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Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Messages - Brennan Devlin

Pages: 1 2 »
1
Scelt / Re: Woven Chaos
« on: Apr 03, 19, 12:07:53 AM »

You are about to become an uncle.

Seven simple words. Brennan gaze turned to Kia, searching for any hint of deception in her face. The smile, the confidence in her words told him that she was telling the truth. She knew his feels toward most of his family members were complicated but Brennan was very, very clear about how he felt about one particular member of his family. Eamonn Sheane wasn’t the father of the baby, meaning that Brogan was.

His brother, Brogan, the Gray Jeweled golden boy of the family, was going to be someone’s father. Loreniel Killian would be that baby’s mother.

Brennan felt a swell of pity for that child. It was there.

Then it was gone.

Brogan and Loreniel had finally given in to whatever was between them, likely as a result of Brighe’s death. Loreniel probably saw it as comfort in a dark time, but Brogan...oh, Brogan. This was his chance to strengthen his tie to his Queen, the woman he loved. Despite knowing that he could never be hers, not completely, his older brother would use this baby as a means to lay claim to his Queen. Nevermind the stress and rancor it would create among her other males, Brogan wanted what he wanted and he wouldn’t stop until he got it.

But why did he deserve that kind of happiness? After all he’d done, why did he deserve to have a child with the love of his life? Why did Loreniel get to have a child after she’d visited death and destruction upon so many people?

She didn’t.

He didn’t.

We can use this.” he said at length, as the idea came to him.

Two of the most undeserving people of all time get to have a child and rule Scelt? No. No, this can’t stand. They don’t deserve a blessing like this. Clan Killian doesn’t deserve this. After all they’ve taken and all of the people they’ve ruined, they don’t deserve this.” Brennan said, his voice turning to ice.

Someone should remind them that everything has a Price. It’s time that Brogan and Lady Killian paid theirs.

2
Scelt / Re: Herding Black Sheep
« on: Apr 03, 19, 12:06:12 AM »
Brennan ate and listened to Honora, sifting through her words for the emotions beneath. The death of her husband was a wound that would have broken most people for the rest of their lives. Honora had never been that kind of person, but Brenna wouldn’t have blamed her. She stepped away from ruling for a time and found a way to put her life back together. When the time came again for her to answer the call, she did so because she was a Queen and because ruling was as natural to her as breathing.

She talked of the challenges of ruling again, and how lonely it was without her husband. Reading between the lines told Brenna just how lonely Honora truly was. She was still loyal to her husband’s memory, making it harder for her to let him go and find new love with another person. A Queen who wasn’t being tended to physically and emotionally would eventually compromise her judgement. No amount of attention from Bonded or the other members of her Court would really get through to her the way she seemed to need.

Is there truly no one, Honora?” Brennan asked, forcing a bit of warmth into his voice. He enjoyed her admission in the clinical sense because he wanted to understand his sister and learn what made her tick. The more he knew, the better he could guide her down the path he desired in the future. But this was a serious need on her part. A tense Queen who could only relax in private would do extensive damage to her Court long before anyone noticed.

I understand loneliness, you know. It’s not like anyone’s rushing to invite me to family stuff. You’re the only one that’s ever really tried.” Brennan said, offering a tight, sad smile.

I know that you don’t want to replace Donagh. No one would every ask you to push him out of your thoughts and your heart. But the moment that you find someone you can share yourself with...you’ll have done just that. But rather than thinking about replacing him...would you consider a different question?” he asked.

Would Donagh want you to go through your life missing him? Would he ask you to be alone or would he suggest that you remain open to finding someone new?

3
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Feb 19, 19, 12:18:46 AM »
Brennan remained quiet while Saskia spoke, nodding at all of the places that she could have been respected and even valued for her Caste. Even Dhemlan had a contingent of Sceltic Black Widows that held more respect than they did in their homeland. Saskia deserved that kind of respect and honor, especially for a Black Widow who wore the Gray. The Killains ruined his family and most of Scelt, but they were too power to attack directly, especially with Loreniel Killian at the head. Brennan despaired for years that he’d never be able to avenge himself against the Queen of Scelt. He could have made a life for himself elsewhere.

The woman in front of him was offering a path where his dreams could become reality. Failure meant death, or worse. His family would never forgive him. Brogan would kill him where he stood and sleep like a child. Failure meant the end of everything.

But what did he really have outside of this?

You’re a powerful woman, Kia. You could probably do all of this without me.” Brennan said. “That’s why I’m interested. If you can help me make these people pay for the things they’ve done, I can handle anything else that comes my way. I’m just sick of watching the guilty get away things because they have power.

Her fingers moving along his neck made his heart thump a little harder in his chest. Any Black Widow was a challenge in the bedroom, but trying to sate a Gray’s needs could easily kill a man through the act alone. That should have scared him, made him tread lightly and figure out how to extricate himself from her grasp before he agreed with anything she wanted, whether it was prudent or not.

Tell me what you have and mind and let’s figure out how to make it work.

He wasn’t scared.

He was ready.

4
Scelt / Re: Catching up with old friends
« on: Jan 28, 19, 02:15:09 AM »
Maeve had a nice laugh. Brennan thought that, in another life, he would have liked to hear it just for the sound of it. She was pent-up and, by her own admission, wary of most men who took interest in her. Brennan didn’t blame her. It was easy to say the right things to get a man or woman into bed. But those in positions of power had to be doubly on-guard because one slip could compromise a Court’s security in dramatic fashion. Loreniel Killian’s court was already compromised through Brighe’s attack on the Queen and everyone was in mourning right now. This was both the best and the worst time to slip in.

There are benefits to being invisible. People speak more freely around you. And you don’t end up in court gossip mill as often.” he said, sipping his own tea. “But the Queen Bond would be a little worse, in my mind. I mean, a Queen can have a good idea of how her males feel about her...but she can’t ever be sure if any love they feel would exist without that tie. And she could never be sure that her feelings were her own and not influenced by a tie.

Lots of men and women make bad choices about the people in their lives because of feelings they can’t keep in check.
” Brennan said, shrugging.

He watched Maeve for a moment, wondering over the thoughts in her head. Aine said that Maeve was a bit of a loner and Brennan understood it. Healers had the worst lot of all the Blood, in his mind. Compassion was a curse he wouldn’t wish on anyone, especially those who weren’t worthy of it. He felt bad that Maeve was tied to Loreniel Kilian, because if anyone was unworthy of compassion or understanding, it was that bitch.

Maeve set her cup down and untied her apron, tossing it aside. Brennan leaned back in his chair and watched her cross the space between them. He smiled as she straddled him and sat down. His hands caressed her back slowly, gently, from her shoulders all the way to the base of her spine. Then they moved over the curve of her ass, where they came to rest as Brennan grasp became firmer.

I’m not done listening to you speak, Maeve. Not even close. But if you’re okay with us being here...you need to lock the door and then take off that gown. If anyone walks in here and sees you naked, I’d have to gouge out their eyes.” Brennan said, a slight growl in his tone.

I don’t want your work getting in the way of our talk.

5
Scelt / Re: Herding Black Sheep
« on: Jan 28, 19, 02:13:25 AM »
Perhaps it was best that he didn’t expect Honora to offer him the benefit of her Craft, for he would have declined if he had any warning. He wanted no reason to feel relaxed in her presence, but the warmth and calmness she provided helped him to think. Honora wasn’t a bad person, but she was a Queen. Queens had expectations of the world and the people around them, expectations that Brennan wasn’t comfortable letting anyone place upon him without his leave. Mention of Brighe caused her a bit of pain and a thread of annoyance welled up in the Opal Prince as he sat down.

One dead girl made everyone lose their little minds.

Yeah, it’s nice to just be able to talk sometimes, Honora. I can’t really do that with anyone else.” he said, smiling at her. He would reach for the nearby pitcher of water and pour himself a glass. Then he took up his plate with some of the nearby cheese and crackers to start off. Brennan had a very healthy appetite on account of his Opal Jewel, but he liked to sharpen it with smaller bites of food to begin. It also allowed him to participate in the discussion more than if he was cramming his mouth full of food.

Brennan sipped his water for a moment and considered which words would make his sister most likely to part with information he could use.

But really, Honora, how are you doing?” he asked, popping a cracker into his mouth.

6
Scelt / Re: Woven Chaos
« on: Jan 06, 19, 02:30:48 PM »
Brennan grinned as Saskia pressed against him. She was good at her work; Brennan was optimistic that their guest would be ready to fulfill his new duties sooner than they expected. He was making his own inroads into the Territory Court, but those methods were slower (although more fun) than what Saskia had in mind. Maeve’s need for attention and friendship would have her baring her soul to him in good time. For now, he focused on Saskia’s words as she reported that there was more salacious news to report from the Court. He wondered if, perhaps, Loreniel Killian had decided to throw herself off a cliff and spare Scelt decades of her rule? It was more wishful thinking than anything.

Loreniel Killian would never willingly hand over her power.

His hands trailed down Saskia’s sides, resting at her hips. He stopped just short of grasping her ass, knowing what would happen if he pushed the envelope too quickly. They’d often ended up in bed without intending it, only meaning to talk about some new piece of information from her sources or her visions. He didn’t mind it, but she was being (mostly) professional right now. He respected her leadership and station within the Lace Initiative and showing that respect would keep his louder detractors from trying to whisper in her ear against him in the near future. They already disliked him for his closeness to her. He couldn’t give them reasons to question his loyalty or her judgement.

But the words she spoke to him caused his eyes to bore deep into her own. Surprise was most apparent on his face, but that settled into an expression of grim determination and ice-cold calculation. He stepped away from Saskia, looking down at the floor. She’d seen him deep in thought before and this was the prelude to that state of mind. He’d be pacing soon enough, though he often tried to avoid that just because he didn’t like making her jumpy.

The father doesn’t even matter, really. I bet it’s that traitor Eamonn whelp, anyway. She wouldn’t whore herself out to anyone else. But this is good news. Her focus will be split and there’s opportunity here.” Brennan said.

Nine months without her jewels, without Craft, and no visions. Then months of recovery if all goes well. Then she has to split her focus between ruling and bein’ a mother. Unless she loses one or both of those things.” Brenna said.

He paused in his pacing to look at Saskia. He could see the wheels turning in her mind through her expression. She wasn’t easy to read but his skill was growing with every moment they spent together. She knew that he hated Loreniel for neutering his family, so delivering the message in person was important. But there was something in her gaze that hinted at more. She’d asked him to guess who the father was, and now Brennan’s mind was turning. Why not just tell him outright, unless….

What aren’t you telling me, Kia? You see something in your webs about this?” he asked. His tone was playful but he wanted to know what she was hiding.

7
Scelt / Re: Herding Black Sheep
« on: Nov 16, 18, 01:56:15 AM »
Brennan told himself that showing up was just service to his larger plan. He didn’t need anything from his family. They’d all made their choices over the years, and they’d chosen Brogan and his bitch of a Queen. If not for Saskia’s needs and the goals of the Lace Initiative, Brennan wouldn’t have written back to Honora at all. But when Brennan reviewed the missive, he saw a way to turn Honora’s good will to his advantage. It was a long shot, but having a Queen sing his praises would go a long, long way to making Saskia’s plan more successful. He just had to survive a little bit of family time to get it done.

Today, the needs of the many outweighed his need for comfort.

Brennan trimmed his beard and bought himself new clothes. Whether or not he wanted to be here, he was a Prince and he would conduct himself like one. His (adopted) sister was a Province Queen and if word of this got back to his father, or Brogan, he would have them hear how he showed up and showed her the respect due her station. He’d done the same after the funeral, not wanting any trace of his prior resentment to be detected by his family.

Honora’s butler was professional, even a warm, and showed him inside quickly. He didn’t turn up his nose at Brennan’s arrival the way most of his family would have. The man also didn’t try to make small-talk with him, which Brennan appreciated. He was good at small-talk, but it quickly chafed him and rubbed his nerves raw. Once inside Honora’s private sitting room, Brennan smiled at his sister and stepped forward to offer his hands in greeting.

Lady Dunne, thank you for taking the time to meet with me.” he said, keeping his tone formal before the Dainty Dictator. He’d let her decide how hard they stood on Protocol, so as not to give offense. He didn’t think that the barrier between them would remain for long, but he also wanted to prove that he was still well-versed in Protocol and its cues.

I’m sorry about, Brighe. It…” he sighed, seeming to struggle with the words. “I thought I was past all the death and sadness. This whole thing hasn’t sat well with me.

I’m sorry. I didn’t meant to just start running my mouth. Uh, how are you doing?


