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For years, the Dark Religion has persecuted the Light Jeweled with its doctrine of stigmatization. Under the messianic Queen Elisif Brenden, it has flourished, ensuring Glacia’s success in other fronts. But upon her death, a line has been drawn and forces beyond Glacia’s borders are gathering to stop its theocracy once and for all.
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Author Topic: Baiting the Trap  (Read 144 times)

Description: Tag: Elias

Offline Kirsi-Marja Karjalainen

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    • te2ss
    • witch
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Baiting the Trap
« on: Feb 01, 19, 12:48:15 PM »
(This thread takes place in 189 AP and starts one week after the events of This Thread Here)


She was slowly going insane. Very slowly. From boredom. And being cooped up inside. And the whole not understanding what was going on. She’d been careful with her documents and her involvement with the Underground since Bully put that unholy fear into her all those years ago. Yet, for some reason, the Coven Leader sent a member of the Midnight Keepers to collect her Light Jeweled ass and deliver her to Vaasa. True, Elias Aalto was a Patriarch, judging from his ring, which was the least scary segment of the not-so-secret organization. He also let her go - which was mind boggling.

But why did the Coven Leader want her? Had she misstepped in one of her forged documents? Did the Coven weave a Web to look for potential smugglers? Had she been too obtrusive in her position as a successful Light Jewel without a Dark Jeweled keeper?

Or did the Widow really just want to commission a piece of jewelry?

Too many questions and not enough answers.

Agitated, Kirsi-Marja stood up and began pacing. Scope needed to get back already. Needed to provide a better distraction than the rather eclectic selection of books at her disposal. She needed to do something with her hands. Just as the bright idea to start snooping through all of Scope’s things popped into her head, the Widow came home.

Scope eyed Kirsi-Marja’s hand on a drawer handle and raised an eyebrow.

Kirsi hunched her shoulders and sighed. “I’m sorry, okay? I’m going stir crazy.”

The Black Widow laughed lightly and began Calling in a couple of trunks and a few bags. “This should help with that, then.”

With a sound of pure joy, Kirsi-Marja dropped to her knees and popped open the first trunk. Clothes. Her clothes. A very small portion of her wardrobe considering the size of the trunk and the size of her closets - but certainly more clothes than what she had in the emergency bag when she fled. An almost sexual sound purred low in her throat as she dug through fabric. She could change out the few outfits she’d been cycling for new ones. With more difficulty than she’d care to think on, Kirsi-Marja forced herself to close the trunk and open the second. Her tools; precious metals; gems, jewels, and crystals; and various other bits of supplies used in her profession. The most perfect solution to how she'd while away her time until she figured out her next move. She shut the trunk with a happy sigh and started towards the bags as Scope interrupted her exploration.

“This envelope was tucked into your workshop with some of the Jewels. I checked for Webs and it appears clean, so I didn’t open it. I also collected the first batch of intel you asked for, though more should be trickling in,” Scope said as she handed over the packages.

Intrigued enough by the mystery letter and the information gathered, Kirsi-Marja halted her exploration of her retrieved belongings. Who would leave a letter for her in her abandoned workshop? Trusting Scope at her word that the letter hadn’t been boobytrapped, Kirsi ripped open the envelope and startled slightly as a piece of stone dropped into her lap. She reached out to pick it up but froze as realization swept through her.

Not stone, Jewel.

A piece of Sapphire - broken Sapphire, to be exact. With trembling hands, Kirsi-Marja picked up the small chunk of rock to examine it closer - to study the surviving faceting. Tears welled up in her eyes - relief, gratitude. Then she started laughing, so full of righteous glee she couldn’t help the laughter or the tears.

Klaus was, at the very least, broken of his Offering. Her monster could no longer become another young girl’s monster.

Kirsi-Marja gathered her composure as she fisted her trophy. She wiped the remnants of her tears away with the back of her hand before opening the envelope looking for a note or letter. She didn’t find one, but it didn’t matter. She already knew who left it for her to find. Prince Elias Aalto came through. With a touch of Craft, Witchfire ignited and incinerated the paper.

