collapse

* Welcome!

CLICK HERE if you're interested in joining, or if you'd just like a little more info about Blood Rites.

News
« Update to Caste Additions
« Nov otM Voting
« Dec otM Noms
« Dec Snowfall Challenge
« Nov Snowfall Results
« Nharkava Petition Vote
« Secret Santa Signups
« Oct otM Winners!
« Nharkava: Intent to Inherit
« Nov otM Noms
« 2018 Winter of Writers
« Sep otM Winners
« Oct Nominations
« Fall Cleaning Event
« Aug otM Winners
« Sep otM Noms
« Dhemlan T Petition Vote
« Glacia Petition Vote
« Fall Icon Winner
« July otM Winners
« July otM Voting
« August otM Noms
« DT is under Petition
« Revamp of Succession Article
« New Production Member
« Hayll is open for Petition
« Removal of Co-Plot Leads
« NEW Awards Board
« Chaillot is open for Petition
« Shalador is Open for Petition
« June otM Winners
« Glacia is under petition!
« May otM Winners!
« June otM Nominations
« May otM Voting
« Superlative Category Poll
« Seasonal Icon Contest
« April otM Winners!
« March otM Winners
« Current Petitions Snapshot
« Tacea Petition Vote
« DaM Petition Vote
« Glacia is open for Petition
« DaM is open for Petition
« March otM Noms
« Spring Icon Winner
« Territory Changes & Updates
« Feb otM Winners
« Tacea is Under Petition
« Tacea Open For Petition
« Nharkava Open For Petition
« Spring Icon Contest
« Happy 8th Anniversary
« Advancing Character Ages
« Dhemlan Terrielle is Open for Petition!
« Change to Territory Petition Requirements
« Jan otM Winners!
« 2017 Snowfall Results
« February otM Noms
« 2017 Superlative Winners
« 2017 Superlative Love Letters
« Winter Icon Winner
« Tacea is Soft Closed
« Disallowing "Underage" Characters
« Revamp of Craft Article
« New NPC Registration Process
« The Value of Jewels

Fall, 193 Years after the Purge

* Important Links

* Chat Box

Guest Friendly. No advertising please.

* BR Councils

* COTM and TOTM

* COTY and TOTY

Character of the Year


Thread of the Year

* Affliates

Affiliate with Us

Blood Rites RPG

Listed At

RPG-D Nerd Listings

Our Affiliates

   

* Credits

RSS Feed  Facebook  Tumblr    E-Mail

Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
Points Scheme: Mother Night
Ratio System: Blood Rites

Blood Rites best viewed in Firefox.
Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Plot Information for Dena Nehele

With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
Culture of Dena Nehele
Court of Dena Nehele
Myos Guild
Shaos Guild
Jacks Guild
Guilds Roster
Guilds FAQ

* Welcome Guests

You are currently viewing our forum as a Guest. While you can see all we do, you can't participate. Please think about joining, we love new players. Click Here for more information.


Author Topic: The Unquiet Mind  (Read 271 times)

Description: tag: Sora [After Nick's Bad Episode, Before the Welverts]

Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
The Unquiet Mind
« on: Nov 30, 18, 01:52:20 PM »
Sleep had its benefits.  Nick had gone without for so long that he had become used to it.  His body had established a routine, and no matter how cleverly Jeremiah had countered the younger Warlord Prince’s nightmares, his body still remembered that routine.  He left when he was meant to sleep, but because of his Darkness, he would always need less than most, and could go without for longer than most.  The nightmares did not trouble him as harshly as they once had, but even Jeremiah could not silence Nick’s mind.  Cold, sharp, and ruthless—particularly when it came to Nick himself—his mind ran down logical paths with a swiftness and an acute clarity that would have made Prince Bane proud, and likely terribly worried.  Nick’s mind was not a safe place, not even for Nick.  Jeremiah was one of the two to walk across its surface, the other was Sway.  He had no secrets from Sway, even the most terrible.  Jeremiah now knew what he had before only suspected, but out of respect for Nick, his knowledge went only so far.

He was possessed of an unquiet mind.  Riley had seen to him after his episode, had smothered him in her Queen’s Touch, and pulled him back from the very dangerous edge.  She and Jeremiah had risked their lives for him.  Nick was a danger to everyone in that Palace, and that Palace housed everyone that he ever really thought of.  There were people there that belonged to him, and he had endangered them all with his senses, with his constant and instinctive monitoring of the lives around him, even as a part of his mind coiled and waited like a serpent in the dark, waiting to snuff out those same lives.  Nick was not built correctly, he was certain of that.  His Uncle had built a weapon with no thought to building a person.  He did not need feelings to kill.  He did not need feelings to survive.  Feelings were complications, luxuries, abstracts that he could not at all afford.  And yet, the palace had given him an embarrassment of emotional riches, but Nick had no idea how to spend that resource.  He was certain that it would have been safer to eject him from this place he called home.

Instead of the Library, a place he haunted commonly, sometimes in the company of others, he headed to the training field.  Sora was good company, as was Asimov, and even Stela on those occasions he encountered that newest member of their Court, but he was not really looking for company.  There were indoor areas to train, including the one where he and Sway trained, but he wanted to feel the bite of a cold night, he could not say why.  Nick moved behind sight and aural shields, and even masked his Jewel, to reach the inner courtyard.  The rooms around it were dark, which suited him fine.  He released the mask and the sight shield, and expanded the aural shield to include the area he meant to work in in.  He was already barefoot, and the ground stung the bottoms of his feet, keeping him up on the balls of them instead.  Nick stripped to the waist, tucking the shirt in a bag he brought with him that had a towel in it, water, and a small box of food.  Lady Sala kept him supplied these days, and seemed to know when the night called to him.  In the silence of the evening, he began to stretch.

I am a danger to everyone...No, you are a boon, a protector...I nearly killed so many...but you did not...

”But I could have.”  Nick answered himself out loud, though the aural shield kept that close. 

Give and take was how the world worked, only his Uncle had ever only taken.  Jeremiah and Riley gave with both hands, leaving no hand left for them to take with.  Nick straightened and addressed a hanging human-shaped heavy bag.  It was made of burlap and stuff with sawdust and sand.  One typically wore gloves to work with it, Nick sheathed his hands in a skin tight shield, and went to work.  At first, he was light and quick on his feet, moving as swiftly as the thoughts flashed through his mind.  There was no one to watch, so there was no reason to restrain himself, no reason to be anything other than really and truly as physical as he could possibly be.  He was not tired, but perhaps he could be.  The Green Warlord Prince exploded into subtly Craft-fueled motion, and attacked the bag with speed and precision more reminiscent of a striking snake than a human being.  Faster and faster he went, as if he were trying to keep up with the racing thoughts of his mind.

Mother Night tested you and your survived...nonsense...not according to Asimov...I did not ask for this.

Nick’s feet became more rooted, and while his blows came only fractionally slower, there was a distinct change in the style of their delivery.  His fists landed like hammers, punishing the heavy bag as thought it had gravely insulted him or even tried to kill him.  He no longer had nightmares, but the source of that still lurked in his mind.  His memory could not be taken from him.  His skin crawled for a moment, and he hit the bag still harder.  Nick was a victim, he knew that on a purely logical level.  He had been saved from all of that by Sway, saved from a life that had given him all of the skills necessary to survive in the life he had now.  He even had a new name, a true name, but he still remembered.  Nick loathed the dark thing that unfolded in his belly.  He loathed the lack of control it encouraged, even as he felt the anger build in him.  It would be easier to destroy himself than it would be to live in a world where he had harmed any of his people.  His jaw clenched, his fists pistoned into his imaginary opponent.

No...no...my absence would cause harm...Sway has lost enough...so has Riley...so has Jeremiah.

He would not add to their pain, even though life was so much harder.  A final blow tore the dummy from its moorings, and it flew across the training field, upsetting a rack of weapons whose clattered was absorbed by his aural shield.  Nick stood there for a moment, breathing heavily, caught somewhere between feeling as though he might retch, and feeling like tearing the entire courtyard apart.  His body opted for the former, and he went to his bag soon after, to drink the bottled water Lady Sala had sent him earlier that evening.  Steam curled off of his body, as the perspiration dried on his skin, turning to steam in the cold air.  Nick released the aural shield with a sigh, along with the shields around his fists, and moved to clean up the miss he had made.  He did not even notice that as he had thrown every punch, he had been crying.  Nick could not have said what he was crying about.

An unquiet mind, indeed.

Nick sensed her nearby before he saw the light.  Sora was afraid of the dark.  He knew that, but that was not what told him who was near.  He heard her heart, and knew that it was already too late for him to hide.  Perhaps she had seen him?  He was sure that his aural shield had held, or perhaps she had been near, and sensed his distress, if distress it was.  Nick decided to continue to pick up, righting the rack of gear, and gathering the practice weapons that had scattered across the sand, sawdust and scrub grass of the yard.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #1 on: Dec 01, 18, 10:05:56 PM »
Sora had no idea why she was up at this hour. Jeremiah’s web had eased her nightmares, allowing her to sleep, but there were still times in the night that her body and mind demanded to be awake. Riley had raised her to the First Circle recently, and her time with the other Wards had grown less and less with the passing days. Riley had asked her to rule when she stepped down at Winsol, so Sora spent her days (and many of her nights) researching history, sharpening her command of protocol, law, and elocution to ensure that she was ready to step into her new role at Riley’s command. Sleep was a necessary thing these days, and Sora’s schedule allowed for a full night’s rest so that she was ready to get to work early each day.

Tonight, she needed something else.

Gabriella and Savi were both elsewhere tonight. Quinten had been asleep on the couch earlier, stepping into the role that Cezar once held in her life, but he was gone now. Marius, however, was still awake when she rose from the bed. He moved as well, letting Quinten rest. Sora crossed the room quietly, taking a moment to brush her hand gently through Quinten’s hair. He didn’t stir. She left him to sleep, knowing that he’d need it, and left her room.  She summoned a globe of witchlight with her White, illuminating their path through the hallways of the palace. 

