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* Plot Information for Dhemlan Terreille

The Queen is dead, and her Steward rules with the support of Parliament over the objections of Dhemlan’s darkest – and secretly twisted -- Queen. What hope the impoverished, starving territory has rests in young, foreign Queens they will never permit to rule. Queens whose mere presence might one day soon bring war to the beleaguered land.
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Author Topic: Just a Little Something For the Pain  (Read 164 times)

Description: Attn: Gaby

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Just a Little Something For the Pain
« on: May 15, 17, 04:25:51 PM »
Slowly, Excessus exhaled beneath the full moonlight that bathed the Dhemlanese landscape. He had been to the Territory before, in his youth, but it had been over a thousand years since those days. Back then he was just donning the mantle of executioner for the Tenebrosi Iarvis, the group that had given him life, purpose, and identity. He reflected on the past that had brought him here as his fingers, golden for the first time in years, seemed to almost glow beneath that luminsence. He had been a young man then, without drive and without purpose. Ignoto gave him a life to claim and he claimed it for the Tenebrosi Iarvis and that was enough. He had respect, power, wealth, and an organization whos purpose he believed in.

But now he was an older man. He was not old compared to the Long Lived to whom he was among their number, but he had spent centuries among those who died in the span of decades as he continued to exist from life to life. He had found a Queen, a wonderful woman whom he loved but could never be with, and in her he'd found a new purpose.

She, too, would wither and die in a few breaths of his long life, and that knowledge made his heart ache just at the consideration of it. He had broken Adamara's Offering just to remove her as a threat from the powers that be, and in robbing her of her power he had increased her reliance on him for his own. And yet, for all his efforts to protect her, even such an extreme as that, he could not prevent her from neither herself (and her damn fool head) and time. He would never have a child with her; something that he could remember her for years and years to come when she was dead and gone, nor could he even say the words he wanted.

Not without incurring the wrath of Ignoto and revealing the fact he was truly Hayllian, not from Dena Nehele.

It's always Queens. He thought bitterly to himself as he slowly produced his mask from his psychic cabinent. The macarbe, ancient thing had always belonged to Excessus, since the foundation of the Tenebrosi Iarvis. The ghoulish face held bone for its crown; though some of the illusions placed upon it by Indomitus would shift its appearance to be more metallic or simply a black hooded cloak. His hands were covered in black metal gauntlets and he took in a slow breath and exhaled through the mask.

He reminded himself why he was here. Another Dena Nehelian Queen with a Purple Dusk Birthright who's life was intertwined with his. Another little Queen who's life he was going to ruin in order to protect her.

It was too early to feel this damn old.

So he leapt down from his hiding place atop the roof that overlooked the Academy, drew upon his awesome power that rested deep in the Abyss, and moved like death itself; unseen but terrible as he made his way to the room of Gabriella Robles. He bypassed students who were out too late and instructors sneaking their way to midnight rendevous. He moved silent through the halls and chambers, having scouted the area for weeks, and came at last to the room that the young Queen had been aforded as one of the students of the Queen's academy.

The first indication that she had that someone was coming for her was when one of her guards flew through the front door, shattering it into wooden shards as the trained escort fell unconscious in a heap. His compatriot lay on the ground, sprawled in the hallway as the dark figure, wreathed in darkness wearing a pale crown stepped over her guard's body and stared at her waking form

It extended metal fingers, interlocking plates of glimmering silver, and spoke with a cold voice devoid of pity or kindness.

"Gabriella, come with me if you wish to live."


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 17, 03:35:57 AM »
In her sleep, Gabriella dreamt of the sea.

Salt spray splashed her face as she leaned over the bow, drops of ocean water fell from her lashes onto her cheeks. The men around her yelled commands to each other. Even their gruff voices were soothing to her, reminding her of something safe, and vital. A warm presence approached her from behind, but when she turned to look, the sun blinded her and she couldn't see the woman's face. She moved toward her but she shimmered in the sea air and vanished. She moved aft toward the back of the ship. The sun sank beneath the horizon. Night was coming.

There was something in the water. The blue turned to grey, and then to black. The water grew choppy. Gabri strained to see it. She could feel it looming beneath the hull of the ship. Her skin blossomed is rows of tiny bumps, the hair raising at the nape of her neck. Something was wrong. Whatever was in the water, it wanted to envelop them whole. Something dark. Something massive. Something dangerous.  She leaned over, stretching, straining...

And a guard was throne through her bedroom door. Gabri sat up, suddenly woken by the brute force of power shattering her carefully crafted locks and ripping her meticulous shields to shreds. Instinct roared within her. She threw up multiple Purple Dusk shields overlaying her skin, the perimeter of her body, and the bed itself. They were interwoven, strengthening her Purple Dusk. Sera had trained her well.