8
Scelt / Re: Woven Chaos
« on: Nov 16, 18, 01:54:34 AM »
*Darling, I have news you’ll want to hear. Meet me in our chambers.*

Brennan’s hand froze midway through the sentence that he was writing as Saskia’s thread came through. He evaluated the tone of her mental voice for a second, then returned to his writing. She didn’t sound like she was in the mood yet, but Brennan knew that the Gray Jeweled Black Widow could go from business to pleasure in a snap. All the same, he finished writing his acceptance of his sister’s invitation to tea. He’d been surprised to receive the missive from Honora, but when he thought about it, it served his plans (and Saskia’s) to respond with civility and warmth. He needed to rebuild his reputation in Scelt and few things would do that faster than the good wood of a Queen or two. It was something he’d been thinking about pitching to Saskia, so he was glad that she called for him.

But now he wanted to hear this news she believed was so important.

He handed his response to one of the Black Widows he passed, asking her kindly to see that it got to Lady Dunne’s Court. He flashed her one of his best smiles, still unsure if the woman before him would kill him for his presumption or just make him pay in some other way. Given his...thing...with Saskia, the woman took the letter and left it at that. Brennan turned and headed off toward the chambers he shared with Saskia feeling a little bit lighter. Each step in that direction, though, sharpened his hunger. Sharing Saskia’s bed was a demanding role, but not nearly as demanding as working with the Lace Initiative. It challenged and stimulated his mind. Everything they did, every success they earned, no matter how small, was just one more rung on the ladder to reshaping Scelt into the Territory that it was always meant to be. Someday soon, these sad people with their small minds would be forced to reevaluate the lies that they’d been fed and start thinking for themselves.

That day would likely be the day following the utter and complete destruction of Loreniel Fucking Killian.

He opened the door to find Saskia waiting for him. He walked in and pulled her into a deep kiss, the one he’d been meaning to give her all day. He wanted to give her more than that, of course, but she’d called him here for business. They had plenty of time to enjoy each other later, once Saskia finished converting her newest disciple. Brennan almost felt sorry for the guy, but not really.

Hey there, beautiful. So...what’s the big news? Did it work? Is our guest prepared for his mission?” Brennan asked.

9
Scelt / Re: Catching up with old friends
« on: Nov 16, 18, 01:53:35 AM »
Brennan laughed. It wasn’t the boisterous laugh of mocking or trying to make Maeve feel silly, but the gently laugh of someone who understood what she was saying and what she was going through. Maeve was a Healer. She cared about people because it was written into her soul like words in the pages of a book. Compassion wasn’t just part of her job, it was a way of life. Brennan tried to imagine the number of people who took advantage of that compassion on a daily basis without giving anything back. Or who only gave Maeve enough to reel her in before casting her aside once more.

Brennan figured the number to be large. That’s why she was here, working, rather than at home with people who loved her, or a man who’d help her work through her emotions in a different way.

Wait, hold on, Maeve. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re the High Healer for the Territory Court, aren’t you? That’s huge. There are a lot of people who are never going to make it that far in their whole lives! Not to mention you’re a beautiful woman in her prime. I just figured that you were still enjoying playing the field.” he said, smiling at her.

Guess I didn’t think you needed the rain to get wet.” he said, laughing again.

Really, though, Maeve...we can talk about our problems. We can have tea and be friends, like we always have. I wouldn’t mind.” he said, his gaze focusing on her. It sharpened now, to something hungrier and deeper than it had been a moment ago.

But then I also wouldn’t mind having you come to my place sometime and having a talk without all of our clothes on, either.” he said.

10
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Nov 16, 18, 01:52:17 AM »
Brennan ate and listened. Saskia understood what it meant to be an outcast. Black Widows in Scelt had a terrible lot in life. The ones who lived to adulthood had either lived abroad, like Saskia, or they stayed to be beaten and whipped into submission like the Black Widows of Scelt’s Hourglass Coven. That Loreniel Killian had risen to rule Scelt should have meant that things were changing, but all it took was one look at the Black Widows of the Territory, the ones that lived roaches when they should have been running things, to know that nothing would ever change unless someone made it change.

Back after Loreniel Killian collected her Price, I wanted help to bring her and her Court down. Went looking for someone who I thought would help. Never found him, though. Then I went to visit my mother in Glacia. You’d be highly respected there, as a Black Widow with deep standing in the Abyss. But I understand wanting to come back and fight for what’s yours. Going to another Territory is easy. You can stay there, get a job, make a lot of money. All the money in the world can’t buy you pride or self-respect. And running away from you problems makes it hard to look in the mirror.” Brenna said, looking away from Saskia.

One day you’re out there, somewhere in the world, and no matter how happy you think you should be….all you can see is a coward.” he said, growling the last word between clenched teeth.

So I came home. I don’t care if I die, anymore. I don’t even care if they break my jewels when it’s over. I just need to hurt a few people so bad that they never, ever get over it...and I can die a happy man.” Brenna said.

But if I’m being honest, I’ve no intention of dying. I just want to make a lot of people wish they were dead.” he said.

11
Scelt / Re: Catching up with old friends
« on: Aug 24, 18, 01:53:30 AM »
If Brennan Devlin was a humble man, he would have laughed off Maeve’s awkward moments and let them be. A humble man would recognize his friend’s grief and look for ways to lessen it. A humble and compassionate man would gently turn away Maeve’s flirtation, recognizing that, perhaps, she wasn’t in the mindspace to need anything more than a shoulder to cry on or just someone to hear her out while she purged her pain. Maeve Doyle was used to going unseen, used to being looked past while other, more interesting people were around. A good friend would help her without an ulterior motive.

Saskia had better appreciate the sacrifices he was going to make for their plan.

That’s, uh, that’s the funny thing, Maeve. Physically, I feel great. Everywhere else... I feel like I’ve lost a step. I’m out of touch with everything going on around these parts. After everything with the Sheanes, I did some wandering, Maeve. I had to see the world. But I came back and it feels like the world’s gone on without me.” Brennan said, looking down at the floor. He shrugged, a gesture of resignation in regards to that point.

Coming back and seeing you, though...it’s nice. Better than nice. I don’t know anything about chemistry. I just know that being around you feels good. I like it.” Brennan said.

But I’m still getting over a few things. Still trying to figure out what’s in store for me now. You know that Brogan and I don’t exactly get along. Understatement of the century, I know.” Brennan said. He hated Brogan. Brogan hated him right back. Brennan saw no reason to deny it, especially when it was readily apparent whenever they were in the same location.

I mean, we could try it the old-fashioned way. Or...we could just be there for each other when necessary. We’re both in a rough place right now. We’re both supporting a lot of people. We’ve both got a lot of people leaning on us, right?

Who do we lean on when it’s too much?
” Brennan asked.

12
Scelt / Re: Unlaced & Dangerous: Laid to Rest
« on: Mar 27, 18, 11:15:56 PM »
Brennan listened while his little sister explained the habits of the High Healer of Scelt. She sounded sad. Pitiful. Depressing. Like the kind of woman who needed a cock and didn’t know how to ask for one. Brennan liked those women because they were the kind who’d part with pretty good information for the price of a few good fucks. Brennan briefly considered just how bad of an idea it was to sleep with another woman so soon after sleeping with a Gray Black Widow, but pushed any worries aside. If this plan was going to work, Kia was just going to have to accept that sacrifices needed to be made.

Especially the kind where Brennan had sex with friends from his youth who needed an ego boost.

Hey, hey...I’ll take any advice you can give, Aine. Just, uh, don’t tell anyone I’m interested. I don’t want it becoming fodder for court gossip, if you catch my meaning.” he said, giving her a playful squeeze.

I’ll buy you all the ale you can drink, Aine, but...something you said...I need to put on my ‘Big Brother’ hat and talk about it.” Brennan said, pausing so that he could turn and face her, placing both hands on her shoulders.

Brighe’s not hurting anymore. When I was away, I saw a few places. Learned a lot about how other lands worship Mother Night.” he said.

Mother Night and May the Darkness be Merciful. We all say that a lot, but we really don’t ponder what it means. Mother Night is merciful. It’s peaceful and warm and kind. There are no fake people. And it doesn’t matter what Jewels you have or what Caste you hold. Mother Night sees inside our hearts. I’m sad that Brighe’s gone...but I know she’s in a better place. I want you to know that, too.” Brennan said.

He pulled his little sister into a hug once more, letting her get out any lingering sadness.

Okay, now do you want to go get some ale? That little sermon made me thirsty.” he said, pulling back to grin at her and lead the way to the tavern where he’d first met Kia.

13
Scelt / Re: Catching up with old friends
« on: Mar 27, 18, 10:56:06 PM »
Brennan nodded at her explanation of her duties and the court’s needs. He didn’t care about any of that, but he understood why Maeve was working herself so hard. Even without the grief of losing a friend, a Healer needed to take care of people, needed to control their world through their care for others. Brennan had seen it so many times with Caprice that he recognized it in Maeve before his conscious mind placed a label on it. All the times that Caprice gave and gave of herself to help other people and--

Genuine sadness played across Brennan’s face just then and the Prince sighed deeply.

Maeve, you don’t need to justify anything or explain anything. Believe me, I get it. You lose someone close and you need something...anything to make the world make sense. Because the world doesn’t make any sense until you force it to.” Brennan said, sighing once more.

She cleared a chair and Brennan sat in it, shaking his head when she asked if he was ill.

No, I’m not ill, Maeve. Like I said, I wanted to come and check on you. Aine said you and Brighe were close, too. She’s pretty beat up about this. It still hasn’t sunk in for me. It will later, I bet, when I’m by myself but I couldn’t let Aine see. I wanted to check on the friends I have. You know, all two of you, before I started looking for a place to be.” Brennan said.

Aine was practically pushing me to chase after you at funeral. I think she thinks we, ah, have chemistry.” Brennan said, a nervous chuckle escaping his lips.

But I mean, we would know something like that, wouldn’t we?

14
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Mar 06, 18, 12:21:55 AM »
She confirmed that she’d been watching him for awhile, making Brennan wonder how long “a while” was. Was it just since he’d returned home? Was it before that? Black Widows could look into the future and see the various ways that life would turn out. Brennan envied that ability because it would have saved him a lot of pain and suffering knowing that he’d always come in second to Brogan no matter how hard he tried. If he’d known back then everything the knew now, Brennan would have focused on carving out his own life long ago. Instead, he’d wasted years upon years twisting himself out of shape to please a family that would never want him for who he was.

Her stomach rumbled, breaking him out of his reverie. He smirked and nodded when she said she was going to get food. He watched her walk, nothing the sway of her hips and the curve of her ass as she moved way. Had she just put on a little show for him? Brennan didn’t mind at all; Kia held all the cards right now. At the Gray, she stood as deep in the Abyss as Brogan. And I just fucked her. She had the same ability to crush him that his own brother did. It wouldn’t be an effortless thing, but it would be a final one when all was said and done. A Gray Black Widow had taken an interest in him, which meant that he was either going to be a pawn in some kind of scheme...or that he had something she wanted. Brennan knew that it was smart to be afraid of her, but more than that, he was intrigued.

When she returned with the food, Brennan waited for Kia to take what she wanted before popping a bit of cheese into his mouth, followed by a bit of the ham. He sighed, eyes closing in delight as he ate. Brennan loved food and he wore the Opal, so he understood the hungers, food and otherwise, of someone who stood deep in the Abyss.

Kindred spirits. I guess I can see that. Granted, I haven’t had it nearly as bad as you and every other Black Widow in this shithole place. The worst I can say is that my family doesn’t respect me because I won’t get down on both knees and kiss Loreniel Killian’s overly-large ass.” Brennan said.

Black Widows have been gettin’ the shaft around here for centuries, though. You know, I’ve been to Dhemlan and Little Terreille. Both places, they got a lot of immigrants. Sceltic Black Widows trying to make a new life for themselves. I almost left this place and never came back.” he said.

He looked at her now, eyes narrowing as he tried to discern whether or not she’d lie to him right now.

You can go anywhere in Kaeleer, and a lot of places in Terreille, and make a better life for yourself that you’d have here.” Brennan said.

So why stay in Scelt?” he asked.

15
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Feb 14, 18, 11:38:52 PM »
She called him a “fabulous lay” and Brennan couldn’t help the self-satisfied smirk that crossed his lips in answer to her own. He found it hard to believe, however, that Kia--no, Saskia--had trouble getting men to come to her bed. The only thing that Brennan Devlin could take from that statement was that Sceltic men were blind and stupid if they’d let an obviously blessed woman like Kia (that was her name, damn it) slip through their fingers. He was fine with it, though. Brennan understood the truth about the Black Widow before him, a truth that many people in Scelt were too damned short-sighted to see:

She was a holy creature and deserved to be treated as such, and not just for the Gray she wore.

Brennan understood Glacia’s religion and what it meant for Kia to hold such standing in the Abyss. It meant that she was a woman to be feared, to be respected, and to be cherished above all else. Here in Scelt, though, she’d only get the first of those, with the second given grudgingly and the third an impossibility.

I’m still callin’ you Kia. Unless you plan to stop me?” he asked, a note of challenge in his tone. He was still very aware that she could kill him outright and no one would ever know where to find the body. Brennan wasn’t worried, though. He was a fabulous lay and something told him that Kia wanted something more from him than just a good fuck tonight. She’d entrusted him with her secrets. He didn’t think a bit of a cock would make her unburden herself to him so easily. Not on the first night they met.