She and Marius walked, talking for a time. Well, it was more accurate to say that Sora talked while Marius grunted in affirmation or denial. Her first male was a man of few words; it was his way to let her talk her way through her problems, only speaking if she truly needed it. Only now did she realize that Savi possessed this same trait, leading to another reason she liked the Guardian of the Wards.

Marius went still, extending an arm to bar her forward progress. They were near the entrance to the inner courtyard now, as Marius knew that Sora liked to walk along the back walkways of the palace so that she could enjoy the Autumn chill without venturing too far from the warmth of the palace. She wore a heavy dark gray sweater that she’d crocheted herself, along with black leggings. Lady Sala’s lessons early in the year had paid off, especially while Sora recuperated from her stabbing at Tantalus. By now, she’d made a sweater for each of her males (save for one), as well as Riley and Jeremiah.

Someone’s out there, Sora. We should turn around.” Marius said.

Marius, please. I...I think I know who it is.” she said, strengthening the light she’d summoned.

Sighing, Marius shielded her with his Opal before pushing open the door. He stepped outside and scanned the area for threats. Finding none, he held the door for Sora.

She saw Nick almost immediately.

He wasn’t wearing a shirt. She immediately worried that he’d catch his death, already fussing over him in her mind before she had a chance to look at him. Jeremiah and Riley had taken a greater interest in his well-being, practically adopting him into their little familial unit. Far from jealous, Sora was glad for it. Riley and Jeremiah were natural caregivers, so they needed someone to fuss over. She was glad to see Nick receive that caring and generosity, for he deserved to have people in his life show him what family really meant.

Nick, what are you doing out here?” Sora called out. She advanced slowly, both to keep from spooking him and to ensure that she didn’t provoke him by violating his chosen territory. Marius would come to her defense, of course, but Sora preferred that it didn’t come to that.

The closer she got, the more that things became clear. He’d been here, working out. The sensations of pain and conflict were heavy in the area, indicating that her friend was in pain Mother Night did not give him her leash to hold, but Nick was hers and she cared for him.

If he didn’t stop her, Sora would stop a few feet away and extend the power of her Touch both Warlord Princes, trying to grant each man some peace and ease.

I can go if you want me to, but...it seems like you could use a friend.” she said.

I could use one, too. No offense, Marius.

None taken, my lady.

She turned her attention back to Nick and offered him her hands, if he chose to take them.





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #2 on: Dec 03, 18, 09:28:51 AM »
On the heels of Sora’s presence, he found Marius.  Nick was glad that Sora was not alone.  The Palace was, he believed, fairly safe.  It was one thing to attack a Ward at a theater whose security, while tightly managed, was not managed by Princes Bane, Mercer, and Cutrov, quite another to penetrate a Palace full of guards, and three Myos, at least one Dove, and whatever other Guildsman had slipped in besides.  Sora was safe from Guildsman, or rather, she ought to be.  In any case, better for her to have an escort, than to not.  He would feel less obligated to walk with her if she already had one of her Males in tow.  He understood those instincts.  Nick’s first thought had been murder, he could only imagine how one of her Bonded Males must have felt when they learned of it, or experienced it through the Boind.  In Marius shoes, he would have tried to turn his Queen away as well.

She should have listened to her Escort.  He did not need to hear the words.  He could read it in the rush of their Blood, the beat of their hearts, the surge of motion that brought one of his chosen Queens out into the Courtyard with him.  Nick had no Bond.  No leash.  Riley, Sora, and Orianna were the only Queens he was willing to serve right now, and that suited him fine.  In a life where choice was a commodity, this one was precious.  Sora called to him, and moved with proper caution.  He was glad of that, rather than insulted.  He would never hurt her, or allow her to be harmed, if there was anything at all he could do about it, but she did not know that for certain, and neither did Marius.  Nick’s breath hissed between his lips, his breath turning into mist, as he sighed quietly.  ”I was attempting to exhaust myself back into sleep.  It is not working.”

Sora extended her Queen’s Touch to him as he turned to face her.  His knees almost buckled.  It was, by his count, the third time he had experienced the Touch, including the first time Sora had used it on him.  Riley had soothed him for—he had lost count of how long—after during and after his episode.  He had needed it then, desperately.  Here, it was extended out of concern, and it tugged at him, at his heart and soul, because it was unexpected.  A kindness from a Queen, from a peer, from a friend.  Nick paused in his approach, so he did not stumble, and Sora could see his muscles twitch.  He had no comfort Craft, it was not a luxury he had been allowed, so he was exposed to the weather, and had been using activity to keep warm.  Now that he was still, and the Touch had soothed him, the cold was beginning to bite.  Steam rose from his shoulders, or so it seemed, and his entire body seemed to tighten in an effort to keep warm.  ”No, you do not have to go.”

Nick picked up his bag, and put the strap over his shoulder, before he pulled out the towel, and draped it over his shoulders.  His eyes moved to Marius to be certain he was at ease with him moving closer, and only when he was sure did he put his hands into Sora’s and take hold.  ”Thank you.”  He said plainly, for the Touch, and for her willingness to come outdoor for him.  ”Let us go back inside.  I believe Lady Sala will have left tea for me.  I will share.”


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #3 on: Dec 04, 18, 12:20:04 AM »
Sora was pleased that Nick didn’t ask her to leave, though it didn't alleviate her worry for him. His reaction to her Touch reminded Sora that Nick didn’t have a Queen to soothe him as Marius had her. She often wondered how Nick made it through his days with the instincts that screamed in his mind and beneath his skin. His control was strong for a Warlord Prince who stood as deep in the Abyss as he. Perhaps it was because he stood so deep in the Abyss that Nick’s control was so strong. But he couldn’t maintain that control at all times without releasing some of that pressure.

Yes, let’s get out of the cold and have some tea. We can talk about what’s got us both up at this hour.” Sora said, smiling at Nick. Marius turned on his heel and lead both of them back to the double-doors that would take them into the palace corridor. He offered Nick a polite nod, respecting the younger Warlord Prince for his care of Sora during their previous meetings. Marius would check the corridor for any guards or other wanderers before allowing Sora and Nick inside.

The trio made their way to the Wards’ kitchens. A pot of tea had, in fact, been left out. Lady Sala was a marvel at many things, but anticipating the nighttime wanderings of the Wards appeared to be its own form of Craft. Sora appreciated it, and she moved to the chair that Marius pulled out for her and sat down. She waited for Nick to join her. Once Nick was seated, Marius looked to Sora.

I’ll keep watch, just in case anyone comes this way.” Marius said.

Sora nodded and watched him go before turning her attention back to Nick. She tugged at the sleeves of her sweater, but continued to offer him her Touch from across the table. She also reached out to pour the tea, declining to use Craft as she normally did.

So...do you want to go first? Or should I?” she asked. There was no accusation or demand in her tone. She wanted to talk to her friend and, really, the closest thing to a brother she had in this palace.






Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #4 on: Dec 04, 18, 09:53:07 AM »
Had he known the line of Sora’s thoughts, he would have answered her.  Nick trained.  He was there every morning, and often there training when he did not have to be.  He found moments to read, and to draw, and more importantly, he found time to be alone, usually up in the rafters.  Then there was Sway, who served as a pressure valve in a lot of ways.  When they trained together, it was very close to being a real fight.  Sway could not go easy on him, not if she was making a Myos.  Nick understood that, and while he did not always like the places training took them, he understood the necessity, and the rewards that could be his on the other side of it.  Finally, he was controlled because he had to be, because to offer anything less than his very best was an insult to all that had been given him.  It was no way to repay kindness, no way to balance the scales.

Some believed that he had it easy.  He did not.  He had arrived in this state through hardship and pain, and would have gladly traded it, save for the fact that would mean some other child would have suffered.  Better it was him; Dark enough not to break, and too stubborn to give his Uncle the satisfaction of showing his weakness.  Control was necessary, but it was also the best way he could exist in the Palace—and he had lost it, for a time.  Nick returned Marius slight nod, and let Sora take his arm and lead him inside.  His skin was cold to the touch, the perspiration already wicked away by the chill and the dryness in the air.  The path to their kitchens was a well known one, and they arrived in short order.  Nick removed the towel, tucked it into his bag, and pulled out a shirt that he shrugged into, and buttoned up.  He rubbed his hands together, making clear the shirt was for warmth, not modesty.

Nick sat for tea with Sora, tilting his head slightly as he spread his perceptions out.  Marius was nearby, and a little further out was Lady Sala and Prince Belmont.  At this hour, they were typically together, though one or the other was occasionally off the Palace grounds.  Nick largely knew who came and went, he just never said anything about it when he did notice.  It was probably better that way.  Nick could have pretended to not know what Sora meant, knowing that was an oft used social defense.  He did not have it in him to feign ignorance.  Omit information, absolutely, but that was a great deal different than pretending not to understand a question.  ”I sleep better now, thanks to Jeremiah.”  It was the truth, as was the rest, ”But I never needed that much sleep to begin with, so now I rest, really rest, but my body remembers odd hours...and while sleep comes more easily, it does not keep my mind from working.”  He gestured, ”Particularly in quiet times.”

He wrapped his hands around the warm cup, ”I am troubled by my recent loss of control.”  It was plainly spoken, absent any hint of worry.  Emotional expression had never been Nick’s strongest suit.  Deeds, not words had been his way.  It was slowly known that after the Decimation, Nick had patrolled regularly between the people he had chosen.  Marius knew this, hence the earlier nod.  He had listened to be sure Sora was safe, her heartbeat always clear, Sway, Riley, Jeremiah, Savi, Orianna, even Prince Bane.  He monitored them all, whether they knew it or not.  ”I know that I did not harm anyone, but I could have, and it troubles me all the same.”


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #5 on: Dec 04, 18, 11:29:29 AM »
Sora nodded at Nick’s mention of Jeremiah’s help. “Yeah, same for me. He created a web or something that shielded my mind against the bad dreams I’d been having. I don’t know how it works. I’m just glad that it does.” she said. The mysteries of the Black Widows were still alien to her and would likely always remain alien to her. Her wariness and respect for them increased almost daily, especially when she saw how beneficial Jeremiah’s training had been for him.