Her eyes blazed. Her long hair fell in front of her face as she leaned forward up onto her knees. Witchfire flickered above her, light shining down on her from above. She wore a long sleeping gown, with long sleeves and a skirt that went to her ankles. Her bare feet braced against the bed linens.

The darkness swirled, shaping and sculpting a form from its very fabric. It extended long, glistening fingers, made of metal or something wet and sharp. The hand reached toward her. Where a face might be, a visage of shifting bone and slick silver stared soullessly out at her. A voice stained in hellfire reached out and spoke her name. A living nightmare, coming to reclaim her, to take her into the very depths of Hell itself. 

Gabriella screamed. 

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 17, 05:09:52 PM »
Well, that is the expected reaction. He thought to himself. After all, his visage was to inspire terror, not hope, in those who saw it. He was a bringer of death, the deliverer of an end before one's time, not a rescuing hero.

If he were not constrained by rules and the balancing of three identities he would have ripped off his mask and disarmed her with the sight of a human face. As it was, though, he would have to remain anonymous in his effort to abscond with the young Lady Robles. If she were to know, others might, and his identity would soon be compromised.

He had no time to quell her fear. He had no time to calm her, to reason with her, to tell her why his sudden and brutal arrival was the best thing for her. All that mattered was that he had to go, now, with her. Already he could hear footsteps in the distance of others approaching that would soon fight to save or claim her life. Draco would not allow them to succeed in either task.

A flare of his deep, awesome power came forth as his metal-coated hand wrapped in a Gray Shield merely punched its way through Gabriella's defenses. Interlocking shields or no, he didn't try to take them piece by piece but by the brute force of a jewel so much darker than hers she could not even sense the edges of its power. The metal fingers wrapped around the front of her gown, dug into the cloth and scraped the flesh beneath and pulled.

As she was torn from her bed, a powerful compulsion web fueled by his Sapphire fell upon her, Draco's words coming out in a distorted, ghostly echo. "Stay calm and come with me." His words, fueled by the power of his dark jewel, would impose his order over her own will to force compliance from her. He felt no regret from using such a heavy handed gesture. There were more dangerous things to concern himself about than his conscience. As long as he did not pour too much power or she resist too great, there'd be no risk to her chalice.

Behind him, Gabriella could see guards running down the hall toward her. The dark figure looked over his shoulder just once, then lowered himself more to her level.

"Climb into my arms." He whispered with an urge, then lifted her into powerful arms that easily supported her weight. Once she was safely in his hold, he took a deep breath and redirected the power of his energy to cover them both. Then, with no further warning he ran as fast as he were able and leapt with both of them out of the window toward the grounds below.


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 17, 07:50:49 PM »
The impact of her interwoven shields breaking forced her backwards. Before she even hit the bed, that sinister hand reached for her. Everything slowed down. Wake up, she thought desperately, WAKE UP! But she knew this was really happening. One by one his fingers curled around the front of her sleeping gown, scraping against the skin underneath. The pain shot through her body changing her scream of fear in pitch and volume. She could feel herself being pulled forward but it was as if she wasn't in her body.

Gabriella watched herself from a distance. She watched as the creature of Darkness snatched her toward him, the white of her gown stark against  the impenetrable blackness of his being. She could hear the screaming like it was far away, coming from someone else's lips and someone else's throat. When the voice spoke again, she felt hooks sink into her inner barriers, already so weak and malleable from years of being pushed and pulled at by man she thought of as her shining hero. 

Stay calm and come with me. Yes. How reasonable. How obvious. The far away screaming stopped suddenly. Slowly she found herself in her own body again, looking up in the face of the living nightmare with perfect peace. Something deep inside her screamed for her not to listen, urged her to run, run run! But the voice was sluggish and more distant by the moment. Gabriella would follow this demon. The desire to do so felt like the most natural choice in the world.

She did as she was told and climbed into his arms. She never got this close to people, and yet she was okay with it right now. He held her in his arms easily, which surprised her for some reason. Shouldn't she be heavy? Shouldn't she feel him strain against her? Was she that light or was he that strong? She nestled into his arms, her fingers tapping out numeric patterns of prime numbers in an easy rhythm. It calmed her. She was to stay calm. She was staying calm.

She tried to examine his face, but it kept shifting. There was nothing solid to hold onto visually, no clear image that her brain could wrap around or comprehend. When he ran, her grip tightened around him instinctively. And then suddenly they were outside, in the dark. The sluggish voice from below pushed through to warn her. Darkness meant danger. Never go outside in the night. But just as quickly, the Sapphire web pulled her back to serenity. She was already in the arms of a minion of Hell. What else could possibly happen in the dark than this?

The wind hit her face as they plummeted down, down. Fear didn't appear. For a moment, she felt like she was flying. They hit the ground and didn't shatter to dust. He moved quickly, far more quickly than was reasonable with her in his arms. She didn't recognize the streets they moved through, but then, she didn't recognize anything in the dark.