Which meant…

So how long have you been watching me, Kia? Or...did you see something in your webs about me? I’m not one for coincidence and I don’t really go in for luck. If you brought me here, it’s because you need more than just someone who isn’t afraid of you.” he said.

Kindred spirits, you say.” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

Tell me what’s going through that pretty head of yours.” he said.

16
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Jan 20, 18, 03:12:16 PM »
He’d expected her to own up to being married or take it as an insult. Hard experience told Brennan that any time someone, male or or female, said that they needed to confess something, it wasn’t good. He’d been prepared for all kinds of bad news. He’d even been prepared (Mother Night forbid) for Kia to tell him that, not only did she know who he was, but that she’d fucked Brogan at some point. Brennan’s luck was beyond rotten at times, and the culmination of that luck was learning that his older brother had ruined something else for him long before he found it.

Her initial admission, that she wasn’t a witch, earned a raised eyebrow. She was clearly a Witch to him. A sexy, well-built, amazing-in-bed witch. He blinked once, then again, as the Opal Prince tried to anticipate where this conversation was headed.

O...kay?” Brennan said, resisting the urge to laugh. She was clearly nervous about whatever she preparing to say. She wasn’t married. She wasn’t a Witch.

She’s going to tell me she fucked Brogan.

Brennan was prepared to gather up his clothes and leave the moment she said that. He wouldn’t stand for being laughed at by his brother, being made a fool of after everything he’d lost.

I’m a Black Widow.

Brennan froze. He swung back to Kia, surprise evident on his face where anger had almost taken over.

You’re a Black Widow?” he asked. There was no anger or judgement present in his voice, just a genuine curiosity and desire to make sure he heard her right. It didn’t mean that she hadn’t fucked Brogan...but it did meant that it was far, far less likely that she had. He waited for her to confirm before reaching and taking her hands. Both of them.

You...didn’t have to tell me that, Kia. You could have let me walk out of here none the wiser.

Brennan said, looking down at her right hand, the one that he knew would have the snaketooth. Black Widows were anathema in Scelt. While Brennan didn’t know that level of fear and ostracism in his own life, he knew what it was to be the black sheep of his family, tolerated but never truly accepted the way that even his adopted siblings were. All because of his mother’s Caste.

My mother was a Black Widow. She never got a fair shake. They ended up driving her out of Scelt. My brother wrote her off like she was some kind of monster.” Brennan said.

He lifted Kia’s hand and kissed it.

You didn’t know how I’d react to that, but you told me anyway. You took a chance on me. A lot of people don’t do that.” he said, looking down now, away from her eyes. Somehow, all the people ever did ended up dead.

In case you’re wondering, I won’t tell anyone.” he said.

But why did you tell me? I mean, my family isn’t exactly as open-minded as I am about Black Widows. I could’ve been just as bad.

So why take the chance?
” he asked, curious about her motives.

17
Scelt / Re: Catching up with old friends
« on: Dec 10, 17, 03:31:35 PM »
The funeral was a sad day for most people. Brennan made the polite noises and said the right things in the days following it, examining his feelings on the passing of his adopted sister several days after the fact. His conclusion remained the same as it had on the day of the funeral and all through his talks with Aine as he counseled her through her grief:

He really didn’t give a fuck about Brighe’s death.

He’d sat with that feeling, tried to really understand it. She’d never done anything against him. She’d never been unnaturally cruel to him. But she was close to Loreniel Killian, the Scourge of Scelt, Queen to the Prodigal Son, his older brother, Brogan, and that was problem. Brogan and Loreniel loved her. They were probably devastated by her death and that lessened Brennan’s compassion for the girl to nonexistent. He’d be hearing about the “tragedy” of her death for months and years after all of this, but really...she was just the first in a series of losses for the Territory Court.

That thought pleased him.

Another piece of his sister’s advice had stuck with him since their talk, concerning Maeve Doyle. Aine was a Ward of the Court and, by necessity, would hear gossip and tidbits of information that he could use in the future and pass along to others. She couldn’t be his only source of information, though, because there was so much that Aine wasn’t privy to. Instead, he needed someone placed a bit higher in the Court, someone close enough to Loreniel and her Circles that Brennan could determine the rest of the movers and shakers in Loreniel’s life.

His decision brought him to Maeve’s door a few days after the funeral, finding her hard at work. She was a pretty woman, but she looked like hell right now. Wise enough to know that saying it aloud wouldn’t get him anywhere, except thrown out, Brennan arrived and simply let his eyes rake over the Healer slowly. Perhaps he was just taking in her clothing and deciding she looked pretty even while hard at work. Perhaps he was peeling away each layer of fabric, undressing her with his eyes briefly before averting his gaze with mock-bashfulness. Either way, Brennan was clearly interested in Maeve’s form and he smiled at her innocent question and the use of his nickname.

Hello Bren, what can I do for you?

Get on your knees and wrap your lips around my cock.

Strip down, bend over that table and let me have a go.

Take me to your room and tell everyone you’re busy for the rest of the day.


Other answers fought for dominance in his mind. Instead, Brennan’s expression softened a little as he looked at Maeve. It wasn’t pity, so much as the sad gaze of an old friend who now understood that she wasn’t bury her feelings beneath her need to serve and help others. If she got him talking about what he needed, then she wouldn’t talk about what was on her mind. Namely, Brighe’s death.

He sighed mentally, knowing his little sister’s death would continue to be the gift that kept on giving. Maybe, just maybe, he could get a little something from it.

Hey, Maeve. I came to check in on you. Haven’t seen you since the funeral and...I started thinking about what I’d do if someone I knew did something that made no sense and then they were just gone. I’d probably go back to work and not deal with it.

So I came to make sure you weren’t doing that, you know?
” he said, watching her like he knew that she was doing exactly that.

18
Scelt / Re: Unlaced & Dangerous: Laid to Rest
« on: Dec 10, 17, 02:51:54 PM »
Brennan watched Maeve leave, then looked back down at Aine when she said that Maeve wasn’t seeing anyone. While he didn’t like most of his siblings on principle, Aine was occupying a strange place in Brennan’s perceptions. She was openly affectionate toward him and she was looking out for his personal life. He reminded himself that she was one of the strays, the adopted ones that his father insisted on taking in because he was a fucking bleeding heart who could raise other people’s kids yet be so inept with his own, and that Aine meant nothing more to him than Brighe had.

Yet he had to tell himself that just a little more while she hugged him.

Ah, probably no need. Maeve’s grown up, is all. Pretty sure she’s got suitors knocking down her door looking to change that whole ‘not-seeing-anyone’ thing she’s got going.” Brennan said, looking down and smiling at her through his close cropped beard. It was easy to see, up close, the mixture of Glacian and Sceltic features in his face. He favored his mother more than Brennan did, something that he never forgot.

She said that she didn’t blame herself for Brighe and Brennan nodded. That makes two of us. I know you would’ve done something if you could have. It’s just that funerals make people get all weepy and guilty and soon everyone’s reviewing everything they’ve ever done and said trying to take blame for something they had no hand in.

In the end, Brighe did this for reasons we’ll never know. I hope that she finds peace with Mother Night.
” Brennan said.

He turned and started to lead her away from the funeral. Sure, it might be bad form to leave before the whole thing was over, but Brennan saw that Aine was clearly unhappy about this. Better yet, she was hungry and her declaration of loyalty to Brennan gave him an idea. Well, one more idea on top of all of the others in his head.

He needed an ally in the family. Someone who’d never turn on him, despite all of the things he’d done and would do. He needed someone that Brogan would hesitate to strike against, even if he wanted Brennan’s blood. Now his little “sister” was here, declaring that she’d stand by him despite his status as the family’s black sheep. He leaned down and kissed her the top of her head.

If you want to go, I'll take you. Despite everything, I’ve missed being home. I missed all of you. I just want to make sure that you and I good first, before I talk to Pa and everyone else.” he said.

Lunch is on me. We’ll talk about anything you want.” Brennan said.

19
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Oct 23, 17, 10:13:41 PM »
Brennan couldn’t remember the last time he’d been with a woman like Kia. She was fun, great in bed, and she left marks that Brennan couldn’t wait to take stock of when he had the time later. Their coupling was furious and long-lasting, enough to make Brennan wonder if there was a man at home who wasn’t doing his job. As far as Brennan knew, this was only a one-night occurrence. His dreams, however, painted a world where Kia woke him regularly with that wicked mouth of his, bringing him to climax over and over.

The sensation of that mouth wrapped around his cock left him unable to distinguish his dreams from reality until he climaxed again and fell asleep once more. Further dreams showed him a life where he and Kia found a nice home, lots of babies, and a life where he didn’t hate the idea of family. In his dreams, his family loved him and honored him, never choosing his siblings over him just to hurt him.

Heart racing, his eyes opened to find Kia kissing his throat. Brennan pulled her closer to him, his hand resting on the curve of her ass while he stared up at the ceiling. He had so much to do. Loreniel Killian’s life had to be ruined. Brogan needed to be broken of both his jewels and left to live his life in pain and suffering until he killed himself or died of natural causes. He took a deep breath and exhaled the growing rage that rested near his heart whenever he thought about the Territory Queen and his stooge of a brother.

Yeah, Kia. What’s up?

I have a confession.

Brennan rolled his eyes. He knew it was coming to this. He’d figured it out between falling asleep and waking up now. He should have known it was coming.

Let me guess. You’re married.

20
Scelt / Re: Unlaced & Dangerous: Laid to Rest
« on: Oct 21, 17, 01:20:00 AM »
Brennan honestly couldn’t give two shits about Brighe’s death, but everyone here expected him to look sad and feel bad about it, so that’s what he gave them. Aine was upset and that touched a nerve in Brennan, one that he hadn’t expected. Maybe it was just because he hated seeing women crying or being upset. Maybe it was because he didn’t hate her quite as much as he hated much of his family. Whatever the reason, Brennan held Aine’s hand and attempted to be a source of support in (for her) a dark time.

Maeve obeyed Protocol to the hilt and Brennan responded in kind. She was being nice to Aine, so Brennan didn’t hate her. But she served Loreniel Kilian and that was a mark against the Healer. Loreniel Killian wasn’t worthy to a patch of dirt drowned in piss, let alone all of Scelt. Yet these people would leave this funeral and go back to kissing Loreniel’s ass just because she’d been fast enough to crawl over all the dead bodies and claim the throne for herself.

She’s gonna fall someday. Just wait.

Thank you, Lady Maeve. I appreciate it. I just wish...I just wish there’s something I could do. I hate feelin’ powerless.” Brennan said, sighing deeply as he held his sister close.

Maeve excused herself, saying she needed to rest, and Brennan nodded in acceptance of the fact. Was she going to bed alone these days? He’d have to find that out. He spared a glance as she walked away and contented himself with confirmation of his original analysis:

Maeve’s ass was spectacular.

I’ll do that, Lady Maeve. See you soon.

He turned his attention back to Aine.

Look, I know why we’re here, Aine. But do you want to go grab a bite to eat when this is over? You shouldn’t be alone right now. I want to make sure you don’t do something crazy like blame yourself for all of this. And maybe you can tell me how everyone is doing in the meantime.

Not sure that everyone will be happy to see me, so I don’t want to advertise that I’m home just yet. Okay?


21
Scelt / Re: Unlaced & Dangerous: Laid to Rest
« on: Aug 06, 17, 10:35:35 PM »
Brennan saw Aine coming closer. She’d be near enough to speak to him soon. Of all the strays his father had taken in, of all his supposed family, he disliked Aine least. She was a pretty girl with a kind heart and she’d always been kind to him. Often times, he pitied her status as a Ward of Loreniel’s Court. Could she see how corrupting the woman was? Could she see how terrible Loreniel truly was? The Queen of Scelt ordered the deaths of an entire clan and no one spoke up. No one.

Am I too old for a hug?

Brennan stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Aine, catching her up in a powerful hug. He held on as long as he needed, knowing that she’d been close to Brighe. Personally, Brennan didn’t give two shits that Brighe was dead. Aine did, though. Voicing his opinion of the deceased wouldn’t help anything and would create more issues than it solved.

Never.” he said, answering her question.

I’m so sorry, Aine. I only just got back and I just heard about all of this. If I’d known, I...I’d have come to see you the day it happened.” Brennan said. Not a lie, but not the full truth, either.

Brennan offered a nod and a tight smile to Maeve, his eyes lingering on the Healer maybe a second longer than was proper. Let her see that, even now, he found her attractive. She’d not think of it until later, most likely, but it would catch her interest. Maybe she’d at least be willing to speak to him after Aine felt good enough to face the others. Then he could learn the real mood of the Court before he spoke to the Steward about talking to Loreniel.