But I understand what you mean about the body remembering odd hours, especially when my brain is all over the map. There’s so much happening right now, and that will happen in the future, that it’s all I can do to make the center hold sometimes.” she said.

Her eyes roamed over Nick’s form. He was an attractive male, for as quiet and reserved as he could be. No. He wasn’t reserved. Sora fought her natural instinct to consider Nick’s quiet nature as being taciturn or shy. He was exercising deep control over his nature as a Warlord Prince. She’d heard the story of his arrival and something about the abuses that he’d suffered. Even now, the signs of that abuse were present to those who had the eyes to see it. Sora wasn’t trained in that field, but Nick’s iron will and desire to control himself was visible to all who knew him. Men who’d suffered as he had could do horrendous damage to the people around them without ever laying hands upon a person. Instead, Nick used his physicality to exhaust his body and ensure that even where he had the will to do damage, that the energy wasn’t present.

He was willing to weaken himself for their protection, and Sora worried that he’d go too far in the name of keeping everyone safe from him.

A lesser man wouldn’t worry about what he might have done. He’d just chalk it up to being a Warlord Prince and say that others should learn not to provoke him if they want to stay alive.” Sora said.

You’re not a lesser man, Nick. You’re a good man. You care for the people around you. I see it in the ways you interact with all of us. You put up with more than you should, but you never complain. You let your actions speak for you and people around here could learn from that example.” Sora said, taking a sip of her tea.

You could have done harm, but the important thing is that you did not. There may come a day when you do lose control and harm someone. Don’t let what might have happen steal away the fact that you didn’t hurt anyone. That is important, Nick. And even if you had hurt someone, you wouldn’t just walk away from it. You’d own it and work to ensure that it didn’t happen in the same way.

Please don’t beat yourself up for reacting to something that hurt you. No one will ever tell you to do that.
” she said.

She set her teacup down.

May I try something? Perhaps if combined with my Touch, it will bring you a little more peace.” she suggested.

If he consented, Sora would extend her Craft to begin the process of mending his soul, her Emotional Healing Craft attempting to grant him another measure of peace that her Touch could not provide.





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #6 on: Dec 04, 18, 01:03:43 PM »
Nick did not have to understand what Jeremiah had done.  He was content with knowing that Jeremiah had done something, and that it had helped.  His friend had undergone some changes and growth in recent times, and while some of that affected him, much of it did not.  Nick had his secrets.  He would not press Jeremiah for any of his.  He believed, firmly, that Jeremiah had his best interests at heart.  Jeremiah had once entrusted Nick with his Queen, with Riley, which was like trusting him with his still beating heart while it was somehow out of his chest.  He trusted Jeremiah, and by extension, Riley, and they clearly trusted him.  He did not understand why or how they believed him to be worthy of that trust, but the least he could do to return their faith, was to have faith in them in turn.  Sleeping well was one of the benefits of that faith.

”We will both become used to restful sleep, in time.”  He offered Sora, before sipping a bit of his tea.  ”What is happening that you worry it will spin out of control?”

Nick felt Sora’s eyes upon him, and he made note of it on an instinctual level.  Sora was a Queen, and  without trying, she was relaxing to be around.  She had a scent that he found pleasant, not only psychically, but personally.  Even the beat of her heartbeat, the pulse of her life, was recognizable and gave him a small bit of pleasure to feel and sense.  That she was beautiful, was obvious, and he was a Warlord Prince, with all the associated, if tightly controlled, passions.  As a complete package, much like Riley, he was able to relax—as much as he was able to anywhere—when he was with her, or near her.  He lifted is bright cat-like pale green eyes to hers when she began to speak.  Nick listened to her, setting down his teacup as she illuminated him with her perspective.  He did not feel like he was being particularly good, he was simply behaving in what he saw as an entirely necessary manner.  Others fell short, but he did his very best not to.

”I have an excellent memory.  It is too good, at times.” Nick explained, ”I know that no one was hurt.  I know that neither Jeremiah nor Riley hold any blame for me, and I am not feeling guilty.”  He considered it for a moment, ”It was a point of failure.  One I will try to avoid in the future.”

The Warlord Prince nodded when Sora sought permission to do something, something with her Queen’s Craft, he assumed.  He knew that she would not actively cause him any harm, and not having a Queen made him curious about what they did for their Bonds, and whether or not they could do the same for him.  Her Touch was a comfort, a deep and significant one, it made him feel—well--he did not have the right words, but it was like nothing he had ever felt before.  Sora’s Craft reached out for him, as though she were expanding her aura to simply include him.  He felt the relaxing sensation of her Queen’s Touch, and the gentle probe of something else.  Nick had never had this form of Healing applied to him before, he knew that Jeremiah had looked at the structure of his mind, and had seen the best and worst of it, understanding why that jagged metal landscape was as it was.  This was something entirely different.  It came in low and gentle, as pleasant as a caress, but as profound as the Touch.  He had no defense for this, no way to put feelings in order, they were foreign things to his logical mind, his logical defense, and while he had deep feelings, they were judiciously applied and rarely recognized.

”Sora...”  He whispered her name, followed by a soft gasp.  ”What is this...”  Nick blinked bright eyes rapidly, moisture having formed in the corners.

Sora found that Nick was not emotionless, but his feelings were far removed.  Repression was not the right word.  His life had somehow caused him to deal with his emotions in a manner that was entirely foreign to the White Queen.  Not a unique result for someone that had suffered what Nick had, but unique to this young man, all the same.  His most recent episode had been on his mind, and the feelings had been filtered away from the memory of that moment.  He had been playing with a child, not because he particularly enjoyed the game, but because he liked the idea of making a child happy.  It brightened his day, in a small way, and was so simple a thing to give a child.  All the boy had wanted was a bit of his time, and that was a small price for the joy he could see shining in the child’s face.  This inevitable darkened as the feelings associated with the moment that door clicked into place behind him rose up in his memory.  Sora felt what he felt then, experienced how trapped, how terrified, how small he had felt.  She understood why he had taken a knife to his own flesh, to sharpen and focus him, to pull him out of dark memory, and into the brighter pleasant.  She felt him drawn to the Killing Edge, as a means to silence hs pain, but silencing everything.

Nick knew that it was a dangerous point to touch upon.  Sora was taking a risk, and he wondered if she knew that.  She could have triggered him again, were it not for his curiosity surrounding an emotional experience.  He reached out, and took her hand quickly, not to harm, but to give her pause.  He whispered, ”Sora, if I let you continue you will...some things cannot be unseen, or unfelt.”  He blinked his eyes, nostrils flaring, and he swallowed a lump in his throat that she had somehow conjured there.  ”My life will hurt you, Sora.  It angers and it wounds, and you cannot do anything about it.  No one can.”  She made the pain less, but forced him to examine his feelings, and that was new.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #7 on: Dec 06, 18, 12:51:55 AM »
Sora watched as the Emotional Healing that she offered to Nick to began and took hold. This Craft had a different effect on everyone, and Sora knew that she was risking herself offering it to a Warlord Prince who was not given to her by Mother Night. But Nick was hers in the other ways that mattered. She was important to the people who were important to her. He worried about losing control of himself, a fear that Sora shared. She did not possess the cold rage and the urge to violence that Nick felt, but her loss of control could hurt others in deeper ways. Devastation on an emotional level could often be worse than physical maiming, and Sora feared doing that kind of damage to those bonded to her.

Nick, please breathe for me. Let's just breathe. What I’m trying to do now is to help you process the feelings that are hurting you. Focus on the sound of my voice and my scent, if you need to.” she said, reaching for his hand as she saw the tears well up at the corners of his eyes. Causing him pain was not what she intended, but some wounds had to be lanced and drained of their illness before they could heal.

Panic and claustrophobia rolled over her in waves. Sora gasped audibly as she felt Nick’s terror. But fear was not a sensation that a Warlord Prince was accustomed to. So he replaced it with the urge to destroy, to maim and break and do harm, so that his fear could not reach him. Sora sank deeper into her Rose, doing all that she could to take the keen edge off of his fear and pain, replacing it with peace and the feel of her. He was a ship on the sea of his pain, tossed about by the waves that threatened to drag him under. Images passed between them, where he’d laid into his own flesh, as if the knife could release not just his blood but the memories of torture inflicted by someone who was supposed to love him.

He could kill her right this second, snap her neck and leave her lifeless, and Marius was too far away to do anything but die the moment he realized it. Nick would be crushed under the weight of that loss, and might not recover. But Sora trusted him. Nick woudn't intentionally hurt her and she knew that the way that she knew the sun would rise in the morning. Nick even went so far as to warn her that the horrible things that were done to him could not be unseen or forgotten.

My life will hurt you, Sora.  It angers and it wounds, and you cannot do anything about it.  No one can.

He’d felt small, trapped, and alone in that darkness.

She remembered a dank and dark cave, huddled against hard rocks that cut her feet. She remembered feeling abandoned by Mother Night, and more lonely than she’d ever been. Too small to fight back. Too small to do anything but run away and pray that someone good would find her before someone bad.

She looked to Nick. “You’re right. I can’t do anything about the past. I wish I could. I can’t fix it. I can’t change it. No one can.” she said, lacing her fingers with his own, if he allowed it.
But I want to help, even if it's just giving you this. Or sitting beside you. I would do that for you, if you need it. Whenever you need it. You watched over me when I couldn’t stand up for myself.

I never thanked you for that. But I’d like to be there for you, if you’ll have me.






Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #8 on: Dec 06, 18, 09:21:45 AM »
The absence of emotions was a survival skill.  It was a reflexive method that the child Niccolo had instinctively chosen.  Even though he was a Warlord Prince, a child still has particular needs, instincts, and expectations.  Those expectations are in their small bones, living deep in their hearts and minds.  It is how an infant knows it’s mother’s scent, it is how a mother can pick out the cry of her infant in a room full of other babies.  Children are tied to their parents in bonds that are very nearly inexplicable, and that run so deep, neither Craft nor science can clearly define them, other than to say they are part and parcel of an infant’s survival instincts.  Humanity is weak.  We are born helpless.  In the animal kingdom, among other mammals, a deer can give birth and the fawn is walking and eating inside of mere hours.  A fawn can even flee from danger, in just a little more time.  A human child cannot do anything.  They are at the mercy of the world around them, and that world can be cruel and terrible.

