collapse

* Welcome!

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

* Important Links

* 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 Glacia

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.
Culture of Glacia
The Dark Religion
Smuggling in Glacia
Priestess & Law
Black Widows

* 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: Borrowed Without Asking  (Read 378 times)

Description: tag: Sloane

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Borrowed Without Asking
« on: Mar 04, 19, 12:34:44 PM »

The cold wind stung the parts of his face that were still exposed, and tiny all but invisible bits of snow and ice seemed to lance into him.  The small pin pricks of impact that they made brought a smile to Lorcan’s face, albeit one hidden by the scarf he had tied across his nose and mouth.  He loved it out here, loved it where the snow and ice and weather kept trying to kill him, and he kept telling all of them to fuck off by dint of his will and sheer orneriness.  He would be to the next ‘landing’ by now, the next level place where they could take shelter, if he were not guiding a family of three up the side of this mountain.  Lorcan cast his eyes further up, and saw that all three of his charges were making progress.

As always, he was the anchorman.  If someone fell, it was for him to arrest that fall, so they didn’t take everyone with them.  They had undertaken a crash course in climbing to make their escape, and others had laid in the cached supplies along the way.  Lorcan had secured much of the ropes and made many of the handholds up here himself.  It was not a path that was previously used by other climbers, but skill and a Sapphire could take you far, and if you did it right, you could make it so others could follow.  You had to know where to look, but ‘Lorcan’s Ladder’ as he called it in his mind, made the climb much easier than it would have been, as did the series of hidden shelters he had made.

The Territorial Guard were unlikely to stumble across it, and up here, well, that would be easy enough to deal with.  The roads were a far more dangerous prospect.  Lorcan would prefer that his people risk a fall, rather than tangling with potentially Dark Jeweled enemies.  For every Light-Jeweled contingent, there was always a Dark, and one Dark was a weapon of mass destruction for a small family just trying to live free.  Lorcan couldn’t kill all of them, and in many cases, that kind of body lying around or that kind of missing person could be just a call to look at a given place much more closely.  No, better to avoid them, and only fight and kill if there were no other choice.  Lorcan sensed it before it happened, the Father, older than the Warlord Prince, slipped, but the Sapphire Smuggler was there with a shield, and shoved him back into place.  ”Don’t be in a hurry.”  He sent his voice directly to the man’s ear with craft, ”Slow and steady.  You are your little boy’s anchor.  Remember that.”

It was slow going, the difficulty of the climb made more arduous by the slower pace.  The family were not experts, and could only be pushed so hard.  They arrived at the ‘landing’, where Lorcan bundled them in to the hidden shelter.  He made sure they all ate, husband, wife, and young son, and made sure they were warm.  He made them stretch and work out any kinks in their muscles, and encouraged them to rest and get some sleep.  The last part was always the most difficult, but they were nearly free, and he told them as much.  Lorcan smiled, and let the family be enthusiastic and optimistic, it would only help them later.  With his Sapphire, he was not quite ready for sleep, so he dressed for the environment again, and went out to have a look around.  Lorcan had left horses in a shelter below, one of which he had ‘borrowed’ from a local farm.  They had so many fine horses, he doubted they would miss the one coach animal for awhile.  He had lost a horse early on, and he had needed another.  The place had so many.  The weather was holding, and barring a wolf or a bear, the animals ought to be fine in their hiding place far below.

Lorcan returned to the shelter after making certain the area was clear, and then he rested.  He did not quite sleep, but he had learned to take time to relax his body in a climb, and not take moments of peace for granted.  He roused the family when the time came, waking the Father first, and letting him wake the rest of his family.  He made sure they were all dressed and harnessed properly, made sure they’d had enough to eat and drink, making sure they had a good breakfast and a little time to digest, before they were back out on the mountain.  Lorcan set a solid pace, well within their reach, knowing that they were crossing over into the hardest part of the climb.  Once they made the heights, things would get a bit easier, but this last trek was the hardest, first a long hike, then a difficult climb, and then that pattern repeated.  He knew they could do it, if they were careful, just as he knew that reaching the end of that particular stretch of the journey would fill them with dangerous confidence.  They still had to be careful on the way down the other side, no matter how good they felt, overconfidence would only lead to mistakes, and in the mountains mistakes got people killed.

They completed the journey without major incidence, however, or at least nothing a Sapphire Warlord Prince could not handle.  Lorcan gave the family the last bit of supplies from the last cache, the money they had sent ahead for their new start, and a local contact for them to connect with if they wanted to send for more of their kin.  The Sapphire Climber rested for one full day, and then immediate returned to the mountains to ultimately make his way back into Glacia, and into Nivalla District in particular.  He had a horse to return, and he had to get to the animals before the feed ran out, before another smuggler took them or before predators got to them.  Lorcan made far better time alone on his return journey than he ever did with ‘packages’, what he sometimes called the people he moved out of Glacia.  He made it down his Ladder, and down to where the horses were stored with perhaps a day of feed left to spare.  He found wolf tracks, which almost made him panic, but they had not found their way past the scrub and barriers in place at the entrance of the cave.  He found one less horse, and an arrangement of sticks and stones that said a smuggler had taken one.  Thankfully, not the ‘borrowed’ one.

Lorcan brought two horses down from the mountain, and lashed one a bit away from the farm he had to return to.  It had been an easy thing to take one horse, but even then he had thought the place had an overabundance of lookouts, now that he was returning, he realized that he had been too mild in his description.  The place had guards.  Why would a working farm have so many?  It wasn’t like it was the...Oh.  Even as he was thinking about it, it dawned on him.  The District Queen was known to have a country manor, some called it, but more than that, he had heard that the Queen not only had land, but it was a farm or a ranch---a ranch.  He had seen a lot more horses than cows.  Mother Night’s pendulous tits., he had stolen one of the Queen’s horses.  Lorcan cursed himself for a hasty fool, and proceeded under a sight and aural shield.  He made it to one of the stables, and found that he was wrong again.  There were voices on the wind, not too far, even as he was leading the horse back into the same stall he had taken him from weeks ago.  Lorcan sighed, and decided to take the time to give the horse a final rubdown and a brushing.  It was the least he could do.

Of course, the next stable the people he heard wanted to see, was the one he was in.  Lorcan was trapped in a stall, in a stable, with the horse he had borrowed.  That wouldn’t attract any notice at all.

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #1 on: Mar 04, 19, 01:47:19 PM »
“Someone had to have seen something. A horse does not just wander off these grounds without anyone noticing.”  Stern demanded in a higher octave than before. His voice was steadily climbing and soon they would be able to hear him in the mansion despite the winter storm outside. The Master of the guard irritated, first by the interruption, and second by the news of the theft. His rough tone nor his pressing questions developed any answers. His first action was to interrogate the very same stable hand who had brought the theft to his attention, as if the young Landen male had something to do with the animal going missing, then he awoke the rest of the house, save for the Lady, and gathered them up inside the warm barn where the dapple quarter horse was last seen. “Can someone tell me if anything else is missing? Anything?”  His growl triggering several of the already uncomfortable Landen and even the Blood farrier to take a step back.

“Nothing else Sir. We checked the paddocks, the exterior of the house and the barns. All of the animals are accounted for save for Edgar.”

“Edgar?”

“Its the horse's name, Rilias.” Her voice cut through the uncomfortable silence. Edgar was a five-year-old male quarter horse, 16 hands tall with a thick coat and strong legs. While he was one of her favorites, his breed was considered mediocre when compared to the rare animals in this barn, including an impressive midnight Glacian warhorse. The three stable hands immediately turned to watch as their Queen stepped over a mound of straw that had been pushed against the door of the barn to seal out the draft. She wore a long fur-lined coat. Her buttery hair pulled back away from her face in a plait that curled around her right shoulder.  While snow churned in fluffy puffs outside, catching in the night air and obscuring visibility for miles, the barn was unnaturally but comfortably warm due to the use of flameless sconces warmed by craft. The dozen or so animals in the main barn were comfortable enough or rather eleven of them were.  These were Lady Halston’s personal favorites as part of her private collection. A cat mewed from the rafters before slinking along the high beam as if it has said nothing at all.

“Why was I not informed?”
  The Queen’s question directed toward Rilias Stern, her Master of the Guard of some three years now. “How long has he been missing?” she asked before the man answered, turning her attention to the stablehand who curiously seemed far more at ease within her presence. “Several hours lady. I cleaned the stalls, warmed their blankets and set Edgar in his stall with fresh hay. I came in to check on them before I retired for the night. Some of the horses were disturbed miss, but we thought it was just to do with the storm Lady Halston. When I came in, he was gone, as was his saddle and blanket.” The man answered apologetically. He was remorseful for choosing warmth rather than checking on the horses sooner. 

Sloane’s eyes lifted toward the paddock as Stern assured her that the animal would be found and scouts would be sent to every corner of the district to make certain it was.  Why, however, pick that horse in particular? If someone was looking to sell one of her animals they would have a hard enough time about it, Halston’s were notoriously expensive and coveted. It seemed Edgar was the victim of practicality. “See that my animal is found, but do not post guards openly. I have a feeling we will be seeing our thief again. Be waiting when we do.”

And they were.

Nearly a week after the theft Rilias was still on edge. He had not completely abided by the Queen’s orders to limit the guards around the barns, even as the Court Seer completed the security webs along the perimeter and within the many stable houses. Lady Catina could assure him all she liked that the webs would be enough to trap any unauthorized visitors within the stables, but Rilias preferred to employ eyes as well as Craft.  Guards were sent out to neighboring villages to find the missing animal with no luck. There had been no trace that the creature let alone the thief had doubled back toward the villages, nor had any horses been recently sold.  Their Queen was displeased by the breach, and he did not think a horse, one of many and the simplest amongst them should have warranted this much effort. Then again, it was the District Queen’s personal collection that had been affected and thus a very personal slight.

Despite the improved visibility without the winds shifting the veils of ice about, no one had seen the male or even the horse approach.  Silently the webs activated. Those who had permission to enter the stables wore delicately weaved bracelets to allow them access. As the Seer was made aware of the intrusion, the Master of the Guard was notified and men dispatched to the location. Layers and layers of dark shields covered the doors and windows. The animals within shifted uncomfortably. Even Edgar, who should have been a brave but laid back companion to Lorcan during his forced excursion tossed his head once, ears flipping back and forward again.
A handful of guards entered followed by Prince Stern who had them check each of the stalls. Nothing was amiss, nor was the Master of the Guard dark enough to sense the Warlord Prince or the aural and sight shields he had raised around himself.  The guards looked into Edgar’s stall and then walked passed it.  Rilias motioned for the men to block the exits using hand signals. Someone tripped the Security Webs, someone who was incredibly well hidden.

“Are you sure?” Sloane asked as she stepped past the surprised guards positioned at the rear entrance of the barn.  She’d just been settling down before dinner when her Court Seer rose suddenly and instructed a guard to fetch Prince Stern. Pulling on a long, heavy wool cloak over her vested frock and leather trousers, she immediately set to check on her animals herself. She had spent the day riding, her long flaxen hair pulled back away from her temples in intricate braids, leaving the rest to hang loose and wavy down her back, her expression piqued in irritation. The scent of her horses and the leather from the saddles still clung to her clothing, mixing in strange concert with the floral musk of her faint perfume.

Sloane's first thought was that this was a new attempt at her stock, that the criminals had become so brazen to try again. That alone was infuriating. Lady Catina knew there was little any of them could do to stop their Queen from investigating save for Prince Stern and even that was unlikely. “Of course I am. Two bodies entered.”  There was no guarantee any of them would leave, the Black Widow’s fingers worked on a web as they entered much to Rilias Stern’s disapproval. "Good luck to them if they try and leave."

His hand lifted immediately motioning for the women to stop. Two guards flanked the ladies, falling in step with them. “Whoever is in here come out, now. There are webs in place you will regret tangling with. Show yourselves.”  His deep voice cut through the air, filling every corner of the massive space. A green and sapphire shield rose around Lady Halston.  When the conspirators made themselves known it would be Lady Halston who would gain more than she expected from the theft.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #2 on: Mar 04, 19, 03:15:57 PM »
Lorcan watched every troop into the stable, and right on past him.  That was good, he was too Dark for them to see or notice, which meant his odds improved.  His odds for what?  That was the real question.  He did not want a fight, he had stolen this horse, and he was already bordering on being impolite by having done that.  Stealing a horse, and then roughing up the District Guards was probably one handhold too far, and he now realized that he had set off Black Widow Webs.  They had improved security in his wake, which was something he should have considered.  Arrested by the District Queen also seemed like a bad option.  He could not fight, well, he could, but he’d feel pretty bad about it, and he could not risk being arrested.  Lorcan was sorely tempted to wrap his scarf over most of his face, take his climbing axes in hand, and bust out of the stable, but given the Webs, that seemed risky.

Another thought occurred to him, one that made him vanish the axes.  He had not even realized he’d summoned them up.  Lorcan enjoyed a fight as much as the next Warlord Prince, perhaps too well, and the very idea of fighting any of those assembled was not an unpleasant one.  Dark Jeweled aristos, even though he was one, were not his favorite people.  But this new thought made him smile; he could just hide.  He did not have to leave the property, and they could not sense him, so he could hide and let them search in vein for a little while, until he figured out how to get by the Webs.  Maybe there was a token, maybe they took the webs down at some point in the day.  Lorcan was not sure, but hiding was a more viable option than adding insult to injury to the District Queen’s people.

Balls.  He swore in his mind.  Mother Night knew that he had fucked up on occasion, thankfully with no one’s life but his own, but this—this was worse than usual.

Lorcan barely noticed the ultimatum when it was given.  He did not think himself invulnerable, but if there was one man that could fight this crowd of people in all of Glacia, it was him.  Even without luring them into the mountains, he could run out into a snow covered and windy paddock, and pick them off in the swirling snow.  That was not why he largely ignored the ultimatum, he ignored it, because of the woman.  There was no mistaking the scent of a Queen, but more than that, there was no mistaking this Queen.  She was a Green Queen, he could sense that much, and despite her simple and pragmatic attire, she was beautiful.  Her hair was done sensibly, and he had to restrain and urge to walk over and touch it.  He growled behind his Aural Shield, and cursed Mother Night and every  one of her poxy orifices.  This was bad, this was very bad.  Lorcan called Craft into his body, and did two things.  He rendered himself incorporeal, and leaped with all his enhanced might straight up.  He passed through the roof, and landed on the angled to one side of the stable’s peaked peaked roof.

His landing caused a soft thump heard by the men and women in the stable, the thump was followed by the susurrus sound of something sliding along the roof, and the crunch of snow as that same something landed in a drift.  Lorcan grunted as he tumbled out of the snow, still unseen and unheard, save for those sounds outside of his stealth Craft, and ran around to the front of the stables as fast as his enhanced body would carry him.  Lorcan flickered into existence, dropping his stealth shields, and raising Sapphire defensive shields over the wide opening of the stables.  Essentially, locking his would be captors within the building.  He covered his face with his scarf, and walked up to the Shield that he was certain only he could perceived.  Lorcan looked within for the Queen, his hands curling into fists, and he all but pressed himself against his own shield.  ”Your horse is back.  He was needed elsewhere, and you have so many.”  He waited for the woman to turn to him, to give him a clear view of her eyes.  ”I can pay a fair rental price, if that will make things even.”

Two hand-axes, and a series of power bolts slammed into his barrier.  Lorcan growled as he put more power into the barrier.  ”I don’t want to fight any of you.  Let me speak with the Queen.”  Without his Stealth Craft, he was known now.  He had been forced to use enough masking to work with the horses, so often, it was almost habit, but he forgot that it minimized his presence.  Now, he let them know what he was; A Sapphire Warlord Prince—a Warlord Priince that was becoming, subtly, more and more impatient.  Lorcan paced in from of his own barrier, waiting for them to send the Queen forward.  He had to be sure.  He had to see her, but her scent made him shiver slightly, and he remembered her eyes and her hair, and the way she moved.  Lorcan rolled his shoulders, and stomped in the snow.  ”Please.  Just let me speak to the Queen.”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #3 on: Mar 04, 19, 04:19:10 PM »
There was no response for several pregnant seconds. Sloane looked around, her head turning from left to right, scanning the space. The other horses were uneasy. With so many Dark Jeweled Blood congregated in one place it was a wonder that their reactions were not as severe. While her scent was familiar, some of these guards had never set foot In this place. Years of practiced equine husbandry had negated the effects of her Dark Jeweled state.  She sensed nothing, not even amongst those who she was familiar with. Prince Stern was a Blood Opal to Green Warlord Prince, but it was something she had learned, never picked up on her own. This…scent blindness was still as old as when she was first stricken by it. Catina was tense, the Black Widow’s playful smile passed, giving room to a thin-lipped stare as her fingers worked.