Maybe this was death. Her eyes sparkled as she looked up at him in curiosity. "Are you my Death?" she asked, the slightest hint of her Dena Nehelian accent slipping through in her relaxed state. 

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 17, 11:04:50 AM »
Excessus moved like a wraith across the open grounds of the Academy, his charge in tow. As they moved he kept his senses sharp, his large and imposing crown shifting to and fro to survey his pre-planned escape route. Due to his training he'd not be able to shield Gabriella, so he whispered softly to her in his warbling, metal voice. "Shield yourself. Sight, Sound, Body." One of the guards of the ground must have heard him and appeared at the edge of his vision. The Lord saw the bone crown and let out a shout of surprise.

Then Excessus struck him with a power bolt, dead in the chest, fueled by his Sapphire. The man flew through the air and crumpled to the ground. Whether he lived or died was of no real concern to Draco. He wasn't here to kill, but he'd not be adverse to doing so if it was necessary.

"I am Death." The warbling voice answered her question, then the crown shifted to look down at her youthful face. "But not yours."

Never yours.

With a grunt, he hefted himself into the air with a powered jump and then landed over the wall, solidly placed on both feet. With Gabby huddled against him, he pressed her closer still, wrapping his dark cloak around her so as to hide her figure. Once he could no longer see her, but could still feel her, he shielded himself from sight and sound and they both moved unseen and unheard through the streets. He made his way swiftly toward the Landing Pad that, with his expertise in the Craft, would take them both away from this broken, dying land.

Dhemlan wouldn't have this Queen of Dena Nehele. She didn't belong to them. They didn't deserve her. They'd picked their lot by siding with the Eyriens and giving up their soverignty for safety. There was no pity in his heart for the dying and waste of Dhemlan, Terreille.

He was Hayllian at heart, through and through.

"Go to sleep, Gabby." He whispered, urging her toward the black oblivion with the aid of the compulsion web. As she nodded off, her shields would fade, but by then they were already taking hold of the most powerful of Winds. Within moments they were gone and Dhemlan left in the past.

----

When she woke, it was to the sound of birds and to the smell of fresh cut grass. She was in a bed, a  huge, comfortable thing, surrounded by wooden walls and wooden floors and sunshine flowing through an open window. The smell of hot coffee wafted into her nose along with the scents of pine and grass. She was still in her nightgown as she awoke under several blankets. It was cold here, and the warmth of several layers seemed to be the only thing that held back the chill. The very air smelled different from Dhemlan -- wetter and clearer at the same time. A crisp and faint scent of petrichor lined the edge of it all.

Sitting nearby the bed was a man she hadn't met. Draco had dispensed with the mask of Excessus and now wore the face of a short lived man with short hair that had gray at the temples and crow's feet. A severe looking man, he appeared in his early forties but well built and fit with solid shoulders beneath a simple black and red flannel coat, work pants, and large boots.

"Take it easy." He said quietly toward her, his voice a solid rumble as he turned to face her as he held a cup of steaming hot coffee in your hands. "Your head probably hurts a bit after what you've been through." As he turned, she saw that his hand bore a signet ring, though what it was she couldn't discern immediately. His Sapphire and Gray jewels hung upon his chest in clear view beneath heavy amulets that looked to have been wrought in silver, gold, and platinum.

"I'm sorry we had to meet like this, Gabriella." His voice came out slowly and with a sigh of frustration. "I'm Draco."

Slowly he extended the coffee toward her as crystal blue eyes looked at her, unashamed and focused. "I'm your uncle."


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 17, 12:35:18 AM »
They had rushed through the night, Gabriella huddled against Death's chest. She did as he said easily, without fight or question. Whatever will of her own that still remained was buried deep under the weight of his Sapphire. It wasn't a crushing weight though, more like a heavy blanket covering her panic and fear and urging her continued calm. Death was strong, and tireless, but then Death would be, wouldn't he?

He wrapped her in his cloak and all went dark. She pressed further into his body feeling quiet and small. Not her death. But he had come for her, hadn't he? And taken her from everything safe and warm that she had ever known. If he was not her death, whose death was he? The thought no sooner formed than she felt extremely drowsy, the Sapphire blanket getting heavier, pulling her under. Sleep. Yes. Sleep.


Gabri woke into a world of pain. Her head blossomed outward with it, everything inside feeling too much to contain. She reached for her shields and found none. She tried to sense her locks and couldn't. She opened her eyes to a ceiling she didn't recognize. Her chest tightened and her breathing grew faster. There were birds singing. Where were the sounds of the city? The sunlight was shining in through the wrong side of the room. Flashes of the night before came back to her, but they were blurry and uncertain. She could feel the energy that she had succumbed beneath and the words echoed through her mind.