Ignoring Scope and her probing looks and questions, Kirsi shifted her attention to the information she asked friends to help gather on the Coven Leader, on the woman who’d tasked Prince Aalto with collecting her. She flipped through the few documents, listened to the first Crystal and shook her head. “This is one twisted bitch.”

It took a week for her to prepare. She needed time to vanish her belongings and time to recover from the process. She needed time to plan her next moves - which were undoubtedly in the direction of fleeing the territory to keep her well-shaped ass from getting burned. And she needed time to gather more evidence and figure out if she was seriously considering giving it to a Dark Jeweled Male that was likely being watched. (The answer, despite a mini-internal Bully ranting at her, was yes.)

Which was why she found herself at Elias’s front door. She took a few precautions, and some help from Scope, to increase her chances of remaining undetected. She had a scarf wrapped around the bottom half of her face and the jacket she wore had a hood pulled up. Scope added some illusion Webs to the hood which darkened her hair and gave her normal (matching) blue eyes.

As she reached up to knock on his door Scope sent out a psychic thread. *I sure hope you know what you’re doing, girl.*

“Me too,” Kirsi-Marja muttered to herself as she knocked. Hopefully he opened the door quickly so she could slip in before the goons watching his place got back into position.


Offline Elias Aalto

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #1 on: Feb 05, 19, 09:32:42 AM »
It'd been one of those moments in life that'd seemed strange enough to make a person doubt the reality of it. Elias understood that it'd been him that'd sat back in that coach and invited the witch he'd been sent to retrieve to run away. He'd been the one to profane his sacred duties by replenishing her Jewels despite her not having been a charge of his as a Patriarch. He'd been the one to allow her to open the door and attack the coachman, the one who'd hung back and feigned injury while she fled, as though she'd attacked him as well in a moment of distraction.

Yet it felt now like that had all happened to someone else, and it was all something he'd watched as though in a memory crystal of someone else's life. In the days since, he'd tried and mostly succeeded to accept the version of reality he'd given to the Lady who'd commissioned him. The witch had seduced him, surprised him, taken skillful advantage of a moment of weakness on his part. It shamed him to confess that he'd failed in his task, but he felt it was a more believable lie if he included a simple failure on his part rather then constructing some convoluted explanation for how the Summer Sky witch had gotten the drop on him, an experienced escort. It helped that, to a point, he didn't particularly care what the Lady thought of his performance. If she could be made to think him inept, that only meant she might release him from the unhappy duties for which she'd recruited him. He would've enjoyed little more than being able to go back to his regular work, perhaps pretending none of this had ever happened.

For a week or so now, he'd gotten his wish. He heard nothing more from the Lady, and though he'd not received another Patriarch commission either in that time, he didn't mind. It'd left him time to track down the owner of the name the witch had given him. The Dark Jeweled enjoyed a great deal of social leeway these days, but women were still sacred. As much as he despised his Aunt Vasala, Elias knew that point was something of a fanaticism of hers. It didn't take much prompting from Elias for the elder Priestess to demand a formal inquiry into Prince Viitala's affairs, and his treatment of the women entrusted to him for their sacred first nights. Elias wasn't sure whether the Conclave had conducted interviews of the women he'd "served" (they were Light Jeweled, almost exclusively), or if they'd leaned on the Coven for help in sussing out the man's secrets. Elias was left well outside of the investigation, which suited him fine. His didn't have to be the hand to mete out judgment, so long as justice was served in the end. It'd nearly made him feel physically ill when Vasala had assured him that she'd seen the matter taken care of, as though confirming for both their sakes that she'd done him a favor. Still, he couldn't deny the end result, and when Vasala had handed him a shard of the man's broken Sapphire as proof, not even the revulsion he normally felt towards his aunt could diminish the satisfaction of knowing that Prince Viitala had paid for his sins.

Paid something, at least.