Nick did not give voice to these things he felt.  He would not know how to.  He spent so long sublimating them, erasing them, replacing them, that he was no longer in touch with them.  Emotions were vestigial.  He could make use of them here and there, but for the most part, they simply existed in a place that was unconnected to him.  If they were removed, like wisdom teeth, he would remain the same.  It did not mean he did not feel things, he absolutely did, it just meant that emotion was rarely the motivation for his actions.  Did he show affection?  Yes, in his way.  He was showing affection now, by welcoming Sora into his mind, letting her touch his heart.  He showed it by including her in his Territory, by making her someone he would not only protect, but someone he would die to protect, if it became necessary.  It would quickly become clear that Nick had no real sense of self-preservation.  He had his fears, she had tasted the rawness of one of them as this effort proceeded, but none of his fears were about death.  Death fascinated Nick.  He had recently been drawn to the visiting Ebon Gray Queen, because he was fascinated by the danger inherent in her presence.  Better that he be destroyed, than someone under his protection.

The child’s value had been erased.  Nick existed in a place where the only value he felt he had was not inherent.  Hence, he did the things that he did, to be of value, though taking none of that value into himself.  He carefully protected his secrets from Sora, but his past, before the Palace, he opened to her and her Emotional Craft.  He let her soothe him, he let her breathe with him, let her guide him past the moment in the closet, past the relief that came later, and moving further back into his life, into the root of what had made him as he was.  That was why he warned her.  The hint of his past had turned stomachs, had inspired anger, rage, indignation, and he certainly understood all of that, just as he understood none of it could be altered.  Nick could not stop people from sympathizing or empathizing, but when they did, he often felt like he had inflicted something upon them.  Something he had to balance by giving them something in return, something better.  A better him, the best Nick that he could be.

Nick tilted his head slightly, and took a steadying breath, ”You do not have to thank me.  You are mine.  I protect what is mine.”  His grip tightened on Sora’s hand, gently, as she laced her fingers with his.  It was simple, but also tied to a web of connection that he had made since his arrival.  He was soothed by her physical touch,  palms pressed together, the mundane scent of her, as well as her psychic scent centered in his mind.  Without breaking that connection, he moved closer, sliding around the table, so he could hold her hand, and slip an arm about her, protective and affectionate.  ”Of course I will have you, as I have said.  You were already mine.”  His jaw clenched slightly, ”I do not have a Bond, and I can choose.”  Nick’s voice was thick with emotion, with the gentle Craft of the Queen beside him, and so he asked the child’s question, the only question, the nonsensical, wholly illogical question that still sat deep inside of Niccolo Florian Faa’s dead child’s heart, ”Was it my fault? Did no one care?”

The shame crashed down upon him like the entire palace collapsed on his shoulders, shame that he knew he should not have, shame that was as illogical as it was real.  Nick became very still, very quiet, his breathing all but stopping.  Sora could feel him beginning to retreat, to turn from the ugliness of his past, as she caused it to bear down upon him like an enormous plummeting millstone.  All at once, he knew that he did not want this feeling, that it was not Sora’s fault that it existed.  She was simply trying to scour the rough edges off of it.  He stopped turning away, and took her Craft for what it was, a gift, another person reaching out to him for some unfathomable reason he still had trouble understanding.  Maybe none of the Faas cared, maybe his Father had not, his Uncle certainly did not, but here in the Palace, some did--Sora did.  So, Nick followed his other instinct, his curiosity about these emotions, his curiosity about feeling as other people did.  A sob escaped him, and he seemed surprised by it, and then he did something he had never before done, not while murdering his family not while setting fire to his estate, even as the tears had streamed ignored from his eyes.  He cried as he did then, on that last night, but this time he did something new for that long dead child that he had once been.

Nick grieved.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #9 on: Dec 06, 18, 11:26:42 AM »
Sora sat beside Nick and continued the slow and meandering working of her Craft. The wall he’d built between himself and his emotions was strong, reinforced by years of protecting himself from the world around him. And why wouldn’t he? He’d been abused and violated by people he had every reason to trust. Trust was instinctual and natural to beings as passionate and deadly as the Blood. Only after repeated betrayals and disappointments did people learn to put up walls too high to scale and defenses unseen to keep themselves from being hurt again and again.

Nick had secrets and pains that she could not fully know, not right now. She hoped that, someday, he would share those things with her because she’d earned his trust and privilege of knowing him on a deeper level. She could not demand his serets. She could not order him to be a different man. He would have to earn that from himself, if he desired it. But he could not heal what he never revealed to himself or anyone else.

Mother Night did not give her his leash. Sora hoped that, in doing this, the Queen who might someday hold it would receive the best version of Niccolo Faa possible.

He declared her his, bringing a warm and pleasant feeling through her person. It was no less possessive than her bonded males in its declaration, but it was altogether different from each of their claims to her soul. She could not fully name why it was so different and that question would stay with her long after this night. Right now, she just wanted to be near him. They breathed together, with Sora closing the distance between them so that he knew she wasn’t pulling away from him.

And you are mine, Nick. No matter who or where you go after this, you’re mine.” she said softly, raising her free hand to run her fingers through his hair. The dual-offerings of her Touch and her Emotional Healing continued to weave between them, as Sora chose to give more of herself to the Warlord Prince before her. Some distant part of her mind was sad about the tea eventually going cold because it was good tea. All the same, the tea was just what started the discussion. They were both there because they needed more than tea and sympathy.

His question, though unexpected, was one that Sora had asked herself a thousand times as a child. It would be considered illogical to most, but to a child trying to make sense of a cruel and unjust world, it was the only question that mattered. A question that, left unanswered, would be filled in by the worst and darkest voices that the mind possessed. Because any question asked of the mind will be given an answer, no matter how wrong, illogical, deceptive, or cruel. Even when evidence to the contrary exists, a person’s mind would crush them beneath the weight of sins real and imagined without someone else to offer a counterpoint.

It wasn’t your fault, Nick. It never, ever was. The fault lies only with the people who broke your trust and failed in their duty to care for you. Never forget that. It wasn’t your fault.” Sora said softly.

Father said people would hurt us if they knew what I was. Did I kill my father, Jeremiah?

Jeremiah held her close the first time she asked that question, unable to stop shaking from the sobbing. He’d held her, petted her hair, and just let her get it out. Once the tears dried, Jeremiah told Sorinna that the blame for her father’s death lay with many people, but not her. Never, ever her. It had taken her years to hear and understand that, and longer still to believe it. She surmised that Nick would need his own time to hear and understand that what he suffered wasn’t his fault. He’d had long enough to blame himself and then divorce himself from that blame so that he could function. Confronting his pain would be a hard battle for him, one that might continue for the rest of his life.

Tonight he took a step toward onto that path. But how many others tonight suffered in silence and darkness, believing that their suffering was their fault? How many other children wondered if anyone cared enough to look beneath the surface? How long until someone else was forced to do the things Nick had done to ensure their own survival?

Nick sobbed, and the tidal wave of his grief brought tears to her eyes. The tears came and Sora drew as close to him as she dared, holding him close. Words felt empty right now, so she set them aside. There would be time for questions and declarations later. Right now, Nick needed to lean into his grief and know that someone faced the tide with him.

As it happened, she did find words. The same words that Jeremiah had said to her when Cezar’s death threatened to crush her beneath its weight.

Let it out, Nick.

Let it out.






Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #10 on: Dec 06, 18, 12:06:41 PM »
Nick embraced Sora tightly, buried his face against the side of her neck, and soaked her clothes with his tears.  He clung to her like a drowning man might cling to a floating piece of wreckage.  He took her advice, he let it out.  He cried for what seemed like forever, but was really only a few minutes, several heartbeats, a child’s lifetime.  He cried for that boy, he cried for that boy’s Mother, and he cried for that boy’s Father.  He tried his very best to feel that grief, that sadness, that loss.  He had embraced those feelings, had accepted Sora and her Gift with openness and sincerity, because he did not know how else to be with someone he chosen to be his.  They deserved the best of him, with the exception of the necessary secrets.  Nick Faa was a facade, in some ways, but that did not mean it could not be as real as he could possibly make it.  That did not it could not serve him, as it served him now, nor did that mean that it could not serve others.

Compartmentalization was, perhaps, his oldest talent.

He stopped.  Nick stopped like he had hit one of Healer Ariake’s shields.  The crying stopped, though the embrace did not.  The sobbing and shuddering came to a halt, and he just continued to breathe, at first he had to get it back under control, and then quickly enough, it became slow and steady.  Nick stopped because he knew what came next.  He stopped because he was a Warlord Prince, and she was a Queen he cared about.  He straightened up, not at all embarrassed by his tear streaked face, or the tenderness he had been shown.  Nick looked into Sora’s eyes silently for a moment, and he did not stop her Craft, perhaps because he thought that would be rude, he simply let her sense why his emotions came to a halt.  He had walled it off, put it back in that distant place, where they could look at it again, together, perhaps in the future, because all of that grief and shame was going to take him to the same place that it always did.  Softly, his hand rose to cup her cheek, and he brushed her tears away.  In an even voice, his usual tone, he told her, ”Next will come anger, Sora.  Anger of a sort that I would rather not inflict on you.  It is the same anger that brought me here, covered in blood.  Anger that we can ill afford, perhaps one day that will change, but not today.”  He still held her, he was still very close to her.

Nick took another deep breath, ”I welcome your Touch, Sora, but I think the other should stop.  Thank you...I would not have been able to experience that without you.”  He continued to cup her cheek, his other hand moved over her back, following her spine before it came to rest at the small of her back.  ”You have helped me.  Let me help you.  What has you wandering the halls at this hour if it is not a nightmare?”  His tone was gentle, his voice sounding a bit raw from the crying, but there was a more intimate note to it, something that had not been present before.  Nick did not move away, but rather he waited, still drawing comfort and pleasure from her nearness, her Touch, and her presence.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #11 on: Dec 08, 18, 02:54:34 PM »
She let Nick grieve for as long as he wished. She remained silent and contemplative, feeling Nick’s grief with him while lessening the flow of her Emotional Healing. Today had been a breakthrough for him, but pushing him too hard and too fast would not lead to greater healing. It would have the opposite effect, and Sora wished to do no harm to Nick. He was important to her and it was enough to know that she’d helped him tonight. If he ever needed her again, he knew how and when to find her.