I am death.

She looked to her side and a man sat there she hadn't seen before. She lept from the bed, getting tangled in the blankets and fighting her way to her feet. She threw them away from her and stood on the opposite side of the bed from him, as if the fluffy pillows and soft mattress would be some kind of shield or barrier from him reaching her. She studied him. She took in the unusual jewelry and the Jewels he wore on his chest, the Sapphire (from last night?) and darker still, the Gray. Her eyes widened at the latter.

Yes, her head hurt. Of course her head hurt. How could her head not hurt?! She moved backwards toward the wall, never turning her back on him. The words he spoke made no sense. She couldn't respond, or even hardly take them in. They stayed in silence for a long time before she finally whispered, "My uncle? You're my uncle?"

Her eyes continued to flick over him, like a nervous bird, seeking out every piece of information that she could. The Sapphire. And the Gray. The sigils. He was a man, not a demon. But then couldn't Death choose any form he liked? She committed every detail of him to memory. She might be a slow reader and struggle with her studies, but what she did learn she could recite ever after. Then and only then did she turn her attention to the room, carefully and precisely mapping the distances in her mind. The calculations flew before her easily, and without warning she broke for the door.

He didn't stop her. She flung the door open and ran headlong outside into the cold, bare feet hitting the loam and moss. She stopped just as suddenly. Before her there was only a small clearing and the woods closed in around them. The towering trees blocked out the sky. This was not Dhemlan. This was not her home.

She stood, frozen. No. No, no, no. She could not be back here. Not in these woods. It couldn't be real. It just couldn't. She turned on her toes and ran headlong back into the cabin, crashing into the man who claimed to be her uncle in doing so. He had only gotten to the door, meandering after her. "Take me back! Take me back! Please!" Her hands balled into small fists. She beat them against his chest ineffectually. Her fear overtook her and she broke into sobs. "Please," she begged. "Take me back."


Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 17, 04:17:41 PM »
Draco rose to his feet as the little Queen ran for the door. He was in no hurry to do so; no desperate mad dash to chase after her. Where would she go? His home had been chosen because of its remote nature. It allowed him to carry on his business with privacy and secrecy, and allowed him to act without the constant buzzing attention of the Court. They were not far from a town that had a landing pad he could take back to his Lady if she had need of him. But Gabby wouldn't know where to find it. Poor girl was stuck with him, for now.

He sighed and set his coffee down, knowing that this would be part of the process. The fact was that he would have had a Black Widow just fix her head if it wasn't such an invasive thing. As it was, he wasn't certain which was more cruel to do to the girl.

Taking her from her home was cruel, you old bastard. He thought to himself, even though in the terms of Hayllians, he wasn't that old.

Her eyes had picked up the rustic set up of the bachelor's home. It was clean but spartan, rustic and lacking much in the way of mementos. At least in this room. When she flung open the door and ran out into the cold it was unlocked and unhindered, and he got to his feet to stand at the doorway and watched her.

She crashed into him, so tiny, so light, and he gently placed his hands on her shoulders. "Easy." He said quietly. "Take it easy. There's nothing to fear, here." Draco murmured softly, his words were not fatherly, but he did his best to be soothing as he looked down at her beautiful face. A face that, despite his bitter old heart, he still found himself very, very fond of.

"This is your home, Gabriella. Well.." He shrugged a bit. "Dena Nehele is, anyway. More than Dhemlan. Come on." He gently urged her to the door. "It's cold out here. I don't want you to catch a chill. Come inside and have a cup of coffee." His words were smooth and slow, patient, and he looked down to her eyes as he gestured toward the cabin. "Let's just talk, alright? I don't know much about you, I'll admit. Something I regret. Your life here now is going to be different than when you were growing up."

He pulled his hands slowly away from her then, holding them in air as if he wasn't sure what to do with them. He looked between them and sighed, shaking his head as he let them fall to his sides. "Please?"


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 17, 01:37:41 AM »
He wasn't going to take her back. Wracking sobs shook her entire body and made her head pound even more. She clenched her jaw in a grimace, choking back the sounds of terror and pain that were fighting to escape her searing throat. His hands rested on her shoulders and he spoke reassurances to her that meant nothing more than the breath they cost to offer. She was desperate to get back inside and away from the woods and he found it easy enough to lure her back inside.

Tales of her childhood tore at her mind. The woods weren't safe. Within their boughs evil moved, seeking out children like Gabriella. She had been Gabrielle then, or at times, Cristina, when her aunt was deep enough in the Twisted Kingdom to confuse her with her dead mother. The young Queen's wickedness was responsible for all that had befallen their family, or so she was told, and the shadows in the woods waited only for her to let her guard down long enough that they could emerge and devour her whole.

