life goes on

POSTED: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:28 pm

Woooo, siblings!

She kicked the earth in silence as she made her way along the beach, crimson eyes filled with melancholy and the air around her stale. She knew what she was looking for and she knew where she would find it. Ezekiel had taken to smoking the strangest things. It left an easy scent trail right to the golden King she'd tied herself to, her handsome Hero, her ever compassionate prince. Or that was what he had been. She found herself unsure of what to make of him now, now that he'd shown his true colors to his fragile-minded twin. Talitha knew it was wrong, but she couldn't bring herself to leave him; Ezekiel de le Poer held the same hold over the soulless woman as their father did.

Her mind cleared of thought as he came into sight and she balked at the approach. Since the night the Winters man died, she'd been afraid to see him despite all of her loving worry. It was time, however. The Inferni princess found herself moving ahead, approaching the King with the cautious sway she held while in the presence of wolves. "You came back. I wasn't sure if you would." Her words were a whisper, and for a moment she was unsure if she'd voice them at all. She'd never believed he would leave Inferni, even if she felt so strongly that Ezekiel had left her behind in his heart. Instead, she worried that her words had pushed him far away, back into the world of the dog woman and her bastard children. Away from her.

Perhaps she had been wrong in what she told Sage; maybe Inferni held no place for the failing traditions of the coyote whore, traditions that had persisted for so long she couldn't see an end. But she was not Ezekiel, and she was not Sage, and without her it was possible that her home could turn into something new.

POSTED: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:43 pm

backdated hurr.

Time became a thing that Ezekiel paid little attention to. He lived in the repetition of days, spending more time alone than he had before. Enkiel had questioned him about the acquisition of cloves and tobacco, but turned them over without a fight. These sticks proved with a release and a clearness of head that marijuana did not. Had he not been so ferociously unwilling to sink into submission he might have done just that. Sage and her sisters could have provided for him, without a doubt. He simply was not willing to let his head go, not yet.

Red toes dug into the sand, warm and rough in the way of all bay beaches. It was not the sand he had played on as a child. It was not the glassy sand of the ocean, but it was his sand and he loved it. The water was constant and deep and unforgiving. It was much like the forests he had spent so many years in. Terrible things lived in the dark places of the world, and Ezekiel was among them.

His ears turned back at his sister’s voice, but he otherwise did not turn to address her. Between two fingers on his right hand the still-burning clove hung, and it was drawn to his mouth presently. A puff of smoke escaped his lungs as he spoke, staring at the water. “I can’t leave,” he said flatly. “Who would you have in my place? Halo? Sage? Certainly not you,” his voice dropped, cruel. He hated the sound of it.

POSTED: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:31 am

Backdated what day? Also, probably midday/early evening as far as time is concerned? She's a bit of a night owl.

The air around him smelled magnificent, just as it always did but with something extra, and she found herself lost in the moment while she awaited his attention. Much to her dismay, he did not turn; golden eyes gazed at the water instead. Brief yearning possessed her as she awaited his voice — as soon as he spoke, however, she regretted searching for him. His words retained their cruelty from the night that seemed long ago, burning his sister's heart as they came to an end. It was difficult for her to hear that her brother thought so little of her, but again she felt he was right. How could he not be? Just as Gabriel had been in the past, before Talitha learned of the others he found his comfort in, so Ezekiel had become her Lord and master. She put her faith into the golden man, and why would he tell her lies?

Fragile hands twisted together as she tried to gather her courage. "I was wrong to go to him. Do you want me to leave Inferni? I know...that I've failed you and father." It seemed to be the path he desired from her, as he claimed to no longer care what she did with herself. Of course, where would she go? Drowning in the sea remained a viable option, yet she still feared the hands of death and did not wish to shame her Kingdom further. Or perhaps there were other options for her, other homes that would take in such a misfit, other places she could live out life until the truth of her condition came to light. Whether Ezekiel wanted her to go remained to be seen, of course; he'd said in the past that she couldn't, but everyone was capable of change.

