruptly.

It got clasped by a brownish hand, which ended up tugging him around and toward the dance floor. He followed amiably, thinking that perhaps their ducked head was out of nervous and they'd finally gotten the courage to dance with someone.

I don't bite my friend, you didn't have to trap me. I would have said yes if you asked, he told them softly, smiling as they entered the dance floor. He pulled on the hand that held him, tugging the lean body against his and taking their other free hand. The current song had a medium beat to it, not quite slow dance material but they could not doubt work something out.

They smelled of berries and leaves, reminding him very strongly of his mother and the Medic Office. Their attire however was painfully reminiscent of something Arlen would wear, sending little pangs of regret through his chest. To distract himself, he smiled down at them. Do you want to lead, or shall I? he asked kindly, rubbing a thumb across their knuckles soothingly.

My name is Damon, by the way. Do...you have anything I can call you by? Handsome stranger is, while complimentary, not very polite for general social conversation. His expression softened beneath the mask, still with that kind smile across his lips.

He wasn't really the type to flirt, but rather his casually offered compliment had a genuine, friendly air to it. He'd tried flirting in the past and, honestly, he couldn't put himself into it. It felt dishonest to him, who's heart had been claimed for longer than he'd even consciously acknowledged it.

ooc here//WC 333

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Damon
I'll be here. I'll always be here.
Casa di Cavalieri
Second Cadet
User avatar
Amoris
Luperci Cook

POSTED: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:18 pm

(493)

OOC text

Arlen should have been offended out how easily Damon said the word 'friend'. He should have been hurt by how easy it was to drag him out onto the floor as a stranger and how much harder it seemed as a friend. He should have been angry or jealous that Damon held him so closely, so gently, so strongly. Instead, he only felt the heat where Damon's hand touched his. He only felt fire where their bodies touched and where his heart beat ever faster.

Careful to keep his jade eyes half-lidded and downcast, he let the darker man pull him in close. Rather than answer Damon's question, he took the position that would allow the older male to lead. He placed one dark fingered hand on a black shoulder and the other settled lightly into a white hand as if it were made to live there. A thumb ran across his fingers gently, but the pressure sent a shiver run down Len's spine. It had been so long since he had been held this way by Damon. It had been so long since they had been so close. Too long.

Uncharacteristically silent, Arlen endured being called handsome with only a click of his tongue and a flash of his teeth. So Damon preferred brunettes to redheads. So Damon would flirt with a perfect stranger, yet talk to his best friend like he would blow away at the most meager slight. So this was Damon when he wasn't shackled to his crippled friend. Warm, charming, light-hearted. All the things that made him wonderful and perfect were on display tonight for someone else.

But Len let himself believe, for only just an instant, that these words were meant for him. He pretended that Damon weren't his near-lifelong friend. He pretended that Damon hadn't watched him grow up and grow sour and bitter with age. He pretended that he hadn't watched Damon rise and fall through the ranks periodically. He pretended Damon had never made him mad or taken someone else's side. Tonight they were a pair of perfectly matched dark strangers.

They twirled around, spinning and strutting through the first song, Len holding his breath tight and holding his leg with every fiber of his being to work properly. It took a great deal of muscle and concentration to make his movements fluid again and by the end of the first song, he felt the muscles of his thigh twitching beneath the fabric of his trousers. He didn't know if he could saunter through another dance looking like it was easy. He should pull away now and take his dance and hold it dear for the rest of his life.

Instead, Arlen Stryder was selfish. The song shifted, pulled lower and slower, and his grip only tightened. He would have one more dance if it killed him. Maybe it was the booze. Maybe it was Arlen. Regardless, it would be done.


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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:15 pm

Damon
Among all the stars I see
You're still the brightest one for me

Firm brownish hands took place on his shoulder and whitened hand, giving him the cue to lead them as they danced. He obliged easily enough, watching the other male's face as they swayed, weaved, and sashayed across the floor to the medium tempo of the current song.

Despite his gentle probing, they remained silent to his query for a name. Indeed, there might have been a little flash of teeth, but otherwise no verbal response was forthcoming. Internally he sighed and felt slightly bad, wondering if he'd done something to inadvertently offend them.