“Come out now!” Rilias thundered, and the horses whined, stamping their feet on the hay-strewn ground in alarm. Her first instinct was to calm them, but she knew no soft cooing or commands would make them feel any easier. “Check the stalls again, go! My Lady, we have this situation under control, please return to the grounds and we wi….”

From the corner of her eyes, she saw a flash of white and caramel. The painted quarter horse, the same that had vanished a week ago seemed to manifest into existence. There was a thud and then the sound of men calling out orders. Some pushed passed out the back doors, a few joined the Queen in a protective circle. She could sense shields rise up around her.

Whooooshe-clap-clap-clap-ssppppht!

Her head shot up, trying to follow the sounds by sight and seeing only wisps of dust falling from between the stable beams.  Shouts filled the barn, the clamoring of males who found themselves suddenly caught in their own trap.  Craft exploded in the air, striking an invisible barrier that only when struck made itself known.  “Get the Queen out!”  One of the men shouted, but Sloane’s feet were firmly cemented to the ground and the guards around her were hesitant in guiding the Lady outdoors where the danger now existed.

Even? Who did this asshole think he was talking to?

Sloane was about to speak when Rilias stepped forward, striking the shields hard with a power bolt. The concussive force behind it spread up along the shields and into the frame, snapping one of them in half. The only thing keeping the door opening intact was Lorcan’s shields.  “You don’t make demands, thief! There will be a price to pay and it will be on your head.”  The Warlord Prince stood before the Sapphire shield, his fists balled, his rage palpable to all but the Queen who had just to look at his face and see it for what it was. Psychic blindness didn’t cripple her perception or her damn common sense. “No.” Rilias growled soundly.  “Lower your shields.”

Guards trickled out from their posts within the estate nearby, some sight shielded while others not.  They stood there at an impasse for several moments, Lorcan’s impatience bled into the white snow.  Sloane looked to Catina who vanished from sight. “My horses are not property to be rented. Five or five hundred, they can't just be taken.” The Queen moved forward, though the guards followed close by. The Green and Sapphire shield’s protecting her reinforced. “The horse thief wants to speak to me. He will get brought before me at some point. If he is this impatient then Ill hear what he has to say.“

Rilias growled but kept himself slightly in front of the blonde woman as she pressed toward the front and stood several feet away from the shielded door.  The male tensed as her eyes rose to meet his. He was tall, with long dark hair and a thick beard. He was young however and his eyes were deep, emerald pools of-ohshit.

It felt as though the door had struck her, only far harder than she had expected.  No, actually it was a pain and pleasure from within, a bruised muscle jerked violently. Still raw and sore and yet needing to be used. Her eyes snapped to his and her expression fell. There was a momentary flare of distress which called the Master of the Guard’s eyes to turn to her even though it was wordless. Panic, joy, fear, all set ablaze and then suddenly extinguished with a pop, leaving a heavy numbness and a whole new extension of herself she wasn’t prepared to feel. 

Mine.

No….no….notagainnotagain….mine….mine….

Sloane closed her eyes and took in a single deep breath. Outwardly the Queen was cool, composed but resigned.  The air was cool. She could not sense the others, could not taste them in the air like she suddenly could this stranger. His cologne was so faint she had to strain to pick it up. Some links were undeniable and while faint, the bond was more powerful than any disability.  “Lower your shield.”  She said to him, recognizing the bittersweet pull of the bond. The most subtle of tugs within the newly weaved bond indicating she knew what she was doing and would not be above knocking him forward with it. The shields around her did not dissipate, nor did she expect the males to do so. The command was simply for one. “Now.”  She commanded plainly.  Her fingers itched to touch him, but that urge at least she could control, for now. Another bonded, she wasn’t sure if it would have been better to have let him just go and save themselves this pain, but the part of her who recognized him for what he was, couldn’t simply release him.  “Let him stand. I'll hear what he says. Do not attack him in any way. No one touches him.”  She turned her gaze to Rilas who looked at her dumbstruck, then annoyed. “Yes, Lady Halston.” Turning her head back to Lorcan she lifted her chin and taking him in with her eyes. “You have a name?”

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #4 on: Mar 04, 19, 08:17:40 PM »
What’s the plan here, Lorcan?

Shut up.  I just need to see her again.  Then we run.

Really?

Shut up.  I know what I’m doin’.

Guard Pompous Asshat bellowed his demand, because that always worked against members of the Blood that you could not see or perceive.  The fool.  He had already made his escape with that demand, and had taken command of the situation.  That was what Lorcan told himself anyway.  He should be running.  He should be unseen, and dashing towards the main house with all the speed and stealth he could muster, covering his tracks in the snow, and hiding out in one of the larger drift.  He could survive in their for days, even weeks, if pressed.  Lorcan could disappear, blend in, and none would be the wiser.  This was his fucking environment.  No one knew it better than he did.  The buildings and outbuildings were just inconveniences on lands he had been wandering and battling since he was a child.

And yet, he found himself blocking escape from the barn with a Sapphire Defensive Shield, and becoming increasingly aggravated by the other Warlord Prince in the area.  He ignored that puffery of that one.  He understood the man had a job to do, but he was clearly not going to have his demands met by the Sapphire Warlord Prince who was even now struggling to see past him into the dimly lit interior of the stables.  She was in there, he knew she was, he could still smell her, still taste her presence somewhere on the surface of his mind, and somewhere deep within.  No, no, no.  This is getting complicated.  I’m going to leave now.  He bared his teeth at the man on the other side of his Shield, and now wondered if he had put it up to restrain them, or to restrain himself.  He growled back, his fists on the barrier, as he leaned against it, trying to see past the man.

Lorcan could sense the others, of course he could.  He didn’t want to fight them.  He did not have any idea about his chances, but he was damned certain the damage would be more than just a fucking borrowed horse.  ”My need was greater.  He’s back unharmed.  I even rubbed him down, and brushed him.  Had I not, I would have been gone already.  He’s a good horse.  He earned that much.”  He moved to one side, still leaning against his own shield, not quite pressing his face to it, but peering through the barrier looking for herShe has a lovely voice.  Oh, fuck me.  What is that?  The other Warlord Prince’s anger was simmering, it was a challenge, and Lorcan found his own anger responding in kind.  His lip twitched as he tried to restrain the snarl, and the snow around him only grew colder, crunching under foot as he stepped onto the thin ice his cold rage made of it.  He saw movement, barely registered the other man moving to cover her, but there she was, standing in the light.  His dark green eyes widened slightly, and his hands dropped from the barrier.  Oh, shit, Lorcan.  You’re boned like yesterday’s catch.

He suddenly pounded a fist against his own Shield, as if it were somehow the fault of the other Warlord Prince, or maybe the Queen’s.  HE did not need this, he could not have this, no matter how strong the call to his soul felt.  Lorcan did not have to accept this woman, this aristo, this owner of horses, rich and wealthy and probably an enslaver of people as well as animals.  She’s not.  The animals are well cared for.  Her people well tended. There had been now sneering commands, no rarefied demands from a Queen that believed herself far above her servants.  She had been dressed in pants, leather trousers.  She looked ready for work, that was not a Queen that treated animals or people poorly.  Lorcan growled, pushing against his own shield, and shook his head slightly, before he watched the Queen close her eyes to him.  He just wanted to see them again, and felt like a fucking pup for knowing that was true.

Lorcan’s rage died with that small tug of the leash, and he closed his eyes, powerless against it, against her.  He heard the command, and almost fought it, until she made clear it was not a request.  He sighed, the surrender complete, and let the shield dissipate.  His eyes opened to find her, always her from now on, he knew, and he barely heard her commands for the others.  He did not move, worried that he would have to kill one of her guards just to reach her.  Power surged in and out of his body, as different systems were enhanced for action, and then were forced to relax.  ”I do not want to fight any of you.”  He said numbly, knowing it was still a possibility, ”Lorcan Nivis.”  He replied, grinding his teeth together as he tried to restrain his own question, hating the desperate note his voice would have in it.  ”What is yours?”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #5 on: Mar 04, 19, 09:11:37 PM »
This was happening all over again.

It wasn't as if she had made it a point to avoid such things, there really wasn't a way of doing so. When Mother Night demanded a bond take hold, it was less of a gentle introduction and more like a club to the head. Only before either of them realized what was happening they were shackled together, papers signed, and she was off again to another match. Sick Bitch.

Okay. There was nothing she could do now, even if a part of her wanted to discard the bond like a dirty old shirt and toss it in the corner. Yes, she would know it was there, she might even want to pick it up, but it wasn't on her anymore.  At the same time, she was cold and a nice warm shirt, it fit and was perfectly familiar. It was just the thing she needed to feel comfortable. This was happening all over again, and she was certain she was less prepared for it this time. 

The problem with suddenly needing someone as much as you craved breath was that it could be torn away leaving you breathless and alone. Instead of focusing on what she could gain, she considered all she could lose. Sloane schooled her expression. It felt like too much time passed between the soft blink and when he spoke again.

Rilias growled under his breath like a wary animal too eager for a fight. He did not appreciate the way Lorcan was staring at the Queen, even if he recognized it for what it was. The challenge was set the moment he had taken property under his watch from the Queen’s stables, and further aggravated by how he had expertly outmaneuvered his men. The way Lorcan pounded against his own shield made him look unbalanced to the Master of the Guard who was only collecting more ammunition to use against him.  Now, he found himself bonded to the Lady Halston and it was as if his crimes would be cast off and forgotten.  “Be calm.”  she said to the male at her side. “Give us some space.” Rilias lip twitched into a sneer but he did so, at least two steps back which placed him at her side.  The volatility of the two males would reach a boiling point, she wasn't sure they were that far off. “Warlord Prince, Dark.”  Rilias muttered to the queen who had expected a description a bit sooner than that. Dark meant darker than Blood Opal. As Catina had not sensed his Jewels, she would have to assume even Darker than she as well. “Thank you for treating my stolen horse with dignity. I'm sure Edgar enjoyed being felt up by a stranger as much as we enjoyed finding him missing.”   Her lips tightened, but she relaxed visibly.

Pale blue eyes searched his face, then down, taking note of his disheveled appearance. This was a man in warm clothes, calloused hands, built for the elements. A journeyman? A smuggler? That wasn't a question she would ask before the others. He was not pleased to find her, which strangely made her feel a whole lot better. Good, they could suffer through this together. At least she wouldn't be made to feel inept for not running into her new bonded’s embrace despite how every instinct rallied to know him. The Sapphire shield lowered and she inhaled deeply, trying to get a sense of him, even if muted. It was like being fed crumbs from a fine meal. The Queen would take what she could get. “No one is going to fight anyone, not without causing me extreme distress. I'm sure no one wants that.” she assured him, or perhaps her own guards. One could not be too certain.

It was his Queen who stepped closer much to the guard’s displeasure and stood two feet from the towering male. Her skin was pale, her eyes azure and hair a pale gold. She was not tall nor was she a short woman, and athletic beneath the layers of wool and leather that covered her flesh. “Thank you for returning him.” It wasn't what she had expected, well anyone in their right mind to do. “You can imagine how up in arms my people get when someone takes anything, let alone one of my prized pets from my personal stables.”  Her brow quirked, and for a moment she almost smirked, not quite. “Security gets uppity.” Lorcan Nivis was his name. It was the perfect name. It was him. “My name is Lady Sloane Halston, Queen of the Nivalla District. Nivis. I know of your family. They've lived in Nivalla for a long time.” Did they know what he was up to?

“Lower my shields.” She turned her head, giving Lorcan her profile to look at Rilias. “No, Lady that is unwise until this man is vetted. He could be working with others.” The Master of the Guard opposed the request but the Queen was not swayed. “We are bonded. It is greater than any shield to guarantee he will keep his hands to himself. Lower my shields, I'm uncomfortable.” Knowing there were barriers between them was hard enough, especially when it was already a task to contain herself. The Green shield lowered, leaving the Sapphire which she could not sense, held closely to her skin. “Please.”  Shifting her gaze back to Lorcan she studied his expression. It was a lot for him, a lot for both of them, and honestly, they needed to speak privately before more ice gathered around the male’s boots and made its home in his beard. He had been close to the edge but managed to contain himself thus far. She wouldn't test that further. “Come to the house. We can talk after you've bathed and had something to eat. It looks like its been a while since you've enjoyed a warm meal and a soft bed.” It was the nicest way to say he looked terrible and probably didn't smell much better. “I think we both have things we need to discuss.”

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #6 on: Mar 05, 19, 10:57:24 AM »
This was ridiculous.  He was a hunter, a fighter, a climber, a Night be damned smuggler.  He could not be tied down to any one place or person.  He could not afford to be.  Despite his own family’s sympathies, he even kept his distance from them, for a lot more reasons than simply his volatile nature.  Lorcan could feel that Bond, that connection, like a noose tightening around his neck.  A noose he wanted, a noose he welcomed.  He sensed that rejecting it was not really an option, not if he didn’t want to cause himself pain, or worse, cause his Queen pain.  His Queen?  Or Worse?  He was not even aware of how swiftly, how immediately his thinking had changed.  She had gone from stranger to permanent landmark in the fabric of his life in a single heartbeat.  It was worse than falling in love, because that wasn’t what it was—and it was absolutely that, all at the same time.


She is stranger!


She is mine.


She is beautiful!


She is his.


I don’t want her.


I want her with everything that I am.


She is so very dangerous.


Still mine.


It was and was not desire.  He had spent too much time alone in the course of his life and his work to not recognize his own feelings.  It was more than desire.  It was completion.  It was the finding of something you didn’t even know you lost, only you have gone without it your whole life, and feel the joy of discovery at the moment of the connection.  It was wonderful and terrible, and despite all of his misgivings, it was right.  It was not just the Bond, it was the reason he existed.  It was why he was born, why he had the Jewels he had, why he was a Warlord Prince.  He had been made for this Queen, and she for him.  Lorcan knew this with a disturbing certainty, and nothing ins his life had prepared him for knowing anything so hard and deeply true.  How many times had he taken Communion?  How many times had he touched the Abyss because of that?  How many hours of Craft, over his life, had he willed into being and into use?  Countless, every moment true, but nothing was more true than the moment he looked into Sloane Halston’s eyes, and nothing ever would be again.

The growling of the other Warlord Prince was working a particular nerve in Lorcan, one that seemed bared and on the surface of his skin.  He imaged burying his climbing axe in his forehead to make clear that this Queen was his, and whether or not he was a Bond Brother, the other should recognize that.  Despite the circumstance, Lorcan half smiled, welcoming banter as a distraction from the Guard Idiot.  ”Edgar?”  Great, he had stolen a horse with a cute name, one they cared about enough to give a cute name to.  ”Edgar didn’t seem to mind.  We made friends quickly.”  He felt her eyes on him like hands, not the delicate hands of a lover, but rough hands, searching him, looking for evidence that she was feeling the same thing he was.  She had pulled on the leash, that should have been all the confirmation she needed.  ”No.”  He said quietly, a note of surprise in his voice.  ”I cannot harm you.”  By action, absence of action, or accident.  Lorcan growled low, under his breath, but it was an expression of frustration and annoyance at the experience thrust upon him by fate.

The Queen, no, HIS Queen moved closer to him.  She filled his senses now, not only psychically, but every sense.  He could smell her, smell the leathers she wore, he could see her, and she was all that he wanted to see.  He wanted to touch her, but he shoved thumbs through his belt loops, to keep them in place and off of her.  Lorcan swayed a little closer, and felt like a lovesick child for doing so.  ”I meant no harm.  I had a need.  If I were a career horse thief, I would not have returned him to you, or rubbed him down.  He was well cared for when I took him, I did my best to do the same.”  He took a long breath, ”Sloane Halston.  I have heard your name as well, and not in a bad light.”  Then he shrugged at the mention of his family, ”You are probably wearing one of our furs, someone here is, I guarantee it.”

The command came to lower Sloane’s shields, and he was glad of it.  He heard her explanation, and felt a spike of pride, as though he had somehow planted a flag claiming her for himself, even though the words were not his.  This is stupid.  I am not meant for this.  His eyes never left the Queen, and he growled softly when he realized that someone had not listened.  ”You are still shielded.  I can sense it.  Smell it.  I want to smell you.”  At that admission, he wiped his hand down his face, and smoothed down his snow-flecked beard.  ”It is annoying.”  He nodded at her request, and offered her his fur and leather clad arm, as though he were a proper Escort.  Lorcan had the necessary training, he just didn’t get to exercise it very often.  ”A bath and food sounds fine.  I do not need to sleep.  I don’t think that I could, not now.”  Lorcan waited for her to accept his arm, but felt crowded in.  ”I will do anything that you ask me to do, Lady Halston, but I am asking for both us—please have these men back off.  I only seem like I have mastered restraint.”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #7 on: Mar 05, 19, 12:42:22 PM »
He is yours. Welcome him.

You know better to think this a mistake.