Had he been a Light Jeweled male, or even just less well connected, less aristo, less socially invested, he might've paid for his transgressions with his life. As unrepentant as the man had seemed, Elias had been hoping for that very fate. Without his Offering it was unlikely that Viitala would be conducting any more Virgin Night ceremonies, however, and Elias told himself that had to be enough. Leaving the Sapphire at the jewelry shop had been a foolish and sentimental gesture, and he'd known even when doing it that it was unwise. And pointless, probably. The witch wouldn't return to that place, not after having come so close to such a potentially terrifying fate. She was likely already out of the Territory, he knew. Yet he left it anyway, as it helped him pretend he had some closure to the whole mess. He went back to court. Resumed his old duties. Waited to hear from the Lady again, and hoped all the while that he wouldn't.

By the time the Summer Sky witch knocked on the door of the apartment he kept in Vaasa, Elias had mostly put her out of his mind. It was just another morning, just another day of routines. It was early enough that he hadn't donned his coat or tie, but late enough that those were the only pieces missing from his court dress. At this hour, he expected the knock at his door to be a messenger of some sort, either from court or from the Patriarchs or, if he was intensely unlucky, from the Lady. So if there was a somewhat expectant look on his freshly-groomed face when the door swung open, perhaps it was understandable. He didn't see her right away; he saw the messenger he expected to see. It took a second for recognition to hit him, at which point his expression shifted to one of surprise, then confusion, then concern.

"You..." he breathed, stunned by the rank implausibility of her presence. "What... what are you doing here?" he asked her, voice louder than a whisper but not by much.


Offline Kirsi-Marja Karjalainen

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    • te2ss
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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #2 on: Feb 05, 19, 03:14:24 PM »
Kirsi-Marja shifted from foot to foot, denying herself the impulsive looks over her shoulder she wanted to indulge in. She was just coming to the realization that what she was doing was stupid and dangerous. She was just about to turn around to go back to ground, when Elias opened his door. The polite half-welcome expression he wore as he opened the door was one typically reserved for deliverymen. Perfect. She could give him an embarrassed half smile, apologize for having the wrong house and turn around. She could leave and forget she’d ever been stupid enough to deliver herself to a Dark Jeweled man just because he’d been nice to her on their previous and only meeting.

Then she saw the recognition hit him – followed by the surprise and confusion. She didn’t know if she wanted to pout or feel highly gratified that he’d been able to see through the small illusions. She had barely recognized herself in the mirror before she left. Though she had to admit she’d been jarred most by the matching blue eyes and didn’t really look past them. Still struggling to pinpoint how she felt about his easy recognition of her, and impact she must have had on him to do so, she pushed past him. Kirsi then shut the door and turned the lock. Too late to back out after he recognized who was on his doorstep.

“I,” she started, then trailed off as she eyed him from head to foot. “I seem to be interrupting something. Sorry.” She spoke as if it were a common occurrence for her to drop in unannounced. A small smile curved her lips before she actually looked around his home. “Do you have company? Or,” she stepped into him and reached up to fix his collar. “Are you expected somewhere?” She wouldn’t be able to discuss anything with him with someone else present, and certainly not if he was on his way out the door.

These were things she should have considered. It wasn’t like her to not think things through – to consider all the possibilities. Then again, she hadn’t been acting like herself since this man in front of her walked into her life and disrupted it. She had panicked. She’d been verbally combative. She didn’t do those things around the Dark Jeweled. And she certainly didn’t tell strangers about her nightmares.

The small stone rubbing against her ankle inside of her boot was proof that something had changed.


Offline Elias Aalto

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #3 on: Feb 05, 19, 04:24:55 PM »
Rather than answer him, the witch invited herself into his home. She moved forward, and despite how unwise he knew it to be, he stepped back to allow her to pass rather than planting himself to bar her entry. He watched, still in shock, as she closed and locked his door. She'd darkened her hair; some part of his brain emerged from the surprise-inspired fugue and began to pick out the details that didn't quite match with his memory of her, and that was the first to register. She turned to look at him then, and the fact that her eyes were colored wrong didn't mean they were any less striking than they'd been the last time. Yes, he remembered her. Especially now, when she'd brushed past him near enough to remind him of the same scent he'd noticed when she'd leaned close to whisper the sinner's name to him in the carriage. Now he couldn't help but remember that afternoon, and the way she'd spoken with such passion and fear, and how she'd kissed his cheek before fleeing for her life.