How...how did this happen?” Brennan asked, infusing his voice with just the right mix of confusion and pain. He released his little sister and stepped back, looking into her eyes. His eyes were damp with unspent tears. The beard truly did add a few years to him, making him seem older than his thirty years. Under this light, it was also easy to see hints of Brennan’s Glacian heritage in the color of his eyes and set of his jaw. Part of him thought, sometimes, that staying in Glacia was the better idea. He could have carved out a real life there, maybe with a beautiful woman in his bed.

He would never have been happy, but he would have been safe.

No one will talk to me, and I understand that, but she was my sister. I…” he said, sighing.

I just want to come back to my family.

22
Scelt / Re: Unlaced & Dangerous: Laid to Rest
« on: Jul 29, 17, 12:17:53 AM »
Perhaps they should have expected him.

Brennan arrived at the service quietly and without drawing attention to himself. In all honesty, he hated the the woman speaking. He hated Brogan, bastard that he was. He hated most of his adopted siblings, the “strays” as he called them in his mind, where no one else could hear him. The entire scene before him was sickening, the mourning of a life lost before it got properly started and all of that lovely shit that people said at funerals, but didn’t really mean. If Brighe was so damned lovely, then perhaps Loreniel and her people would have found a way to help her, rather than slaughter her outright.

But defending the Queen of Scelt meant using lethal force without any thought for the consequence.

That’s why they would lose, in the end. They only knew how to do things the hard way, only knew one way to solve their problems.

Brennan resisted the urge to smirk, his expression remaining somber as he adjusted the lapels of his black suit.

Well, Brighe, it only took dying to make you useful. Everyone’s got a purpose, though.

Brennan’s eyes scanned the crowd, looking about for the rest of his family. He saw Aine’s fiery mane up near the front, with...was that Maeve? If it was, her ass had only gotten better with time. Brennan noted a few other people, not the least of which were Brogan and his Queen up at the front. Lorenial Killian had turned his family into lapdogs for her agenda, supporters of her thirst for power. The Devlin name used to mean something other than being the Killian’s lapdogs.

Maybe, when he was done, it would stand for something again.

A couple of people noticed him, just then, but he paid them no mind. No one had forgotten his refusal to serve Loreniel or his issues with Brogan. They would know he was here soon enough. There was time to leave now, if he wanted.

No. He would not leave. He would not give them the satisifaction of driving him away again. He wouldn’t run away from them again.

Never again.

23
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Jun 19, 17, 11:02:26 PM »
Prove it.” Brennan said, half-growling the dare in response to Kia’s boast that her tongue was equally clever to his. He’d loved hearing her scream his name. Now he wanted to feel her mouth around his cock, bringing him to the edge before he finally took what he’d wanted from Kia since the moment he saw her. He didn’t care that they just met. He didn’t give a damn that he’d probably never see her again after this. All Brennan cared about was purging his pain in the only way he knew how, the only way that didn’t make him hate himself afterward.
 
Prove it.” he repeated, as she kissed her way down his stomach.
 
Kia did.
 
He laid back on the bed, feeling his cock slip deeper into her mouth, hitting the back of her throat. She was better than all of the women in Dhemlan, better than the stupid bitches here in Scelt, the ones who’d wanted him solely because of his last name and his connection to the family. Better than all of them combined.
 
She was better than Caprice, though it would be later in the following day before Brennan admitted that, even to himself.
 
Fingers tangled in her red hair, urging her own with hands and groans, demandign that she work harder for him, that she bring him as far as she dared. When he nearly went over the edge, Brennan stopped her, showing her what he wanted next. He wanted to pin her down and fuck her as hard as he could, wanted to feel her legs around his waist while she urged him on. If she stopped, he’d lay her down on the bed, looking into her eyes and favoring her with his hungriest smile.
 
His cock pushed into the folds of her sex, inch by torturous inch, until he was buried inside of her. Brennan waited until he felt Kia’s nails dig into his shoulder blades. He plunged himself into her core, claiming her as his own.
 
For tonight, at least.

24
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Jun 11, 17, 01:04:52 PM »
While playing games with Kia was fun, and Brennan liked it, her moans tore slivers out of his self-control, leaving it in tatters before him. She commanded him and he half-growled, half-moaned in response to the fire in Brennan saw in her eyes, reflected in his. He vanished his pants, now naked before her. His fingers teased her just a little bit longer and then Brennan withdrew them and licked them clean, murmuring at the taste of her left on his tongue.
 
No, that’s not gonna be enough for me.
 
He threw her down on the bed, spread her legs, and then knelt between them. His mouth closed on her nether lips without warning. Brennan’s eyes rolled back as pure, unvarnished pleasure rolled through him while his tongue laved Kia’s core and he stained himself with her desire. The Opal Prince was skilled, but it didn’t stop him from using Seduction Craft to determine just which flickering of his tongue she loved most, to seek out her breast with his right hand and massage it, teasing her nipples. He turned each of those sensations upon itself, increasing her pleasure twofold. Every scream, every sigh, every roll of her hips against him in turn doubled Brennan’s pleasure and he continued until she climaxed for him or demanded that he stop.
 
Brennan wasn’t done though. He let images of all the ways he’d fuck flow through her while his tongue massaged her pearl. He was enamored of the idea where he bent her over something, anything, everything , and pumped himself into her from behind. The idea of dominating her that way appealed to him more than anything else, but he was going to enjoy Kia no matter how long it took this evening.
 
He let the heat between them burn away any thought that didn’t include pleasing beyond measure.

25
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Jun 11, 17, 11:59:12 AM »
Kia’s response to his kiss made him smile. She giggled now, but she’d be screaming soon. He had all night to draw out those screams and those other little sounds of pleasure that would make the both remember tonight long after all of the marks on their bodies faded. Destroying Loreniel Killian’s life, her Court, and all of her weakling followers was the new focus of his life, the goal that he’d devote himself to until it succeeded or he was dead. All of that, however, would come tomorrow.
 
Tonight he’d have some fun.
 
Oh, well we can’t let all of these clothes get in the way, can we?” Brenna said, taking over the undoing of the buttons. He could have vanished his clothing all together in a single move, but she’d made him wait at the bar plus the entire walk to this place. He’d played the gentleman and not given in to the desires that had prodded at him since he laid eyes on her. But he was about to get everything he wanted. There was no need to rush or throw her down and mount her like he’d just walked into a Red Moon house.
 
His shirt unbuttoned, Brennan tossed it aside and caught Kia’s lips in another hungry kiss. She’d done well to hide her caste, but Brennan’s hunger was just as fierce, just as demanding as her own. He got rid of the cloak, followed by her top and her bra, wanting to feel her skin against his. She was warm, and soft, and real, and his cock strained inside his pants. Brennan’s right hand grasped a handful of Kia’s fiery hair and pulled, drawing her up so that he could look at her face.
 
His left hand slipped inside of her skirt and sought her sex, teasing those slick depths in preparation for burying himself within her and making the world go away.

26
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: May 29, 17, 08:59:48 PM »
Hundreds of thoughts tried to bore their way into Brennan’s consciousness right now, but lust managed to hold them at bay while he readied himself to enjoy a night of carnal pleasures with Kia. Even the part of his heart that belonged to Caprice tried to pull him back, take him by the ear and guide him home, rather than to the bed of a complete stranger on a night like this. But then he could have stayed in the tavern all night, drank himself stupid, and gotten robbed on the way home. Or worse yet, laid on his bed and cried himself to sleep when the booze made him miss Caprice too much.
 
No, he didn’t want that.
 
He wanted Kia to make good on her promises.
 
They arrived at the boarding house, aged and in need of some attention, but still serviceable. He wanted to tell Kia that this part of town wasn’t really safe, but it wasn’t really his place. She lead him inside and he followed, the door closing behind them. It was dark in here, dark enough to need witch light as they made their way to the back of the house. They headed around back and Brennan got the feeling she was sneaking him in. He wasn’t insulted; in fact, it brought a smile to his face that she probably wouldn’t see.
 
She opened the door, pulled him inside, and locked it quickly.
 
Then she offered him an out.
 
Brennan closed the distance between them and pulled Kia into a deep kiss, his hands finally roaming over the places on her body that he only imagined beneath that cloak.
 
No, Kia. No one leaves tonight.” he said.
 
He lifted her off the floor and carried her to the bed.
 

27
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: May 26, 17, 11:56:10 PM »
They walked together, hand in hand, and the sensation left Brennan momentarily speechless. He and Caprice used to walk hand-in-hand by the water, talking about their dreams and hopes for the future. Back then, Brennan Devlin still had hopes for the future that included his family, if only peripherally. He and Brogan would never be best friends, nor truly brothers, but there was a time when he thought they might be able to stand in the same room and just ignore each other instead of actively wishing death upon each other.
 
That hope died long ago.
 
Now, the hope that kindled in his breast was of a different kind. A hope that Caprice, even after the death of most of her Clan, would probably beg Brennan to let go of so that they could be happy.
 
Brennan hoped to Mother Night and the Darkness that he could burn Loreniel Killian’s Court, her life, and her whole world to ashes. He wanted to see her broken of her jewels, see her name stricken from Scelt’s history and have her clan declared anathema. Only when a new Queen, a better Queen, ruled Scelt, would there ever be a chance at making the territory the best it could be.
 
And when that was done, then Brennan could live out the rest of his days knowing that he’d avenged his wife and her clan. Then maybe he could live the rest of his life without feeling like he’d failed her completely.
 
Kia was talking to him and Brennan nodded to the question, about whether or not he could wait to get to the place nearby that she knew. He nodded, more confidently this time, and flashed her a cheeky grin.
 
Don’t worry, Kia. I know it’ll be worth the wait.” Brennan said, placing his hand on her lower back. He escorted her through the streets and made sure to give anyone who looked at them a good reason to put their attention elsewhere or face consequences. Thankfully, no one decided to start anything. Brennan was almost sad about it, but the thought passed.
 
Soon, he’d have all night to vent his pent-up frustrations and aggression.

28
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: May 19, 17, 12:00:07 PM »
Brennan laughed when she told him to embrace his anger and stand up for himself. She was saying all the right things. Brennan was sick of letting people off the hook just because they held more power than him or stood deeper in the Abyss. His mother had been persecuted by those people for the dual crimes of being a Black Widow and a non-native of Scelt. For all the Black Widow bullshit he’d seen her endure, these people had still let a Black Widow rule Scelt and murder people because she wanted to.

He downed the rest of his drink as Kia rubbed her foot against his calf. She was playing games. Fortunately, Brennan liked games...especially when he was winning.

You’re the second person ever to encourage me to listen to the devil on my shoulder.” Brennan said, feeling himself stir at her touch. Part of him wondered at just how easily this woman had fallen into his lap and shown her interest, but why ruin a good moment by thinking about it? Kia seemed like one of those women that, if you didn’t take the chance when you had it, you’d spend the rest of your days wondering what could have been.

He’d already spent too long wondering that same thing about Caprice. The what-ifs had nearly driven him insane, but mostly drove him into a depression so deep that he thought he’d never climb out. But he did climb out. He had to avenge Caprice. He had to avenge her family.

That was tomorrow, though.

Tonight, he needed something else to focus on.

Yeah, I know what you’re lookin’ for Kia.” he said. “You want to get out of here?

He put down his glass, scooted back his chair and stood. He offered the woman his hand.

Let’s see if we can’t find what we’re looking for.” Brennan asked.

29
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: May 19, 17, 09:45:24 AM »
Kia’s words resonated with Brennan in a way that cut through the alcohol and got at the matters that plagued his own heart. For a moment, he wondered if she was crafting her words just for him. Or maybe if she was using Craft on him to make him more receptive. He dismissed the idea for a couple of reasons, though. The first was that he was too smart to be manipulated that way. She could play all the games she wanted, but Brennan wasn’t anyone’s tool.

The second was that Kia’s distaste felt real. Like him, she’d been cast aside because her father looked at her and saw disappointment. Saw a ‘black sheep’ where a confident and self-possessed woman stood.

Brennan understood that and he hated it.

I don’t blame you for cuttin’ ties. I get where you’re coming from, though. My old man looks at all of siblings, even the strays he took in, and sees the future of his lineage. Especially my older brother. He made good and found a Queen, so that makes him worth more in my father’s eyes.

I come from this old school where respect is earned. Standing up for yourself isn’t a sin. It should be second-nature.
” Brennan said.

Instead, I’m the bad guy because I won’t bow to thieves and killers trying to rewrite their shitty history.” Brennan said, taking a sip of his drink as he stared at nothing in particular. Anger burned in his gut as he remembered hearing about the massacre of the Sheanes. Nearly all of them, dead to the last, and none of the other clans stood up. None of the Province Queens got off their soft asses and stood up to Loreniel Killian because of her stable of males.

Not one fucking person in Scelt had the courage to stand up and tell her No. You are wrong.

Until now.

Brennan Devlin wasn’t the strongest man in Scelt. He wasn’t even the darkest. Not even close. Not as dark as Brogan or even Loreniel herself. But the Killian Clan had blood on its hands. They owed a Price to the Sheanes, to Scelt, and to everyone they’d wronged over the years.