She did know better, and yet there were some things she wanted to turn a blind eye to.  If that was the case, then why had she stepped forward? Why did the faintest morsels of his scent mean everything at that moment? It would mean everything for as long as she lived. Why did the sight of him fill her with equal parts joy and dread? Her chest ached with a familiar sense of loss that she carried with her constantly. Sloane had done well with stamping it down to the furthest recesses of her mind when working. She was downright productive on her own. With a complete Court at her disposal, she had not considered anything was missing. No, she had everything she needed. She had everything she wanted.

Now.

Shit.

This was all happening so fast. Discovering a horse thief was bad enough, then finding someone else had breached her stalls had sent her into a rage.  She had prepared herself for a fight, to see the people responsible be brought to task for the insult, except she had been brought forward and rewarded, or cursed, she still didn’t know how to feel.  The last thing she wanted was for her own indecisiveness to feed into the bond.  Sloane sought it out, it was different than wrapping her hand around it and commanding her will, this was exploration, the faintest of caresses against their link. There he was, not so clear, but evident, she felt the tentative strands weaving together despite her own ineptitude in keeping herself together internally. A battle was being waged, not around them, but within them.  Mine.  She heard the words, not in her voice, but in his. Still mine.  Sloane blinked, it was a fibrous connection like faint whispers that faded to nothingness before she could fully catch them. For a moment she wondered if it was more than her psychic senses that were affected after the loss of Jacen. For as much as she wanted to touch them, she did not wish to hurt or alarm him further by grasping too tightly onto their bond.

He spoke and she found herself watching his grizzled mouth as he spoke looking for the slightest rise of amusement, even when her own bespoke no such humor. “Edgar yes. They all have names. He is more charming than the rest. You'll have to explain why you needed him so badly.“ Sloane was not a trusting woman by nature, not when it came to her animals. Yet when he said he had taken good care of her horse, she immediately believed him. He was a stranger, and still, she believed him. The likelihood that he could lie to her was as slim as him laying a harsh finger on her person. This frustrated him, the realization of it at least which she found curious. Did he feel neutered by the fact that he was not helpless but unwilling to injure someone if the opportunity arose?  He had practically begged them to not provoke a confrontation. He had returned her horse, tended to its needs, and then sought a peaceful, albeit ill-planned resolution. No, this wasn’t a man who wanted a fight, just one who was more than willing to if it was brought to his table.

“Ill answer whatever questions you have.” She offered. The least he deserved was an explanation of what was happening and why. While she couldn’t offer him the appropriate level of excitement and joy when it came to this surprising circumstance, she could give him that.

You’d give him everything if he stayed.

He would take everything with him when he’s gone.

“I am actually. I’m pretty sure of it.” The Nivis were wonderful hunters and fur traders. Once she had claimed the district she had met one of them to discuss limiting the impact on the wildlife population. The Nivis family was true to their word, and she supplemented their efforts by blessing the natural habitat of many of these animals yearly in order to draw them back to the area. It worked like a charm. Theirs was a symbiotic relationship…and now a complicated one. “Not in a bad light? Don't worry, Ill correct that in time.”  There she was, staring at him again like they were tentatively sharing some wordless communication. Her mouth felt dry, a drink and a few moments to clear her head before dinner would be welcome. If she could even stomach food.  Again, she felt mildly guilty for not embracing him, then again, the way he looped his fingers into his belt indicated he too might not be ready for that level of intimacy. This was happening and they were both being conservative.

The shields lowered and he growled, low and rumbling under his breath. It came from a place deep within his chest, she could feel it against her skin, moving inside of her. The last time she had felt anything like that it proceeded a flash of fear, pain and then nothing. The memory struck her core, but so did his revelation, it was the distraction she needed from her thoughts. Sloane’s head snapped to one side, spilling her blonde hair over her shoulder, her temper flared red hot. Rilias for his part didn’t stiffen but stared into the Queen’s eyes without reservation. This was for her own good. He couldn’t be trusted. When really the issue was that her judgment couldn’t be trusted. “Do we have an issue, Rilias?” That tone shifted the scent of the room dramatically. The guards who knew her and served at her pleasure for years seemed suddenly uncomfortable with a faint hint of other, amusement, curiosity as to how it would play out. “I will not ask again. You will provoke him, and me in a second.”

“No Lady Halston.“ His head cocked and the guard holding the Sapphire shield lowered it. Annoyed, she inhaled smoothly and turned her attention back to Lorcan. Now he could smell her. Better? Her eyes asked, and when he confirmed, she rolled her shoulders back.  She didn’t expect him to offer his arm, both because he looked more like an uncultured woodsy fellow, which she honestly preferred, and because she told him that his physical scent was particularly ripe. It wasn’t so bad actually, just a mixture of earth and musk. His arm was muscular, a ribbon of muscle hidden beneath furs and leather. She must have hesitated for a second too long before ultimately deciding to take it, not because she was afraid, but because she wanted to touch him, so badly but she knew she was not ready to.  Indirect contact was a tease, but she could stomach it. Hooking her small wrist around his bicep she pulled up the hood of her cloak with her other hand. The soft sable furs that lined the wool fabric brushed her forehead and neck. “Give us room. Prince Stern, I think your men would like to escape the cold and return to their posts and let the staff know that Prince Nivis will be having dinner with me. Privately.”

They were given the space needed. Snow crunched beneath her snow lined boots as they made their way toward the three story estate. The house was grand, but not over-embellished. Every window of which there were eight on this side glowed warmly. On the first level on the west side of the house was a large, wrap around greenhouse directly connected to the property. The walkway was made of stone marble pieces which were surprisingly only dusted with flecks of snow that quickly melted away. Lorcan might note that an extensive ranch style fence wrapped around the majority of the property and was sectioned into different paddocks where the earth rose and fell in grassy swaths.  Guards opened the iron scrolled double doors and allowed them entry, but inside, he would find the estate far less palatial and more welcoming. Rich woods and textures decorated the space.  Mosaic tiles in blue, white and purple  greeted them in the foyer, opening up into a larger waiting area.

Sloane vanished her cloak and tussled her hair with one hand so any snow trapped within the waves would be shed. “This is Marcel and Katrina. They’ll take you to a room with a bath and make sure you’re set up and have anything you need.” Taking an unconscious step back, she motioned toward two landen women waiting at the base of the stairwell.  Both women smiled at the Queen but a bit cautiously at the male. Smart.

“Kati,”  she began with an affectionate name. “Please have dinner brought to my floor and escort Prince Nivis there once he is ready. You know what I like to drink.” The blonde woman known as Katrina, or Kati nodded her head and motioned for Lorcan to follow. “Ill see you in a bit. Take your time.” She said, as he walked away and she was finally able to take a full breath.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #8 on: Mar 05, 19, 02:59:13 PM »
Sloane’s eyes again, he could feel them on him, and he was glad of that.  Glad?  He was not a schoolboy, he had never been one, in point of fact.  He was not old, but he was far too old for this...this...this uncertainty.  Lorcan felt certain that his life was no longer his own.  It was out of his hands.  He had given it away, and he was not even sure when or how it had happened.  A part of him recognized the danger in that, the very real life-threatening danger of  having a Queen that was a Dark Jeweled aristocrat of Glacia, while another part did not seem to care.  She could have anything she wanted from him, if she just stayed close.  It wasn’t the Rut, he knew what that felt like, understood the carnal reproductive urge with the clarity of a man that had been too long in the wilderness.  Lorcan would not lie to himself.  The Blood were meant to breed, though nobody appreciated when he talked in terms typically reserved for wolves or dogs, or even horses.

It was something he had long ago recognized after losing count of all of the hunts he had been on, and all of the hours he had spent up in a tree blind, watching nature unfold beneath and all around him.  Lorcan knew who he was, what he was.  He knew that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a predator disguised as a man, with the instincts and power to go with it.  The Sapphire made him an apex predator, a beast that was difficult to ignore even under the best of circumstances, and nearly impossibly to contain.  There was only one thing that could undercut the sheer danger he represented, only one thing that could help gentle his sharpest instincts, and his darkest urges.  One thing only in two Realms, and in all the Territories that they contained, only the one.  That one thing was a Queen, and for Lorcan, that one thing was Sloane Halston.  No, this was not the Rut, it was something new and as ancient as time and Mother Night herself.

”All of them?  Really?”  Lorcan thought he sounded like an idiot.  He didn’t care about all the damned horses, but he did care about the woman that had chosen to name them.  He grumbled to himself.  He wanted to know everything about her, everything, and that was as disturbing as all the rest—because he already felt like he did know everything.  The Bond showed him that, he could feel her emotions, her willful distance, the fact that she had a grip on his leash, but was ginger about it, uncertain, hesitant.  The Sapphire Smuggler was grasping for anything he could, anything to keep the lid on his temper, to take the edge off of his instincts.  He wanted to touch her, but there was that final shield, and it was maddening.  If he could not touch her skin, he wanted to at least be close to her, and her guards kept doing their fucking jobs.  ”Questions?  What questions could I ask that are not already being answered.”  His voice was a rumble, but the words were sincere.  He could not get his thoughts in enough order to ask questions, other than, ‘May I touch your cheek?’, and he’d be thrice-burned before he did that.

Lorcan was proud of his family, proud of what they provided to Nivalla, and Glacia at large, but they were far from his mind at the moment.  ”Why would you want to be seen in a ‘bad light’?”  Was she joking, maybe she was trying to make a joke to lighten the mood so he didn’t kill that officious prick keeping him from his Queen.  Sloane took matters in hand, and her annoyance hit him in the bond like a first.  His growl supported her words, and his dark green eyes lifted to find the target of her ire.  His hands clenched and unclenched, and he waited to see how this, this retainer answered.  Lorcan felt certain that he was not a Bond Brother, that his death would be meaningless to his Queen, and cause her no harm at all.  The last shield dissipated, and Lorcan tore his gaze from the Warlord Prince, and back to Sloane.  She took his arm, and while it was not much, it was enough to bring back his focus to her.  It was bloody ridiculous.  She was everything, and despite her tentative psychic touch, she knew it.

The Sapphire mountain man walked with his Queen, his other hands reaching across his body to cover hers where it rested on his arm.  He didn’t even realize he was doing that.  She ordered her people back, and walked with Lorcan calmly.  She was absolutely in charge of the situation and her people, and Lorcan found that oddly attractive.  He found everything she did, oddly attractive.  It both annoyed and fascinated him.  Prince Stern and he were going to have words, he was certain.  Not that night, perhaps not even the next, but it would happen.  They walked together towards the main house, and Lorcan should have been studying that edifice.  He should have been looking for entrances and escape routes, and whether or not it could be lit on fire, or otherwise made part of a distraction so he could escape.  Instead, he was studying Sloane’s profile, the line of her nose, the shape of her lips, desperate to sweep her hood side so he could also see the line of her neck.

They entered her home, a place that seemed as cozy as the great lodge he had grown up in, only he barely registered that thought.  He remained focused on his Queen.  She vanished her cloak once inside, and messed with her hair, and it was all he could do to keep his hands to himself.  He balled them into fists, and kept them by his sides.  Lorcan was handed off to the care of two women, Landen by their scent, and non-threatening.  They were careful when they approached, and he found that only wise.  He never took his eyes off of Sloane, and he debated refusing their hospitality.  He just wanted to be near his Queen, and the idea of walking away made him want to jump out of his skin, or worse, snatch her up and run away with her.  Lorcan shifted his weight from foot to foot, actually debating how far he could get, watching the line of Sloane’s back, and the shape of her in the leather breeches.  He would have to act soon if he meant to--No! Mother Night’s Blood on a Cracker! He was going mad!

Lorcan released a breath he did not realize he was holding, and growled slightly in frustration, which made the Landen pair retreat worriedly.  ”No, I’m fine.  I’m sorry.  Lead on.”  He followed them to a room, where they asked him to disrobe while they prepared his bath.  One of the women offered to help, understanding that some of the gear he had was not easy to get out of, but he waved her off.  He didn’t want anyone else touching him for the moment.  Layer by layer, he removed his gear.  He could have vanished it, but that was terribly for the equipment.  It had to be cleaned, oiled, resealed or stitched where necessary, and made ready for the next journey.  Lorcan conjured a towel, and wrapped it around his hips.  He was not shy about anything, but he wanted to limit his interaction with these women.  When one returned to check on him, he asked if there was someone that knew how to take care of his gear, and when he was assured there was, he let the other woman lead him to the bath.  ”I’ll wash myself.”

It was a large wooden basin, deep enough for him to sit in up to his neck, and wide enough for him to stretch out his legs, almost.  It was warmed, more than likely by Webs hidden throughout it, or some other Craft, as he had not heard anyone else in the room by the two Landen women.  It was like settling into a hot spring, and he sighed as he did so.  Lorcan called up an aural shield after roughly five minutes of soaking up the heat, even though it felt like an eternity since he had last seen her, and then put up an aural shield as he went about the business of washing himself up.  There was soap handy, a scrub brush with a long handle, and some kind of rough sponge.  There was a bottle of something, but he kept to the soap, even for his hair and his beard, and as he did so, he started talking to himself.

”You’ve stepped in it now, you silly bastard.”

”How was I to know?”

”Who returns a stolen horse?”

”I’m not a horse thief!”

”You stole a horse, by definition, you are a horse thief.”

”Fucking, Black Widows.”

”This wasn’t your first improvisation, you ass, you should have thought of improved security.”

”It was ONE horse!”

”Stolen from the Queen of the District!”

”I didn’t know!”

”You didn’t look either, you idiot! You were too worried about that family.”

”What did I tell you about getting emotionally invested? Hmm?”

”Not too.  Never too.”

He growled at himself in frustration, and dunked his body and head under the water where he stayed for a little while.  Inevitably, his thoughts turned to Sloane.  He thought of her hair, the sound of her voice, the color of her eyes, the shape of her lips, the way the Bond felt when she not only accepted it, but tugged upon it.  Lorcan thought of her, and knew that she would know that he was thinking of her.  He bellowed his frustration and his need in a long bubbly cry under water, and then surfaced spluttering and grumbling.

”And now we have a Queen.  Job well done.”

”She’s not even that pretty.”

”You’re a fucking liar.”

”I bet she’s boring.”

”She wears pants.  Rears horses, and stares down Warlord Princes.”

”Fine! So she’s terribly interesting!  That’s just the Bond.”

”You know it isn’t.”

”It doesn’t matter.  You’ll settle this over dinner, and take your leave.”

”Right.  At least we’re not arrested or whatever the fuck that idiot had in mind.”

”And no one is dead.”

”Right. No one is dead, best of all, I’m not dead.”

”Exactly.”

He paused as he used a ladle to rinse the soap from his hair, dumping water over his head, and breathing a long sigh.

”I will never be the same again, will I?”

”No.  You’re boned.”

”I can leave whenever I want!”

”But will you want to?”

Lorcan dunked himself again, running his hands through his hair, and making sure he got the soap out of his hair and his beard, before he surfaced again and got to his feet.  It had been long enough.  Perhaps ten minutes, fifteen at the most, and that had taken too bloody long.  There were large towels provided, and he used them to pat himself dry, even as he used Craft to dry out his hair.  He conjured a comb and brush for his head and his beard, and brushed the length of his dark hair out, before he tied it back with a piece of leather he conjured for that purpose.  He wrapped a towel about his waist again, dropped the aural shield, and called to the women.  They both paused to see him clean and freshly scubbed, his tattoos less obscured, and the steam of the bath still defining the muscles under his inked skin.  ”I have my own clothes.”  He told them, as they took him to a dressing room.  He conjured his clothing, and put it on.  It was clean, and thankfully still fit well, despite having been stored away some time ago.

He wore leather breaches, and soft leather boots, with a heavy white cotton shirt that laced at the front with laces that were the same deep dark green as the leathers.  The shirt was laced and tightened, but open enough to show pale skin beneath, and hints of a hairy chest and a tattoo.  Lorcan wore a leather jacket over that, with carved bone toggles that could fasten it shut, but that served as accent when left open, which he did.  He dressed so quickly, he startled his two escorts, and when he was brought to the same floor his Queen was on, he knew where to find her.  He followed her scent, his long legs outpacing the women, and leaving them no chance to announce him.  Lorcan pushed into the room where he sensed his Queen, the need to see her so sharp and pointed now, he thought he might tear the handles from the doors he pushed open.  His voice was husky, and he hated the needy sound of it.  ”Sloane?”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #9 on: Mar 05, 19, 07:47:03 PM »
Sloane returned to her rooms. The time between the walk from the barn to the house and then parting from Lorcan was a blur. It felt as though there was a lapse in her memory, a lack of conscious thought all but eaten away by her misgivings. Bathed and changed she stared at the crackling flames, watching the tiny sparks dance from the tip of hungry orange tongues that lapped at the air.  She had not sent Lorcan off to tend to his hygiene without caring for her own. Instead of pants, she wore a simple wine colored dress with capped sleeves. A belt of tiny silver beads hung around her waist. The neckline was low and scooped, allowing the very edges of her collar to be exposed. Her hair had not been changed but was set back into messy waves and the parts that were not plaited combed through.