She'd said something. Asked him something. Elias realized he was mute and staring, and he shook his head to break himself out of it.

"What? No. No, there's no one here. I--" he began to explain, though he stopped when she pivoted to step towards him instead of further into the apartment. She reached for his collar and the way its edges brushed against his shirt had never been such an inexplicably attractive sensation before then. For a second he forgot how to speak, thrown off by how near this was to certain quiet fantasies to which he'd never admit.

Yes, she'd made an impression on him, alright.

"You can't be here," he finally willed himself to say, his hands lifting to gently arrest her shoulders. Concern laced his tone, though the longer he thought on it, the more he was tempted to give into frustration over worry. His brow knitted. "You should be leagues away from here by now; what are you doing here? Do you have any idea what would happen if anyone saw you come here? To you and to me?"

Offline Kirsi-Marja Karjalainen

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #4 on: Feb 05, 19, 07:35:33 PM »
Kirsi-Marja decided. She was gratified at his recognition, very gratified. A slow, wicked smile bloomed as she noticed his reaction to her had some roots in attraction. As woman long comfortable with her vanity, she preened a little as he lost his trail of thought as she invaded his personal space. Fixing his collar hadn’t been a calculated move on her part, she’d simply reacted when she noticed the crooked fabric. But she couldn’t stop herself from tilting her head slightly and peering up at him through her lashes. From deliberately using her eyes as a weapon to gauge the Prince’s reaction The witch had had no intention of seducing Elias before that moment. Suddenly she didn’t want to do anything besides finding which buttons unraveled the Prince in front of her.

“I know,” she said softly. That she shouldn’t be there. That she should be far away. Of what could happen to both of them if they’re caught. With a sigh, she shrugged his hands off her shoulders and turned away from him. She was afraid that if she stayed so close she’d forget why she was there. She ran her fingers through her curls, knocking her hood off in the process. The sight of her lightened locks had Kirsi-Marja breathing a little easier as she felt like she was back in her own skin. *You might want to shield against unwanted listeners, if you aren’t already. Unless you’d prefer a beneath-the-skin conversation with me.*

Once the Prince confirmed it was safe to speak, she’d start. “It’s not exactly easy to figure out where to go and how to get there. If I stay in Glacia she’ll send someone else to collect me and you’ll be in more trouble than you probably already are.” She turned back to look at him and lifted an ironic brow. “It’s not like it’s easy for a Light Jewel to find a way out of Glacia – it takes time. But, as it happens, I’m just waiting for the word to be on my way. I, I just..” She trailed off, faltering.

How could she put something so big into words? She looked to the side, finding a painting on a wall but not actually seeing it. Kirsi-Marja looked back to Elias, and then flicked her gaze back to the painting. Unable to stand having him look at her while she tried to piece together the words, she walked back into Elias’s personal space. She pressed her forehead to his chest and her hands to his stomach. “I... He was this monster in my closet. I could forget about it, him, you know? Days at a time, weeks – months even. Out of sight, right?” Her body tensed up, trembled. “And then he’d reach out and grab me by the throat. Just freeze me in place and leave me breathless. And I wouldn’t be able to stop wondering just how many other girls had him hiding in their closets.” She inhaled deeply, exhaled shakily. “The Sisters didn’t believe me back then, but you did. You did, Elias. And you slayed the monster in my closet. Thank you.”

There was more to say. Another, heavier, topic to discuss. But she needed a minute. She needed to pull herself together to reconstruct the social shields she'd demolished to say what she needed to say.


Offline Elias Aalto

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #5 on: Feb 07, 19, 10:34:40 AM »
The witch turned away, and Elias hadn't realized how tense he'd been until he was once more free to exhale and then breathe normally. He watched her doff her hood, causing the color to return to her hair, and was struck by how surreal the moment felt. This wasn't his life, he was sure. He was on his way out the door to court, where he'd have a completely normal and mundane day of courtesies and escorting. It seemed impossible that instead, he was standing in his foyer listening to a wanted woman advise him to shield the room against eavesdropping. lest the authorities discover the treason he seemed on the verge of committing.