Again, she closed the distance between them, reaching out with hesitation to rest her hands on her brother's arm. "I never wanted you to hate me, Ezekiel, I promise I didn't." Was that true? Perhaps she'd desired to distance herself from her brother, somewhere deep inside the heart where the guilt still hid from leading him away from a normal life for so long. Her ears flattened against the curling auburn tendrils that adorned her head, crimson eyes shutting to hide the dismay in the only way she knew how. "I'll go if you want me to; I'll find some place far away and you'll never have to see me again." More whispers came to claim her voice as she made ever more promises to keep her beloved sibling happy.

POSTED: Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:12 am

As odd as it was, and for as much as he currently despised her presence, Ezekiel was more devoted to his sister than he was to anyone else in the world. He had chased her not once but twice across the wilderness, missing her both times by mere miles. Yet he now found her nothing more than a heartless siren who had sunk her teeth into men and sought to suck them dry. She was a witch but not one like Alaine—he did not fear Alaine as he feared his sister’s potential to turn on him. Perhaps one day she would. Perhaps one day he would wake with her red eyes gleaming over his corpse.

Yet as she spoke of a desire to leave, he bristled. It was a slight change, one shown only by the rise of fur along his back. No part of him wished for the russet harpy to leave his side. Mercifully, she touched the arm unwounded by her now passed lover. He wasn’t sure how he might have reacted otherwise. The coyote remained still, refusing to look at her face. “I don’t hate you,” he said, unsure of whether or not this was a lie. “And I don’t want you to go. Not after everything I’ve done for you.”

Finally, his head turned. While his face was dark, his eyes were hurt. She had hurt him. “I did what you asked me. Do not ask me anything else, Talitha,” he went on, turning away. He had gone and turned his back on the woman he had seen as a friend, as a teacher, as someone his father might love. One betrayal for another.

POSTED: Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:43 am

And as I type this, ATHF plays the episode involving Billy Witchdoctor and Ultra Mega Chikkun. >.> She tried to lay her head on him, but obviously he can shrug her away or just not let her. Your call.

Did she feel any better by the silence given? Yes, perhaps it was more comforting that Ezekiel didn't speak, rather than churn out cold words that only left what appeared to be a heartless woman heartbroken. Talitha couldn't see what others had; she saw no dark witch, no nocturnal Queen, no evil Morrigain who feasted on the desires of males. All she knew was easy survival; oh, how easy it was to turn the hearts of men to something that could serve and protect the fragile fae. Though she didn't admit it, Ezekiel seemed no different. In the past, her brother had been a slave to his sister's whims. Even now, as she rested her padded hands on his unwounded arm, the golden King folded beneath her words. He didn't hate her. He didn't want her to go. She didn't know if he was lying, but is sounded good enough to calm the wild worries of the Siren Queen.

And then he looked to her, features shadowed and golden gaze pained. The guilt that was ever present in the princess-witch's heart swelled. Again she had failed to keep him happy, just as she had failed in the past. He had turned the world over in search of his twin, and she had simply allowed it. A good sister would have remained in one place. It seemed to Talitha that she was no good sister, however much she wanted to be.

Ezekiel's words disrupted her moment of self-loathing, causing the frail woman to open melancholy eyes in time to watch her brother turn away once more. She hadn't expected such a thing, but he'd done what she wanted. He'd severed his ties with the sunny creature from the dog pack. The guilt did not further, of course; she saw no reason he needed the presence of such a thing, though her empathy for her brother's heart caused her to try and comfort him. "It's for the best, Zekie. People like them, they don't belong in our world; after what happened with Caillen, I see that now." She moved to rest her head against his shoulder with care, gazing out toward the water in a moment of brief silence. "I would move the world for you, Ezekiel; I wish you'd realize that no one will love you as much as me." Despite the words themselves, the voice of the woman held no conceit, as if she believed her words to be honest; Talitha had long come to terms with the fact that love itself was a foolish, fickle thing, but she didn't deny her brother the most prominent part of her heart.