He’s a handsome man, but maybe not altogether smart.

Considering the joke she had made had been lost to him, she suddenly felt it was an unfair assessment of his intelligence. 

He outsmarted the guards. He knows how to survive. That’s a different kind of cleverness.

The servants entered the room without knocking knowing the Queen expected them. The living room was exactly that, a place for sitting, reading and relaxing. Taking him into her formal offices was not her style, and this was by far the largest of her private spaces.  While the rest of the house was contemporary with hints of rustic chic décor, this room was multifunctional. Rich mahogany book cases surrounded a large stone fireplace. It was not marble or any other fine material. The most impressive part of it other than its size, was the mosaic tiles beneath the logs that shimmered like gems and when lit added an aura of blues, purples and reds that shifted with the dancing light.  There was a large leather couch before it and two comfortable chairs on either side. The wood floor was covered with an old, but well kept rug whos tiny frays spoke of its age and use. 

The space was rectangular, and on its far left was a great bay window that looked out at the paddocks behind the property, and before it a circular, informal dinning table with four seats. A liquor rack stood to one side and an ivory horned saddle sat beneath a wall filled with paintings of different landscapes, some he might recognize were of Glacia, Rihland and Nharkava.

She’d been standing by the hearth debating the need of him, the want, the absolute joy that felt so hollow now.  While Sloane could feel him, even then debating himself, it was distant, as though he was several miles away and not simply a floor beneath her. He was a mess of emotions, many of which she had to strain to hear. It was infuriating not to be able to feel him the way she had felt…Jacen. What was different about him?

Night, whats wrong with me?

It was her, it was all her and she knew it. Lorcan had picked up on her anger, on her annoyance in the barn. If he could feel half of her reluctance then she felt bad for him.  This was not her first experience with a bond, it was his, and she felt as though she was failing him already. Not minutes in and she wanted it, needed it, in her head, in the fibers of her being but her heart felt broken and wrong.  He was everything that was right with their world. He could be a complete asshole, he could be an idiot, she didn't know, but he was hers and perfect because of it. Why couldn’t she feel it the way she was supposed to?

She barely recalled the ladies leaving the room or the smell of dinner which she had been looking forward to before all…all of this happened.  No, this was a joyous occasion, she could worry about him later, what this meant in his life, in hers, after they had a chance to speak. This male was Dark Jeweled and he could very well work against her current efforts.  They both benefited from the current…regime, but at least she knew her place in it.  By his disheveled look and the way he had seemed to want to flee from this place and then immediately change his mind, he wasn’t planning on staying long.

He is mine.  He’s supposed to be mine.

Mother Night does not make mistakes. 

Only I do.


The door opened again and she felt him draw close. That sensation was strange. Sure she could hear people coming down the hall, she could sense someone passing through protective barriers, but she couldn’t sense them the way other Blood could. It meant she needed added protection and most importantly, to trust her instincts. So why was her instinct to be such an indecisive whelp? She didn't like that feeling, it wasn't who she was. He said her informal name, the tone in his voice calling her attention back to the door. When he stepped in, her thoughts fell wordlessly from her lips. The mangey bear shed met just a bit ago was a proper male, rugged, handsome beneath the tangles of his beard and the smelly leathers he’d worn.  The jacket fit him well as did the pants. The white shirt hung off his frame in the right places and she could barely make out a tattoo on his chest.  Despite herself, she smiled, softly the moment she saw him.  He missed her, he needed to get back to her, and there was a couch and a small sofa table and too much damn distance between them.

“Lorcan.”  Sloane was pleasantly surprised. Clasping her hands together in front of her she crossed the room toward the dinning table where dinner awaited them but stoped halfway for him to approach. She hadn’t been sure how long he was out in the wilderness, weeks by the looks of it, so she’d asked the staff to bring as much warm bread, butter, stew and roasted chicken that they could. A good tall bottled stout rested on ice near the table. Her favorite drink. “You clean up well. I almost recognize you as Blood, though that jump you made makes me think that you’re half goat.” 

Sloane paused and extended an arm to him, the tips of her fingers slightly curled as she beckoned him to take it. Touch me. I want to feel you.If you’re hungry, we can eat, or we can sit on the couch and talk. I know you said you didn’t have any questions for me before, that happens. It’s a mess in your head right now, trying to figure me out while knowing me.” It was how it had been for her. Just a jumble of emotions. It didn’t feel any better now. “The good news is you’ll only go through this once in your life.  The bad news is, it…”  licking her lips she considered. “Its what you make of it. You’ll have questions when it clears.  Im sure this is not what you were expecting.” Lifting her eyes to him again she gave him the faintest of smirks, barely imperceptible unless he was studying her face. “Where did you come from?” she muttered under her breath, and why now?  “You can start by telling me why you had such a need to steal a horse, and how do you expect to get back to where you started without one?”

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #10 on: Mar 06, 19, 10:07:50 AM »
She was there.  She said his name.  No Prince.  No formality.  No nod to Protocol.  Just his name.  He wanted to hear her say it again.  She said it with surprise he felt in the bond, a pleasant surprise, likely born of him not looking like he had just climbed a mountain, twice.  Sloane looked him over in that moment, and again, there was that feeling of being touched by her gaze, of being taken in, weighed, measured, and not at all found wanting.  There was a kind of acceptance there, and it made him want more of that from her, more of that feeling.  She stood before him, making light of his washed appearance, and while he was peripherally aware of the roasted chicken, and the smell of fresh bread and melting butter, all of his senses were utterly conquered by the presence of his Queen.  Just as he knew there was furniture in the room, but none of that mattered.  Lorcan managed a smile at the mention of the leap that carried him out of her stable, but his thoughts were not entirely on her words.

Sloane extended her hand to him, her bare hand, her fingers beckoning slightly for him to take her hand in his own.  Skin to skin, as intimate as close friends, at the very least.  It felt impossibly familiar, as though she had reached out to him like this a thousand times before, even though this was the very first time.  Lorcan experienced the dilation of thought and action that he typically only had in the midst of combat, perhaps he had instinctually enhanced his reflexive thinking, maybe his body really was being suffused with the adrenaline necessary for lightning calculation and immediate action.  Lorcan did not though, but within a few heartbeats of seeing that outstretched hands, his mind raced through so many questions and conclusions.


Why am I even still here?


You know why.


She’s mine.


Yes.  Take her hand, you want to.


I prefer my freedom.


Do you?


Yes! No…


Take her hand, and this—this confusion will end.


I did not choose this!


No?  Why do you think you came here?


I needed a horse.


Wrong answer.  Why did you return?


I’m not a horse thief.


You’re really bad at this.  Ask yourself this…


What?


Why her favorite horse?


Is it her favorite?


Do you think she’d improve security over some nag?


Edgar wasn’t a nag.


It’s Edgar now?


Shut up.


When a wolf scents potential prey, does he choose to pursue it?


Instinct takes over.  Survival is a basic instinct, there’s no choice in it.


Riiiight.


I don’t…


When the owl spies a mouse, and snatches it up, is the owl choosing out of cruelty?


No, they are opportunistic.  They eat their fill, because you never know when another mouse will pass by.


Aren’t you a predator?  What makes your instincts so different, or less powerful.


Then Lorcan knew.  He knew why he had no questions for her, he knew why he was there.  He had no questions, because Sloane was the answer to all of them.  She was why he was there.  Sloane was why he had returned.  It was not Mother Night rolling dice, it was not coincidence, because the world didn’t really work that way.  It was because of him, and it was because of her.  Lorcan had known she was here, not logically, not even emotionally, but instinctually.  He had been driven to steal a horse, not because he saw a fence and a stable near to his route, but because that stable was hers.  He had been driven to return, despite a clean escape, because of her.  Edgar was a good horse, he could have cut him loose nearby, and the animal would have found its way home.  Lorcan hadn’t been an idiot, at least not entirely, he had been a predator listening to his instincts.

He reached out with his hand, only a heartbeat or two after she had extended hers, took it.  Callused skin touched soft skin, and he moved closer to her, without realizing that he had down so.  His other hand covered Sloane’s, so he now held her hand against his chest between both of his own, as he looked down into her eyes.  ”You are mine, Sloane Halston.”  His confusion was gone with that single touch.  His frustration and hesitation abandoned as the foolish struggles of in applicable logic.  Instinct was pure, free of moral or social obligations.  It was not bound by any thought processes, because survival was not debatable.  His Queen was the answer.  His Queen was survival.  His Queen was continuation.  In short, she was everything she was meant to be for him, and he was everything he was meant to be for her.  They were two parts of a whole, and it was then that he knew he was the only Bonded she had, though he was not her first.

Lorcan shook his head, ”I can eat later.”  His voice was low, still deep, but the tone was gentle, perhaps even awed.  He led her to the couch, because it was the only way they could sit together without obstacles.  He never released her hand, and when they sat, he held it still between both of his own, on his lap.  ”I didn’t really have any expectations.”  He drank her in, her presence, her scent.  It had nothing to do with her dress, or the way she’d fixed her hair, though neither of those things hurt.  It was just her”I came out of the wilderness.  When I borrowed Edgar, I had just lost a horse, and had to find a replacement in a hurry.  I do not need one anymore, I grew up here.”  Lorcan smiled slightly, ”You could strip me down and drop me in the mountains, and I’d still find my way home.  I’ve done it a time or three.”  He tilted his head slightly, and she could feel him exploring the Bond.  It ran between then, back and forth, but his was not the hand of control.  ”You said this would happen for me only once.  I know that is true for me.  It is not true for you, is it?”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #11 on: Mar 06, 19, 02:11:57 PM »

Sloane had been grateful to be alone with her thoughts, even if she felt she came up with nothing useful except more doubt. She was not a woman often accused of being indecisive. The moment she knew what she wanted, it was as good as hers. It troubled her to feel uncertain of what should have been so absolute and immediately recognized her fear of loss for the ugly, vicious animal it was.  Jacen was gone, Lorcan was here, not as a replacement, she told herself, but because he was hers and she had as much claim to him as she had to her first or any who would follow later. 

Then why does it feel like I am betraying his memory.

Why did she itch to touch Lorcan, to share her gift and then balk at showing him even the slightest bit of vulnerability? That was also not her nature, she told herself. That wasn’t the person she was.  Minutes ago, she knew herself so well, and in comes this savagely beautiful male and it completely addled her. Not because he was an attractive man, but because of what he was to her. What he meant for the present, and the future. She’d convinced herself there was no more space in her life for bonds and their complications, that somehow she was cursed to mourn and move forward. She was moving forward, wasn’t she? Then why did she often feel so numb?

The door closed gently behind him as the two Landen women retreated to give their Queen the privacy she had requested.  There were guards on this floor, but they too kept their distance from the doors. It was unwise to test a Warlord Prince who had yet to be vested, which made it all the more necessary for the Queen and him to spend time together without distractions or perceived threats.  There was relief in his eyes when he found her standing by the fire, and when she said his name, she felt his anticipation rise, needling at the threads of their bond.  It was eager but unsure. Twin brows furrowed slightly as she felt her perception strain once more, then sighed into its release. Perhaps it was just the shock of it, she told herself. It would get better. It had to.

Lorcan smiled and she felt satisfied that she’d been wrong, and it was her delivery and not his wit that had been the issue before. You can be as dry as an oversalted cracker Sloane. Brief as it was that smile, that held her like an embrace. Touching him could set her to rights, that’s all she would need, to feel him, even if she was already certain to her core that he was hers.  Her fingers twitched involuntarily, a minor imperceptible movement.  My freedom…doubt, contemplation, for a  second. His voice was distant, but as if he had barely whispered them. 

Thick fingers slid over her palm, taking the offered hand, that warmth radiated from him. The scent of soap and fresh skin, not cologne, but him, came rushing into her senses. Stepping closer, he gripped her hand, clutching it against his chest, she didn’t have to feel it to know his heart was beating faster, that his eyes were clear now, there was no turmoil, just acceptance.

”You are mine, Sloane Halston.”

That’s when the ground felt superficial beneath her feet, so insubstantial that her hand tightened against his for purchase. That is when every doubt, every insecure thought coalesced into a heavy, angry ball and struck her right in the chest unwilling to relinquish its control.  Immediately she balanced her outward emotions with Craft and clamped down on them before they could leak into the bond. It was a trick she’d learned long ago, a cruel one that kept a point of separation between herself and those meant to share her spirit. He didn’t need to know how those meaningful words had nearly set her into a spiral. The only thing keeping her afloat was the knowledge that she was his. His. He was hers. “Took you a minute.”  She teased with a slight smile.

Settled on the couch he kept her hands.  Hunger was secondary to this new discovery. She doubted he had paid much attention to his surroundings at all since they found one another. Lifting her knee onto the couch she moved closer so their legs touched and he could hold her hand comfortably. They were calloused from hard work, from climbing.  He explained why he had taken Edgar, but there was more, he was missing something key, something he didn’t want to share right away. “Lost a horse implies you had more than one.” She whispered, and took his other hand, turning it over to examine his palm. A single finger traced the longest line.  His nails were short, clean, his hand strong, working hands, those she would recognize anywhere. Touching him made her feel better than she had in a long time but she was tentative. “A climber, you had some gear with you, leather, furs Id expect.” The way he lept, even if she couldn’t see him was impressive. He’d slid down the roof as though it was nothing at all. He asked her a question and she looked up at him quickly then nodded, straightening her back again while her finger traced circles ever so lightly on his hand. “It can happen for me again, many times in my life. It could be that you’ll be the last. ” She was not thrilled by that prospect.  Lorcan was her focus at the moment. “You’re not my first, but you are the only. It doesn’t make it any less powerful, or impactful for me. I'm just…more prepared. This time I wasn’t.”  she cleared her throat and offered him a reassuring smirk that quickly faded. “My first, his name was Jacen Jordensun, was killed several years ago.” It was not hard to talk about, after a while, recalling it became mechanical. Just another story. Just another incident who’s retelling lost its impact. Each time it was easier, like a well-used muscle, it was able to bare weight. “Why were you in the mountains this time? Why did you not just go home?”  Or did he? Lorcan found his way to the place be belonged.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #12 on: Mar 06, 19, 09:26:06 PM »
Lorcan was not a schoolboy.  He was not used to being internally divided.  Everything he did, even when out of his depth, he did with confidence and certainty.  It was the only to not only succeed at his job, but also the best way to help others succeed.  Not only had his confusion been uncomfortable, making it feel all the more alien, it had been entirely uncharacteristic.  Lorcan must have caught the barest hint of the importance of what was on this farm or ranch or whatever it was; the District Court.  Something had driven him here not once, but twice, and that same instinct had brought him to that particular stable, and that particular horse.  When he took the moment to think about it, the stable smelled of his Queen, not just her physical scent, which he found by comparison when she was in her leathers, but her psychic scent.  It was her stable, her collection of favorites.  Lorcan had been a fool.

Sloane teased him, but he felt that moment when her hand tightened around his, and instead of the flood of her that he expected, he found wariness and distance.  He had somehow unbalanced her, and he was not at all certain why.  He returned her smile, one corner of his mouth rising in amusement.  ”I had some things to sort out.  I’m all sorted now.”  They sat together, and where he had felt her soul keep its distance, at least her physical presence did not.  He kept her hand, and their legs pressed together.  It was all he could do to not pull her into his lap, and let her talk to him from there.  That was reasonable, right?  Lorcan breathed her in in long slow breaths, almost as though it were meditative.  When she turned over his hand, he watched her finger move over his skin as though it were the most fascinating thing he had ever seen.  Hopeless.

Lorcan had gone to being the Captain of his own fate, to being the second in command in just a breath.  It was an adjustment, to be sure.  ”Well, yes.  I had a good horse, Dancer, she threw a shoe, stumbled, and broke her leg.”  He frowned slightly. Dancer had been a good girl, nimble on ice and stone alike.  One time, they had forded a river whose water was up to her neck, and she had kept going, carrying him across.  Mother Night.  Nharkava was not his favorite place.  Lorcan sighed, ”It was the sort of break a horse never recovers from.  I had to put her down.”  Then he had butchered her, and rendered her into useful meat, which had been heartbreaking, but necessary.  She was a smuggler’s horse; waste not, want not.  She would help someone else.  The boy had cried.  The Sapphire Warlord Prince had pretended it did not matter.  Lorcan had not let that sink in until that moment.  He shook his shaggy head slightly, ”My family and I needed to get over that mountain, or our cargo would have been ruined.  We’ve a post on the other side, and not getting there swiftly would have endangered everyone on the job.”