If Davos Sheane was truly gone, then someone had strike back. Someone had to deal with them.

But how?

Sorry, Kia. Forgive me. I get a little angry when I think about how bad things are these days.” Brennan said.

Friendly company is all well and good, but if that’s what you’re looking for...you came to the wrong place.” he said, offering a small smile.

30
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: May 12, 17, 10:03:53 PM »
Brennan’s eyes wandered over Kia’s cleavage without remorse or shame. He wanted to know what else lay beneath her cloak, but he cautioned himself to patience. If he appeared too eager, like some fresh boy just looking to sheathe himself and spill, Kia might decide he wasn’t worth the trouble. Too cool, however, and she might mistake his actions for lack of interest. So Brennan leaned back in his chair, leaving one arm extended on the table. She stroked that hand for a moment before calling for more drinks.

Yeah, you would hate to get entangled with that Court. Last group of unfortunates to do that ended up pretty dead.” Brennan said. Referring to the Sheanes by name wasn’t allowed nowadays, since Loreniel Killian had murdered them without mercy. But people knew the truth. They knew what had been done, even when they didn’t have the balls to speak on it. Brennan still couldn’t fathom how that ignoble bitch ruled the Territory. But then he remembered.

Brogan’s Gray jewel had a huge fucking hand in it.

Who knew where in or on Loreniel Brogan had his hands?

Look, let’s leave off the Territory Court. Nothin’ worth doin’ ever happens up here anyway. Not really. The real fun happens down south. Good pubs, better parties.” Brennan said.

He kept drinking as the alcohol flowed.

Where are you from, Kia? You got any siblings? I’ve got way too fuckin’ many. My fahter was always a bleedin’ heart. Anytime he saw a stray kid without a mommy or daddy, he took ‘em in so they wouldn’t be alone. In time, he came to love them more than his blood children. Of course, he loved some of his blood children different than others.” Brennan said. He shrugged.

I wouldn’t wish that shit on any--no, I’m lying. There’s only one person I’d really wish it on.” Brennan said.

Anyway, enough about me. Who are you, Kia?

31
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: May 12, 17, 12:09:27 PM »
Brennan was just looking for a good time this evening, one that didn’t come with any extra entanglements or strange feelings the day after. Sakia’s darker jewels only added to the intrigue. The Blood were sensual, sexual creatures; even the Blood Males and Females hungered for sex and power. Those hungers multiplied as their standing in the Abyss increased. Brennan, for his part, believed that it was true. He craved action and endeavors that tested his mind and body in tandem. He wasn’t a sex-crazed Warlord Prince or a workaholic Warlord that couldn’t enjoy life.

Brennan Devlin was a Prince, with enough mind to enjoy what life handed him but to take what he wanted as well.

Like the woman before him.

Well met, Kia. I’ll call you Kia if you’re good. If you're bad, I’ll call you anything you like.” Brenna said, his tone teasing. He had to know if she was too far up her own ass to play around before he continued. Nothing ruined a good bit of fun more than someone who couldn’t take a joke or engage in a little bit of verbal sparring beforehand. Brennan took another sip of his drink and smiled at her.

Until she suggested that he was one of the Queen’s men.

Brennan laughed, a sound somewhere between surprised and bitter. Was that how it was anymore? If you were a Devlin, you were automatically one of Loreniel Killian’s lapdogs? Brennan’s blood boiled a little at the thought. He wasn’t necessarily mad at Kia, but at the way things turned now to give people such a shitty impression of his family.

Whoa, hold a second, Kia. If we have any aspirations to be friends, let’s, uh, dispel some bullshit right now. Not every Devlin belongs to our esteemed Queen.” Brennan said, fighting to keep the snarl out of his voice. He had to take another sip of his drink to keep himself from elaborating on just how wrong her assumption was.

Fucking Brogan. Making us all look like mindless shitbags just because he’s got his head lodged up Loreniel’s ass.

I’m not with the Territory Court. In fact, I just returned home after some time away.” Brennan said, shrugging.

I’m just out to enjoy a drink and some good company. That’s all, really.” he said, his smile returning when he looked at her. His posture even relaxed a bit, though it had tensed when she brought up Loreniel.

Fucking bitch.

32
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Apr 06, 17, 11:46:52 PM »
When the lady’s gaze sought him out, Brennan lifted his drink and nodded to her in a mock-toast. She didn’t look offended or displeased, so Brennan considered that a mark in his favor for the moment. He’d waited a little bit before buying her the drink, not wanting to seem too eager. Brogan had the timing down, knew the ways to make women eat out of the palm of his hand. Brennan had never had any of that, but what he couldn’t do naturally, he could make up for with a liberal application of Seduction Craft when the moment called for it.

Right now, he just wanted her to come closer.

When she finally rose and made her way to his table, Brennan smiled. He sat his drink down and pushed out his chair, rising smoothly to his feet. He pulled out the chair to his right and focused his blue eyes on her face, though his gaze dipped just enough to take in the rest of her form. She probably fucked like a wild cat. Just a regular old Sapphire Witch, huh?

He could deal with that. 

You’re welcome. You probably have strangers trying to buy you drinks all the time, but don’t worry. I’m not some crazy stalker. Haven’t seen you around here before. Then again, I only just got back home. So I’m trying to make new friends.” Brennan said.

Care to join me and keep a man from drinkin’ alone?” he asked, gesturing to the chair he’d pulled out. If she sat, he’d do the same and get comfortable right away. He took another sip of his drink and then held up a finger as though he’d just remembered something important in that second.

Where the hell my manners, my Lady? My name is Brennan. Brennan Devlin. And yeah, of those Devlins in case you’re wondering.” he said, heading off the question he always seemed to get as soon as he mentioned his name. He hated that question, hated the associations it drew with the rest of the family, but he couldn’t separate himself from them, no matter how hard he tried.

May I ask the name of my drinking buddy for the night?

33
Scelt / Re: Stacking the Deck
« on: Apr 02, 17, 05:36:57 AM »
Home looked a lot different after time away.

Well, Tuathal was his home after a fashion, because his family lived here with their Queen. Their Queen, not his. Loreniel Killian was a monster and a murderer, a killer of innocent women and children who’d not harmed her. Sure, she had an issue with a few of the Sheanes who’d allegedly acted out, but that was no justification for a death sentence on the whole of the clan. Now his wife’s family was scattered to the winds, and Caprice herself was dead, too. That part hurt more than anything else, especially on nights like tonight, when he thought back to how they met.

Brennan Devlin drank his whisky slowly, letting the burn flow through him. Sadly, this stuff wasn’t going to get him drunk. He preferred non-spelled varieties for that reason. Getting drunk in a place like this would draw the wrong kind of attention to him, and he didn’t want the Devlins knowing he was back before he was good and ready to tell them. He’d reach out to his father first, followed by one of his siblings, probably one of the strays. If he was ever going to right the wrongs done to his chosen family, he needed his birth family to remain in the dark.

Still can’t believe that Davos is gone. He would’ve been a huge help. Don’t blame him, though. He left this shitshow and didn’t look back. I’m too fuckin’ stupid to stay gone.

Devlin drank, had a little food, and drank a bit more, generally uncaring of the people around them, though he kept an eye on the ones who looked rowdy enough to do something dumb. A lot of the dockhands came to this tavern because most of the aristos didn’t and Brennan liked that about this place. Still, anyone who had a problem with the Prince being there wouldn’t find an easy target. Brennan was in the process of working out a new plan when a flash of red appeared in his peripheral. He looked toward it and the red hair caught him off-guard.

Caprice…

He shook his head. No. She wouldn’t be here. Caprice was gone.

The woman wore a cloak, which she quickly vanished, and her dress (if it could be called that) turned heads and caught eyes. A little voice in the back of Brennan’s head sized up the situation. She could be a Red Moon woman. That didn’t matter. The woman would have to be an utter idiot to be unaware of the tavern she’d entered. The men here weren’t known for courtly polish.

What does that say about you?

He pushed that thought aside when he realized he’d been staring.

He turned his attention to the barkeep, who came over quickly. Brennan said something to him and the barkeep moved away. The barkeep brought Brennan another whisky and then moved over to Saskia.

What can I get to you, lady?” the barkeep asked respectfully.

The young lad at the end of the bar would like to buy you a drink.

34
Scelt / Brennan Devlin
« on: Feb 20, 17, 08:28:26 AM »
The Basics


Character Name:  Brennan Devlin
Nicknames: None
Age: 32 (162 AP)
Race:   Short Lived, (½ Glacian, ½ Sceltic)
Caste: Prince
Birth Territory:  Scelt
Home Territory:  Scelt

Birthright Jewel: uncut Purple Dusk
Offering Jewel:  uncut Opal

Appearance


Play By:  Chris Evans
Distinguishing Features:  Brennan keeps his hair cropped short.  His eyes are mostly gray, and often give the appearance of being shut away from the world.  His clothing is always well put together, and he is a flawless member of the aristo on most occasions.  Has a slight scar across the right side of his chest from a more serious fight between he and Brogan.

Personality


Personality:
Brennan has developed a hard shell in order to deal with his childhood.  He knew they were supposed to be a well-known respected family, and that only solidified the harsh exterior he presented.  He allows himself the luxury of enjoyment, but there is always an undercurrent of darkness, something intangible but present nonetheless.  When interacting with others, he is always looking for a hint of disapproval, or the underlying motive that will surely ruin him.

Some would call it paranoia, but Brennan truly believes that no one approves of him.  He finds it hard to believe in acceptance when he never created the bond with his mother that he so desperately craved and needed as a young child.  Even when he was accepted by her, she could only spew forth venomous lies and her violently sour mood swings soon affected his light disposition.

As he grew, his brother disapproved of his less than serious attitude towards his studies and practice.  Though he had used it as a safety from trying his hardest and failing his family - he soon discovered that as the son of an aristo family, it was expected that he remain at ease and serious.  Completely shutting out the light-hearted nature of his personality, he became very closed and reserved.

Relationships are nearly impossible to form with Brennan.  Though he still feels a desperate need to connect with his family and seek reconciliation, he lacks the courage to face their judgment on his weakness.  He does not want to reveal to those who seem to reject him the real reason they should.  Next to the rest of his family, it seems he has nothing more to add - nor does he have a place among them.  As such, he's not quick to make friends.  He's always thinking people are judgmental behind his back, and never completely honest with him.

He's extremely quick to make enemies.  Even in the most innocent of comments, he can twist the situation to be an insult.  While Brogan seemed to inherit all the strength of a Warlord Prince, Brennan seemed to inherit all the temper.  Though he could not boast the caste, the Prince has a raging fire in him that is quick to spill, fueled by the festering animosity with his brother and and poison of his mother's lies.

Likes:
Success:  Brennan loves it when a plan comes together, with or without a hitch. Every success emboldens him and puts him one step closer to closing out the rivalry between himself and Brogan in his favor.

Control: Brennan ruthlessly disciplines himself to keep his emotions in check, his mind on the current objective, and the upper hand in every relationship he has, be it through intimidation, lying, pretending to bow to authority. He respects this same discipline in others, even if they’re an enemy. A man who can’t control himself can’t affect his world and just ends up playing the part that others give him.

Women: Scents. Curves. Sighs. Screams. Brennan loves everything about women, considering them the holiest creatures in all the world. For all the grief that they can dish out, Brennan loves being near them, talking to them, and, mostly importantly, being inside them. Being with a woman is the closest he gets to bonding with Mother Night outside of Communion.

Dislikes:

Brogan: Brogan has it easy. He received the darkest jewels in their family and everyone fawns over him for it. Brogan receives without question the acceptance that Brennan struggles for. They hold him up as some kind of hero, but he’s not. Brennan sees right through his brother’s “heroism” to the man beneath. And that man is a self-centered, amoral, power-hungry bastard who’s gone out of his way to run Brennan’s life at every turn. There’s no hope of reconciliation between them and the world isn’t big enough for the two of them.

Disorder: Brennan hates messes and unclean conditions. It rankles him when papers and books are casually tossed about or not organized alphabetically. Rows must be even, columns must be straight. Anything less is a dagger in Brennan’s mind and he finds an excuse to address it as soon as he’s able.

Being the Outsider: Brennan hates being the “black sheep” of the Devlin clan. He married a Sheane. So what? He went against Loreniel Killian. Big deal. There was a time when people tread lightly around the Devlin clan for fear of pissing them off. Scelts are made of bravery and disobedience, yet somehow he is in the wrong for living up to that family trait. Strange days, indeed.

Fears:

Brogan: His brother is much stronger than he, and their animosity has gone past reconciliation.  He knows Brogan would not think twice about taking him out of the picture.

Desperation: There are times when the intensity of his own emotions runs hot and frightens him.  He often wonders how far this path will take him, but he is unsure how to change his course.

Returning to Court: He knows the dangers lurking in the court, and he is fearful of what will happen next.  He has not formed any lasting relationships, and he wonders how long it will be before everything falls apart.  He doesn't know what to expect in the situation, and he has a great fear of the unknown.