No, that you have already committed, he reminded himself, silently. 

He shielded the room as she asked because it seemed safer to do so, despite how certain he was that he couldn't let himself be dragged any further into her trouble. He'd risked too much already in letting her leave the carriage.

"Less than I would have been had you not come here this morning," he pointed out, when she pretended to mind how much trouble he might be in. She suggested it wasn't easy for a Light Jeweled to find a way out and Elias shook his head and turned away, pacing with a lift of his hands as though he could stop her from sharing any details with him that might harm him further. Night, how was it that he'd let himself get into this situation?

But then her voice faltered and trailed off, and some invisible lever turned his head and his attention back towards her.

"You just what?" he quietly prompted, when she stammered. Gently, less out of anger and more to help guide her back to her purpose. "Lady, why are you here?" She failed for a moment more to find her words, then just as Elias intended to move the conversation along for her, she turned and approached him directly. He opened his mouth to object, but before he'd conjured any words she was upon him, curled against him as though seeking shelter in a storm. He was torn, the urge to protect and shelter a female in need suddenly warring with the warm-blooded male who sincerely suspected he was being toyed with, particularly when her hands pressed his stomach and caused the muscles there to clench of their own volition. Game or not, though, when she began to speak in that tremulous voice and tell him about how her personal demon had plagued her, there was no choice left in the matter. His arms settled around her and held her soundly. She sounded so sincere, felt so sincere, that he began to doubt that it was wholly a game to her. Every shake breath she exhaled buried another nail in his coffin, and even though part of him knew it, he couldn't complain. It was natural for him to want to help her, and despite how risky his actions had been, it would've been hard to hold that trembling woman in his arms and say it'd been the wrong thing to do. Had she not suffered enough already?

"It wasn't actually me," he confessed, his voice lower and more gentle now with her so near. He resisted the urge to rest his chin against the crown of her head, though he wanted to. The delicate and feminine scents about her wound their way through his senses, and made it difficult to feel the danger in the moment quite so sharply. After all, he was in his own home. Weren't they safe here? "It was the Conclave. He was tried and convicted." He leaned back a little, not ousting her from his embrace but coaxing her to acknowledge him with a glance. "They're not all like him. Perhaps too many are, still. But not all."

Offline Kirsi-Marja Karjalainen

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #6 on: Feb 07, 19, 02:42:22 PM »
They were strangers. Kirsi-Marja and this Green Jeweled Prince. Strangers forced into intimacy from sources outside of their control. Indaara was her dearest friend and even she had never been told the name of the man who had so thoroughly brutalized her. Logic screamed through her that she shouldn’t trust this man; instincts told her he was safe, that he wouldn’t harm her. She didn’t know what to rely on.

She heard his questions, his prompting and filtered them through without processing. She knew the bubble of intimacy surrounding them would burst, and soon. He was too proper for any of this to sit well upon him. She was too used to the dissembling and deception to be completely comfortable with this raw honesty between them for much longer – not when they are smack dab in the middle of being true strangers and vague acquaintances.

Kirsi-Marja knew she was too close physically when he tensed beneath her hands. She was too smart to write it off completely as his body’s natural reaction to physical attraction. But he didn’t push her away, and Night, how he listened to her. He wrapped her in his arms and she fought the burning behind her eyes at how protected the simple action made her feel. How it warmed her down to her bones.

He made his confession and her head snapped back to glare up at him, fury tensing her muscles. She fisted her hands in his shirt, creasing the fabric to Hell. “Don’t you dare say that. Don’t you dare,” she spit out between gritted teeth. “Those... Those Bitches of the Light did nothing when I stood before them: a girl of eighteen years, trembling and shocked. Covered in the same evidence that was still soaking into and staining that Darkness damned bed. They called me wicked for lying and trying to besmirch a good man’s name just because he..” A sound poured out of her throat, not unlike a tea kettle whistling. “Because he turned down my request for further...” Her throat closed up, unable to finish the recitation of words that had burned her so very long ago. Had sliced her so very deep.