”Dancer had seen all kinds of weather.  It was just bad luck.”  Lorcan took a breath, ground his teeth for a moment, and pressed on.  ”I was in need, and found your stables.  I—I should have asked, but I was in a hurry, and not thinking straight.”  He smiled slightly, ”I think I may have sensed you.”

His Bond Brother was dead.  She had not said so directly, but that was the case, and despite what he felt in the Bond, this subtle withdrawal, Sloane clearly said that she felt otherwise.  The Bond was there, accepted, he felt no pain or discomfort, just distance.  It was so new and so strange, and stranger still to feel a dislike for that distance, that soft retreat.  Then she made clear, on the heels of the rest, that Jacen was dead, killed even.  Why would her bonded be killed?  What trouble had he been in?  What trouble had she been in?  Sympathy suffused the Bond, and without thinking about it, he moved his other hand and very lightly touched her cheek, before he let it drop.  ”I am sorry for your loss, and I am sorry I did not get to meet my brother.”  He smiled at her final question, ”Once the delivery was made, and I was sure everyone had what they needed, I had to come back this way—I had a horse to return.”

Lorcan met her eyes, ”I do not know what you expect of me.  I just want to be close to you.  I do not know for how long that must happen, but for a time—it must.”  He frowned slightly, and lowered his eyes in mild embarrassment.  ”I was desperate to get to you.  I used the time to order my thoughts, well, as ordered as they get anyway.  I spend a lot of time alone, and I have a tendency to talk to myself.”  He shrugged, and raised his eyes to her again, ”You are the first Queen I have ever seen in breeches.  They suited you.  You are beautiful in this dress, but I feel like the breeches, hands smelling of horse, that is you.  Yes?”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #13 on: Mar 07, 19, 10:00:31 PM »
The inner corner of his index finger had a stubborn, deep callous where tiny cuts over time built layers of rough scars. The top of the palm, where the flesh was meatier had also seen its use, though these were smooth by comparison, like leather wearing down hide the alternative would have left him with no protection at all. They could also have been rope burns at one point. She could only guess what he had put his body through on a hunt, and for some reason, all those inconsequential questions rose to her mind, not because she had a particular interest in conquering the mountains, or existing off little in the snow, but because things like his work and his interests were the blocks that built on the man he was now. A man she wished to know fully, in her mind at least.

They sat together in front of the crackling hearth as a kaleidoscope of color danced against the fireplace wall. The room was dimly lit, comfortable. He smelled of soap and his natural physical musk that only made her lean a little closer to examine.  A deep crease formed at the corners of her lips when he said his horse Dancer had broken its leg, almost at the exact moment he frowned. “You were fond of her.” A sense of loss, faint, but one he had come to terms with.  It made sense, considering his family’s trade that they could have outposts, and hunting roosts scattered throughout this part of the Territory. The animals they hunted often migrated and it was necessary to move with them. As far as she knew, they were dutiful and always on time with orders, so why did his story still feel off?  He hadn’t been alone and yet he had taken one horse and returned alone.  There was more, but she did not press or might ruin their quiet moment. A bond could manifest in an instant, entire lives were changed and space needed to be created for this new permeance in their lives. It came with a feeling of comfort, purpose, and completion, but trust was a tricky beast. She couldn’t expect him to give away every detail of his comings and goings when she was concealing something herself.  I wont be a hypocrite

“I’d believe it.”  She smirked, still studying his hand, her fingers sliding over his from tip to palm in a smooth caress. She wanted to touch him, to give him that in the way only she could, but she was taking her sweet time about it and that bothered her. “I have three hundred acres of land on this property alone and six barns, each holding an average of a dozen horses from Territories I haven’t even visited. Animals so expensive it is disgusting, but you, overachiever, made your way into my barn, my personal collection, the best in my opinion.”  Her eyes rose to meet his face with an impressed smirk though her chin stayed tucked close to her collar. “I spend most of my day there if I can. I was there the entire morning the day you came along. It makes sense.” Sure she believed he sensed her, and that explained why he had returned to her.

To me?

To me.

The talk about Jacen didn’t bother her. It had not for some time, though she did not speak of it often. Somehow with Lorcan she felt a nagging sensation in the back of her mind, a little voice that urged her to release, to let her in and see past the mask that she had expertly crafted. The problem with wearing masks is that after a while you forget what it looks like underneath, and right now she wasn’t confident it was appropriate for polite company, or any company. There it was again, that curiosity, mingled with concern. There was no pity however, just empathy, Lorcan couldn’t realize how those notes played against the bond, how they pulled at her, made her feel exposed because after all, the instinct was to exist without barriers with her bonded. Warlord Prince’s could think that their freedom was lost to service, but Queen’s gave up a piece of themselves, a piece claimed, taken and never to return again. They were carved into perfectly measured parts for their males, their people, and their land, and when a piece went missing, it left a hole, an open wound that would never completely seal. A Queen could learn to live without it, like a person could without a hand or a leg, but let there be no doubt, the limb was always felt, despite its absence.

Lost in her thoughts she didn’t notice his hand until the back of his fingers grazed her cheek. Once more her eyes snapped up, then softened the underlying scrutiny. The dutiful touch she bestowed on him paused, her hands retreating back to her own lap with a reassuring nod. “Thank you, so am I.” Jacen was a jealous man and he probably would have hated Lorcan. He didn’t seem so bad to her.

“Then stay. At least for as long as you want. My house is yours to share. Ill have a room set up for you, so that when you…find your way bare naked out of the mountains, you’ll have a place to lay your head.” Bashfulness didn’t suit the broad shouldered brawler, but she found it endearing, mostly because it made him slightly uncomfortable. This time she smiled, the very edge of a chuckle  escaping her throat. “Lorcan we all talk to ourselves. Those that say they don’t are damn liars. I get the appeal of wanting to spend time alone, I do it too. I don’t expect, anything from you. I didn’t expect, you. Your life, its still yours. You know that, right?”  Her head tilted to the right, her flaxen hair falling over her pale collar. He needed to know that.

The smile didn’t wane, though it was soft when she nodded. “Uh-huh. Its me.”  There was pleasure in her voice at that. “Though I didn’t think I smelled too much like horse, Ill have to think about that, but overall yes. I cant be expected to work in a stable with a dress, and I refuse to ride side saddle like some elegant twit asking to be dropped on their…”  she caught herself and just smiled in a way that let him know she was used to cutting her words off before it became too much.

He was comforting. How did he do that? Her smile faded, and she reached out anxiously to his face, her fingers brushed the whiskers at the corner of his mouth before carefully sliding up and cupping his cheek with a tenderness that felt so awkward, but real to her. “I didn’t expect you Lorcan Nivis, but I cant imagine you not being here. You had things you had to sort through. I do too. Im sorry if that disappoints you.”  She apologized because she knew, inevitably it would . There was no escaping that. “But, you, youre mine. “ Her Green pulsed with the first threads of her Queen’s Touch. They skittered across his skin, sinking deeper into him, weaving themselves into his mind, his heart, home. This was home. He was home, with her. He was hers, she was his. She had to claim him, to give him everything she had, or anything she could spare of herself because he deserved that much. There were absolutes and this was the one and only expectation.  This was Home.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #14 on: Mar 08, 19, 09:50:48 AM »
Lorcan’s hands were the hands of a man that, despite his essentially aristocratic birth, worked and worked hard.  There were calluses from free climbing, when the weather had allowed it and when there was need.  There were calluses from fight training, in particular the wear of the handles of his climbing axes against his hands.  Cuts and abrasions from butchering animals, chopping wood, cutting into ice flows, even the treating of leathers and furs.  Lorcan had scars across his palms that had been healed, opened, and healed again until the scars were so faint they looked like the lines on anyone’s palms, save for their number.  Even his knuckles were tough, callused, and the first two knuckles looked a touch larger than the others, signs that they had fractured, healed, and been fractured again.

He was only too happy to let his Queen explore his skin, even if it was only his hands.  If he had been asked to explain the feeling that hummed through him, he did not think that he could have.  Lorcan just wanted Sloane to stay close, and to keep touching him, even that small exploration was enough, at least for now.  He felt her fingers pass over the evidence of his past as they talked, and his eyes remained on hers.  She had noticed his expression, possibly much more, when he mentioned Dancer.  She had been his horse for some time.  ”Yes.  I was.  She’d been with me for awhile.”  Not an Underground horse, his horse, a Nivis horse.  She’d been with him for years, and he’d been forced to pragmatically make use of her.  She would feed someone, still help someone, the meat preserved and cached where another smuggler might make use of it.  One day, he might have to use that meat himself with another set of packages.

Lorcan had not lied to Sloane, he just hadn’t told her everything.  As much for her safety as for his.  He did not think she was a fanatic, he had seen nothing to indicate that, but neither did he want to put her in a bad position with him.  She might not be a fanatic, but she might not be a sympathizer with the Underground and the plight of the Light Jeweled.  Sloane let him shift the topic, just a touch, to her and the circumstances that had him coming onto her land, and being a complete fool.  Lorcan shook his head slightly, and he had to laugh.  ”Three hundred acres.”  He smiled, ”In all that space...”  He trailed off and laughed again, ”Not the best way to discover you, but—I—it is good to have found you.”

He knew that he was not being rejected, the touch, the acceptance, that had bloomed in full, but there was something she withheld, and he was largely doing the same.  If ever there was evidence to him that the Dark Religion was not a proper reflection of Mother Night, it was this.   It did not drive a wedge between them, but created caution where there might have otherwise been none, where there should be none.  Lorcan breathed a soft sigh, she might not miss Jacen as a man, but she surely felt his absence keenly.  He wondered what sort of man he had been, and what sort he was by comparison.  ”I will stay.”  Then he remembered his horse, ”One of my horses from the last expedition is tied off with some feed not too far to the north, where the hills begin.  Could someone bring him in?”  He shrugged, ”I was supposed to making a fast getaway by now.”

Lorcan smiled, ”You are kind to say so, and I expect you’re right, but—I think my conversations are unusually vigorous.  Sometimes, when you’re alone, its good just to hear a voice, even if it’s your own..”  He shook his head slightly, ”No, I mean yes, I know my life is my own, but no, I know you don’t have fixed expectations, how could you? But there must be something I should do, right?  My Uncle never found his Queen, so—I don’t have any basis for comparison here.  I don’t know what to do, other than be desperate to be close to you.”  He blinked a moment at that choice of words, took a breath, and shrugged.  They pressed on in their conversation, thankfully, and he was pelased that he was right about her.  ”The leathers smell of horse, you do not.  You smell of sharp cold clean air and woodsmoke, of mountain mornings, and mountain bluebells.”  He blinked for a moment, and realized that those were all things that he liked, all scents he connected to home, happiness, and even sanctuary.  Lorcan laughed, ”That’s what I assumed the pants meant.  Winter is not good for side saddle, not in Nivalla, anyway.”

She lifted her hand to his cheek, and he found himself cupping it against his face with his own rough hand.  His eyes closing, as though it were a childhood blanket he had lost and found again.  This was what he had wanted, what he had been all but holding his breath for.  Her words made him smile slightly, ”I’m not disappointed.”  And then he opened his eyes, a grin of pure mischief on his face, ”Took you a minute.”  He replied softly, and breathed a long sigh, with her hand against his skin.  Lorcan didn’t think the moment could be improved upon, but he was wrong.  It was the slightest sensation at first, almost as stealthy as a winter bobcat stalking prey.  He almost didn’t notice it, but it raced across his skin like being sunk into a hot spring, again, and then sank into his muscles, his bones, and into his heart and soul.  ”Oh.”  He said profoundly, his eyes opening to gaze into hers.  ”Oh.”  As though he had finally been made to understand something, he drew her closer, moved her against his side, and leaned over to breath in the scent of her from the side of her neck, his beard tickling her skin.  ”You keep that up, I won’t let you eat.”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #15 on: Mar 08, 19, 01:37:39 PM »
“So has Edgar. He is named after a stable hand we had in Sallo, a landen male who passed away a few years ago. He bottle fed the colt after its mother rejected it.  My family has not found a better stable manager than him. “  Edgar the man had been family, he had been there for her first ride, taught her how to keep the saddles in good working order and how to get up on her first pony. It all sounded very sweet and childish in her mind but Edgar the man had been a fixture, he had taught her so many things, but the only thing she had left of him was that horse. A part of her was proud that Lorcan had a chance to experience him. Though if he ever took her animal again without asking he would find her much less enthused.

His hands were fascinating because they held so much of his life within them, every scar was a story, a part of his regular day and she wondered how a male, entitled to so much in Glacia had chosen rough hands and heavy leathers over the comforts of home or Court. Unlike him, she couldn’t pick one over the other, both worlds were hers to claim, even if there were some who considered her interests outside of court as little more than a hobby. Those people could sit and spin.

He was glad he found her and for a brief second she felt the same pang from before, only less painful. There had been a moment in the barn, just after catching his eyes for the first time that she had wished he hadn’t and now that guilt wormed its way into her own self-doubts. “Yes, Ill have it brought here and tended to.“ Reaching out with a thread she contacted Rilias who was already tense.  The male responded but he was less pleased to hear his men would be going out on a hunt for yet another horse.  She could have said the beast’s name was Pudding and had him scouting along the north shouting that for a while, but she thought better against it. Her sense of humor had waned a bit as of late and she was still annoyed that he had not done as he was initially directed, despite it being his job to do so.

So he spoke to himself vigorously? Sloane nodded and wondered if some of that was what she had caught within the bond. Whole words, not just emotions. No, it couldn’t be. If she could feel so little then there was no way that entire words would manifest like that.  This was so new to him, and it was understandable that he would feel the way he did. “That feeling, that is the feeling of wanting to serve. “  she explained, lifting her chin to him. “There isn’t anything you should be doing, except that. Which is to say, we can find something, I’m sure, that will fit.”  Asking her what that was now was folly.  As she had said, she hadn’t expected him and it had knocked her off her feet which was out of character for her. The instinct was to serve, to do more, to protect, to hold, to not let go, she got that, but she also needed a little room to breathe and she could not tell him that because she also needed him to sit exactly where he was sitting and to simply exist until she became used to his presence.  Lorcan said he was desperate to be with her and that made her smile soften then relax completely. Here was this tough Warlord Prince with sandpaper for hands, who she would never expect had wanted so badly for anything to be considered desperate. All that mattered was that he was staying for a time, and while a part of her felt uneasy about that, it wasn’t because she feared him or because he was unknown. 

Again her eyes lifted to him, studying his face, the way his nose angled down, how his jaw was lean but rugged.  She knew each of those scents, fresh, clean, homey, floral and enchanting, but she couldn’t perceive them the way he did. She would never know his scent, just the faint traces of stone and evergreen maybe that reached her. She would never know him in that way and if she did nothing to help herself along, to relax the bond between them, he would always be a whisper that she was always desperately trying to grasp. “Be quiet.”  She muttered, her lips curling into a playful lift when he used her words against her.  She had to Touch him, to soothe him because it felt right, he deserved that much.

Ethereal fingers sank into him, trailing off in search of his core, the parts of him one did not pay too much attention to. A person’s essence, infused with a Craft meant to be the beacon of home that males and Queen’s alike searched for.  Her eyes lifted to his brow, her free hand rose to brush his beard hairs down gently. Peace, home, acceptance. It was all those things, it was more.

More that…was absent.  A still powerful but watered-down variety of a Craft that had sent her former bonded down to his knees.  Sloane closed her eyes, accepting as he drew her close. Nothing had changed yet. He would not notice the difference, he didn’t know that as sweet and pleasurable as her Touch was now, how much more it could be. Something was off with her, she knew it and in time, he would too, and there was no doubt, he would be disappointed.  Those emerald eyes sought hers and she offered him a small smile of understanding.  This was it for him, home and she would forever be a part of that.  Where his beard once trapped particles of ice it now brushed her velvet neck.  “That will be your loss too. The cook is excellent.”  She teased again, resting her temple on the crook of his shoulder and breathing in his scent. Soap and his skin, both sweet.   The Craft eased away after several minutes of infusing him. She wanted him not lack for anything, at least not what she was capable of giving.