Craft Strengths:

Offensive Craft: Brennan always tried to keep up with his brother.  He always felt the need to be as good as Brogan or as strong.  As such, he took quite a bit of interest in the offensive craft, though his skills never quite matched Brogan's.

Healing Craft: Since the scar that marks his body, he has paid particular attention to healing methods so that his weaknesses would never permanently mark him, nor would his pride suffer in visiting the healing ward too often.

Craft Weaknesses:

Defensive Craft: This eludes him, as his temper is usually too heated to think through a good defense strategy.  His minor defense is enough to keep him alive, however it is a major weakness for Brennan.

Communication: He's never really had someone to talk to, especially secretly.  He therefore has very little skills with this thread of craft nor does he have any true way to practice.

Life Story

Family:MotherVeira Jork, Rose to Opal witch (47)
Father:  Liam Devlin, Summer Sky to Green Warlord Prince (58)
Siblings:
Aidan Devlin, Summer Sky to Green Warlord Prince (36) Deceased
Kean Devlin, Opal to Red Prince (36)
Finley Devlin, Yellow to Summer Sky Warlord (36)
Cillian Devlin, Rose to Purple Dusk Warlord (35)
Brighe Devlin, White to Tiger Eye Hearth witch (34)
Honora Devlin, Yellow to Rose Queen (35)
Brogan Devlin, Green to Gray Warlord Prince (34)
Ronan Devlin, Tiger Eye to Purple Dusk Warlord (33)
Sorcha Devlin, Tiger Eye to Purple Dusk witch (33)
Aine Devlin, Blood witch (25)
Siobhan Devlin, Birthright Yellow witch

History:
Being born the son of one of the more influential men in Scelt gave certain benefits, as well as expectations.  Brennan was brought into the world as a part of a family that should have given him every advantage he could desire.  Unfortunately he was brought into the family at a tumultuous time.  His mother, Veira, knew that a child would not bind her husband to her, so the fact that she had a second son was of little importance.  Brennan was left to the care of his siblings and tutors.

At a young age he realized there was something missing and began to seek out the affection he was missing from his mother.  He forged a bond with the ideal of her, rather than the actual woman.  His constant need of affection from a woman who seemed incapable of considering him led to a deep-seeded need for approval in whatever he does.

Things became better, especially as they lived away from the territory court.  Brennan was growing quickly, and though his brother was always one step ahead, his mother seemed to take notice of her boys.  Her attention to him, while it was forced, seemed a soothing balm across the relationship he had longed to have with her.  Of course, his father was attentive, but there was a more definite bond forming between he and Brogan rather than he and Brennan.

Just as Veira was beginning to give the attention Brennan craved, she was sent from the territory without him.  The young boy had had not been present when the situation arose with Aiden - but was hiding when he heard the commotion.  Coming upon the scene late, he did not understand the situation, nor was he aware of the severity of the fight that was occurring.  Instead, he only understood that his father was furious at her and was sending away his only chance to be good enough for his mother.

He never saw her before she left.  He only heard whispers that ran rampant about the situation.  His information regarding the situation was entirely second-hand, and it would be many years before he would seek a confrontation about the ordeal.  Brogan seemed to take the situation much more easily than Brennan, and the Prince felt his brother was callously dismissing the relationship between the boys and their mother.  Also, the bond between Liam and Brogan was closer than what Brennan was privileged to have.  And so the poison of his mother began to spread through him.  He attempted to shove off the need for approval, rather than turning to his father and brother for it.  He never took anything too seriously, since he could always brush off the fact that he did not receive approval because he did not try his best.  This was his safety, and he lived in it for many years.

Brennan soon determined to never forgive his father for what had happened with his mother.  The relationship for many years between the two was cold and strained finally culminating in a confrontation between the two brothers.  For some time, the boys had been having heated arguments, often resulting in blows - but this went beyond the forced ties that they afforded each other.  After Brogan confronted Brennan about his recent behavior, the Prince spewed his venomous words of accusation at his brother in regards to both he and their father.  Naturally, the heated argument was quickly taken to a physical level.  As Brennan had recently filled out more, this fight was more evenly matched than those previously - but the darkness had blessed his brother not only in jewel strength but age.  He was still stronger and faster, with more training and skills at his command; just enough to tip the fight in his favor.

As his brother walked away, Brennan lay heaving on the ground with a nasty gash across his chest.  He knew he could have gone to a healer, but was in a sour mood not only from the fact that his brother had just beaten him, but also at the painful memory he had drawn to the surface.  Letting his mood fester, he brushed off the need for a healer, allowing the wound to close with only assistance from his own Purple Dusk.  The resulting scar serves as a callous reminder of the rift between the brothers.

From that moment on, he was the model of propriety to his father and siblings, though he resented that the children who were not even blood related seemed to have a closer relationship with his father and brother than he.  Once his attitude shifted, they shared a bond that was less strained, but Brennan never fully allowed himself to release the pride that had held him to his decision.  His relationship towards his adopted siblings was strained; even as more came in to the welcoming Devlin family, the Prince could not find it within himself to throw aside his resentment.  Even the Doyles seemed to find their place among his large family, and yet there was no room for him.  The ease with which they were all accepted was infuriating as he had grown up in the family and was struggling to keep the rocky relationship with his family intact.  Brogan and he were far past the point of reconciliation, so aside from the brief arguments they shared, Brennan stayed civilly cold to him.  When his brother made his formal submission to Loreniel's court, Brennan shared his own revelations: Loreniel Killan was not his Queen and he would not serve her.

The comment was made in a bout of his quick temper, but once it was out, he would not take it back.  Brennan was not about to take back the words said in anger, especially in the face of his older brother's mockery.  He would much prefer to live with the consequences than face his brother after admitting such a thing.  For a time he wondered if his statement had injured Loreniel, but decided that it surely did not.  Of course, the brutal honesty of it was that Loreniel could never be his queen.

Loreniel was just an extension of the family.  The Devlins, the Doyles, Loreniel.  There was no difference, and no matter how hard he may try, his effort would not be good enough to gain approval or acceptance in her court.  Bitterness only grew when Brogan was accepted into Loreniel's trusted first circle.  Of course, with the blessings the darkness bestowed on him, he had no doubt that his brother would prove useful to the queen - but she was not his Queen.  He would not fall in line and comply with what was expected of him.

Liam was the most saddened by this revelation.  That man had been watching his son for some time, attempting to breach the gap between them and heal their relationship.  Just as he thought he was getting close, Brennan would pull back again, and now he was left watching as Veira's spite bred in his son.  The estrangement between his sons caused him even more sadness.  The pair of them could have been a strong complimentary pair.  He wished there was something he could do to change the course of their lives, but he would have to entrust them to destiny, for his role in their lives had obviously not been enough.

Brennan's separation from his family has caused him to fall into unknown territory.  On his own, he finds himself more lost and unsure than ever before.  Trying to find his own path to life, he has become easy prey to those who know how to manipulate. His need for approval puts him at the mercy of others, and while not always a bad thing - could lead him into the dangerous, traitorous waters.

Show Us What You've Got

 
Writing Sample:
The day had been long - though it was not even time for the evening meal.  Not that the young Prince was planning to attend any family gathering for a meal.  A quaint tradition, really.  One of which Brennan wanted no part.  He had long since been the outcast of his family and so any escape from them was welcome.  Even one such as this.  Though it was not time for the sun to be settled beyond the horizon, the shadows lengthened and danced in the faint light that was left on this day.  Dark clouds gathered overhead, threatening rain with a rumbling deep within them.  The lonesome prince seemed to be the only one wandering through these parts of the lands.  Scelt was beautiful country, and even in the overcast with the dark shadows stretching beneath due to the dark, pregnant clouds above.

Sliding from the back of the horse, he carried the reigns over to a tree before dropping them to the ground.  The creature had been trained not to wander once the reigns were dropped, so he was not worried that the horse would wander.  Instead, he revealed the bundle of food he had brought with him.  The man believed he was disliked everywhere in court, but he could be charming enough to weasel a meal for one before leaving for the day.  Pulling out the bread, he held it in his hands, willing a bit of warmth into it before lifting it to his lips to take a bite.  While not the best at such magics, he managed enough to bring back the freshness.  A small smile touched his lips at the taste, even as he felt the rain begin to fall.

First there were little drops, then they began to pick up in speed.  Rather than worry overmuch, the man simply pulled up a hood, shrouding his features in shadows before continuing his meal.  The bread was followed by cheese and fresh fruit.  For drink, he revealed the wine he had brought, reclining against the tree under which he had taken shelter.  Not that there was much shelter to be had.  Leaning over on his elbow, he reached for the horse's reigns, pulling the beast closer to his side.  If the storm were to grow any louder, the horse may be spooked and then he would be hard pressed to venture back to the court on his own.  Stroking the creature's nose, he whispered a few soothing words before leaning back against the tree once more, the reigns still held in his left hand.  Cloudy gray eyes that mirrored the sky closed as he summoned his strength, defending himself - closing himself for his return.  Hopefully the family would be mostly retired, as he did not particularly want to partake in a verbal battle when he arrived home.

His clothing was soaked through, and the horse was beginning to shift at his side.  After a few more moments enjoying the solitude, he glanced up at the horse before vanishing the soaked remnants of his meal. Giving in to the gentle urging of his steed, he slowly stood, stretching his muscles before beginning to lead the horse to the path.  He may have succumbed to heading towards home, but that did not mean he was in any hurry to arrive.  He knew what awaited him there.

Petitions (if any):  Jamie's approval for character adoption.


-Updated ages
-Adjusted likes/dislikes to board standard of three.
-Gave a little more depth to likes/dislikes (will revert to original writings if necessary)

Player Name:  Gavin
(This character is the original creation of Blue; I've adopted him with full support of the original creator. Original Character Sheet, done by Blue, is located here)

35
Scelt / Re: Interference
« on: Dec 30, 12, 05:40:18 PM »
Brennan stared at the woman for a moment - almost incredulously - as though she had taken leave of her senses. Did she really think that this was the type of advice that a man like him would pay for? Besides, it was obvious to any one who ever saw the man that he sought out the fights he could not win. Surely she understood that there was a purpose behind that - and that purpose was not something he was so willing to give up as easily as that. Brennan had fought every single person in his family in order to get to the place he was now, and he was not likely to give it up on the whims of some bitch who just happened to stumble into one of his fights.
 
He was further baffled by the entire situation when she went on to offer him a drink inside the very place he had just been kicked out of. He did not know the woman or where she was from, but it was certainly not from around these parts. He scowled at her fiercely for a moment as though to determine what her game was. No one simply bought a drink for another person, particularly when that other person was coming out of a fight that he had instigated.
 
He stared at her as though dumbfounded for a moment, the glare colored by incredulity as he stood there watching her. Contempt filled him. "A drink?" he asked, his tone dark and angry despite the laugh that followed shortly after. "You want to buy me a drink?" his was a bit dark and angry, enforced by a sneering smirk which lost some of its strength with the slight limp and awkward gait - tokens from the fight he had not been able to finish.
 
"Why the hell would you want to buy me a drink?" he asked, not even pausing for her to speak before going even further. "And what's more, why would you offer to buy me a drink in a place I've just been thrown out of?" He laughed again, a dark sound emitted while shaking his head and turning away from her to take a few steps away. "You really are touched by madness, aren't you?"

36
Scelt / Re: Interference
« on: Dec 06, 12, 04:24:44 AM »
Brennan hated the reminder that he was already favoring one of his legs. It did not mean any true injury - only that he was too injured to find a more satisfying fight tonight. Frustration filled him at the sport taken away from him before it even got good. Too soon it was nothing but the pain and the dissatisfaction of having been so interrupted - especially when the disruption had been not only unrequested - but most certainly unwelcome. Brennan had no need of the woman and her assistance in handling what he had rightfully claimed as his own - a rather unfair and exhilarating fight that was simply unwinnable. That was part of the appeal. Waking up the next morning with the unrealistic pain was just another testament to the sucess of the night before. Unfortunately, tomorrow, he would be granted no such satisfaction. Without a Healer, it would likely take too long for his body to heal, especially as tonight had been cut short.

He sneered at the woman, teeth covered in blood the only thanks she received for her advice. What right had she to tell him how to spend his evenings? Who was she to make any sort of comment on how he chose his fights. The satisfaction of winning paled in comparison to the fire that only abated in the real heat of the fight, when everything was against him - when there was no chance and he still fought on hoping to do just a hint of damage, just enough that it would be felt the next morning. He snorted slightly, a hand moving to his nose as though to briefly test the structure of it. No broken bones, and only mild bruising. It would take weeks to heal it, but there was nothing so pressing as it would be necessary to see a Healer.