The longer they pressed together, though, the more Damon's instincts urged him to look at them. He kept his eyes downcast, so the large dark male couldn't pinpoint a precise shade of color, however, he could swear it was a type of green. The realization made his chest tighten.

It prompted his own ruby orbs to lift and casually scan the ground, something he did more and more frequently when he thought his partner wouldn't notice. Searching, constantly searching, for a red furred head and striking green eyes.

He couldn't look all the time, however, he did have to pay attention to his feet sometimes. In one of these glances, he took notice of the way the leaner male held one of his legs, double-taking to look again. And if hadn't been looking for it, he wouldn't have seen it, just an ever so slight hiccup, a hesitation in its movements. Valiantly covered up, somehow. The same leg....He blinked and glanced back up so they wouldn't notice his staring, but his mind was working overdrive.

The current song began to slow and fade, morphing into a quieter tempo perfect for slow dancing. He half expected his lean partner to separated from him to search for another, perhaps more appropriate dance companion.

Contrary to his belief, they didn't seem to want to leave, clutching Damon's white hand and opposite shoulder like they were lifelines. He smiled kindly, not really minding despite his surprise.

To follow the beat of the new melody, Damon's dark hand slid from its polite position at the side of the male's waist to the small of his back, gently pulling the leaner body even closer to his so their fronts were nearly flush. I've been told my heartbeat is comforting. It's from a reliable source, one very dear to my heart, he offered in a soft, rumbly voice, hinting his partner should lay their head on his chest.

ooc here//WC 431

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Damon
I'll be here. I'll always be here.
Casa di Cavalieri
Second Cadet
User avatar
Amoris
Luperci Cook

POSTED: Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:26 pm

(372)

OOC text

With every inch further Damon's hand moved, the taller the hair along Arlen's back grew. He was instantly grateful for the long ago invention of clothing so that he revealed very little of his sudden spark save for a rather bushy tail. He flicked it back and forth a few times to make it appear more to do with the sudden motion than his own feelings.

Almost forgetting himself, Len allowed Damon to pull him close by the small of his back and hummed at the sensation. Rather than stopping there, he leaned into his dark friend, taking the offer in a heartbeat. Arlen was too tall to easily rest his head on Damon's chest and dance at the same time, but he took the moment to tuck his muzzle beneath Damon's neck with his head resting on a broad shoulder and eyes closed. It was quite a comfortable position that Arlen knew well. Also knowing that Damon could withstand it, he let his friend bear his weight so that he could further hide his limp under the pretense of pressing close.

It was a sly guise, truly an ingenious one. But as with all things, Arlen eventually lost himself in the moment. When the rhythmic swaying began to slow even more, the Stryder prince took the moment to open his jade eyes and look into his long time crush's face, dark and mysterious and warm. How he longed to take it in his hand and brush the hair from his face. He wanted to rip that purple mask off so that he could better see the face he'd learned to love so dear. Full with the image, he closed his eyes for the remainder of the song, content with his position.

Finally, the movement stopped and all around them there was clapping. Len sighed as he extracted himself from the embrace. Eyes open and staring pointedly at Damon's cheek, he dared to dart forward and place a swift peck on Damon's cheek. He'd done so a few times before, but this time he couldn't help but wonder if it would be his last. With the way things had been going between the two of them, it very well might have been.


Casa di Cavalieri
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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:48 pm

Damon
Among all the stars I see
You're still the brightest one for me

The leaner male took up Damon on his offer, leaning in closer to lay their head on his shoulder with a slender muzzle tucked beneath his jaw. He took the familiar position almost subconsciously, shifting his body so he bore the weight his partner gave him effortlessly.

It took him a few moments, but he nearly started as if electrocuted when he realized this was the exact position, almost, that he'd held Arlen when his dear friend had been injured by that damned bear, every day after he'd been cleared from bedrest.

Damon's chest clenched and he nearly couldn't breathe, because it might have been his imagination, but the man in his arms still had that same hesitation, a little hitch, even more pronounced now they'd given him their weight, that he'd grown to recognize as easily as the red fur that usually came with it.