I understand.” she said, finally releasing the Craft altogether. She did not release her Touch, but she lessened that as well for now. A wave of fatigue set in almost immediately. She’d asked much of her jewels. While she had more to give, she knew that Nick and Marius would both not respond well to her overtaxing herself on Nick’s behalf.

She smiled at Nick and shrugged. “Oh, it’s nothing. Like you said, my mind isn’t quiet. Especially not these days.

She was silent for a moment, considering something, and then made a decision.

Will you place an aural shield around us? Marius knows what I’m going to tell you, but I don’t want it getting out.” Sora sid. When Nick did so, Sora spoke.

I’m worried about ruling. I’m worried that I’m going to be terrible at it. I’ve never ruled anything. And then I...I found one of my new bonded and he pretty much thinks that I’m the worst thing alive. He practically ran from me without telling me his name.” Sora said.

I’m not Riley, or Arkadie, or Adamara Pavel. I want to do good things, but I can’t afford any mistakes. Riley’s spent years teaching me and trying to show me the way to do things. Jeremiah’s been great to me, too.

I don’t want them down. I don’t want to disappoint my males. Or Gabri.
” she said.

It sounds silly, doesn’t it?” she said of all the pressure she was placing on herself. 





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #12 on: Dec 09, 18, 09:29:07 AM »
Nick did not think he had all of those tears to cry.  He would not have believed it had someone told him.  In the end, he had more than enough, and still more, had he not realized where this path would lead him.  He remained with Sora, still holding her, still close to her, allowing himself to find comfort in the presence of a Queen, even as he found something more in the feel of her Queen’s Touch.  Nick felt when Sora ended the emotional Craft, like a light going out on a dark path; the journey through his feelings came to a sudden end.  He was glad of it, while being grateful at the same time for what Sora had done for him, or tried to do.  Nick did not know how much of this would help him, but he knew that it was meant to, and that there was some ease of tension, a lighter sense of being, in unburdening one’s self.  He did not know how long that would last.

He did not press her when she told him that nothing much was on her mind.  Nick did not press people into giving up their innermost thoughts, unless he believed it necessary or a matter of their safety or his.  At least, not the people that he considered his.  Everyone else was an open question, vulnerable to whatever he believed needed to be done at the time.  Sora, however, had more than earned his patience and his affection, so he remained as he was, close to her, holding her, even as he quietly waited, regarding her with an expression that was impassive, but open to her interpretation.  Perhaps his disbelief of her statement had been in his eyes, or perhaps they were so close now, the lingering threads of her Craft at hinted at his line of thought surrounding her gentle denial.  In any case, it was not long before she asked him for more privacy, and he immediately grated it.

Nick quietly allowed her to speak, as he had done before, and did not interrupt her.  He did not stop her to offer platitudes, instead he absorbed every words, and at the final question, he shook his head slightly.  He caressed her cheek for a moment, and then held her hand in both of his.  ”Feelings, worries, concerns…these are not ’silly’.  They simply mean that you care, not about yourself, but about others.”  He leaned forward slightly, and touched his forehead to hers.  ”I have seen selfishness, Sora.  You are not that, not ever.  If anything, in my capacity as unrequested and unbonded Escort, I would be more concerned that you will give too much.”  He lifted his head just a bit, enough to look into her eyes, ”I will not pretend to understand all of your feelings, not after what we have just experienced together, but I will tell you this.  Riley and Jeremiah are endlessly proud of you, and like them, you are kind.  Leadership may be a right of your Caste, it is what you were born and made to do, but you also see it as the blessing and privilege that it is—as well as the burden.  You have respect for it.”

He managed a small smile for her, at least for a moment, ”There are three Queens in my life that I would serve; Riley and Orianna are two.”  Nick’s fingers gently lifted Sora’s chin, ”You are the third.  Any Male turning from you does so because of a flaw within themselves, not with you.  Your doubts are understandable, and should be examined, but do not let them silence the fact that you are more than ready for this, and more than capable.”  To his mind, Nick had spoken simple truths, simple certainties.  Anything else would not have served, a lie would not have helped, and Sora deserved far better from him than platitudes and empty encouragement.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #13 on: Dec 11, 18, 12:29:17 AM »
Sora smiled while Nick held her. It felt nice to just be close to someone. His scent brought comfort and safety, things that Sora craved regularly, but rarely took. She could demand what she wanted, but she refused to be a burden or obligation to anyone, bonded or not. That Nick gave so freely of himself to her without the bond between them made it matter even more. Nick said she wasn’t selfish, so why did she feel that way when she took what she needed?

His words about her newest male, Zamfir, also brought her deeper comfort. She thought that it was her fault that he’d run away, that he’d refused to submit. Jeremiah explained that it wasn’t, but it was easier to hear from someone who wasn’t required to see the best in her. She let her forehead rest against Nick’s and simply breathed quietly, falling into a cycle of breathing in time with his own. She was ready to rule, but she also wanted to the most good that she could do for the people of Dena Nehele.

Next time I need a pep talk, I’m coming to you.” Sora said, her tone warm.

Riley’s pregnant. I don’t know if you heard. She’s going to tell everyone soon, but..she asked me to act as Proxy Queen while she’s away. That’s what’s been keeping me up at night. I’ve wanted to be the Queen of Dena Nehele since I was little. I didn’t really understand what that meant until I got older and really began to understand where my blood came from.” she said softly, stroking the back of his hand with her thumb.

Now Riley’s giving me a chance and I want to show her that she’s right to put her faith in me. But I’m still working on getting to know the rest of the Court. I’ve been a Ward longer than I’ve been anything else. I guess I’m worried about how I’ll win people over. I’ll be in the seat for about a year and then, after that, I think Riley will let me form my own Court.” Sora said.

She paused, trying to think of a way to ask the question on the tip of her tongue. She didn’t want to meddle in Nick’s life or business, but she also wanted him to consider staying around. He had lots of people here but, for all Sora knew, he was just counting the days until his Offering so that he could leave Dena Nehele and never look back.

She wouldn’t blame him at all for doing it. Not after all he’d endured.

Have you thought about what you want to do in the future? Like...after you make your Offering?” Sora asked.






Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #14 on: Dec 11, 18, 01:40:10 PM »
Nick felt it was a privilege to be able to hold Sora as he was, and to offer any part of himself freely.  It was pleasant to be able to give, rather than to have taken from him.  He was able to do so with far more frequency than he could have ever predicted.  This was not the same as working for the Master of the Guard, or being available to meet the needs of the Court, if needs there were.  This was far more personal, and possibly more meaningful because in some ways they had chosen each other.  Nick was annoyed that anyone would give Sora cause to doubt herself, and the fact that they could so easily dismiss the Bond and the Blessing of the Queen behind that Bond.  The Green Warlord Prince did not believe he deserved a Queen; any Female holding his leash would be burdened by it, and it would be better if that were not at all the case.  Thus far, Mother Night agreed.

”You are free to seek me out anytime you feel the need.”  He replied.  He closed his eyes for the moment, letting himself focus on Sora’s presence, and her Touch, both Craft and mundane.  There was no denying the pleasure he felt in her presence, let alone the thrill the Touch sent down his spine and back up again.  Nick breathed a slow sigh, releasing his emotional tension from his form, his muscles relaxing.  ”I was informed early.  I have particular senses that would made that necessary.”  He lifted his eyes to meet Sora’s, ”You will do a very fine job of it, Sora, I am certain.  Riley and Jeremiah have prepared you for this day.”  He believed those words completely.  There was no one more qualified at the moment, at least not anyone that was not better off left to run their current holdings.  Sora knew how this place worked, and could cover it for Riley easily.  With the exception of Marius, Nick believed her Males were open questions, but there was room for them tor rise to the occasion.  ”If there is anything I can do to help, you have only to ask.”

Nick nodded, ”You are a Queen.  You should have a Court of your own, it will be the best way to continue to learn.”  He considered her question, ”Yes.”  And for a moment, that was all the answer that he gave.  He drew her closer still, breathing her in, before he realized she would probably appreciate more information than that simple answer.  ”If I am allowed, I will continue to serve here.  I have made this my home, where before—I never thought to have one.  Riley and Jeremiah need my protection, they are both very capable, but they give so much...”  Nick trailed off, as he searched for the proper words to encapsulate his thoughts on the matter of the Queen and her Shadow.  ”They give so much, that I sometimes think they need a third party to protect them from themselves.”  They were worth a dozen of him.  He would not let their light, or Sora’s, be snuffed out if he could do anything about it it.  Not for the first time, he was relieved that Queen’s were not subject to contract, and if Jeremiah’s name ever came up—No, he did not need to borrow trouble.

”My offer stands, even if you form your own Court.  If you need me, you need only ask.”


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #15 on: Dec 12, 18, 12:48:57 AM »
Better be careful. I’ll take you up on that.” Sora whispered. She was safe here in this space. While her mind was still filled with ideas of scenarios and ideas of all that she could face when she finally ruled her own Court, those thoughts were easier to manage. Nick’s presence made it easier to think through her issues, but it was much easier to set them aside for another time when he wasn’t taking up the whole of her focus.

He knew that Riley was pregnant and Sora relaxed a little at that. She wasn’t violating a confidence by telling him these things. She knew that Nick wouldn’t tell anyone, but Sora didn’t want to put Riley in the position of announcing things before she was ready. She lived on other people’s timelines so often that Sora hoped to leave the matter of her unborn child as her own choice.

Riley and Jeremiah worked hard to get me to this point. They worked hard to keep me alive so that I could have this chance. I won’t waste it. She’s going to have a baby and I’m happy for her.” Sora said gently, though it was clear that there was something else beneath the words that she wasn’t saying. She fell silent briefly, hoping that Nick would tell her his plans for the futures. It was only as he started speaking that she knew she didn’t want him leaving Dena Nehele. She’d understand it, but she didn’t want it to happen.