"Look, bitch - I don't know who you are, but no one asked for your advice," he slurred the words, responding in the only manner he knew how to respond. "It's not like I'll be getting in any more fights tonight," no thanks to the bitch for interrupting the one he had already found. It's not that the fights were difficult to find - just that a satisfying one was becoming increasingly higher in its standards, and he was in an almost desperate need for that distraction after Caprice's betrayal. He had thought they had something - he thought that everything between them was transcendent, but he had been played a fool - yet again as she chased after the golden child - as she sought out the brother that everyone wanted.

"So fuck off. You've done your good deed now go fuck up someone else's evening," he stated the words with a wince as he stretched the tight muscles of his body.

37
Scelt / Re: It puts a chill into your heart
« on: Dec 01, 12, 07:14:49 PM »
Brennan could scarcely believe the woman, and he stood with his mouth slightly agape as she commented roughly and began to move away from him. Never in all his life had he been treated thusly, and Brennan had been treated in quite a number of ways. He was, with regular frequency, beaten within an inch of consciousness, drunk and found sleeping off the effects of alcohol and physical violence well into the next day. He was detested by his brother, pitied and frustrated by his other siblings. He knew he angered them - he knew he disappointed them. But he had never been so brushed off before. He was a Prince, and though he did not put much into his family ties, they were well known in the Territory.
 
Her tone was sharp and biting, the words quick before she moved on without even a glance. How incredibly rude. The village was not well known for such rudeness, was it? Brennan was not even certain. If he were not such a Prince who had been raised above such things, he would have likely chased her down in order to tell her what he thought of her rudeness, but as it was he did not have anything more than the inclination - nothing that would drive him to break the bounds of his politeness, nothing that would push past that in order to chase after her.
 
The Prince was about head on his way, about to take a step in the opposite direction that the woman had gone when he chanced a glance down at the ground. Three fresh, colorful vegetables sat in the mud, likely upset and dropped when the pair had collided. Frustration filled him for a moment as he contemplated what it was he was going to do. He frowned down at the vegetables as though they had somehow offended him by falling from the woman's basket and forcing him to make this decision. He could simply walk on, leave them for a villager to find and make a nice treat of, or he could chase after the rather rude woman and return it to her - with likely no thanks and more than that - probably an insult or accusation to go with it.
 
He could not believe he was doing this. He bent down and picked up the pieces, holding them out and shaking the dirt from them as best as he could before turning back the want the woman had gone. His long legs ate up the distance, his stride quicker as he had no great load to weigh him down - he had only the weight of his worries and of the three vegetables he held in his hand.
 
"Lady," he called after her when he got close, his step continuing as he tried to get her attention. "Lady," he called again, this time a bit louder as he quickened his pace a bit more. This really was more trouble than it was worth. This really was a nuisance. Why was he even trying? "Lady, please wait just a moment," he called a final time, his steps just catching up to her own.

38
Scelt / Re: Interference
« on: Dec 01, 12, 07:11:44 PM »
The fire filled his veins. Anger and alcohol both mingled within him to warm him from the cold of the evening. He did not feel the bite of late autumn's night against his skin. He did not contemplate the chill wind that filled the air around him as he strode through the streets of the village with only one destination in mind - oblivion. That was his escape - that was his salvation.
 
Brennan Devlin was well known among the villages, particularly within the taverns of those villages. He visited them often enough for those patrons to know his pattern. He was well known for emptying his pocket of coin, and also for causing quite a bit of an upset before the night was over. It was never enough to bar him entrance to any of the establishments, but it was enough that at the first sign of a fight, the offenders were sent out into the night in order to deal with their disagreement.
 
These disagreements were always minor and always petty. Surface level upsets, things that really did not matter and without the inclination mingled with a high amount of alcohol would not even have caused more than a rude comment between the two men. But Brennan did not need a real reason to fight. He did not need a reason to feel the urge to throw a punch or to feel the pain of the blows against himself. He never had to win - in fact he scarcely fought against odds that he stood any chance against. It was beautifully cathartic.
 
Of course, these battles were always the most satisfying with Brogan, again still balanced against him in strength and training. His older brother was a bastard through and through, and the bond between them was strong only in the hatred each shared for each other. But Brogan was conveniently busy with various tasks for Court - frustrating excuses that kept the brothers apart.
 
This was his second tavern of the night. He saw a few familiar faces though he paid them little attention. The first he had already been thrown out. The first he had already drank and fought, the rip in his lip and the darkening around his eye a shadow compared to what it would look like in the morning. Even so - it had been rather an unsatisfying experience. Stepping into the new establishment, he was not disappointed by the crowd. It was with easy familiarity that he settled into a worn seat at table by himself and began to again indulge in his rather unhealthy tendencies. The burn ran through him, every touch of pain whether physical or emotional slipping away in the familiar fire of the drink and the promise of violence. It was Brennan Devlin's way - and it was not a way he was planning to abandon anytime soon.

The beginning of the fights were always a blur - it was an easy enough decision to start one. A right movement at the right time. A well placed comment. Or even something so brazen as a fist thrown without any warning. All worked perfectly well to begin the scuffle, and a fair number of blows were thrown before they could even be thrown into the street. There were two of them, or at least there were two of them to begin with. By the end, there would likely be at least four or five. That suited him just fine. The more the merrier, right?
 
What surprised him more than anything else was something that had never happened before. Brennan had many times been faced with more opponents than he began with, but never had he ever been presented with someone on his own side. Had he not been so preoccupied with catching his breath, he would have likely shoved the intruder out of the way. He did not want help - he did not want this to be enough. There was still more fighting to do.
 
He watched as they walked off, his anger and frustration filling him as he breathed through the pain of his lungs finally expanding enough to catch his breath. When she spoke at him, he simply stared at the woman. Steel gray eyes stared harshly at her, anger and frustration pouring off him directed right at the strange woman. He brushed off the false concern, as he stood up, limping slightly with the pain in his leg for just a couple steps. It would fade. It always would.
 
"I didn't need your fucking help," he said harshly, spitting blood on the ground before stepping closer to her. "I was handling it just fine."

39
Scelt / Re: Licking the Wounds but the Venom Seeps Deeper
« on: Sep 26, 12, 01:18:16 AM »
Brennan was well over his perfect family. He had all he could handle of their fussing and fighting, and he was more than ready to go lose himself in a glass of whiskey and wake up the next morning with enough bruises to keep his mind off fighting his brother for a few more days. That was the pattern, and that was how he kept his sanity despite the war that waged across Scelt and even in his own family.

They had all settled into various roles in Court - each one finding a place in servitude that suited them. Hell, Brogan had managed to be offered First Escort to the Queen of Scelt. Brennan could of course have claimed family ties. He would have been granted a place in her Court, likely in the First Circle with the rest of his family - but he could not do it. He would not sit and pretend that his family was the shining picture they seemed to be.

Hearing the tone Brighe took with him both irritated and relieved the Prince. She was one of the few in the family who were persistent enough to follow after him like she had done today. One of the only ones who could make him stop and turn to face her when she told him to - but only because he knew she would never relent. Her frustration signaled that he had irritated her enough that he could make an exit. Still the tone and words she used were enough to grate an already raw wound across the man's heart.

He hated it when she brought up the subject of his siblings caring for him. He had long since given up on the family and any affection they presented. It was never true and honest. It was always with some other motivation - some other solution. It was always with the intention to fix the broken brother. The one who couldn't get anything right.

"I'm sure you'll survive, Brighe," the callous words left his mouth before he had time to think. They were spoken in anger, and if he was honest, he would never have wanted to say them to Brigh of all people, but once they were spoken, he could not take them back. "You can tell Aidan no thanks - I'll find my own place to serve," he stated colding, turning before he could say another word. Stalking away, he ignored his sister, hoping she could take the hint and leave him alone.

40
Scelt / Re: It puts a chill into your heart
« on: Aug 14, 12, 07:40:35 PM »
Brennan was not the sort to pay particular attention. Most people tended to part ways, moving around the gloomy Prince in their midst. He had passed by the tavern, not even realizing that he was following a small red headed woman through the streets. She smiled at passerbys and even stopped to talk and laugh with a few friends. She was not Caprice - no one would be Caprice, but still the man had followed her.

He had no need for the things in this section of the village. He had no use for food or grain as he would only be staying the night. He would only be in the town long enough to get into a fight, but still he followed on not even fully aware of why he was here following this girl. When she turned to disappear into a shop, he stopped short. What was he doing here? He scowled at the door before looking around the street. Everywhere people passed, going on about their business as though they had no concern in the world. Letting out his breath with an audible his, he ran a hand absently through his hair.

He really needed to get better control of himself, he decided. He had spent far too long obsessing over the little Healer and needed to focus eleswhere, or else he was afraid he would lose himself completely. If he had not already. Frustrated, he turned away from the street, beginning to walk even before being completely turned around. What he had not expected was to instantaneously collide with a tall, lean figure. Surprise flashed across his features followed immediately by irritation at himself for being so foolish. Well perhaps he'd be getting into this fight sooner rather than later.

As he looked at the person he ran into, however, the fight died in him. He was not about to get into a fight with a witch, even one who was rather frumpy in her large dark cloak with a sack of grain over hre back. He cleared his throat rather roughly, attempting to bite back the retort he had been ready to make.

"Sorry about that, Miss," he spoke casually, his tone dark and rough rather than formal and practiced.

41
Scelt / It puts a chill into your heart
« on: Aug 12, 12, 10:14:46 PM »
Rain trickled down from the sky, the gloomy morning matching the Prince's mood perfectly. Days had passed slowly, time ticking away at some altered pace, slowly wasting days into to weeks then weeks into months. With every passing day, his mood had fouled even further. Each day the distance brought on a reminder of why he could not - would not go to see her. Caprice Sheane had done everything his family had ever believed a Sheane would do - she had betrayed him so completely, and in a way he had not thought her capable of. The fact that she had led him along for her family's sake was one thing, but he had been willing to forgive it. He had been willing to seek her out and make amends, and had in fact done so. He had tracked down the Sheane Healer, ready with apology and all only to find her with his brother. There was no question of which brother either. She had done as everyone always did - she had sought him out in an attempt to get closer to Brogan - the untouchable one. Frustration had turned to anger, forgiveness turning to ash in his soul. That was a crime which he could never forgive. That was a betrayal that could not be forgotten or appeased.
 
Of all the things she could have done to him, that was the one that would cut the deepest and would never heal. She had understood the bond between the brothers, how broken it was. She understood the shattered pieces that could never be put back together, and yet she had chosen to do the same to him again. Of course it should not have surprised the Prince. This was how things always happened - Brennan would find something that he could call his own, and then Brogan would seek it out and destroy what little he had.

That was perhaps why the Prince spent nearly every night in a different inn suffering from different injuries from a different fight he had gotten himself in to. Many times unless they were severe enough that someone else was concerned for him, he refused to even see a healer. That would only remind him of that one night - of that one morning where she had walked into his room. He frowned at the memory even as he made his way through the streets of the little village. It was getting late, though not quite late enough that places were closing up. It would be too early to seek out his release for tonight. There was still a slight purple discoloration on his cheekbone as well as a number of them hidden under his clothes. A small cut still healing on his lip, though quite faint considering. It had been a few nights healing from the last fight, though only so much that it would be unnoticeable to a good number of people. Most were too busy walking their way to concern themselves with the Prince; very few had any inclination to look outside their own world to entertain the slight bruising and small cut on the man's face. Too many questions were often not met with exuberance but suspicion.

So it was Brennan could wander the streets without much concern, though he still rather kept to himself. He had no intention of getting into a fight until he was well beyond his current intoxication level. He had never quite finished drinking, but he would need a bit more before wanting to deal with the blows he was certain to receive - for Brennan was not a man who fought to win, but rather to lose. He knew before going into them what the outcome would be, and yet he craved them. He thrived on them. The pain the next morning was a small price to pay, and if he was really honest with himself - it was something he somehow looked forward too. Maybe she would walk through that door again to heal him. Maybe he could find someway to reverse what had been done, to turn back time. But each morning just brought the pain of new bruises.
 
So it was with a stern expression that the Prince wandered through the streets, seeking out what he would assume was the tavern, the place he was most likely to find the most trouble when night arrived.

42
Scelt / Re: Licking the Wounds but the Venom Seeps Deeper
« on: May 26, 12, 02:04:23 PM »
Frustration was rushing off the man in waves. If Brighe had been a brother instead of a sister, the two would have long since taken this to blows, but as she was a sister, he found he could not bring himself to debase her in such a manner, despite how frustrated he was with her. No, that behavior was saved for the brother who despised him as much as he was despised.

Years could roll over their heads - time could pass them by until they were old and gray and the two brothers would still never be able to get past the animosity that had been bred between them. For Brennan, the anger covered the hurt and fractured person he was - the boy who still could not bear the fact that he had never lived up to his brother. Could not thrive in the shadow of Brogan Devlin. Strangled in the darkness, growth was beyond his capabilites.

No he was trapped, and there was nothing he could do about that fact. His bloodlines trapped him out of service of anyone but Loreniel, and yet they kept him from fully serving that woman. She was not his Queen, nor would she be. Brogan belonged to her, but she would not claim Brennan too. He frowned at Brighe, her voice doing nothing to sate the frustration that rose within him foul as bile.