These were the fairy tales turned nightmares she had been taught as a child, a way to terrify a young unprotected Queen so vividly that she would never go outside. Whatever kindness had been in her grandmother's intent, the result was an anxious and terrified girl.

Tears were still streaming down her cheeks when he got her settled inside with a cup of coffee. She clutched the mug in both hands, fingers stretched taunt. All color had drained from her face, leaving her even paler than usual. Her eyes kept returning to the Sapphire and the Gray at his chest. Such Dark Jewels for a man claiming to be her kin. Her mother had worn the Red, but she knew of no family relation that wore a Jewel as dark as his.

And yet he felt familiar somehow. The scent of him, his movements, just... something. Another bolt of pain pressed against the inside of her skull. She brought the coffee to her lips and sipped it. It was strong, far more bitter than  what she was used to at home. Her tongue felt swollen and raw. She took another sip.

"This is not my home," she said finally. She looked up into his striking blue eyes and thought she saw a crown flicker above his brow, a crown of bone. She blinked and it was gone. But it had been there. She was sure.

Death. Somehow, The young Queen found herself sitting and having coffee with Death. She didn't know how she knew, she just knew. What was more frightening? The monsters who stalked the cabin from the outside in the surrounding woods, or the monster in the room with her? Her terror brought forth a fierce courage and her words found bite and purpose. "You know this isn't my home. You know. Because you took me from there, and brought me here."

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 17, 09:22:58 AM »
Slowly Draco ushered Gabriella back into the cabin and to the seat that he'd been in before. He walked over to the nearby kitchen and poured a second cup, bringing it to her and then claimed his own. "If it's too strong, there's cream and sugar in the kitchen. I just got the cream from the dairy farm down the way, so it should be fresh. I'm a little set in my ways and have it black." He wasn't good at idle chit-chat, nor was he a fan of babying. There was a time for a soft touch, of course, but Draco had recognized a long time ago that he didn't have it. It's what made him a shit father and a shit paramour.

"Mother Night and Hell's Fire." Draco grumbled to himself at Gabriella's arguing at him after she had finally sat down. Her accusation didn't sit right because while it was true and he didn't have an issue with that, she shouldn't know it was him.

"Not literally. The Territory is, though. Damnit, Gabi, Savion Euskara is a piece of shit. And he has no business trying to get his hooks into you. Dhemlan is NO place for a Dena Nehelian Queen, especially not one they kidnapped."

He paused, frowning as he lifted a hand to rub at his jaw. "Well, technically bought, but still, the concept's fucking there and aggravating.

Look. Do you know what the Guilds are?"
He looked to her directly, his bright blue eyes focused entirely on her own dark orbs. "I paid one of them to bring you here. I work for the Province Court of Moesia. I'm the Steward there, have been for years. Your parents..." Draco sighed and shook his head. "They fucked up. My brother, your father, especially. They trusted the wrong people here.

You deserve a better life than to be Savion Euskara's pawn. You deserve a better life than to always live as an outsider in Dhemlan -- the person that'll always get looked down on because you're not some golden skinned asshole.

I serve the best damn Queen in Dena Nehele. I'm going to tell her to take you on not just as a ward of the Court but as her protege. So you can learn how to be a Queen from a ruling Queen. Not that Isadora bitch."


The truth was, Draco had known far more about Gabriella's situation than any man from Dena Nehele should. He'd used his Tenebrosi Iarvis contacts to get information about her and to learn her situation and everything he'd discovered had prompted him to action. Savion was bad enough, but Isadora Diamante was worse. Dhemlan was rotting worse than Dena Nehele, and at least she'd find purpose here, a true way to guide her own fate.

He'd just have to get Adamara to go along with it, and maybe fight a Black Widow Pirate Queen.

"Sorry, I get extra grumpy before the first cup." He softened with a slow sigh. "Look, have you ever served in a Court? Seen the insides and outs of ruling? It's a different world. The Academy's manipulated bullshit. It's not real. You want to be a Queen that rules, right?"

He slowly swept his hand around him to gesture the cabin. "This place needs Queens just as bad as Dhemlan, and here you won't have Savion's hand up your ass telling you what to say and do."


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 17, 07:56:29 PM »
Garbiella listened. Her gaze was intensely focused on the Jewels and sigils that hung against his chest. She heard the words he offered, insults against the man who had cared for her so lovingly and saved her from a life of pain and starvation. He spoke of Dhemlan as if he understood the needs of the Territory when he clearly did not. He made some excuse of hiring a Guild member to kidnap her. He called her nothing more than a puppet.

So far Gabri had felt an immense range of emotions this morning, but what rose within her now was new. A dark shadow of who she might have become if she had remained here, in these woods. She would have come home wearing the Purple Dusk instead of leaving the Altar and never again seeing the small, filthy cabin. She would have learned here, in this Territory filled with demons who fed on Queen's blood.