Slowly she pulled back, her hand falling down to his lap still laced with his own. It had been so long since she had made that offering. “I like how I smell to you. Bluebells, that was an interesting one.” These are the things he loves Sloane, you remind him of each of them. Her head craned to one side, bottom lip slipping between her teeth to wet them. “Something you should know is that I don’t have that particular gift.”  Sloane rose, bent forward, she pulled him onto his feet until she was straight again, the length of her dress skirts brushing her ankles. Releasing him, she guided him to the table and motioned with a hand for him to sit at the table across from her. “I am what you’d call Psychically blind for some time. I cant sense your Caste, your Jewels, your scent.  I cant for anyone. Which is why Prince Rilias had to clue me in.” Settling back in her seat she plucked a still warm bread roll from the basket and set it on her plate. Now that he knew, she watched him expectantly for any clues he would like to share.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #16 on: Mar 08, 19, 03:05:56 PM »
Lorcan nodded slightly, and smiled as he learned a little more about the horse he had taken.  Not just a favorite, but a family favorite.  ”Dancer was a Nivis horse, mine for a long time.  She was graceful, even on ice, that’s how she got her name.”  He pressed on, not wanting to dwell on his memories of that horse for the moment.  He could do that later, he had enough feelings happening.  Sloane seemed fascinated by his hands, and he thought he could almost sense why, as though she could read his choices on the rough patches of skin and the scars she found.  She agreed to send someone for his horse, and he sensed the thread, but did not attempt to intrude.  Lorcan trusted one of her people to not kill his horse out of spite, even if Master Asshat was the one sent to do the finding.  ”Thank you.  It’s not far.  I’m terribly fast on foot, but a horse is better.”

”Wanting to serve.”  It was such a loaded word that one, serve or service.  He knew what she meant, because she had put a name to the instinct, and his nature provided the rest.  He wanted to care for her, to protect her, to make sure she was okay, all the time, forever.  He knew that urge wasn’t just for right now, it was for always, and that was both startling and amazing.  He was no longer divided about it, but he did have to wonder what it was he could do for this woman, while still doing and being what he was.  Sloane was studying him again, and he wondered if it was the need to serve that made him willing to accept that searching look for as long as she needed to use it.  She responded his well to his little joke with her own words, and he chuckled playfully, until she used her Touch.  He was reminded, once again, that he truly was no longer in charge.  Not with the leash, and now with the Queen’s Touch.

Lorcan moved closer to her, and she let him him.  It was the closest he ahd been thus far, the closest he dared for the moment.  He felt that she was pleased by it, even if the Bond remained somewhat muted.  He could find his way in a blizzard, he would find his way through this fog in their connection.  He sat there with Sloane for what was likely only a little bit of time, but he lost track of it.  ”Bluebells grow in the mountains, by the hills, in meadows, sometimes right through the snow.”  She let him almost nuzzle her, but he didn’t, being that close was enough.  She began to explain her senses, when she leaned forward and got to her feet, pulling him along.  Lorcan rose easily, without the need of his hands, and frowned slightly at the short distance between them.  It was just a table, but it still made his fingers twitch.  He walked around behind her, letting his fingertips graze her shoulder, and across her neck, and took a moment to make sure she was comfortable seated, before he did what she had suggested with that small gesture.

”Oh.”  He said, once again, with sympathy this time.  ”That’s difficult.”  Now that he was near the food, his eyes went to the roll, and then to the chicken.  ”I guess I can eat.”   Lorcan was hungry, he was always hungry.  He was one of the few Dark Jeweled smugglers in Nivalla, and that meant he had to eat.  That was probably why he was one of the few.  He smiled slightly, gestured at the roll on Sloane’s plate, and then the table, ”You gonna eat all of this?”  Then he took a breath, ”You probably know, I am a Warlord Prince, I wear the Blood Opal for my Birthright, and the Sapphire for my Offering.  I am—a little wild, so I have to mask myself a bit to ride horses and help with domestic animals.  I don’t bother on the hunt, I’m just another predator.”  Lorcan met her eyes, and then held out his hand for her to take.  ”Let me try something?”

It began with a thread, a gentle tapping that was clearly from him, so they could communicate, but when she allowed the contact, he drew her gently in.  Just as though he were leading her by the hand, and then he offered her whatever perceptions of the room and himself that he had, subconsciously improving his own sense of smell as he did so.  The strongest scent to him, was her, and for him, she was everything he had described.  Lorcan found the soap he had used easy to pick up, but he tried to focus his psychic senses on his own person, something he did not often do with such conscious effort.  Lorcan’s psychic scent was crisp and sharp, like the wind on the side of the mountain, there was the clean scent of running water over bare rock, lending the scent a pleasant almost metallic tang, and if sunshine on a sub-zero morning had a scent, it was mixed in with Lorcan’s.  ”Anything?”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #17 on: Mar 11, 19, 12:53:20 PM »
It had been too long since a bonded had served her, and Sloane didn’t truly know what that meant for Lorcan. In time they would figure it out, as long as she could brush off this damnable haze.  Accepting him came naturally, it was an instinct, but one she felt was still stifled by something more, some kind of block that she could not sweep away and the more that she thought of it, the more inept she was beginning to feel.  This was not an emotion she reflected outwardly. Being what he needed came easily, she was used to doing it for everyone else.  After a while, it just became a part of who she was, the stoicism, the holding others at arm's length.  It was not how she felt toward her Landen however, they were safe, they rarely asked any questions, and even if they did, it was okay because they were hers. Maybe that’s all she needed, some more time with Lorcan to claim him fully.

Sloane was not ashamed of her shortcomings. The Darkness had blessed her with the gift to see deeply into the land. Its secrets were hers, so Mother Night thought it only fair to blind her in other ways.  Lorcan would need to know if he was to serve in any capacity by her side. There was no one in her retinue who was unaware of it and it helped that their Queen seemed unphased by it. At his show of sympathy she said, “It has its work around.” He could now guess why Prince Stern had provided her what little information he could about him from the other side of the shield. Trusting herself, her instincts had also been important to learn. His fingers brushed the back of her neck and shoulder as she sat, the hair slid further toward her knees in a civilized act unbecoming of the mountain man. Sloane settled, watching as he rounded the table, taking it in like it was some great expanse between them. She couldn't feel his hesitance, but she could see it.

“Oh did you want some too? I can have a plate sent up for you.” She said with a deadpan expression. It broke into that smirk again. “Unless you’re teasing me about my weight.”  She added, knowing the reaction she would receive, her eyes turned toward the butter knife, she plucked it up and began cutting open the roll.

He held out his hand and she paused, unsure of what it was he wanted to try. It felt abrupt, like a rogue thought that pressed to the corner of his mind mid-sentence.  Wiping her hand she then rested it on his own, looking a bit skeptical.

Opening herself up to the gentle knocking on her inner barriers she looked to him. His mind opened, not just that, but his senses. Sloane hesitated on that precipice. She had never been good at reading thoughts, nor had she ever asked anyone to allow her into their thoughts. There was a pull, a gentle tug that guided her senses inward. She followed, but only because of how sure he looked. Lorcan was staring right at her, almost as if challenging her to trust him.

He breathed in, and she let her perception spread until she could feel him, the way his heart beat steadily in his chest, the scent of his leather jacket. Further and further she followed the chicken smelled like rosemary, pepper and savory fat drippings, the earthy aroma of cedarwood burned in the log fire. These were smells she recognized, layered over her own. Then there was more, he took another breath and focused on her, she smelled clean to him, lightly floral, crisp, mountain air, bluebells.  The bond opened itself to that psychic connection, filling in the gaps.  Some of the best smells were attached to emotion, it is how that stuck out in memory, how they called to it.  When he took in her scent, it was linked with wonderment and the excitement of the unknown.

He shifted, offering her something new, something unique. Him. Her lips parted as she breathed him in. His scent was alluring, mountain air, fresh snow over the stale scent of earth and stone. There was an almost metallic tinge to it, faint but noticeable like tiny flecks of iron against her tongue. There was evergreen, no, the wind carrying the rich, clean scent in the early morning, before the dew, when the earth was just readying to wake.  There was the refreshing essence of water, rushing over rocks, shaping them over time, that first sip in the morning, filling her throat and stomach with a shockingly cool sensation from within.  How many times had she stopped to enjoy the morning air during her rides and even that paled in comparison.  Sloane blinked back, exhaling. She’d held her breath for as long as she could, but just as quickly, it faded. For a brief moment, he shared the palette of his scent with her. Blinking she composed herself for a moment, her own senses trying hard to process the information.  “Yeah, I can sense you. You smell like…Glacia in the early morning, like my hands after I've climbed up onto boulders so I can view my fields. Like a winter morning.” Her description was doing him a disservice. “I've never thought to do that, no one has.” She admitted complimentarily, though she still felt pleasantly out of sorts. “Thank you. I mean it.” Exhaling she sat back in her chair and smiled softly at him, this time when she studied him, it felt new and loaded with fresh questions. "That was clever. You're used to coming up with solutions on the fly? Finding workarounds? Its a good skill to have. Most just react to what they are given, especially in court. They follow protocol like they are rules of engagement. You don't."

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #18 on: Mar 12, 19, 10:41:31 AM »
It was either getting easier, or he was a hopeless fool.  Lorcan spent a lot of time on his own, barring his work for the Underground.  He did a circuit for the Nivis family, going from trapping run, to hunting grounds, to trading posts, or even home.  He rarely spent too long at any one of those places, and whenever her had to enter a village, town, or what passed for a big city in Nivalla, he always felt a little out of place.  That was not true there, in Sloane’s fine house.  He felt more than comfortable.  He felt like he belonged.  He felt like he was precisely where he was meant to be, in a very real existential way.  As if his entire life had been to serve this one moment, and this one Queen.  He was no longer divided, but that remained a lot to absorb and take in.  It was a dramatic shift in his perspective, and he couldn’t just shrug that off.

She was also annoyingly attractive.  Sloane Halston was a beautiful woman, who knew it, but didn’t hang a whole lot onto it.  He had met her when she was going into a barn to help with her own personal stable of animals, wearing working leathers, and unkempt hair, and she was still beautiful.  The annoying part was that even without the bond, Lorcan was sure he would have found her interesting, but now with the Bond, he was having a hard time figuring out what was plain attraction, and what was the Bond, or if it was just all of the above.  Sloane was his type, if he even had a type, and he only had to steal her horse to discover it.  If that had not happened, without the Bond, he would have never met her.  Once again, he was left with the phrase his Mother used to tell him from time to time, and that he had recently embraced.  Mother Night does not play at dice.  It was very strange for a man with an independent streak as wide as the mountains to stare predestination in the eye.

”Everything has a work around.  There’s always more than one way to solve a problem.”      That very idea had made Lorcan thoughtful, as a plan to help his Queen came instantly to mind.  He smiled as Sloane teased him, ”We’re in luck, there’s another plate right here.”  He laughed and shook his head, his hands raised in surrender.  ”I am far too smart to comment on a Lady’s weight, let alone that of my Queen.  Besides, you’re perfect as you are.”  Lorcan’s mouth snapped shut with the click of his teeth.  Had he just uttered that drivel?  Yes, yes he had.  He coughed, and set about preparing a plate for himself, serving Sloane if she asked for anything to be added to her plate.  He tried not to think about the florid compliment, and after setting his plate down, he offered his Queen his own version of a workaround for her particular form of blindness.  Sloane trusted him enough to let him try, and that was also meaningful.

Lorcan grinned when she described what she sensed through him.  He had been watching her expression the whole time, and she was at once surprised and possibly a little relieved.  She breathed, as though by doing so, she would take in the scent of him on her own.  ”I thought of it straight away.  Maybe this is how I can serve you, at least for now.”  He maintained the link, not diminishing the access she had to his senses, and letting her explore them on her own, with only a little of his own guidance.  ”I don’t like obstacles.  I either tear them down or climb them.  Protocol has its place, but this was not one of them.”  Lorcan gave her hand a squeeze, and let her touch slip away with apparent reluctance.  The connection remained, ”Now that I know how this feels, I can repeat it as often as you like.”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #19 on: Mar 12, 19, 12:10:18 PM »
He said she was perfect as she was and Sloane smirked. Not because the compliment wasn’t charming, because it was, but because he was surprised the words slipped out of his mouth. This was all new to him, and perhaps he wasn’t a man who shared his admirations so flagrantly. It made him uncomfortable and threw him off balance. It was good to know he could he was as out of his element as she felt. “Smart. We can circle back to my perfection later. Perhaps you can write me a song. You do play an instrument, don’t you?” she asked with a tone that indicated that if he didn’t, it would be a total deal breaker.  The Queen didn’t wait to be served by her male. Nights of eating alone or with her Court built the habit of self-service. Cutting off a thigh and drumstick, she carefully guided it onto her plate followed by a bit of mash.  Lorcan didn’t stall either, which she appreciated because it gave her a few seconds to gather her thoughts.

Lorcan had opened up his senses and drew his Queen in with them. She knew it was a matter of translation, filtering between his mind and the delicate fibers of the Bond. A Blood’s Psychic senses were not physically decipherable, If they were, she would have caught his right away.  When Blood came into contact, their psychic minds brushed like animals sniffing the snow to see what others had passed, to check for mates or threats. That information was then translated into a psychic scent that masked itself as a Blood’s personal fragrance.  He hadn’t guided her but enveloped her in his own. The result was a pleasurable sensory overload.  Sloane blinked a few times, expecting the connection to fade away, leaving her with, by comparison, her muted senses.

Another breath and he filled her lungs, then blinked. There were rogue traces of someone else, a female, she smelled of wine and sweet berries. Catina had been in the room just an hour or so, but a part of her lingered. “I smell my Seer.” She hummed softly and looked thoughtful for a moment. He squeezed her hand she blinked again, refocusing. His scent was everywhere, the strongest in the room, or perhaps the one that retained her focus.  Her ability to detect other Blood had been lost a few years ago along with the part of herself she would never have returned.  It was ironic how her newly bonded was the only one to provide a workaround.

“It can. It really can. Its been a long time since I was able to do that, on my own. I could get used to it again.” That skill was lost, but she gained something new with Lorcan. He couldn’t possibly know what that had meant to her, or perhaps, he did. Appreciation and shock coursed through their bond, she had been knocked back by the senses that she still explored, even now. Tentatively she tried to expand, finding the corners of that reach and returning to him.  If she could only feel him, his emotions at this moment as strongly as she once could, they would be all the better for it.

Be patient. It will come.

She took another breath, exhaling softly from her mouth. The savory aroma before her was suddenly less appealing than that of stone and fresh water, but it did give her an idea. “Since you are so keen on riding, I'll take you out tomorrow morning so you can see my land. I'll even loan you a horse. I have some blessings to make, it’ll be a good experience for you to have alone.” Taking a bite of the chicken she smirked, tapping her fork on the plate.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #20 on: Mar 13, 19, 02:34:45 PM »
This was Glacia.  Lorcan could throw a stick in almost any direction and hit a blonde woman that was likely to be easy on the eyes.  He was not inexperienced with women, or with beauty, and yet here he was, tossing out compliments with a child’s lack of restraint.  Sloane was particularly lovely, from the shape of her lips (Yes! He had been looking!), to the brightness of her particularly blue eyes.  Taken separately, blonde hair with blue eyes and alabaster skin, she would have sounded like any other Glacian female, but the reality was far more than words.  Was that her?  Or was that him?  It hardly mattered.  He was obviously a biased observer now, and Lorcan was more than fine with that, he just wasn’t used to being so, so, ham fisted about that.  ”An instrument?”

He made a face and half-smiled, ”I can yodel, does that count?”  Lorcan continued to allow her access to his senses, and confessed, if only to himself, that he enjoyed the presence of her in his mind, reaching his senses, sampling all that she could.  He realized that while it was not giving sight to the blind, it was something very similar.  How long had she lacked in these area of sensory perception?  Psychic knowledge and detection was an instinctual part of the Blood and an unspoken fundamental of Protocol.  It helped govern behavior between potentially volatile Castes, though their reason ought to balance the rest.  It was a real disadvantage for a Queen to lack, and Sloane had managed to take a District Seat despite that obstacle.  Lorcan was already impressed with her, this was just more of the same sentiment.

Lorcan smiled, ”Is that who that is?  I did not know her name.”  He tilted his head slightly, ”She was in the barn, and then she wasn’t.  Clever.”  He met her eyes as she realized his was the strongest scent in the room.  That did not surprise him, he was fresh scrubbed, and had all but pulled her into his lap.  He was terribly pleased that his solution worked, and more than that, it seemed to have deep impact on his Queen.  He had, essentially, been of service if a real and telling way, and that felt annoying right.  It was as though he had discovered a new activity he had missed all his life, only to find that this simple new thing brought him a measure of joy, and even peace.  He hid a growl by biting into a piece of chicken.  It was all terribly new to him, and while he knew what the Bond was, no one had prepared him for this.  ”I will try to keep this link up while we’re together.”

He tilted his head after he washed down the bites of food he’d had, ”I know Edgar.  We got along well.”  He smiled, ”Give to the land?”  Lorcan knew what that meant, on a pragmatic level.  He had seen other Queens do such a thing, a village Queen, and he found it a little unsettling.  It had felt as though he might rip someone’s head off if they made the wrong move, and that young woman hadn’t even been his Queen.  ”Are you sure that is a good idea?  I mean, I know what that entails, but this is different.  You’re mine.”  He was uncomfortable at the notion of seeing Sloane’s blood, angry at the idea that someone else might shed her blood, and fearful how that blood loss and use of Craft would leave his Queen.  All of that, all at once.  He drank down all of the clear water at his setting, and chased it with the dark wine in the goblet beside the water.  ”I wouldn’t mind a morning ride, if that is what you would like to do.”


Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #21 on: Mar 13, 19, 03:51:55 PM »
“It doesn't and please don't.” Lorcan had forced her to concede. She’d be likely to throw a fork at him if he did. Yodelers made such atrocious sounds. She couldn't understand how anyone would define that as an art form. Now that her joke had gone completely awry she had to give it to him, he was pretty good at keeping up.  Lorcan studied her almost as much as she did him, only she didn't need to delve into the bond to understand what was going through his head. This was all new, she was an appended figure in his life that felt both new and constant at the same time. He had always known her, but they had not met until today. It was the same for Queens, the presence of a new bonded was like waking from a pleasant dream and finding it affixed to their lives.  It should have felt like that to her even now, and in a way it did, but the dream stretched at the edges, drawing out until she was left in a state of uneasy wakefulness. Not fully conscious one way or the other.

It bothered her to be without her senses, years after the fact, but this molested her more. He was hers, that claim was set in stone. She meant the words, even felt them, but it was a statement and not a celebration.  Again, she scolded herself for trying to figure it out too soon. It just felt like he needed her and she was calling it in.

“Her name is Lady Catina Jerevano. She’s held the Court Seer seat since I was a village Queen. Trust me when I say, you're safer when you can see her.”  Catina had a knack for stealth and she knew how to pierce barriers with such ease that it made even Slone uncomfortable sometimes. “Black Widows.” she shook her head lightly as if that explained it all, because it sort of did.

He didn't have to strain himself, but she appreciated it.  Nodding softly she agreed, her pale ocean foam eyes washing over his face as he bit into the chicken and clear juices ran down over his lips. “Yeah well, I think you two have gotten too close. We’ll see what I can come up with in the morning.” Edgar had been through enough, plus it gave her a chance to see him on an animal that suited him better. Laying her napkin on the table she scooted back until she could stand. The large growler resting on a pan of ice nearby rose into her hand followed by two ice cold mugs.  Setting them on the table and pulled the metal stopper free. “Wine is fine. This I like better.” Taking one of the mugs she tilted it in her hand as she poured with the other. Liquid the color of rich golden wheat flowed into the mug which she instantly cooled with a pull of her Green. A white foam crowning the top of the mug.  Once both were filled, she extended one to him and sat once more. A finger touched the top of the foam, causing it to dissolve away until it was nothing more than a thin layer of film and bubbles before the tip of that digit pressed to her lips. Waste not want not. “The woman who makes this owned her own shop in town. She sold it from her home. When I moved from Sallo to this district I had to bring her along. She also makes the bread.”

It didn't strike him as wise to watch his Queen shed her blood. Sloane wasn't sure if he had ever witnessed a ceremony like it, but one thing she did know was that he had never done it with her. “That's exactly why it should happen one day soon.  You’ll eventually witness it, possibly in front of a Priestess and a Healer, or several other males in attendance. Considering your caste, what do you think is easier, smelling my blood in the air when we are alone, or with an audience and possible casualties?”  she asked knowing he would come to the same conclusion.  Lorcan was Dark, and she did not need to sense his rage to know it simmered just beneath the surface. Spilling any Quen’s blood, especially her own in a public setting was like playing with a book of matches over dry kindling. “You won't get used to it, not ever, but you can learn to tolerate and control yourself when it's warranted. If it makes you uncomfortable tomorrow, we don't have to.”  she offered, because it also didn't help to push a male into that kind of situation.  Sloane took a long sip of her ale and licked her lips. History had a way of repeating itself, the good but especially the bad and there was little anyone could do to prevent that from happening. All but one thing, learn from them and adjust.  She had to do things differently with Lorcan because he was different, just as much hers, but inasmuch need of a guiding hand as she was at first.

Then again, this didn't feel like a continuation, she didn't feel older and wiser for her experience or loss, no she felt just as tied up in knots as she did the moment she met Jacen, just a bit less naive. She could tell him how Jacen reacted, how he went from perpetual laughter to feeling outright ill, trapped and enraged. She could have told him that he had chosen to walk away rather than allow her to soothe him, or how he had returned pretending nothing had happened, but she didn't.  “Your hair's so dark. Your mother’s is the same way I am assuming she is Lady Hilda? We met a few years ago to discuss your family lands and how to preserve some of the land and animals that keep your business thriving. I liked her. In fact, its surprising we havent met sooner, I go into the paths every year per our agreement and bless them.” He could have been a cousin, or an outside relation to the Nivis family from the maternal side, but the similarity was striking. Especially his eyes and the way his hair fell into tight waves. “Did they always live in Glacia? I know your family’s been rooted here for a long time. ”

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #22 on: Mar 14, 19, 12:07:01 PM »
Lorcan took a deep breath, cleared his throat, drank a bit of water, cleared his throat again, and took another deep breath.  He then began, ”Yodel-lay—I can’t yodel, or play an instrument.”  He smiled, and laughed a bit, before continuing with his meal.  He ate politely enough, in that he did not make a mess, but he wasn’t afraid to use his fingers.  The food was as good as the pleasant scents of it had promised.  Lorcan had used his Jewels, and climbed both side of a mountain, with only short rests in between.  He was used to that pace in his life.  With his packages delivered, he was free to return to work until the Underground needed him again.  Lorcan had trap lines to check, and he would have to check a trading post for what furs were needed and in season.  ”She was hovering about then.  I don’t doubt that.  My sister is a Black Widow.  I love her, and would kill on her behalf, but sometimes she is a bit much.”

He looked a bit disappointed, ”I liked that horse, clearly.”  Then he smiled and shrugged, ”I’ll let you choose the horse, not like I can really complain about that, all things considerd, right?”  He watched her pick up a large ceramic jug, and pour out ale that she made ice cold as it flowed into the mugs.  Lorcan’s eyes were on the Queen, as she clearly enjoyed both the look of the ale, the prospect of having it, and even enjoyed the foam.  He didn’t immediately reach for his mug, or register that she was essentially encouraging him to try it.  Lorcan almost chuffed like a hound, exhaling powerfully through his nose, to clear away a scent that had nothing to do with his mundane senses.  ”The bread too?  That makes an odd kind of sense.”  He picked up the mug and took a long pull, winding up with foam on his upper lip.  He almost wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, remembered himself, and used the neatly folded cloth napkin at his seat.  ”That is good stuff.  Nice finish.”

Lorcan was thoughtful as Sloane described all the reasons that they had to put this bloodletting Gift behind them, and he found that he couldn’t argue with her logic.  He would never hurt her, he could not hurt her, the very idea turned and twisted in his stomach, worse than just the idea of dealing with her cutting herself to feed the land.  He rolled his shoulders, discovering tension in his muscles where before there had been none.  ”You are right.  We can do it tomorrow.”  He said with a distinct lack of enthusiasm.  ”If anyone should be there when you do these things, it is me.”  Lorcan then had the idea of not being around when she did this.  What if she bled too much?  What if no one was there to stop her from over reaching?  What if, what if, what if…?  He took up the mug and finished off his ale, pouring another mug full for himself.  ”No, tomorrow is fine.  I need to see it.  I don’t make a habit of turning away from obstacles.”

He polished off his piece of chicken and got another.  His eyes lifted to Sloane as she mentioned his hair, and his mother.  Lorcan almost made a face.  It figured that his Mother would know his Queen before he did.  He spent years in the wilderness, alone, had hunted and skinned just about every fur bearing species in Glacia, and climbed or found his way on top of more mountains than anyone else in the Nivis clan, and somehow his Mother was still a few steps ahead of him.  ”You did?  Yes, that is my Mother.  She likes to know the Court in charge.  Father is as blonde as the sun.  My sister and I got her hair.”  Lorcan laughed, ”Of course you liked her, she’s not your Mother.”  He nodded, ”I heard about those agreements, in fact, I’ve enforced them.  There’s always poachers, and the problem with poachers is they’re usually armed.”  He drank more, and paused to think, with a drumstick half-way to his mouth.  ”As far as I know, yes.  The lodge is terribly old.  It’s been added onto over the years, but it’s not haphazard.  Some of our trading posts are just as old.  There’s a rumor that my Dad encourages that the District is named for us.”  He shrugged, ”But who knows?’

Lorcan had a bite of the chicken and washed it down, ”Where did the Halstons hang their collective hats? Where did my bright-eyed Queen grow up?’  He ate more chicken then, if only to stifle the sudden pout of compliments that seemed to be coming out of his mouth whether he liked it or not.

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #23 on: Mar 14, 19, 01:16:43 PM »
His throat cleared in that gravely way it did when someone was preparing to sing, if he looked up he would find his Queen’s eyes on him, haltingly as if his next actions would set the tone for all their interactions to come. He started, then stopped, opening and closing her eyes she slightly shook her head and returned her attention to the meal. “That's a relief.” she sighed lightly before popping a piece of tender meat into her mouth with a lift to her brows and a well-hidden smirk.  His laughter was robust, it came from a place deep within his belly and while she was not yet used to the sound, it was pleasant. He ate and she took the time to watch him and consider their conversation. There was so much she wanted to ask, knew she would ask in time, but not much was coming to mind. Not because she found him boring, Lorcan was fascinating, but because it was just a lot at once.

They could discuss yeast, an enthralling topic to be sure, but she didn't follow that line of inquiry, instead, she chose something a little more personal that assured her that she wasn't talking for the sake of filling their shared space with noise.  Taking a nice long sip of her ale she set it back on the table, oblivious to his table manners. It wasn't like he carried a spare salad fork into the mountains for these kinds of occasions.  This dinner was informal, one put together in haste for the unexpected guest.

The subtle change of his scent to anxiety caught her attention. Through the bond, she could barely feel his unease, but the link he had created provided another outlet. Unaccustomed to reading those psychic changes it took her a few seconds to piece them together with his tone.  It should have come easier than that, but he had given her an avenue to work with.  There was nothing Sloane could have said to put him at ease. Watching a Queen, let alone, his Queen shed blood, tasting it in the air triggered a primal sense in most Blood. It was strongest with Warlord Prince’s who were passionate and prone to engaging violently, but at their core, they were protectors and nurturers. That was the intrinsical aspect of the caste that people often ignored.  Lorcan wouldn't want to see her bleed because it meant she was in danger, even by her own hand.  Tomorrow would be a day when they could explore that. “It will be fine.” She watched him from across the table, wanting to soothe him, but finding herself hesitant to breach that distance again, just yet. So instead, she made sure her words were reassuring and laced with the confidence she felt.

“You were hungrier than you realized.” After finishing off her mash she watched him, her chin laying across the canopy of her laced fingers, elbows propped on the table. By the sound of it, he had a lot of opinions when it came to his mother. Sloane’s interactions with her had been brief, but she came off as strong and willful, just like Lorcan. “Good point.” again she conceded were pristine in public where they could make liars out of your accounts, but more difficult in private.

Knowing he was regularly placing himself in danger made her stomach drop with the instinctual trigger of a previous loss. Watching him patiently she studied the way he spoke, how his laugh sprouted from his throat unabashed. “Hmm. Could be.” She wasn't quite sure about the historical significance of the district’s name. It was something she would have to inquire with her Steward about. “Makes a good story though. The Nivis clan, settlers of Nivalla. Has a nice ring to it. Bullshit or not. she added the last, a feathery brow arching.

A ‘Got-cha’ smile spread across her lips at the compliment and how he tried to cover it up by stuffing his face. She’d noticed and he would be sure she did.  “I was born in Raahe within Salo just by the Eyrien Way in Akaa.  My family has been rearing horses since before my great grandmother’s time. A Halston ranch has always existed there. The only reason there is one here too is that I couldn't part with that piece of home. My parents were very supportive, who wouldn't be when your Queen daughter earns a District seat and access to rich lands? It made both personal and business sense. I was trained in the Salo Court, then became a village Queen there and worked by way into the District seat of Nivalla.” The last Queen to hold the seat had been up in years, plus she was an opponent to the oncoming tide of zealotry, so it was no surprise when she was quietly retired. “Ive held it for 5 years now. While Ill hold Court in Emmen several times a week, I like the air closer to the mountains, and Heino is close." She liked being near the people, not locked away in the capitol. “Most of my Court stays there.”

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #24 on: Mar 15, 19, 10:42:00 AM »
Lorcan could tell by Sloane’s expression that she was not looking forward to the prospect of him actually yodeling.  He took the ruse as far as he could, and smiled when his Queen actually looked as relieved as she stated.  He had laughed then, something she seemed to appreciate.  It was a strange thing to feel so comfortable with someone that he had only just met.  Lorcan was capable of socializing, in his own somewhat uncivilized way, he knew how to have a good time, but this was a very different thing.  Sloane was his Queen, there was the Bond, and especially, there was her Queen’s Touch, that—that had erased most of his inhibitions, and made him feel comfortable in her company.  He was already comfortable with her scent, her person, and her hold upon his leash, the rest of figuring out how they suddenly fit together.

She could feel his concern, his anxiety, and because he was the source of her perceptions, he knew that she did.  There was little she could say, he knew.  They would just have to get through the Gift together.  Lorcan had no idea how he would react, but considering the idea of it alone troubled him, he had to guess it would not become his favorite thing to do.  He trusted Sloane, even though logic said that he probably shouldn’t, but he had defied logic and expectations for most of his climbing career; why should now be any different?  Lorcan lifted his eyes to Sloane at her reassurance, and drank more of the ale.  ”’FIne’ is probably underselling it, but I trust you.  We should do this thing.  I have to see it, know it, if I’m going to be of use.”   Lorcan nodded, ”It will just be us, and you already know that I will not hurt you.”

Lorcan nodded as he chewed down another bite of chicken, washing it down with the ale, before speaking.  ”I suppose I was.  I knew I was hungry, but I was distracted from it.”  He smiled when she agreed about his Mother, and laughed  a little, ”That might’ve sounded harsher than I intended.  Ma is an active woman, still, and no matter what I do, she’s always at least a step ahead.”  Lorcan’s eyes came up quickly when Sloane was suddenly anxious, suddenly worried, suddenly scared.  For  him?  She teased him just a little about the name of the district, agreeing that it was a good story, and her final comment on it made him chuckle.  ”I think even without the Bond, I would have liked you.”

She was pleased by his unexpected compliment, and her expression told him so.  He listened to her answer to his question, as he considered her most recent emotion reaction.  Lorcan was not surprised to hear she had been around horses for her entire life, she almost had to be, with how comfortable she was with getting her hands dirty in the stables.  Her choice of clothing was both pragmatic, and born of experience.  Lorcan also did not doubt that she had earned her Seat, potentially fought for it, in whatever halls of power that sort of thing happened.  ”Five years.  I’m through here all the time.”  It was a wonder they hadn’t crossed paths on the roads or on the trails long before then.  ”So, you don’t stay in Court?  Do you wind up bringing work home to here?”  He nodded, ”So, this is only part of your Court and its Circles?”


He paused a moment, drank more beer, and then cleaned his fingers.  He got to his feet, and took his chair with him, moving it to set next to her, before he reached out and gently curled his forefinger under her chin to encourage her to look at him.  ”Sloane, I can feel your worry, and your fear, when I say certain things.  You’re behind my outer barriers, my Queen, I sense what you do, and you are sensing what I do.”  Lorcan reached out and took her hand, ”I don’t take senseless risks.  I didn’t know the Bonded you lost, but I am not him.  I know, I can feel, that this is as strange to you as it is to me, and that it scares you—that is you.  I’m not scared, not really.”  Lorcan stopped, and thought about that for a moment, and what his instincts demanded, and he growled softly in frustration.  ”I won’t let you be hurt.  I will not hurt you.  I’ll protect you even from myself, which means all I can promise is to be more careful when I’m out in the world.  I know what it is like to have people expecting me to come home—and now there’s you.”  He grumbled, and leaned back in his seat.  ”I don’t know what I’m trying to say, I just want you to feel better.”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #25 on: Mar 15, 19, 09:35:52 PM »
“You don’t need to assure me of that, you know.” Did it help him to know he was incapable of laying hands on her, even in the cool of the killing edge? Accidents were possible,  Queens had been injured under the frenzy of their own males before, but it was never purposeful, they were never the target of that wrath. A bonded male hurting his Queen was a type of self-flagellation, to those not mentally addled repugnant in itself. Even when it had happened on accident, the remorse that followed was immediate and haunting. No one would ever be able to pull him down from that precipice like she could. He had met the only living being in the word that was able to pull of such a feat, specially tailored just for him. He trusted her. A part of her wanted to remind him that they had just met and trust was earned, but she did not wish to lecture him, not when he was in the right of it. If she really thought about it, they knew some part of one another. Beyond the familiar, their cognition was a spiritual one, carved from the soul. So yes, he could trust she would act on his best interest, even if there was a brief instance when she had considered that to be far from her presence. “You’ve already been of use Lorcan.” He had opened his senses and gave her a sight she had missed for some time now. He could not have proven himself more capable than he already had.