She shook her head savagely, her curls bouncing wildly around her face. She swallowed thickly, trying to shove down the anger that had consumed her so completely, so rapidly. She ground her teeth and tapped him in the chest with the side of her fist. “You knew me five minutes, were probably told I was into something illicit, and you still trusted my word enough to do something. You were the catalyst – so don’t you dare belittle your part in it.”

Her fury quieted and her hands relaxed against his chest as she remained close to him. She kept her head tilted back and she studied his face. Kirsi-Marja wanted to know more about this man, everything. Because what she knew, what he’d shown her – she liked. “You may be right, that they’re not all like him. That too many still are. But you..” She trailed off and slowly raised her hands to cup his face. Her thumb slid softly along his jawline and her eyes greedily traced along the same path. “I can’t say I know you very well, but I do know that you are a beautifully rare man.”

Kirsi-Marja dropped her hands from his face, only to capture his hand. The one with the Patriarch ring. “I’m a jeweler by trade so I tend to notice the jewelry worn by people around me. Perhaps I’m wrong, but this ring tells me you don’t typically collect people for Black Widows. That it’s not the Black Widows you deal with. I don’t know how you got caught up in this, but after what I discovered, I couldn’t just disappear without warning you. Not after you protected me.”


Offline Elias Aalto

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #7 on: Feb 11, 19, 09:12:11 AM »
"Alright... alright," he said, half-pleading, half-consoling when the witch reacted so vehemently to his explanation. The vigor with which she responded surprised him, and he regretted having unintentionally riled her. He didn't understand, at first, why it was so important to her that he not minimize his part in what'd happened to Viitala. (It was less minimizing and more representing the matter without embellishment in his mind, but he wasn't about to argue that with her at the moment.) It was only when she explained further, and it was clear how much of an impact the first dismissal by those running her orphanage had made that he understood a little better.

The room seemed unnaturally quiet in the wake of her rant, when she stilled a little, finally, and he was left there looking down at her with the fury dissipating from her. Night be merciful, but she was striking. Elias wasn't always prone to easy distraction, but the truth was that he was so struck by the sudden intimacy of that moment that he missed the first part of what she said next. He'd managed to pull his focus in by force just as she lifted her hands to touch his face, and he once more struggled with the dichotomy of the moment. One the one hand, he was flesh and blood and all but starved of intimacy. She was one of the most physically beautiful women he'd ever seen, and the way she traced her thumb along his jaw made it impossible to not be precisely aware of all the places her soft body pressed against his own. Through some lenses, it didn't make sense for him to do anything but lean down and kiss her, pull her more tightly against himself and take her to his bed to celebrate with her what they'd both survived.

But Elias was a not a man who generally went about enslaved to his passions. It was impressive that she'd affected him enough to cause hesitance at all, much less had him considering such base distractions while there were so many more important matters afoot. He couldn't ignore all the other little details about the situation, such as how she'd walked up to his front door and what danger that presented if even one person had seen her and could later swear that she'd been here. Not only would it look doubly bad for him considering his history, but he was fairly certain the Lady he now served had not been entirely satisfied with his recounting of events when Lady Karjalainen had escaped the last time. He was only barely holding on to the reins of his family as it was; how quickly would Vasala usurp that authority if Elias was found to have a Light Jeweled fugitive here in his home?

"Lady..." Elias quietly said, lowering his eyes from hers to help resist the urges that plagued him. He drew a breath in hopes of finding some arrangement of words to offer her in the wake of her kindness that wouldn't invite further diversion. The witch moved on for him, dropping her hands and granting a small reprieve while she focused on his hand instead.

"I... it's a long story," he began to say, eyes cast down to the ring to which she referred. Whatever he meant to follow that assertion with was set aside, however, at her last comment. He met her eyes again, his own narrowed curiously. "What do you mean, warn me?"