Would she have ever lived this long? Would she still wear her Jewel or would she have long ago been split and shattered on a stranger's spear? Would she have ever known the feeling of being treasured, the way Savion did? And Sera. She would have never met Sera.

The darkness within her grew, gathering strength as she sat, silent and still, staring at Death's chest. Sapphire and Gray. Gray and Sapphire. Sapphire and Gray and a crown of bone.

In her silence, he went too far. She had endured all of his words so far and he finally stepped across her line. Her hands grew hot with Purple Dusk until finally the mug shattered, sending coffee and shards of ceramic in all directions. "Enough!" It was a command, a command a Queen would give a male who served her, not one a young woman would generally scream at her kidnapper. He had pushed at her too hard and now it was her turn to speak.

Her words were crisp, each syllable biting into the next, perfect speech from years of tutoring flowing forth from her lips. "I will not sit here and listen to you speak foully of the only family I have ever known. You claim to be my uncle but where were you when I was starving to death in these woods? Where was your brother, if he really is my father as you say?"

The coffee had stained her sleeping gown and burnt her hands, but she did not move from where she sat. Every inch of her was rigid with fury, her back straight, her shoulders square. The young Queen looked almost regal in her rage. "Savion clothed me. He sheltered me. He gave me a home and he taught me what love is. He educated me. He fed me! If he bought me as you claim so vulgarly, then I received the better end of the bargain by far. And he never had his hand 'up my ass' or inside any other part of me for that matter!" She took a deep, solid breath then, needing to steady herself to continue. "You are so quick to say where my home is, but you have never even met me, and I never laid eyes on you before last night."

"I know about men like you. Men who decide to use their power and Jewels to teach Queens that they can't trust themselves. You fool us into believing our own kenning false. And we rely on you more and more, thinking our minds are not safe or sane. You use us to your own ends, weakening everything we were meant to be. You acknowledge we are kin but refuse that I could know you. But I do. I do know you. I knew you last night and I know you now."

Slowly, deliberately, she tilted her head back to meet his blue stare. Heat burned behind her eyes, fires that she had not yet set blazing through her mind. "What does Death's niece call him?" she asked, refusing to turn from his gaze. 

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 17, 01:19:31 AM »
Gabriella shattered the mug and all pretenses of kindness in this conversation. She burned her hands in her moment of outrage -- power expelled but no discipline. That grated on him heavily, as he'd had to restrain his anger more times than he could count. Even if were twice a year (it was far more than that) of his years alive, it'd be in the thousands. His fingers curled around his mug and he resisted the very powerful urge to smack her down both physically and verbally.

She was a Queen, though, and he'd told her they were blood. It wouldn't do to win her trust to start assaulting her.

Her command didn't have much weight to him, but it nonetheless impressed him. Something in him was proud of her even if it rankled at her making the suggestion, however subtle, that she could order him around.

Her questions were pointed, and as his anger abated some at her meaningful queries, he slowly rose to his feet as he walked over to the kitchen to cool a cloth and walk back toward her. Her question, her accusation of his identity -- it was troubling. She shouldn't have been able to sense him and yet...

...It would confirm why he went after her in the first place. She knew they were connected, as much as he had known.

He slowly knelt down before her, as a man might his Queen, and reached up to gently take her hand. His fingers were calloused, but they held a care and precision that came with thoughtfulness and attention. He wrapped the cool cloth around her hand as he swept away the shards with his Birthright. "Your father is an idiot and a fool, who was too afraid to value something as precious as his own daughter." Draco said softly and shook his head as he looked down at her hands, then looked up at her face as he rested on his knee before her. "And I am sorry for that, Gabi."

He held her gaze then for a moment, then sighed as he looked away -- the stare of a little Queen too terrible to bear with all the pain in her eyes. "I have been a member of the Myos since before you were born. I was killing people since I was around your age -- a very, very long time. I'm very good at it. Better than you can imagine."

He turned to her then and focused on her. "I didn't know you existed until recently. Again, your father is a jack-ass and a fool. But he doesn't matter now. What matters is that you and I have found one another now.

Gabi.."
He sighed and shook his head. "I do not have the sensibilities of a courtier. I'm no silver tongued Prince. I'm a man of blunt words and directness, but I know things about Dhemlan that you do not. Despite your years there, your life there's been sheltered. You were a prize worth keeping in a fortress under lock and key.

And they will never accept you as one of their own there. Trust me -- the Long Lived and the Short Lived... their lives are different. They see the world differently.

Just..."
He frowned for a moment and shook his head, lifting his hands to slowly take hers. "Just give me the opportunity to show you that this isn't as bad as you've been taught. That there could be a future here, alright?

I don't think you're stupid. I just don't think you were ever given an educated choice. Just.. give me a chance to show you what your birthright is, okay? That Dena Nehele could be your home, much more than Dhemlan ever was.