Nick said that she wasn’t selfish, but Sora disagreed, especially because of the hungry, angry little voice in her head that was chattering away with all the reasons he needed to stay. With her.

"Riley and Jeremiah need my protection, they are both very capable, but they give so much...They give so much, that I sometimes think they need a third party to protect them from themselves."

You’re absolutely right. They work themselves to the bone for a lot of people who don’t even appreciate it. But I’m glad you do. RIley’s better at it than she was, but we’ll need to watch out for her now. Especially now.” Sora said.

She stifled a yawn. Was it really that late?

Wow, don’t know where that came from.” she said, laughing.

Are you...tired yet? We’re probably pushing our luck staying down here. Would you walk me to my room?” she asked.





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #16 on: Dec 12, 18, 08:24:24 AM »
”I hope that you do.  That is why I made the offer.”  Nick supplied quietly, his voice hushed, even though he still held the aural shields around them.  That was training and habit.  So many of his interactions with others required privacy, that it had become second nature to maintain that bit of Craft while engaged with someone.  He had known that Sora would have been told, she was the Ward that had been in residence the longest, he believed, and both Riley and Jeremiah were particularly attached to her.  Nick would not have told anyone even if he had learned of Riley’s pregnancy on his own.  It was clear that it was being kept quiet, and it was not his secret to divulge.  He was touched by Jeremiah’s carefulness in revealing it to him, letting him know before he learned of it on his own meant they were concerned less about secrecy, and more about how he would feel about it.  Nick knew what his instincts were, but showing them would not have been useful, just as he knew what his instincts were here.

Nick listened to her describe what Riley and Jeremiah had done for her, how they had protected her.  He remembered that night with crystal clarity.  It had been his instinct to hunt, but Jeremiah tasked him with protecting that which he held most precious, his Queen and two other Queens that were dear to him.  It was a responsibility that Nick had taken very seriously, and still did.  ”There is an implied ‘but’ in that string of words, Sora.  I will not press, but I do not have your gift, just my memory of you.”  It was a gently made inquiry, based on his recollection of their previous times together.  He would remain with her until she unburdened herself, or until she dismissed him for the evening.  Nick expected that she would need sleep before he did, but not for a little while yet, he hoped.  ”I will keep Riley as safe as I am able.  She has guardians, of course, but I am always listening.  I cannot help but do so.”  By now, he hoped that Sora was used to his conversational manner, though talking with the Rose Queen had become easier.

He smiled, very slightly, very briefly, which seemed the only sort of smile Nick could muster.  He did not share them randomly, but very specifically.  ”I have some suspicions.  You have been using Craft since we sat here.”  Nick shook his head slightly, ”No. I am unlikely to be.  I was exercising, but—I broke the sparring dummy.  You caught me cleaning up my mess.”  If he could help it, he never left a mess behind him.  She had seen that.  Books went back to where they belonged in the library, chairs were straightened, and the kitchen was always left how he found it when he got there, no matter the hour.  Anything less felt—less than grateful for the support and help of others in the Palace.  Nick got to his feet, still close to Sora, the action allowing him to embrace her and pull her against his chest for a moment in a warm hug.  ”Of course, I will.”  He still held her hand, and used it to help her to her feet, even though she needed no such help, and when she did rise, he held onto it still.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #17 on: Dec 12, 18, 11:29:41 AM »
She’d never seen him smile. She knew that he was capable of it; all people were. Some people, like her, were free with their smiles because it was better than the alternative. Otherwise people required work just to coax a simple lift of the lips. Nick had few reasons to really smile, but Sora liked seeing the expression on his face. He seemed less burdened than when they’d sat down, but Sora wasn’t naive enough, or arrogant enough, to believe that his problems were solved.

But she wanted to see him smile again.

The embrace was unexpected but Sora enjoyed it all the same. Her arms wrapped around him. He craned her neck slightly, letting him access the spot at her neck where her scent was strongest, if he desired. Otherwise, she would merely hold him close as the sounds of the kitchen and the palace itself played on around them. He agreed to walk her to her room and she got to her feet.

They left the kitchen holding hands. Marius waited for them at the entrance. If the other Warlord Prince took any issue with Sora’s closeness to Nick, he said nothing. As it was, he brushed against her outer barriers with a question and Sora responded her Touch and her affection for her first male across their Bond. Marius’s expression softened some, though the wariness had not left his posture. Nick would sense that said wariness wasn’t directed at him, but was just the protective nature of a bonded male for his Queen.

You two go ahead. I’ll straighten up and be along shortly.” he said.

Sora would lead Nick back through the palace toward the Family Wing. Would she need new rooms now? She liked her room in the Family Wing and would keep it as long as she was allowed. She knew that Nick wasn’t one for small talk, not of the traditional kind, so she didn’t try to make small talk as she had with Kale. Nick didn’t make her feel like the silences between them had to be filled with sounds. They simply walked, her hand in his, enjoying each other’s presence.

Despite knowing the distance between her rooms and nearly every place in the palace, Sora was still surprised when they arrived at her door sooner than expected. Her gaze fell upon the door for a moment, then turned to Nick. She sensed no one else in the room. She was tired, but not sleepy. Despite the restful sleep she’d received lately, her mind was still turning over a part of their conversation from earlier. Nick had known that Sora’s happiness for Riley contained a hint of something else.

She made a decision.

So, we made it.” she said, almost too loudly. “I mean, we’re here. I’m sorry I messed up your mess...cleaning. With the sparring dummy.

Really?

Do you want to come inside? The couch is softer than the chairs downstairs. I don’t want to be alone just yet.





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #18 on: Dec 12, 18, 02:23:17 PM »
There were only a few opportunities in Nick’s world to show the people that were his that they were just that; his.  He did not often articulate that directly to them, as he had to Sora.  He did so by way of his actions, and it was not important to him that they knew.  That was why he had quietly patrolled when everyone was so upset after the attempt on the Rose Queen’s life, and why he had done so after the Decimation.  He had suffered, and come away with something more, and being teams with Asimov had largely made him wonder if she were right.  That he had been tested again and again, and come through the other side transformed in ways that only Mother Night could ever understand.  It was perhaps too philosophical for his view, to arrogant in some ways, to assume that he was somehow chosen.  Nick was not worth all that, but here he was, and he would do all he could to protect what was his, protect them and value them, as no one had valued him until now.

Nick had hugged Sora because he had done so only once before in such a way, and he wanted her to know what he felt towards her.  She craned her neck for him, and Nick took it for the invitation that it was.  He nuzzled that spot and breathed her in, and she might have seen another smile then, by the way his lips just barely brushed her skin with the action.  He straightened and the moment passed, and they were soon walking out of the kitchen hand in hand.  Nick nodded to Marius as he chose to remain behind.  It was the only time that the Green Warlord Prince had not chosen to do so, he had not remained to clean up, but instead left with Sora.  Escorting Sora had been the most important task, as well as the most desirable.  He was not quite willing to be away from her just yet, and if it was his choice, he would remain by her side, and in contact.  ”Thank you, Marius.”  He said to Sora’s Bonded, not only for cleaning up, but for trusting Sora to him.  It was no small thing to Nick for him to do so.

He walked quietly with the Queen in companionable silence, welcoming the feel of her hand in his.  Nick was poor with making emotional connections, and Sora had allowed him to make one with her.  The list of his circle was already quite small, and the list of those he had connected with on this level, smaller still.  She now knew things about him that perhaps only one or two others did, and while he was not ashamed of his past, knowing on a pragmatic level that it was not his fault, it was not something he chose to share.  He appreciated that Sora was comfortable with silence.  He rather enjoyed silence, and companionship within it, and that too was a rarity for him, even amongst his friends.  It did not come naturally to some of them, and quite naturally to others.  Nick could sit ours in the presence of those he cared about for hours and not say a thing, and be content that the other was simply there, with him.  They soon arrived at Sora’s door, where he rather expected to be dismissed, and was pleased to find he was not.

Nick tilted his head when she said they had made it.  Had there been any doubt?  She had been attacked, so perhaps there was a concern there.  Sora seemed somehow—nervous?  He still held on to her hand, and he nodded at her invitation.  ”I will remain with you until you tell me otherwise.”  He gave her hand a gentle squeeze, and then waited for Sora to lead him into her rooms.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #19 on: Dec 12, 18, 06:27:39 PM »
Sora opened the door to her room, whispering as she entered. There was gentle pulse of Craft from her and all of the room’s witchlamps illuminated at once, filling the room with stark, bright light. The first time that she and Nick had encountered each other late at night, he’d dragged a lamp from another room for her. Sora had never forgotten that evening. It was the first time that Nick had looked out for her. There had been plenty of times since (she’d heard from others), and she was glad for it.

She lead him into the room.

A set of couches, the color of cream, were located to his immediate right, arranged in a square so that several people could sit together and still look at each other. Quinten slept on one sometimes, Marius on another at other times. Mihael liked the look of the couches but didn’t care for sleeping on them. Sora enjoyed the feeling of the soft material beneath her whenever she read a book, but didn’t want to lie in bed.

The bed could be seen across the room, the top most blanket a deep green to match the trees during the summer. A bookcase carved from dark wood sat against the wall near the bed, filled with books. Five of those books lay on a nightstand beside Sora’s bed, with two more on the floor. They might have been library books that he’d read previously. She was suddenly very glad that she’d not left any clothing out, but she spied an errant shoe and sighed.

A gentle tap from an invisible hand pushed it under the bed, out of sight.

Please make yourself comfortable, Nick. ” she said, turning back to face him with her hands clasped in front of her. She waited for him to sit down and then she would sit beside him, as close as she was able. He hadn’t yet demanded his personal space back, so she sat beside him and took his hand once more. She turned his hand over, palm upward, as she tried to remember what Jeremiah said about each of the lines on a person’s hand. She’d learned about something painful in his past that day, but right before that he taught her about palm-reading to illustrate that nothing was wrong with her due to Zamfir’s rejection of her.