POSTED: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:19 am

Ever since they were children Talitha had held sway over Ezekiel in many ways, but slowly, that bond was breaking. Not once but several times over had he faced what she truly was. He resented seeing this side of his twin because it was a side of himself he did not enjoy. They were so alike. Behind his plastic smiles and sunny attitude the shadows ran long and deep. Sun and moon as they were, even more so than the dog-children, both carried terrible depth and terrible wrath; one hot and unpredictable, the other cold and heartless. Nuclear and magnetic, push and pull—against each other, against those they touched. Only they remained unchanged; just slowly losing the masks that they had worn for so long.

He did not wish to admit it, but Ezekiel was far too much like his sister.

“You can’t say one thing and do another, Tali,” he chided, his whiskers curling as his mouth turned into a brutal smile. It was a horrible thing. He had no reason to be so cruel, but he felt she deserved it. Someone needed to put her in her place, and at least her brother could do so without harming her. At least she would listen to him. He allowed her to settle on his broad arm, and lifted his hand to play with her fiery hair. “Don’t let them know anything,” he went on, voice lowering to an intimate level. His love for her was undisputed; he would not allow a mistake to shame her further. “I’ll keep my secret if you keep yours. Likewise,” his voice lifted, haughty and teasing. “I think you should worry about other things, rather than your brother.”

POSTED: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:04 am

ooc

It was likely it would be that Talitha never saw the true colors of her hero-brother, not like she'd been forced to see the faults in their father, but that couldn't stop Ezekiel from realizing what she had become. His sister was, in the eyes of more than just the golden ones he possessed, a monster several times over. Talitha de le Poer had transformed from the gentle artist of their childhood into a creature known to fantastic books that depicted great battles and dragons and romance — without realizing it, she'd twisted into some fearsome siren who pulled the strings of men into someone that benefited only her. Ezekiel was only one of several, even within the world of Inferni itself, to be subject to his sister's strange charms and desires.

Of course, Ezekiel did not turn her away simply for this fault. Instead, his cruel words caused the siren to calm and try to bend to him, as Talitha was forever a servent to her brother in the same ways he catered to her timeless mind. She knew his words were right, even though his smile caused the air to turn cold; despite this, she settled into him and allowed him to touch the autumn curls that hung rather listlessly in the air. It would be their secret, just another one added to the closet. A frail arm reached across his chest to rest upon the other shoulder that sat there, fingers combing through the fur at his neck as if he were the frail one who could be broken. What a silly thought.

She let out a laugh as he gave his opinion on what better suited her worries, for she did not agree. "There is nothing that deserves my worry more than my brother, Ezekiel. Sometimes I wonder if you realize your importance; you and daddy can find others, but you're all I will ever have. And now, you're the only one who hasn't hurt me, and I think you're the only one who never will." Maybe no one else would understand, perhaps not even Ezekiel himself, but she was certain this was truth. Apart from the words he'd spoken on the night of Caillen's death, Ezekiel had done nothing against his sister's faith in him.

While the air around them settled, she gathered the courage to do what she'd come to do. "You did what I wanted, and I promised I would never leave Inferni for it...so I want to return to my place as an Imaginifer. You and Halo don't need me as your Optio anymore; you have Sage, as stupid as she might be."

POSTED: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:19 am

To be transplanted into the realm of mythology was to turn them into what they truly were; his sister a mermaid, a harpy, a pretty face that would lure men to their deaths. Ezekiel was a skinwalker who changed into the wendigo, and he consumed and destroyed all in his path. The boy had died; Caillen had died. One day he would reveal his horrible teeth and come after those who stood in his path—but for now he wore the mask of a coyote and settled into the life of a man forced into doing what he did not wish. Capable, yes, but still unwilling.

Rolling his amber-colored eyes the coyote continued to play with her hair. He had always found her the prettier of the pair, given his motley collection of colors and scars. Her hair was particularly beautiful, thick and wavy in a way his was not. Ezekiel’s hair had always been unruly. Even when she didn’t try, Talitha looked perfect. He wondered if this was part of her siren’s song.

It startled him, then, at her desire to remove herself as a leader. Ezekiel drew back from her, staring. His eyes and face betrayed his doubt, but as he looked into her eyes, he saw she had decided. He sighed and looked back out to the sea. “If that’s what you want,” he submitted, shifting his toes in the rocky sand. “And Sage isn’t stupid, Tali. She’s just young. I chose her for a reason; trust me on that.” A silent warning not to push—he had plans, always, plans to change the way Inferni had come off. Bared teeth with a wagging tail; this was how they would be.