At least meet my Queen. You'll see what I mean after that."


He held her hands and slowly exhaled. "I told you already. My name is Draco. Draco Tenebrius."


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 17, 06:35:45 AM »
"Draco," she said softly, echoing his offering, again, of a name that was not Death. But he was Death. He had told her last night, and confirmed it again when he called himself Myos.

The Myos are the nightmares who walk the Realms.

No one ever meets a Myos twice.

The Myos are not the death dealers, they are incarnations of death itself.

"If you tell me you're Myos, don't I have to die for it?" She should be frightened. Her nightmare had come to life. She had been taken in the night by a demon from the darkness and returned to the woods that still plagued her nightmares. She hadn't expected the demon to be her kin, and she hadn't expected to understand something about him that she couldn't quite catch. It danced at the edge of her vision, flittering away whenever she tried to focus on it. She knew him last night, and she knew him today, and she would know him no matter how he appeared to her. What she didn't know was how, or why. 

"You wouldn't have brought me here if you wanted to kill me. I'd be dead in Dhemlan, wouldn't I?" Her mind worked at the puzzle, the anger from the moment before having used the last of her reserves. Her mind and body ached. She had no more tears and she had spent the last of her strength fueling her rage. She felt hollowed out, a husk of herself and her strength.   

The sole advantage to it that she could see was that she was too drained to even engage in her compulsions, so for the moment, the numb feeling that was growing inside her also felt like peace. "Killing since you were my age." She considered the words and considered what she knew of both the Guilds and the Myos. She studied his features and her hands relaxed into his. "How terribly lonely for you," she said simply with honesty, without much seeming awareness of how her statement might be reacted to.

Her mind returned to another puzzle hidden within his words. "You ask if I will do these things with you. Meet your Queen, see if you can get beyond my fear and memories to learn about Dena Nehele. But they aren't actually requests, really." Gabri's words were honest, if not punctuated by some underlying meaning. "In order for them to be requests, I have to be able to say no."

"And I can't, can I? You won't take me back." She said this with the same certainty that she had that he was the demon who had snatched her from her bed. "So I have to see these things you want me to see. But we're not on holiday. And they will come for me." Her voice was much less certain of this than anything else. "They will," she repeated.

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 17, 02:29:06 PM »
Gabriella's pointed question about the secret nature of the Myos brought a twitching smirk from the Gray Prince. "Well, by the rules, yeah. But let's just keep it a secret between you and me, okay? Don't go around giving me a reason." And while his wink and smile might normally be disarming, given what she'd seen of him and their short association it may well not do well to ease any anxieties she may have.

While Gabi worked out the details in her head, the puzzle of who he was and how she'd still be alive, he left it alone and remained kneeled near her. Her piercing observation that his life must be a solitary one didn't sit well with him, but he didn't comment. It drew a frown but no words to countermand or agree with her consideration.

In order for it to be a 'request' I have to be able to say no. Which she couldn't, no. Well, she could say it, but he wouldn't let her. Sure, that made him a kidnapper. Probably worse than that, really. But when one's soul was already blackened by thousands of years of deeds what was one more?

At least this one made him feel good.

"For now. After you give it a chance and you have the opportunity to see, we'll talk again about you going back to Dhemlan if it's what you really want." He got to his feet and moved back toward the kitchen, finding another cup and filling it with coffee that still steamed from its heat. He brought it back to her and extended it for her consumption.

"You don't need to be scared of anyone coming for you, Gabi.

I'm the scariest thing in Dena Nehele."
And he said the words with the certainty of stone. Even if something or someone was out there who was stronger, they'd never had the conversation with Draco to prove him wrong.


Offline Gabriella Robles

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 17, 01:16:06 AM »
Gabriella nodded ever so subtly, her long hair just barely shifting. She would not tell his secret if he would not, and that would keep them both safe. Mututally assured destruction may not be something most chose to build a relationship on, but it was enough for the Purple Dusk Queen. He winked at her and smiled, which she supposed was to be reassuring. It wasn't. But then, she didn't expect Death to be a very reassuring being. "I won't," she said softly. "I won't give you reason."

She accepted the fresh cup of coffee her handed her and brought it to her lips. This time she was prepared for the bitterness. The warmth of the dark liquid filled her mouth and offered her some small creature comfort, even in the extreme situation she found herself in. She could not run. He would catch her. She had no where to hide and no way to reach Sera. Whether she wanted to accept it or not, he was now her reality.

"You mean it?" she asked. She set the coffee cup down on the small table next to the bed and leaned forward towards him. "If I do what you say, go where you tell me, meet who you want me to meet, you'll really give me the option to go home? Or at least to talk about it?" She sounded very young then, a scared and exhausted little girl who just wanted to go back home and would trade anything to do so. The underlying message speaking clearly: if I am very, very good, will you please end this nightmare?