She used her index finger to trace the first line that she saw, starting between his thumb and index finger and running down toward his wrist. She saw one small break in it at its source, followed by a second small break, then a long continuous line that ran unbroken.

So, if I remember this right, this is your life line.” she said, looking into his eyes. “The breaks here symbolize...changes to your life. They could mean illness or they could simply mean that your life has changed, or will change, in a dramatic way.

Sora could guess what that meant, but she didn’t want Nick to dwell upon it. He’d probably had enough of thinking about where he’d come for one night already. So she moved on to the next line that she remembered, beginning at the base of his palm and running upward through the center of his hand. Long and deep, the line surprised Sora for how clear it was. She glanced at her own palm and took some comfort in the deep line she saw there.

This is...your fate line. Yes, the fate line." she said, her confidence growing. "Yours says that you’ll have many strong relationships and that you’ll be successful at whatever you choose to do. You’ll have struggles but you’ll get through them because you have a lot of people here who want to see that happen.” Sora said.

I wish I could tell you what these other lines meant, but those were the ones I remembered just now. I’ll have to ask Jeremiah to show me how they work again.” Sora said, laughing softly as she placed her hand in Nick’s once more.

Okay, that is my one and only party trick. Your turn.” she teased.





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #20 on: Dec 12, 18, 07:35:47 PM »
Nick had been in this room before, when so many had gathered after the Decimation.  He had checked on everyone that belonged to him, and the he had reported to Prince Bane to work.  That was the last time he had stepped beyond Sora’s doorway.  He had lurked in the hall more than once, checking on her and those that were with her, whether it was Jeremiah or Riley or Savi.  For days after the Decimation, Nick kept his vigil.  He worked with Prince Bane, and beside Asimov, locating and organizing survivors, and pointing the guard towards those that they found dead from the strain.  For some, it had been a bleak several days, but for Nick, it had been days full of purpose.  He was helping those that helped him, and that made him think less about how he had gotten through with his Green intact, how his nightmares had, in essence, saved him from being broken.

He was very familiar with her door, and now he was being brought inside by Sora herself.  Nick saw it as both a privilege and a responsibility.  He was there for her, and to be with her.  Her safety and well-being were entirely his concern, and so as they had walked over, he had focused his senses on seeing to her.  Nick habitually felt the physical state of people around him, he felt their heartbeats, ‘heard’ them all the time, as he described it.  It was more than that.  He had a sense for how the body worked, and how it could be completely disabled and ended.  It gave him a strange sort of insight, that was likely a combination of small Crafts happening at once.  He felt the small ways Sora’s blood moved through her body, felt the change in her biochemistry, and in her scent—not only her Psychic presence, but her mundane one as well.  She smelled very good to him, and whether that was Sora or her Caste did not really matter.  He breathed deep.

Nick expanded his senses through the room, to make certain they were indeed alone.  He looked for the subtle hints of Stealth Craft, and listened for heartbeats and anatomies that did not belong.  They were alone, and he sensed a brief flex of Craft from Sora as he refocused upon her as he had during their walk.  Her room was like the woman herself, warm and welcoming.  There was comfort here, good times and bad, but I was a place where people had taken their ease, and found their centers.  He felt her hand slip away, and he looked at the couch, before taking the seat she had offered him.  He sat to one side, one arm rest beneath his arm, and he was pleased when she chose to sit directly beside him, close and warm.  Nick’s nostrils flared slightly, and he realized he had not said a word since coming in.  He did not have anything small to add, no pleasantry to supply, no anecdote to share.  He simply enjoyed where he was, and the warmth of her thigh pressed against his.  Nick turned slightly as Sora took his hand, and began to read it.

Of all the things to draw an unbidden reaction from him, it was this small gesture.  Sora traced the line of his palm with her fingertip, and Nick shivered ever so slightly.  Nick was, at the end of the day, a sensual creature.  His senses and perceptions might be tuned to a perspective no one else shared, but he was connected to them, and lived within them in a way that many did not.  Nick’s mind, indeed, his entire person, was sensory.  The shift of the fighting mate beneath his feet, before Sway went to sweep his legs.  The brush of winter just before he saw Jeremiah enter a room.  The subtle brush at his hair whenever Lady Sala sent him a snack.  Every part of him was used to perceive, to live, to fight, to calmly enjoy the place he called home.  How many times had he stood outside and listened to her heart, making sure she was well, that she was healing?  How many times had he made certain that she slept well, free of nightmares?  How often had he dashed, unseen, through the walls, to be in the library when she should not have been alone?  And now this, this little caress.  He growled very softly.

Nick did not interrupt the reading of his palm.  He let her explain what it all meant, which line was which, what the breaks could imply, and so on.  He did not move his hand, or say a word to stop her, nor did he ask a question to clarify something she had said.  He was not sure if Sora truly believed what she was saying to him, or if it was, in the end, as she declared, a party trick; away to pass the time, to fill the silence, to say something, anything other than what she wished to avoid.  Nick knew that she had something on her mind, and that she had evaded his gentle attempt to learn what that was, but he put that aside for the moment, and when she was done, he tilted his head slightly as he regarded her.  Sora absolutely knew that Nick did not have a party trick.  He took her hand, turned it over as though he meant to read her palm in turn, and lifted it to his lips.  He kissed her palm instead, and then released her hand.  Nick briefly ran Craft through his body, and reached out for her hips.  He then pulled her into his lap, and cradled her in his arms.  ”I am going to kiss you now.”

And he did, without hesitation or shyness.  He kissed her as though it were a necessity, a need that satisfied either curiosity or desire, or both at once.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #21 on: Dec 12, 18, 10:33:18 PM »
Sora didn’t really have any plan when she decided to read Nick’s palm. She wanted a way to break the ice and keep him talking. She needed a way to keep herself in the moment, rather than retreating into her own mind. Perhaps, if she’d remembered what all the lines meant the would still be talking about the future and where it might lead. For someone so worried about the future, Sora felt more comfortable talking about what could be than what was.

Nick’s reaction to her touch surprised her, but her reaction to his reaction surprised her more. She didn’t flinch or draw away from him. She didn’t want to. Nick wasn’t going to break out a party trick or any kinds of tricks. The Warlord Prince before her would sooner tell her how a trick was performed, in detail, than play one on her. Was she boring him? He was probably bored out of his mind right now. He didn’t ask any questions about what she said. His eyes were focused on her and Sora wondered if there was something else he wanted to say. Ten things were on the tip of her tongue, ready to make the moment lighter. Nick took her hand and turned it over. Maybe he wasn’t bored. Maybe he was going to try to read her palm.

Okay, so this line is--

He raised her hand to his lips and kissed her palm. She inhaled softly, her eyes focused on him. Later, Sora would realize that she stopped talking mid-sentence and just let the words die unsaid. She’d forgotten the rest of the sentence and wouldn’t bother remembering it. He pulled her into his lap and all the talk about lines and palms and other things just wasn’t important anymore. All she cared about was feeling his lips against her skin again. He was close now, so close that she could feel the heat of his skin through her sweater. Was he always this warm? She remembered the steam rising from his skin while they were outside. She’d thought it was a trick of the light or something. This close to him, she was revising that assessment.

His arms encircled her waist.

I am going to kiss you now.” he said. It was as much a warning as a statement of intent. He was giving her an out. If she mo[/color]ved or communicated her desire to be free, she had no doubt that Nick would let her go. He would let her go and that would be the end of it. They could go back to talking or just sit there together in companionable silence.

Thought you’d never get around to it...” she murmured.

Their lips met and Sora noted just how warm his mouth was. He tasted like tea that they’d just enjoyed and something more. Nick’s kiss surprised her with its intensity, but she soon met his hunger and need with her own. The kiss deepened and Sora pushed Nick’s back against the couch, shifting so that she could straddle him. Her hands cupped either side of his face and the Rose Queen kissed him harder now, demanding more from him if he was ready to offer it. Her sweater was too bulky, too warm, too much, so she leaned back and reached down to grasp the hem of sweater. She pulled it up over head, a flash of golden skin visible beneath the cotton shirt she wore, before tossing the sweater aside. Then she claimed Nick’s mouth in another deep kiss, letting her hands roam over the flat planes of his muscled form.

Will you stay?” she asked, her lips trailing along his jaw and down to his neck.

He’d offered her an out.

Sora wasn’t so noble.





Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #22 on: Dec 13, 18, 09:10:44 AM »
Can you navigate their kindness?

It was a question that came early in his time at the Palace.  It was seriously asked, because if he could not, he could not be the cuckoo’s egg that Sway and her superiors had hoped for.  Nick had answered that he could, there was no ‘try’ for him, no matter what it was he was tasked with.  He would either do it, or perish in the effort; there were no half-measures.  He kept secrets.  He had duties, more since the decimation, and he performed them with dedication.  The kindness that he had been shown was a gift, and the only way he could repair and truly make this place his home, had been to make every effort.  When Riley had insisted he have guards when he went into the City, he had not complained.  How could he return her care and concern and sincere worry with complaints?  Nick was sure that others did not think this way, but it was the only way he could navigate their kindness .

Nick’s old life had been about choices being ripped away from him.  It had been about Power and birthright denied, not in the sense of his inheritance and Family name, but in his nature.  He was a Warlord Prince; a predator in human skin, denied the hunt, denied any knowledge of his true self, whipped and beaten and shown nothing but pain and anguish.  Sway had returned not only his power but [ichoices[/i], freedom to choose and act as he willed.  He doubted that even she understood the significance of that.  Given such a precious gift, he would not squander his choices by making poor decisions.  Everyone that had hurt him was dead, they had pushed the predator too far, and suddenly the predator remembered precisely who he was.  Nick was a killer, not in the sense that all Warlord Princes were, but in the way that someone without moral boundaries was.  Life’s value was subjective.  The preservation of life was not itself a noble thing to him, but the preservation of lives that he valued?  Lives that had shown him kindness, and a world where family and honor and friendship mattered?