Offline Kirsi-Marja Karjalainen

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #8 on: Feb 11, 19, 08:57:41 PM »
Kirsi-Marja had a difficult time letting go of Elias’s hand. She had the insane urge to bring it to her face so she could rub her cheek against it. She wanted to know what his hands would feel like on her body. Would he be thorough and gentle? Because it wasn’t just his nature she found compelling. And it wasn’t just the way she seemed to be able to rob him of speech. He was gorgeous. And if she had met him a month ago she’d have damn well had him in her bed already. Or slipped into his. Multiple times, in multiple ways.
 
But she hadn’t. And just being here, in his home, was dangerous. Not just for her – but for him, too. So, despite the desire swimming through her veins, Kirsi let go of his hand. When he looked her in the eyes again, her pupils dilated with her need. She let the moment linger before taking a very deliberate step back, breaking all physical contact. She wanted to whimper at the loss.
 
“I believe I mentioned it before, that I didn’t understand why the Coven Leader would request my presence.” Noticing that she had wrinkled the Prince’s shirt, she reached out to smooth them away with just a touch of Craft. And realized she’d shoved her hand into a flame when the muscles beneath the shirt registered. There was a hitch in her breathing, a slight stutter to the next words to betray her reaction. “So I, well... I asked around. About her, about the Black Widow.” With his shirt in as good a condition as she could get it, she held her hands out, palms up, to catch the package she Called in. “There’s some documents and memory crystals in here. Some aural crystals too. I can’t validate them – promise they weren’t tampered with before I got them. But I’m told the documents are copies of what’s on file in a Sanctuary archive.”
 
Kirsi-Marja tightened her hold on the box and stared down at the contents. “I don’t expect that you’ll keep trusting me on blind faith. I fully believe that you’ll try to verify first... But, she’s sick, Prince. Twisted in a way that’s unrelated to the Twisted Kingdom.” She held the package out for Elias to take from her, then stuffed her hands into her sweater pockets and fisted them. “I’ll be gone. In a day or two, but you’ll be here with her. Working for her? Just...” She trailed off to chew on her bottom lip before continuing. “Be careful Prince, be wary.


Offline Elias Aalto

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #9 on: Feb 14, 19, 10:24:23 AM »
"You..." Elias started to reply, looking down with a bewildered frown at the box she handed him. A large part of him was still reeling from the strain on his willpower from the last few seconds. Letting her step away from him had challenged every natural urge in him, but still paled when compared to how difficult it'd been to not take hold of her when she'd touched him again. She stammered a little, which seemed like it ought to have been an impossible thing but was also endlessly endearing. Yet somehow, somehow, he'd held his ground and bore silent witness, refraining all the while from acting contrary to his precious sense of propriety. But now she conjured a cache of what she claimed was research on the Lady he served, and he finally understood why she'd risked everything she'd risked to come here. She'd done it to warn him. That revelation floored him, and when he lifted his gaze from the box in his hands back to her strangely-colored eyes, he looked rather blown away.

"I don't understand," he said, but he did understand. She'd done something selfless, something to benefit someone other than herself. Something kind, even if incredibly dangerous. Flawed, they called her and people like her, but Elias couldn't help but think that a flawed soul must be like a work of art, only the more interesting and compelling because of its texture and complexity. Hadn't Tahti been a beautiful soul? And yet no one would contest her imperfections. It felt heretical to find beauty in such things, but Elias had always struggled with piety when it came to this aspect of the Dark Religion.

"You came here... to warn me about her?" And she was leaving. Two days, three, something like that, and she'd leave this Territory and likely never come back. He didn't mean to take that step forward, to situate himself firmly inside of her personal space once more, but it happened all the same. The hand that held her package lowered and his other hand rose in tandem to cup the side of her face. It was wrong. Perhaps, in fact, there was nothing at all right about it. Still, he watched his thumb brush over the swell of her cheek, felt the lure of her warmth and her sweetness and the strength within her, and he found himself keenly aware of how near his bedroom was. He felt powerfully compelled to try and express all the things for which there were no words available, his gratitude and his wonder and how beautiful a soul he found her to be.