Surreptitiously he tilted his head to lean on his partner's, resting his nose at the side of their neck, and there he concentrated on the scent of whom he held, filtering through the berries, herbs, alcohol, and countless other canines they'd been around that night, burrowing relentlessly through each layer, until...

Yes...there. Warmth flooded his chest, prickling heat into his eyes as he recognized this particular mix of scents, bringing to mind warm summer days lounging in the grass after hours of chores and looking up into the clouds and searching for shapes, or sparring together on freshly turned dirt of the training rings. Nights curled around each other by the fire, dozing off into sleep.

With his realization, he didn't need to see those jade eyes open to know whom this was, though he could feel the intensity of the gaze and wondered what his partner had running through his mind right that moment.

Eventually the slow melody drew to a close, signalling the end of a song, and reluctantly he allowed the disguised man in his arms to pull away. He inspected the face freely now, unsurprised to catch a glimpse of those telling jade eyes; if he'd suspected before, he was certain of it now.

They seemed to be staring right back, though at what, exactly, he didn't know, until abruptly the leaner male darted in abruptly to press a chaste peck on his cheek. It was another tell, a little sign of affection his dearest friend had done multiple times before.

So why did this one feel like a goodbye?

No...no, he wasn't having that. Never.

Before the embodiment of his heart could slip away for good, his hand reached out to close gently on a wrist, tugging on it to place the palm against his heart, the other cupping a jaw to turn the face around to look at him. Amidst all the bodies, all the clapping, nothing else mattered as ruby gazed into jade; they could have been alone, for all that he noticed anything else but the man before him.

Arlen, the name dropped from his lips in a murmur, as if conveying a secret. His expression softened, morphed, allowing his harbored affections to show. You should know by now I'd recognize you anywhere, no matter how you look. Plus, I wasn't done with you just yet,

He dipped in slowly, his gaze intense on the Stryder's for any sign that he didn't want this, or it was too much, or too fast- and then his dark lips touched Len's, and his mind went blank for short while.

Sparks definitely flew, but they weren't fireworks, rather it was an all encompassing heat that started in his belly and spread gradually outward to every extremity. Despite all that he felt, he kept the kiss honest, innocent, not even insinuating he might want more than what he'd already gotten.

ooc here//WC 651

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Damon
I'll be here. I'll always be here.
Casa di Cavalieri
Second Cadet
User avatar
Amoris
Luperci Cook

POSTED: Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:52 pm

(328)

OOC text

Arlen jerked his head up at the tug on his wrist. His green eyes widened as he was pulled away from his simple peck and into what seemed like a staring contest with the most beautiful, smoldering eyes in the world. The knot in his throat only grew harder as his eyes teared up. He's going to be mad I kissed him. He's mad I lied. He's mad I'm not someone else, I'm only me.

The name that left those lips was his own, but it didn't sound anything like he'd ever heard before. It wasn't angry or annoyed or even mildly fond. Instead, it was deep and smooth, like silk or bourbon or both, somehow. It sent shivers down his spine and tingles in his stomach. It made him feel heavy and grounded while simultaneously like he was floating above the clouds. It was horrifying, this not knowing.

He opened his mouth to utter something, anything really, but whether it was going to be an argument or apology was never to be seen. Damon's face dipped close to his, silencing any words that were beginning to form. Green gaze met red and the rest of the world melted away when their lips touched. For an instant, the heat began to creep through his body until the whole of him faded into a sense of warmth that could only be described as homecoming. Arlen closed his eyes, leaning into the impossible becoming possible, and felt his fingers grip Damon's tunic where his hand had been laid.

When they finally broke apart as they knew they must eventually, Len couldn't hear the rest of the world for the pounding on his ears. Bodies shuffled around them in the beginning of the next dance. Arlen only stood with his mouth agape and his eyes somehow bright and sad at the same time. "Damon?" Please let this be real. Please don't let this be a dream. Please let him mean it.


Casa di Cavalieri
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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:29 am

Damon
Among all the stars I see
You're still the brightest one for me

Deep in his fearful quaking heart, Damon dreaded to feel the man he held try to pull away, or push them apart, or laugh in his signature joking manner and wave off the moment they'd just had as his normal friendly affection.