POSTED: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:56 am

ooc

She enjoyed the time spent in the presence of her brother-King, her golden Knight who had once devoted his cause to a fair maiden that turned out to be a wicked witch. Despite the faults found in the both of them, Talitha's crimson eyes saw a picture of perfection in her brother, just as she had once seen in Gabriel. He was a man to aspire to emulate, a god amongst mortals who could only dream of being made from such magnificent stock. As Gabriel had been, so too was Ezekiel Inferni incarnate, and she saw no man so perfect as her brother was now. Their father had received such treatment until vile transgressions had come to light; oh, she'd handled those, however. The orange wolf who'd come looking for Gabriel had suffered the same sharp tongue as Alaine had once upon a time. And now Gabriel, in all his faults, was free of his daughter's oppressing devotion and expectations.

Her head fell forward with a sigh as the truth came out and Ezekiel turned to look at her. He pulled himself from her, golden eyes seeking to meet their mother's legacy gaze. She was firm in her decision, and it only took a moment for him to realize. Her face turned away again, but the gaze returned as he defended their unique cousin; while she found his reasons more interesting than his defense, she did not choose to press the issue of what his future held. "She made me look like a fool in front of Dahlia. As if I didn't know my own home; she knows nothing of what it means to be one of us, Ezekiel. She doesn't understand that we aren't sunshine and rainbows and flowers in the field. She thinks we need redemption." Oh, the idea that Inferni wasn't good left Talitha furious. They were not angels or saints, but the princess saw no inherent evil in her home. They were cruel because they had to be. She had seen the demons in the past, she had witnessed Haku Soul firsthand, up close and face to face. She'd known the hands of their monster Uncle, the dead Andrezej who so hated Gabriel's family. The beasts were not within Inferni, but outside of the skull-adorned borders.

Never the less, despite her outrage, she trusted Ezekiel's judgement. "You're a good leader, Zekie. Even if you don't like it; I think you were meant to do this. God wanted you to." It was the first time she'd spoken of God's wishes in quite some time; though it seemed clear what He intended Ezekiel to do, Talitha's path remained foggy and undecided. It was best she not think of their singular deity, for she always found herself coming to realize that she had been ignored in His great design.

POSTED: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:36 am

+3

What Talitha ultimately did (or did not do) was no longer something that Ezekiel could control. He was simply the light which she borrowed, and reflected, and she was the magnetic force that kept him grounded. If he had not gone after her, he might have turned cruel here. This might not have been so bad; he was quite cruel in his own ways after all. If he did not have this scarlet siren to guide him he would never have become capable of independence. Inferni would have smothered him and turned him into their uncle.

The talk of Sage’s behavior was met with an uninterested gaze. He knew what had been said; he had followed the girls at length and listened, hidden in deep brush. They had missed him by minutes, though wise in the ways of his tracks, Ezekiel had left only the smell of honeysuckle in his wake. It grew wild along the fences that bordered the Mansion, and did well to hide telling scents; Inferni’s generic brand was one of smoke, salt-water, marijuana, and the honeysuckle. They were an interesting blend, no doubt.

He said nothing of God, but hoped she was right. his voice changed, dreamlike. “Our culture keeps its battles and bones as symbols, but a girl talks of peace and change. So if some idiot comes looking for trouble, what do they expect? Flowers and birds. They’d find swords and warriors instead. Sage believes in making peace, and so do I—but Inferni will not change, no.” He paused, face darkening, turning terrible. “Not while others die for it.”

POSTED: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:05 am

ooc

She had no clue that Ezekiel knew of the events that had transpired at the Dahlian borders. Talitha still wore the necklace gifted by the cow-spotted woman known as Nayru, though she had been nothing but difficult in their meeting, and that was the only proof she had ever known of the change in leaders at all; the garnet shone as it nestled against the cream-colored fur of the woman's chest, now alongside the stag head and twisted branches. Though Talitha had taken the gift as her own, she had no respect for the wishes of Dahlia de Mai. They sought peace that would not come during the lifetime of the del le Poer woman. Her hate was not for Inferni — though the clan had suffered, she hated for her father, who had dealt with his shadow for such a long time.