Heretic, something whispered, but he didn't care. It wouldn't make it any less true if he didn't bend his head towards her and kiss her just now, would it?

"You shouldn't have come," he told her, his voice lowered to just above a whisper. It sank a notch quieter still while he bowed his head, until his next words brushed warm breath over her lips. "It isn't safe...."

But before he could touch his mouth to hers, before he could yield fully to that desire that'd been riding him since she'd revealed herself, the web at his front door informed him that a guest had arrived. His Craft extended reflexively to check the area of his door but returned to him no information whatsoever. Concern lanced through him, causing him to raise his head and frown, turning towards the front of the foyer. As he did so, the knob on the door turned, and the door was pushed open from the outside. There was not a person who could've stood there in the opened door who would've inspired more dread, more despair, more fear than the diminutive Black Widow who smiled brightly and greeted Elias with a satisfied sigh. There was nowhere to hide. No obfuscation to attempt. It was so unexpected as to completely stump him for a moment, for it made no sense that she should be here, in his home.

Yet here she was, and here Elias and Kirsi-Marja were, and nothing save an act of Mother Night Herself could save them.


Offline Kirsi-Marja Karjalainen

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Re: Baiting the Trap
« Reply #10 on: Feb 14, 19, 12:53:54 PM »
Kirsi-Marja noticed his bewilderment. Noted it. But she was having too much trouble dealing with her own reactions to figure out his. He was a Dark Jeweled male. He worked for one of the most powerful women in the Territory. And he’d been tasked with bringing her to the capital. For all those reasons, and more, she should fear him. Distrust him. And yet she couldn’t.

She found his presence, his scent, comforting. And arousing. An odd combination to be sure.  Without a doubt he was a very physically attractive man. But Kirsi-Marja has met plenty of very attractive people and very few have had the ability to make her head spin. From the very moment he first stepped into her shop, and into her life, he’d been a bit of an enigma. Polite, patient, respectful. A perfect gentleman.

And he let her go. At great risk to himself, to the father he loved, and the family he wasn’t ashamed of. She was sure he loved the rest of his family too; they just hadn’t spoken of it. It would have been better for him, safer, to deliver her to the Lady and wash his hands of her. Instead he refilled her Jewels, let her leave, and sought justice for her.

How could she not want a man like him?

With the slight physical distance her head began to clear. A little. Enough that she could firm her resolve. She did what she came here to do. She delivered what little proof she had that the woman her Prince worked for wasn’t working solely for Glacia’s best interests, but for her own. She could leave. Should leave. She needed to leave before she decided she wanted to stay.

And then... He had to say he didn’t understand. She wanted to laugh; instead she shook her head slightly. “I don’t either.” She took another step back, tried to force her eyes to the door. Thinking that if she just looked at it she could walk towards it. But she couldn’t, especially not when he asked for verification on why she risked herself, risked him, to be here. Kirsi couldn’t answer, not when he pressed close once more. He cupped her face and her breath shuddered out of her. The desire she thought settled, leapt to life within her. She closed her eyes and focused on the sensation of his skin on her face, his thumb brushing across her cheek.

She opened her eyes slowly, knowing she wouldn’t be able to hide the craving she had for him. She rested her hands on his hips, and then found the strength to slide them to his belly, then up to his chest. She wanted to fist her hands in his shirt and use the fabric to drag him down to her mouth. She couldn’t, not transfixed as she was by this moment. All she could do was brace for the impact she knew was coming.

But the impact that came wasn’t the one she expected. The desire that flooded through her system receded just as quickly, leaving sharp regret in its wake. A lifetime of dissembling meant a half-thought plan was already forming in her mind even as she began to act with only a second of delay. Her voice was shrill but not quite loud enough to be defined as a scream. “You lied to me! You said it was a mistake! That I wasn’t going to be brought in!” She braced, as if she wasn’t sure whether to physically attack Elias or turn and run and try to find another exit. ‘Mother Night,’ she thought. He needed to vanish that package. He needed to play along. It was the only thing she could think of that would get at least one of them out of this unharmed.