But the longer they looked at each other, the deeper green gazed into red, the more the world around them faded away, and the less he cared whether this was real or not.

Once, just for once....

He didn't want to withhold the way he felt anymore.

Even so, every inch closer was an internal struggle, doubts hammering at his consciousness whether this was the right thing to do for Arlen....

...And then their lips met and none of that mattered anymore.

Every second that it lasted, the dark male took and locked away in his heart to cherish forever, just in case his best friend hated him after this and severed ties with him permanently.

The hand at his heart clenched in the fabric there, but he didn't care. He kept his own above it, cradling it to his chest, partially to control his desire to snake an arm around that slim waist and pull it closer.

Finally they broke apart, breathless for air, and all Damon could hear was the rapid thundering of his own heart. Except, that is, until his name dropped from Arlen's lips, a hopeful and heartrendingly sad look in those jade greens that he desperately wanted to wipe away.

Taking a deep breath, the dark male gently grasped his best friend's hand in his own, lacing their fingers together intimately. Come with me, he murmured, and turned to lead the brown-disguised-Stryder off the dance floor. In another corner of the festivities, he saw Honrin nursing a drink, and the alabaster male in turn saw him as well and lifted the goblet in his hand with a snarky grin.

Damon couldn't help snorting to himself, but grinned in response nonetheless. The expression sobered, however, as he took the pair of them outside. Their breath misted in the cool, late winter air, but there were fewer observers, and he desperately wanted this conversation in private.

He stopped when they were mostly alone, never once dropping Arlen's hand, or breaking the way their fingers laced together. Half turning toward Len, a soft smile tugged up one corner of his mouth. It was a clear night...hopefully what he had to say would have greater meaning that way.

Arlen...look up. Pick a star, any star. Whichever you think is brightest. he waited a few dozen breaths, and then, It doesn't matter which one you pick. Because every single one, every single one, Arlen, pales in comparison to you, and they always have.

Slowly he turned to fully face the Stryder and meet jade orbs with ruby, clasping the hand he held tighter in a vain effort to hide the tremors which shook his own.

I've watched, and loved, and pined, for months. Ever since you left home. You took part of me with you, and I've been struggling to get it back, to keep my distance, because you didn't...I didn't think you'd feel the same...wouldn't view me in that way...And I couldn't bear losing you completely.

ooc here//WC 561

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Damon
I'll be here. I'll always be here.
Casa di Cavalieri
Second Cadet
User avatar
Amoris
Luperci Cook

POSTED: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:21 pm

(337)

OOC text

When they finally broke away from their long awaited kiss, Arlen couldn't help but let out a small whine of displeasure. He knew they would have to stop eventually, but couldn't it have waited a few more seconds? Just a little longer was all he could have asked for. Too soon did they separate. Now he would have to stop dreaming and return to the harsh reality of the world.

It seemed the dream would continue on for a few more heart-stopping moments. Fingers laced together, he allowed himself to be dragged from the dance floor in a daze. His whole body felt limp and numb, but Damon remained his patient guide. The rest of the world fell away, he only saw his dark, red-eyed friend.

When they stopped, the russet prince again feared an end to his delightful fantasy. It was more than he had ever before imagined, but when would it end? When would he suffer the heartbreak that always came after dreams such as these?

This dream-Damon whispered sweet words, speaking of stars, yet Len's green eyes never looked to the night sky. He'd seen the sky before; he'd seen the stars. This time he watched them glimmer in ruby red eyes. His gaze never left that handsome face, not for an instant or a second as Damon poured his heart out. Though his focus remained on his friend, the words came as if through a tunnel - distant and soft. Len wanted to speak, to say something in response to such wonderful words. Instead, he simply smiled at Damon while the tears began to pour from his eyes.

Gripping tight the hand he held, he lifted another to the face he'd memorized so long ago. His thumb traced the hollow of a cheek bone, the strength of the jaw, the soft, supple fur of the throat. He cupped Damon's face in his long-fingered hand and made a single wish. "Please, please, please, don't let this one be a dream too."


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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

Canon