Her talk of Sage was met with disinterest that caused his sister to turn her gaze away, fingers picking at the fur on her hip that grew about the edges of the eight-rayed star that had been burned there. She kept her attention to his voice despite this; it took only a moment for her to see the larger picture. Surprising to Talitha, Ezekiel was being underhanded. He was lying to the world about his people. In truth, it was a handsome and entertaining quality that she had not see before; it even drew a smile, at least for a moment. His face darkened with his final words and wiped her amusement from her features.

"I don't think I could let it change. Perhaps I'm the largest obstacle to fulfilling the desires of yourself and Sage, but I see nothing wrong in our way of life." And it was true. Talitha was proud to live in such a world, proud of those who agreed with her. Gabriel and Hybrid, they were men to be feared and respected, pinnacles of their society to be looked upon with pride. Ezekiel was proving to be similar, though Talitha would have treated him just the same even if he'd been a creature like flighty Sage. Her smile returned, face drawing close to the golden features of the Aquila in one attempt to press her nose against his cheek; it was an immature gesture, one committed by child siblings rather than adults, but Talitha had always proved to be a child in the presence of her brother.

POSTED: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:31 pm

After the last great enemy had been destroyed, only shadow and whisper remained of the darkness. Ezekiel had heard what the Soul line had done to his cousin through way of his father, though he had never told Halo this. He did not think it proper, did not think it needed. If he wished to cut her, he would do so with his claws. Yet he wanted to establish his co-leaders as allies, not enemies. Talitha was somewhere between both. Both he and his sister could destroy one another if they came to it.

In the end, of course, Ezekiel would persevere. He was more than what his sister had become. “Nothing is wrong,” Ezekiel admitted, leaning his head into her nose. “We’ll always be savages, Talitha.” The skulls showed this, their macabre display made of nightmarish things. They would never escape their history, and he had no desire to do such a thing. The Aquila merely sought to warp their appearance from that of a monster into a misunderstood culture; sympathy made strangers weak.

Suddenly he stood, pulling her up as he did so. “Let’s stop worrying about things for once. I’ll race you,”

POSTED: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:31 am

It had always been Talitha's way to shun those emotions that might cause her world to crumble. Sorrow, sympathy, love — such things became weapons in the hands of the enemy, and her heart had begun to close to them entirely. Love, oh love, it was the most dangerous. It was love that would ruin them, she was certain. It'd been love that had ruined Gabriel, after all. Talitha had never acknowledged her love unless it came to her father and brother, and it was her belief that she never would. Why allow the wolves to kill her so simply? She was perfectly capable of doing it herself.

But her brother was different. Though their similarities shone through the darkness like the fire that had consumed their birth home, Ezekiel had become stronger than she as years had passed for them. Her faults were complemented by his skills, and they far exceeded her abilities.

Her smile fell into contentment with the golden King at her side. Nothing was wrong, he was right. She could see no problems in the way her kingdom worked, there was no need for redemption for God favored them; He had to, for they would have been destroyed long ago if His eyes held no love. They were sinners, yet Talitha had come to find that sin was a word that could be twisted to suit the betterment of her kind.

She allowed a laugh to escape her jaws as he pointed out their future as savages. Yes, they appeared quite the gruesome group, with their symbols of death hanging at their doors. Like Dahlia de Mai, their history color them a horrible shade of bloody red and shadowed black, even after all who harboured this hate firsthand were gone. This was a truth she loved, rather than abhorred; that was the difference between her and many others.

As they rose, as he offered her a chance to turn her mind from such topics, she gave her brother's shoulder a gentle pat. Slender legs carried her towards the water, crimson eyes turning back to view him; she felt he was, in some ways, wrong. "Oh, Ezekiel. We aren't savages." And still the smile grew, for her fragile mind believed this to be true. "We're simply passionate." Another laugh, an affectionate wink, and the sunset princess was sprinting across the beach to beat her brother to the water.

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