He would murder a hundred estates for all of them.  One thousand Julians, for one Sora.  Subjective.  Perfect math as far as he was concerned.  There was no safe way to articulate that thought process, no socially acceptable way to explain his belief that life, on its own, meant nothing.  Nick explained himself the only way that he could safely do so, with his actions.  He was there when needed.  He worked without complaint, and when he might complain, he worked some more.  He endured pretending not to know the woman he cared the most for, so that she could be safe, even under the worst of circumstances.  Nick had felt as responsible for Sora’s near-death experience as anyone truly responsible for her, and out of respect for her Males and that Bond, he had invisible hovered beyond her door.  He had felt Riley’s deep fear, smelled it from her skin, sensed it in the Psychic Scent that usually soothed him, and it had called to all of his instincts to keep her safe, to keep her whole, to keep her sane.  That was why no one could separate him from her until Jeremiah returned; they deserved his best, everything.  They deserved Nick Faa, whoever he was, and whoever he was becoming.

Nick did not have the words to explain any of that.  He did not feel that words held enough meaning.  Sora had no way to know that her Queen’s Touch had been the first given to him.  Riley’s presence had soothed him on his arrival there, but he had seemed too shocked, too numb for her to try.  Sora had done so in gratitude, a small gesture that she had used to thank him, not realizing that too a previously caged animal, it had meant a great deal.  It meant even more now.  She had connected him to a dark and difficult past, and still she chose him.  She had not pushed him away.  She had never been afraid of him, though he would have understood that.  Nick was feral, in some ways, any seeming of being civilized was in the eye of the beholder, the Green Warlord Prince simply saw the world in his particular way, and that kept him in check.  Controlling himself was just another way to repay that which he had been given.  Sora had, ultimately, chosen him.  He had chosen her from the beginning, from that first Touch to the most recent.  Too many words, too many feelings he could not frame, so he had shown her instead.

He kissed her palm, and her scent bloomed like the petals of a flower and filled his head.  Nick stole her words, he took that for a good start.  There was no fear in her, quite the opposite, so he had moved with more confidence once that was done.  His words were a warning, in a sense, Nick would do whatever Sora wished, so long as he could remain in her company for as long as possible.  She was a Queen.  She was part of the reason this place was a home.  She was—necessary.  A ghost of a smile curved his lips at Sora’s response to that warning.  She did not push him away, she returned his kiss, and her body flushed in his arms, and now that small, brief growl she had heard earlier was something like a purr, deep in his chest.  There was no reason to hurry here, no secrets to be concerned about.  The kiss went on forever, and for not long enough, Nick moved as Sora wished, pushing back, slouching slight and making room for her on either side of him.  Nick had no problem finding a place to put his hands, the slid down her sides, and when she straddled him, settled on her bottom to pull her close.

Nick gasped quietly when the kiss broke, and Sora removed her sweater.  His bright eyes all but glowing in the soft light, he devoured her with his gaze, and welcomed her kiss when it returned.  Sora rained her attention along his neck, and it took him a few heartbeats to realize that she had asked him something.  ”I will stay.”  He would stay with her for as long as she wanted him to that night, the coming dawn, whatever she wanted from him, he would gladly give.  There did not seem to be any further need for discussing.  Nick’s fingers curled into her dark hair, and he gently urged her lips back to his, before his hands began to gently explore the lines and supple curves of her body.  The cotton shirt she wore was only a minor barrier, as his hands slid beneath it, smoothing up her back in a long caress.


Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Ward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      278

    • Nourish, feed, and honor.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #23 on: Today at 01:08:35 AM »
I will stay.

He agreed to stay and she kissed him harder, her mouth hot against his. His hands roamed her body, and she moaned softly at each new sensation. The feeling of his fingers along her spine made her press harder and closer against him. He could have erupted into witchflame meant to consume her and Sora wouldn’t have backed away from him. How many others had backed away from him in fear, or out of self-preservation without trying to understand more about him? How many people in his life had drawn close enough to the fire to get warm but backed away under the heat of his gaze? Tonight, Sora didn’t give a damn if the flame consumed her.

They could burn together.

His fingers tangled in her hair, urging her mouth back to his. She captured his mouth with hers, sighing against his lips. This was so different from being with Gabri, Savi, or even Ben. She felt cherished and desired with each person she’d shared herself with, but these moments with Nick felt at once more leisurely and more urgent that her time with her other lovers. Sora knew that there was no reason to feel rushed or worried, but her mind started considering all the ways that things could go wrong. What if Quinten, or Marius, or anyone showed up right now? What if Nick lost interest?

His hand squeezed her ass again and Sora marked that off her list of possibilities.

She was overthinking things again. She kissed him, her teeth grazing against his bottom lip. Both hands closed on the lapels of his shirt. Then his shirt vanished and Sora’s hands ran over his shoulders and chest. She couldn’t stop kissing him. She could have kissed him for the rest of the night, but she needed more from him this evening. Now that she’d had a taste, she needed to consume all of him.

This time, she drew back and looked at Nick for a long moment. She licked her lips made a decision.

Relax for me, okay?” she said, combining her words with a bit of her Touch.

The next kiss was long and deep, Sora enjoying the taste of his lips. Her mouth moved along his jaw once more, then trailed down his neck to to his throat. She kissed her way down to Nick’s chest, then slid out of his lap. She stood and unclasped her bra, tossing it to the floor nearby. Kneeling between Nick’s legs, Sora worked to undo his pants. She focused on him, though, to keep her nerve at bay. Her hand curled around his shaft and she stroked him slowly, looking up into his eyes.

Just relax…” she whispered once more as she lowered her head to swirl her tongue around the crown of his cock. Soon, she’d taken him into her mouth, her head bobbing slowly to allow him to grow accustomed to her touch and attention. She sought his right hand with her left, lacing her fingers with his. Her right hand splayed across his chest for a moment before her fingers curled and allowed her fingernails to graze his skin.

Sora worked slowly at first, but as Nick voiced his enjoyment of her attention, her pace quickened. She didn’t care how hot the fires grew.

They could burn together.






Offline Niccolo Faa

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • wp
    • Role

      Trainee

    • Faction

      Myos Guild

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      179

    • I can kill you with my brain.

    • View Profile
Re: The Unquiet Mind
« Reply #24 on: Today at 09:47:41 AM »
At the end of the day, Nick remained a Warlord Prince, with all the instincts, passions, and needs of that Caste.  His life had shaped his perspective of himself, and where others saw rigid self-control, Nick only saw necessity, safety, precaution and the burden of being responsible for his actions.  Everyone close to him, everyone he viewed as his received his complete consideration, a thoughtless act or use of Power could be disastrous, or worse, disrespectful to their kindness.  Nick already did not feel worthy of anyone’s regard, and so when he was given it, he did his best to earn and keep it.  Sora was no different, in fact, given their recent connection, more profound than Queen’s Touch or their quiet late night companionship in the library, there was a new intimacy here, a new affection to value and hold tightly to.  Nick would not take this moment for granted, it might not happen again for a wide variety of reasons, one being the Territory, and the other simply being circumstances.  He was not her Bonded, and soon she would be a Ruling Queen.

For now, though, none of that mattered.  All that mattered was Sora, and he fixed his focus on her in that way only he seemed capable of.

Kissing her would have been enough.  She tasted as good as she smelled, and the way she moved against him was something Nick would not soon forget.  He pulled her back into that kiss, and let his hands learn the pathways to her pleasure.  Nick slowly caressed her, not as though she were delicate, because he was already certain she was not, but as though he were trying to memorize the shape of her with his hands.  He shield locked the door, not the entire room, just the door, as a warning that they should not be disturbed, at least for a time, he was glad he thought of it while briefly catching his breath between kisses.  It would be nice to see her again in Court, in the Palace, with this between them, a moment in time that belonged to the two of them alone.  His shirt vanished, and Sora ran her hands against his skin.  She leaned back, and Nick’s soft growl remained an almost persistent sound, as he gazed into her eyes.  She told him to relax, and his eyebrows rose, his eyes brightening.  If he were any more relaxed, this would be a dream, not a reality.

Nick nodded slightly, curious about her intentions.  She kissed him again, and that was more than welcomed as he rose up slightly, to meet her lips with his own.  The brush of her Touch, in this context, sent a shiver down his spine, and he deepened the kiss, hungry for that connection that bridge between them.  She kissed his neck, and then his chest, and was on her feet again.  He nearly stood up, save for the fascinating way she reached behind her and undid her bra.  Nick could not vanish anything, and watching Sora removed her clothes was as sensual and enticing as what she now revealed.  He would have moved to her then, but she knelt and began to work on his pants.  He lifted his hips, and let her work them down his legs, before she asked him to relax again.  She met his eyes as she took hold of him, clearly making certain that he was alright with her doing so.  Nick was touched by the subtle care that displayed the unspoken request for ongoing consent.  Choices, again, it always came down to choices.

He held her eyes, and watched her take him into her mouth, and his eyelids fluttered as he slouched slightly against the couch and his hips rose unbidden.  Nick held her hand, fingers twined, the grip tightening when his pleasure spiked, and relaxing on the downward ebb.  He never took his eyes off of her, and by the intensity and brightness of his gaze, she was never anything less than ultimately important.  His other hand moved to the back of hers as her nails grazed his skin, creating a counterpoint of sensation.  He rose to the scrape of nails to skin, muscles coiling and uncoiling, his abdomen tightening and relaxing as Sora continued her tender ministrations.  The Queen had started her efforts slowly, carefully, teasing every part of him, clearly desire to push her partner to the very edge, and possibly over.  Nick groaned, his hips rising, and his fingers reached out to curl into her hair, and slow her down.  He gently guided her through slow motions , and then allowed himself to slip from her lips.  He leaned forward and kissed her again, before he rose to his feet.

”Vanish the rest of our clothes, please.” Nick asked, very softly, standing close to her, his hands rising to knead her breasts and tease the tips.  Once that was done, he kissed her again, backing her up until the bed was against her thighs.  He let her fall back upon the bed, and it was his turn to kneel between her legs.  She was a Queen after all.  He kissed a path along her inner thigh, gently guiding her toned legs over his shoulders, and when he found her center, it became clear that Nick did, indeed, understand how the human body worked, and perhaps Sora’s in particular.  His mouth explored her, and his tongue was far more clever in this context than it was in conversation.