"You don't need to be scared of anyone coming for you, Gabi. I'm the scariest thing in Dena Nehele." His words were the final straw. The terror of the night before, the pain that pounded against the inside of her skull now, the realization that she was no longer in Dhemlan but had been forcibly brought back to Dena Nehele, her outburst of rage earlier, all suddenly came crashing down on her slender shoulders. 

She collapsed to her knees in front of him and threw her arms around his neck. She clung to him like he was the only thing keeping her alive. Because he was. She buried her face against his neck and spoke into his shoulder, desperate, pleading whispers. "You can't know that. You can't. How do I know you can protect me? How do I know you won't hand me over? Please. Please. Please. You have to. You have to protect me. I'm not strong enough. Not yet. Sera's not done teaching me. Please. You have to keep me safe..." the words went on and on. 

"Please, Draco," she said finally quieting, her pain lacing through the three syllables as clear as if she had broadcast it across the sky.

Offline Draco Tenebrius

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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 17, 12:33:46 PM »
Gabi's reaction caught him off guard. He hadn't expected her to launch herself at him, and for half a second he thought it was an attack. He wrapped a skin-tight Sapphire shield about his body, only to feel her press against him and wrap her arms around his neck. For a moment he sat there stunned, his hands uncertain on either side of her hovering and unsued. After she began to nearly sob, her words more babbling than actual sentences, he lowered the shield and slowly placed his hands around her back and held her. Hugged her.

The warmth that came from her body and spread over his own was a deep and satisfying thing. It shocked him for a moment just how calming it was to have this little Queen hug him and feel accepted by her, even if it was only for a moment.

The emotion that swelled through him in that moment was harder and headier than anything he'd felt in a long, long time. He held her a bit tighter and closed his eyes as he pressed a kiss to the side of her head. Tears stung behind his closed eyelids and he pressed her gently against him to let her feel the warmth and comfort his body could provide.

"I'd never hand you over, Gabi." He whispered into her ear. "We're family. You and me. I'll do whatever I have to in order to keep you safe. You'll be strong enough, girl. I know you will.

Just.. give us a chance, okay? A chance to be a family. That's all I'm really asking. A chance for you to be happy and safe here, where I know you'll do great. And I'll always be here to protect you, Gabi.

Always."


He waited for her body to relax, to calm, and though he didn't want to he slowly drew his hands up her back to her shoulders to slide her body enough to look him in the eye. "I mean everything I say. You don't have to see your mother's side of the family if you don't want to. You don't have to go back there. I want you to be happy here. I want you to feel safe here. It won't happen right away, I know, but hopefully soon.

Give me a chance to earn your trust. Please?"


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Re: Just a Little Something For the Pain
« Reply #15 on: Today at 03:50:24 AM »
His arms wrapped around her slowly and she clung to him even tighter. She had no awareness of whether she was choking him with her death grip or had hurt him when she flung herself at him. All she knew was that everything hurt. Her body hurt, her heart hurt, her head was screaming. He had taken everything that had felt safe and right away from her, and he was the only one here who could protect her from what she knew down in the deepest, darkest, crevices of her soul was waiting for her outside in the woods.

He promised to protect her. She wanted to believe him so fiercely. She needed to. Because if she didn't, then everything, her entire life, would have been for naught. Gabriella would rather have died in that shack than know what love and warmth and safety was, only to have it ripped away again. Even the name he called her, Gabi, was the name of a childhood she had tried desperately to forget, as opposed to the shortened Gabri that had been used in Dhemlan. Could she be Gabi again? Could she be Gabrielle again? Maybe. Maybe it he meant it. If he really, really meant it and didn't break his promise and he protected her from all the things, every of the things, then maybe, maybe she could.

She fought to not pull away from him, but his hands were firm on her shoulders. Tears stained her pale skin red and blotchy as she looked up into his face. His eyes were so clear. So blue. All the eyes in Dhemlan were gold. Dazzling, but not the colors of Dena Nehele or the short lived races. "You promise?" she repeated when he stopped speaking. Her eyes focused and her fingers dug desperately into the cloth of his shirt, her hands against his chest where they had gone when he had pulled her back. If she could have, she would have dug indents there for her hands to rest solidly, something to grip on to no matter what came. "You truly promise? You'll protect me and you won't let me take them away?"


Her eyes gained a wild look about them and she shifted back from him on her heels. "And you mean it that you'll be my family? We'll be family? Because I can't go back there. I won't." Her words hardened and her body was shaking. She ripped at the sleeves of her sleeping gown revealing long slender forearms. "I'll cut open my arms and give the entirety of myself to the land before I go back to my mother's family. It's not a threat. It's a promise. If you betray me, if you try to take me back there, I'll be dead by morning."