Masking her inner turmoil with casual conversation came easily to the Queen.  It was all about pushing forward and past the sinking feeling in her stomach, the disquiet that raced up the back of her arms like the legs of tiny spiders. That feeling of precognition was nothing more than experience manifesting itself into weakness. He looked to her and she glanced at her plate, to press her fork into the mash before discarding it there. He spoke about his mother, his family, and their long tails. Her playful comment hadn’t immediately sent him into a pearl-clutching fit so that was good. “I know I would have liked you too.  A little less after stealing my horse, but you cheated and gave yourself a pass.”  Her brows lifted, challenging him to make another run at her good graces. He would be in a heap of hurt if he ever tried that again.

“I try not to, unless I have to, usually for no more than two days at a time if I can help it.” She was honest. “A version of me is expected that is a bit too extravagant for my taste and difficult to maintain without making my opinions of certain people known. “ She was in all, gravely allergic to stupidity and willful ignorance and could only expose herself in short bursts. It was a plague prevalent in many Courts.  “It functions because I hire competent people who won't panic if I’m not present. I will hold Court in the Capital and yeah I will bring work home.  Here at least Im surrounded by farms, and at the edge of trade routes, this is where many of the people are. I just prefer it.”  She smiled slightly and looked across to him, her gaze a little lighter than before. “Serendipity sucks. Then again, it wasn’t like either of us was looking for the other.”

Was he the kind to have been searching for his Queen? Did he like some, crave for that stability, the release of control, or was he the kind who never thought about it until it was forced down on him? If she was to guess, Lorcan Nivis was too independent to pine for anyone. He’d chosen a solitary life for a reason.

She’d just been contemplating the man when resolution crept across his emerald eyes. He sat next to her, chair and all, and before she could turn toward him, his finger hooked beneath her chin, willing her to look at him.  It was not what she expected. Some idle flirtation, the desire t be close, to touch her, none of that was a violation of her space. However, he didn’t seek the comfort of her touch, but to reap it on her, to console her for her private thoughts. Her feelings. For a split second, it felt like an invasion, wreathed in soft, empathetic words. He had a glimpse into what she did not wish him to see and she didn’t know what to do with that. He brought up Jacen, as if he’d made some mistake that had earned him that fate, without knowing him, or her in that time. He brought to light her fear and to her speaking it out loud was as good as announcing it.

Sloane’s eyes shifted away, then back to him.  Listen to what he is saying. Listen. Only she wasn’t sure if she wanted to, because she had never asked him for assurances, and yet he gave them in an attempt to make whatever wrong she had briefly felt right.  He was trying, and she was ready to shit on that effort on instinct. Nodding softly she tilted her head just away just slightly so his hand retracted from her face, but her hand stayed still clasped within his. “I know you do, want me to feel better.”  She added the latter because it felt important to repeat, to him, to herself.  Slowly her shoulders relaxed, her eyes regarding him she turned in the seat, the clawed wooden legs slipped closer with a groan until she was almost facing him fully. “You..” don’t deserve this. “shouldn’t have to worry.” About me. “You take risks, more often than I think you’re admitting.”  She sought his eyes as she leaned forward, this close, his scent was rich.  “You slid down a roof today, you risked bringing back my horse when any other rational person would have cut and run. Its who you are, I think.“  She was sure of it, and that did not bother her. “The only thing I fear is a repeat of the past, but there is nothing you can do to take that away. No one can make it better except me. You’re not him, but we are not in a place where you can make comparisons.” Releasing his hands she sat back and felt the sting of her own words.

It was a line she did not want crossed, not for now. Jacen was the agent of his own demise, but he was hers, and years later she was still protective.  After several quiet seconds, she looked across the room to the fire. “I have three brothers. I was the only girl and the flightiest of all. They all have some scar they can blame on trying to keep me out of some trouble.”  Her head canted in a nostalgic smile. “ You know how to take care of yourself, just know, if one day you can’t, you might want to think long and hard on whether you want to come back to me because Ill know and I'll be waiting.” He was hers, and anyone who caused him harm would rue the day, even himself.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #26 on: Mar 18, 19, 12:12:07 PM »
Lorcan half-smiled, ”I am assuring myself as much as I am assuring you.”  His expression was serious for a moment, and he breathed a long sigh.  ”There are some that call me the—uh—‘The Butcher of Heino’, is is not my favorite epithet.  It was a bad Rut.  Two men died.”  He ran his hand down his face, and scratched at the beard on his chin, before smoothing it down.  ”It’s not happened since, but a think like that sticks with you.  People are always a little wary of me anyway, and these days, some are downright scared.”  Lorcan shrugged, ”Not my best day, but since, I’m in the habit of tryin’ to remind folks when I’m on their side.  Unless I’m not, then they don’t get anything.”  He drank more beer, ”It’s not a bad habit for a Warlord Prince to have, even if it doesn’t always work.”

He smiled when she told him he had already been of use.  That pleased him, more than it should, and it made him feel like an idiot boy again.  Some instinct wanted to please Sloane, to keep her happy and whole and safe, and if he had caused any of those feelings, it felt not only good, but right.  That was probably the most remarkable thing.  Sloane was a new quantity to him, a new person, that he somehow felt closer to than even his own family, and yet—he knew so very little about her.  ”I’m glad.  I think we’ll get better at that ‘sensory link’, after a little practice.”  Lorcan laughed, ”I don’t’ think you have to worry about that, at least not from me.  I’m not a horse thief.  Normally, I mean, I’m not a horse thief.”  He smiled, poured himself still more beer, and listened to his Queen describe how she went about running her District.

Lorcan’s eyebrows rose, and he was thoughtful for a moment, before he spoke again.  ”You do not strike me as an extravagant person.  I think you’d prefer to be here, with your horses.”  He smiled at the idea that she kept her Court to roughly two days, and then left it to skilled subordinates.  He supposed the entire District did not need to be micromanaged, and that people just went about their lives.  He certainly had, until he had stolen Edgar—that horse.  Lorcan could have gone another decade without ever running into Sloane Halston.  ”I don’t care much for cities, big towns, or the press of people.  There’s a reason I’m one of the family’s career hunters.  For the most part, it has let me grow away from the trepidation and concern a Sapphire me tends to inspire in people.”  Lorcan shrugged, ”I’m not convinced this was just a coincidence, but you’re right.  I wasn’t looking for you, at least—not in any way I was aware of.”

When he decided to make a small attempt not only to comfort her, but in some way to stake out who he was, and who he could be to her, he felt the mix of emotions from her.  The Bond told him that, as did the sensory link.  She would be aware of what he sensed from her psychically, and how it was not clear.  It was a stew of emotions, some threaded throughout and consistent, others felt and quickly discarded.  ”I’ve had people tell me that.  ‘You don’t have to worry.’  or ‘You shoudln’t’.  It doesn’t change anything.  You worry about people you care about, otherwise, what are we all pretending to do?  I’ll worry, and I won’t ask you not to worry about me.”  Lorcan tilted his head slightly, and then found himself leaning towards her when she did the same towards him.  ”I’m not a thief.  Edgar wasn’t mind to keep.  It was the right thing to do.”  He half-smiled, a bit of mischief in his expression and his soul.  ”I don’t take any risks that aren’t necessary.  Climbing that mountain isn’t a risk.  I’ve been doing that since I was a child.”

Lorcan hook his head slightly, still leaning closer to her, ”I know I can’t take that fear away, I just want you to remember that I am not the same.  Not better.  Not worse.  Just not the same.”  He considered all of the rest of her words, and he warning.  He wasn’t smiling when he answered, but when he spoke, it was with the weight of truth and sincerity.  ”I will always come back to you.  Always.  The roughest part of your tongue, or your hands, or even—whatever that was you did at the barn—none of that matters.”

Offline Sloane Halston

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Role

      District Ruler

    • Faction

      Nivalla District

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Isa

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #27 on: Mar 18, 19, 02:13:49 PM »
Lorcan had an honest quality that Sloane was beginning to appreciate. There was depth, yes, but not much he kept hidden.  Despite how strange and new all of this must have felt to him, he was transparent with her. It should have put her at ease to have this open book displayed before her, but it only made her more aware of how tightly her volumes were clutched to her chest. If she was this aware of it, how could he not be?

His lips thinned and she watched the way he hesitated if only for a split second to divulge and not so complimentary moment in his life. A Warlord Prince’s ruts were intense, they were forces of nature focused on one thing alone. It was unfortunately quite common for innocents to be swept up in that tide.  He might have not considered it, but with that confession, he also gave her some insight into his ruts and how violent they could become as well as what to expect in the aftermath. It was good information to have. “That’s why you stay away from towns, why you spend so much time alone?”  she asked, not really needing a response. He was protective, even when it came to himself and perhaps more aware of his nature than he realized.  There was blood on his hands he might not fully remember every detail of, but he had taken it as a lesson.

He didn’t need to remind her that he was on her side, she already knew, but it was reassuring that he thought ahead to do so. There was a faint spike of pleasure, a tickle at the edge of their bond reminding her of his presence. A rush of sweet water in the morning, that was the scent.  Being this close to him, it was hard not to think of Jacen, and all the many firsts they had discovered together, that sense of oneness, of duty and satisfaction of relinquishing just a bit of control to another.  “You know who say things like that? “ she paused, smirked. “Horse thieves.” Now she was just teasing his constant need to reassure her that he wouldn’t make out with Edgar in the night again.

A quiet life with a smattering of excitement suited Sloane just fine. At, the same time she couldn’t argue there was an appeal to the high societies of Glacia. It allowed her access to all sorts of art and culture. As poisoned as it had become with the infusion of the Dark Religion, there were still some aspects she enjoyed. It was like stepping outside of her comfort zone to blend seamlessly into someone else. “Ah but I have to be willing to dip my toe in that pool, as frigid as it can get. It’s the only way to maintain all this.” As much as she hated keeping up appearances, it was a practical necessity in Court life.

No one was to blame for her reaction, Lorcan certainly wasn’t, and Sloane had to remind herself that neither was she, even if her vision was blurred when it came to Jacen.  What she had delivered was a fair warning that he needed to heed.  If he was confused by the interbreeding emotions within his Queen, she neither could explain them or make sense of them herself.  He is trying. Self condemnation was becoming a recurring topic in her thoughts. Sometimes it felt like she could rifle through her own emotions like a deck of cards and set aside the ones that didn’t suit her, only eventually they would come back around. He was right though, she would worry, but only if he gave her a reason to.

Sitting so close to him, she suddenly couldn’t think of a reason why she wouldn’t worry.  He inhaled, taking in her scent with each breath, in turn, she could perceive the way he translated the change in the subtle notes. The glow of firelight danced along his dark hair, giving it more texture and shine than she had first come to notice. His lips were not full, nor were they thin, the corners of his mouth partially hidden beneath the whiskers of his mustache. There was a particular rise to his smile that was mischievous and alluring. Trouble. It was all Trouble. “I assume that makes all your risks necessary?” Her chin followed the lift of her eyes ever so lightly as if guided by the tip of her nose. His eyes were dark emerald, set just above the wide bridge of his nose. The scent of ale was crisp on his breath. Sloane didn’t need him to dissuade her fear, she told herself. Did she need him to …what? Not make the same mistakes? Even she didn’t know what she needed, so she settled on nothing for now.

But she certainly didn’t need him to make promises, despite all his best intentions, that he couldn’t keep. He is doing the best he can, He’s doing what feels right. He was trying to pull away from any comparisons he could make without having all the information.  Promises sat between them like heavy stones she wasn’t up to the task to take with her.  They were there and no one was going to move them, not with the finality in which they were sworn. Time stood still when you were waiting for the other shoe to drop. There was no moving forward, no moving back, just purgatory. Waiting to see what happened next was more of a threat than a promise to a Queen who had suffered such loss.  Sloane didn’t know what to do with any of it, even if she felt the weight of it against her chest. Her nature said to trust him, it should have been that easy to be comforted by that declaration, only it wasn’t, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to be.  After a soft breathe she lowered her eyes and pulled back from the searching viridian of his gaze. This, it wasn’t right, because she wasn’t.

“Remember you said that, I have a feeling you're a handful. Im not going to tell you not to take risks, or to be extra careful on my account. Just. Don't get hurt.”  He would be her downfall and there was nothing she could do to stop the plummet if it came.  Still, the shoe hung there. Waiting.  Aware of the turn of a downward spiral that would surely follow if they continued on this road she pulled her seat back from the table a few inches. “It's late.“ Were there any more finalizing words than those? She couldn’t think of any. “Its been an eventful day, and though it doesn’t feel like it, we need rest.” Looking back to him with a slight smile she rose, stepping around the arm of the chair. “We can talk more in the morning. I'll have some things to show you.”

Behind him, the doors opened, and one of the ladies from earlier stood patiently. “She will show you to your room. Its close to mine, if you need anything, let the staff know.” It was in fact, just down the hall from the master chambers, only he might not have realized it at the time.

Offline Lorcan Nivis

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      Climber

    • Faction

      The Underground

    • Territory

      Glacia

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: Borrowed Without Asking
« Reply #28 on: Mar 20, 19, 01:06:28 PM »
The more that Lorcan was able to reveal about himself, the better he felt about what he could not reveal.  He could not reveal everything for his Queen’s safety, and his, and any other packages he might move in the future.  It was simply for the best, but the rest, the rest he could tell her.  Earning that name had not been his proudest moment, but she needed to know more about him, needed to understand who he was as a Warlord Prince, to whatever extent he could inform her.  Lorcan shrugged at her question, ”Oh, that’s part of it.  Sure.  I make it a point to be honest about how I’m feelin’, and then I make a trip into Heino to take care of the –the problem without letting it go so far I get violent.”  He chuckled, ”Mostly, I don’t much care for people.  I’ve got the training and the comportment to stand in any Court, but I don’t much care for it—or the kinds of people that it can breed.”

He nodded to her, ”And by what you said before, about being required to be ‘extravagant’, I would bet a pile of furs that you don’t much care for them either.”  Lorcan grinned at her, ”Well sure, they say that when they’re caught stealin’, but I don’t think any good horse thief, if such a thing exists, will ever be caught returning a horse.”  He looked around them and for the first time took in the elegant simplicity of the décor.  It was not meant to be ostentatious, but rather it was meant to feel comfortable, cozy even, not unlike a farmhouse, just on a larger scale.  She could hold Court there, though that seemed unlikely, given had intimate this setting felt.  ”Just a toe?  You’re a District Queen, surely you’re swimming with the bears because of that.”

Lorcan could feel the conflict in his Queen, the emotional turmoil that was and was not because of him.  He could parse out the feelings that she could not quite hide from him in that moment.  He had made the right connections, she just wasn’t entirely willing to let them go.  He had stepped in something, and he wasn’t about to make a difficult thing even more difficult by pressing her.  ”So, far, yes.  As an outdoorsman, and in those mountains, unnecessary risks get you killed.  I mean, life is risk, but never more so than when you’re climbing, or checking the traps up near the snow caps.”  Lorcan made an effort to look innocent, ”Me?  A handful?  I’m just a simple hunter.”  He regarded her quietly when she told him not to get hurt, and then she got up and decided that was the end of their day.  He rose to his feet, and managed to say, ”But...”  Before the doors opened.

It hadn’t been that long, had it?  He didn’t want her to leave, and he didn’t know what to say to make her not.  ”Of course.”  Of course?  No, you tell her to stay, or to find another place to rest, or ask to rest nearby.  He was assured of a room close at hand, but he didn’t like that much.  ”Alright, I’ll see you in the morning.  Sleep well, Sloane.”  His mouth kept saying the polite thing, all of a sudden, his logic had control again.  Lorcan grumbled to himself as she left, and followed the women to his rooms.  He stepped insdie, and closed the door, taking a deep breath of whatever scent lingered in the air around or near him.  He debated kicking something, but decided against it, nothing in there waas his, and he had stolen a horse.  He was not going to be able to sleep, sure he had come over a mountain, but he had found his Queen, eaten to feed one need, and was now being denied another.

He eyed the bed, stripped down, and threw himself into it, intending to lie there and think for a time.  Thinking had been his plan, but even in that, his body betrayed him.  He was asleep in minutes, and rolled up in the blankets like a badger in a burrow.  He was tall, so one foot protruded and hung off the bed, one arm did as well, dangling down to the floor, and the pillows were piled in a corner so he was stretched diagonally across the bed.  Elegant tattoos in dark blue ink curled and knotted over his side, could be seen beneath the arm that hung off of the bad, as well as a clearly hairy chest.  Lorcan dreamed of Sloane, because, of course he did.