"Fond? Of Brogan?" His tone was a bit incredulous as he spoke, already well gone from this conversation. "You're kidding, right? This is no time for jokes," he spoke without humor in his tone, knowing full well that Brighe had not been jesting with him. He just was not in the mood to deal with the attitude that everything between the brothers could be resolved if they only worked harder at it. Well Brogan could be damned, and take everyone else along with him as far as Brennan was concerned.

Maybe he would take her advice. He'd not go to see Aidan - that would solve nothing, but perhaps he would leave Court for a time. As long as he told no one where to find him, he would be content enough. As much as he wanted to tear Brogan apart, it would likely do him some good to let his body heal; already he could feel the aches increasing from the few blows he had received from his brother.

"Look, you've done your good deed, Brighe. You can go home feeling proud of how hard you've tried, but I'm just impossible," the tone he used was as it always was after fighting with Brogan - bitter and angry.

43
Scelt / Re: Banquet of Beginnings [Caprice + Sheane Court]
« on: Feb 03, 12, 11:23:20 PM »
The room was emptying. Fear gripped the man, certain that everyone would see through him. They would see him for the charlatan he was, and demand he leave today. While that would not normally seem drastic, in the frantic mind, everything took on new weight and there was no reasoning that allowed him to believe that it was simply not the end of the world. Desperately he searched for the red-headed Healer who had dragged him to this party in the first place, silently begging that she be there. She would not leave him alone among all these guests, would she? He could not believe that he had imagined the heat between them - the passion that fired up whenever she was near him. His lips parted as he let out a sigh, attempting to calm himself as he scanned the room. Perhaps he should just make his way over to one of the seats. Maybe they had name cards that he could not see from this far away, or perhaps someone would ask him to sit by them and he would be spared this horrible ordeal.

She was not here. He would have seen her, he was certain of it. Caprice Sheane had not attended this, but perhaps she was waiting for him elsewhere. He wanted to believe that, as he desperately wanted to believe in the connection the two had made both times they had met. The sparks could not be ignored - and he was not certain what he would do if she snuffed them out by whatever abandonment this was perceived to be. Letting out the breath he had taken in and held, he turned his head as a hand brushed lightly across his shoulder. His muscles moved of their own, pressing back into the hand that had brushed them as the voice wove through the air between them, a spell sealing him to her in an instant.

Relief washed over him as he turned to face the woman. As long as he was with her, he was safe from being forced to leaver her company so soon. The little Healer was still exquisite. Everything about her was beautiful, and her dark brown eyes peered up at him with a smiling expression that he could not fathom. For so long he had been considered the black sheep of the Devlin family. He was always Brogan's younger brother, or the one who sided with their mother over their father. He was always the one to blame for such interactions as well, despite the fact that Brogan sought out as many of them as Brennan did. But this was a completely different look. There was no condescending expression, no look of pity. There was an openness and an honesty that struck him tightly, wrapping him up in her spell as though she were a Widow ensnaring a victim. He lost himself in the depths of her dark eyes, soaking up the expression on her face for the moment that seemed to stand still while they stood in the midst of the party together.

To cover his losing himself momentarily in her gaze, he adjusted the mask on his face, fiddling with it as though uncomfortable with how it settled against his skin. He turned his eyes away from hers for a moment, still unable to forget the way she looked at him. For a moment, he wondered what it was she saw. He knew what everyone else saw, because he saw it all himself when he looked at himself in the looking glass. He saw every accusation ever thrown at him, and he accepted it all as a part of himself. Still, there was something else in her expression - she looked at him as though she had never seen him before. She looked at him with the hope and bewilderment of a person just introduced to someone they want only to know more about. If he was being honest with himself, he did not understand what it was she saw in him, and he half expected her to run the other direction when she saw beneath the facade that he apparently managed to keep erected between them. Hopefully that day would not be today. Hopefully he could hang on to this little slice of paradise for just a moment longer, even if it would be that much more difficult to give up in the morning, whatever morning that may be.

"Red," he said uneasily, his voice simply a whisper between the two of them, as though afraid of interrupting the moment that time had stopped. "I do hope I meet the standards of the party," he glanced back up, his gray eyes clinging to her brown ones, searching desperately for something - but for what he was uncertain. He would have thought she was regretting the idea of bringing him hear, but when faced with the expression she wore so openly, he could not believe it. Instead of questioning everything he did not know, he cleared his throat slightly, afraid to reach out and touch her in the crowded room that they were soon becoming the central focus of, yet wanting nothing more than to hold desperately to the one thing he knew.

Could a person feel this way having only met the other person once before? Was the sort of fire that was sparked between them something completely rational or was he being played for a fool? The lines were beginning to fade between the rational and irrational as well as between the Killan and Sheane family lines as well. Everything around this woman confounded him, yet gave him a strange clarity as well, and he was well aware that he was throwing himself off the cliff, hoping that he could fly.

A quick glance around told him that they were almost alone standing in the middle of the room. Looking back at her, he smiled, a weight lifted from him whenever she was around. "I think we should maybe take our seats, but I don't know which one is mine," he admitted in a whisper, his head bent towards her slightly. Theirs was a conversation held just between the two of them rather than for the entire room to hear, though at this distance he wanted nothing more than to press his lips against hers and fuel the fire that her presence stirred within him. Breathing in a calming breath, he memorized her scent, his lips twitching with the suppressed desire to kiss her.

44
Scelt / Re: Licking the Wounds but the Venom Seeps Deeper
« on: Feb 03, 12, 10:32:05 PM »
If it had been anyone other than Brighe, he would have hit them. Brennan did not like interruption when he was going off on his own, and he had taken to solitude quite nicely. Whenever he finished a fight with his brother, especially one such as this where the end was not nearly as satisfying as it should have been, he spent time either sulking or seeking a fight elsewhere. There was always someone willing to brawl.

Hearing her single command, he did not turn, but rather stood staring at the woman. Damn women could be so irritating all the time. Unfortunately, despite how much he wanted to despise his family, he held something of a soft spot for Brighe which was why he had stopped at her command and the gentle yet firm grip she had on his arm. It was why he was listening to her with some degree of civility rather than sealing his fate with the rest of the family and picking a fight with her as well.

The Prince clenched his jaw, staring at the witch before him. He was not certain he considered her a real sister, especially as he was not even certain he could call Brogan a true brother and they were blood, but there was no denying that Brighe was someone he held a moderate amount of respect for. It was not, however, evident in his tone as he responded to her suggestion.

"Oh yes, Brighe - a brilliant idea," his words were cold, laced with sarcasm as he stared at her. His arms raised in a show as he continued. "Let's just go join the court of the golden boy brother who still blames me for what my whore of a mother did to everyone." He did not let up in his sarcasm. "That seems like a brilliant plan. Let us both remind each other of our childhood every day. At least it will save precious Brogan the trouble of beating me up on a daily basis." Anger was riding high beneath the surface, bubbling out in response to the situation Brighe had brought up. His cheek twitched slightly as his jaw clenched; the Prince stood shaking with anger, glaring down at the woman.

45
Scelt / Re: Broken Promises, Dark Desires, and Loved Strangers
« on: Jan 05, 12, 09:12:09 PM »
This was the beginning of the end. At least it had seemed that way for the prince. He had been so focused on the woman herself that he had failed to see the most vital part of who she was - a Sheane. Before the name had tasted sweet upon his lips, like the woman herself, however now it was bitter. It soured on his tongue, curdling in his stomach and making it churn. How foolish could a man be? And there was no one he could talk to about this issue. There was no one who would understand or pity his dilemma. He was a Devlin, and she was a Sheane. Everyone would have already known that those two could never be. It was absolute foolishness to even think they could be together, even for a short time. Just a glimpse of that which he longed for and now it was dashed away and shattered on the dusty floor. What once had seemed beautiful and delicate became a weapon, the sharp edges seeking to bring the man down. So the cat had claws.
 
Brennan Devlin could hardly be blamed for how things turned out between the two. She had sought him out. She had seduced him with her sultry voice and soothing hands. Her touch had more than physical healing to it, and he had basked in the balm she had provided to soothe his soul. But it had all been a show. Caprice was a wicked woman whose touch promised gentle sweetness before lifting him high for the purpose of dashing him on the rocks below. Love was definitely like falling - and falling only resulted in being crushed upon the rocks at the bottom of the cliffs. Mangled, the man was left to pick up the pieces of his heart and try to keep everthing together again.
 
That was why he was out - he needed to be away from his family. He needed to be away from the little Healer who consumed his thoughts and plagued his soul. He needed to be away from himself, but that was not as easy to accomplish. His mind plagued him with thoughts that would allow him no rest. Dark circles had started to form beneath his eyes, and he had heard some expressed worry at the Court, however he did not heed it. How could he? His life was crumbling down around him once again, and this time it was his fault. This time, like last time, he would find no pity in his brother or father. There was no one he could turn to. Perhaps he was simply destined to be a screw up.
 
The inn he had chosen for tonight was relatively quiet, at least compared to his usual company. Perhaps some may find it loud or perhaps bustling, however to the Prince it was drab and dull. He was not the object of attention, nor was he being loud and boisterous. There were no people accidentally bumping his chair to incite a fight that he so desperately craved but had no energy to seek out. Normally he would be well on his way to black and blue before this time of night, and truly he would love to lose himself in a fight. Instead his fingers simply tightened on the cool glass that he held in his hand. The moisture had already begun to settle on the outside of it, the contents dark and half empty. A slight shift brought about a small clank from the iced contents of the cup before it was brought quickly up to the man's lips and drained. The fire rode down his throat harshly, but the burn did nothing to draw attention away from the ache of his soul. The table the glass was almost tossed down onto was empty, the chairs mocking him with their phantom occupants. Their silence was almost as bad as if they perhaps decided to openly mock him, for then he would know that he had completely lost his mind. At least at present, he was only partially insane - for what else could love be considered. Casting off all intelligence and common sense to pursue something so nonsensical could only be described as such. Love was insane.
 
Brennan had been so caught up in his thoughts that he did not note the figure that had ventured so near him. It was not until he felt the light feminine brush against his shoulder that he shifted slightly in the wooden chair, dark gray eyes flickering up to the woman who had maneuvered to stand beside him. A brief wave of recognition washed over his expression however it was soon chased away by the apathy he hoped would not divulge the utter devastation of his soul. The smile she flashed him did not entice one of his own. Instead, his lips pressed into a line as he studied the features of the woman who stood before him. He recalled her as if it were from a dream, something unreal and hazy. Desire raced through him, filling his mind with things he'd rather leave unthought in his current state, though he was unable to tear his eyes away from the woman.
 
As suddenly as she had arrived, his mouth had gone dry and he was incapable of speech. It seemed entirely unreal, a fabricated existence to keep his mind from wallowing in self pity or perhaps sent to torment him yet again. He watched her thin body as it moved to sit in the chair beside him. Did he ever reply to her? He could not recall, but whatever expression he was wearing it must have been invitation, or perhaps he had spoken words allowed and simply not realized it. Anything could happen in this fabricated reality of his mind. Time seemed to still as the noise from the inn was scarcely more than a background of noise lacking any real purpose.
 
The man was incapable of anything more. His grey blue eyes were guarded as he met her brown ones, the silent question there as he was unable to saying anything to her just yet. Had he even greeted her? Or had he simply imagined that the words had been spoken? He could not recall anymore - perhaps he had already had a bit too much to drink tonight. A forced smile twitched at the corner of his lips, a small offering in light of things past. Lifting the empty glass he signaled the barkeep to bring him another drink, his eyes flickering to the woman.
 
"Would you care for something to drink?"

46
Scelt / Re: A Promise to a Stranger [attn: Brennan]
« on: Dec 21, 11, 12:35:00 AM »
The woman who sat before him was beautiful. Exquisite in every sense of the word, he could do nothing to deny the attraction he felt for her, nor did he have any real desire to do so. The woman had shortened the distance and pressed her lips against his. She had allowed him to drink his fill of her sweetness, and still he wanted more. He could see the need reflected in her own eyes which caused a small smile to brush his lips.

Mr. Devlin. For some reason, the name was an abrupt reminder of the precarious situation he was in. He felt bereft at the loss of her touch, his skin still tingling with the memories of her soft skin - the hand that could coax him into feeling more than the constant rage that seemed ever present in his life recently. His eyes slid over her masked features again, silently appraising the woman again. It was so entertaining being with her. Her emotions were infectious and he could not help but feel drawn to the life and desire he saw in her dark eyes.

Of course there was the wonderful mixture he saw in her - somewhere between a woman knowing exactly what she wanted and taking it, and a young girl as nervous as if it were the day before her birthright. Allowing his hand to be drawn across the carriage again was likely a mistake, however it was one he was willing to make. Anything to renew the contact - to help remind him that this was real, that she was real. He smiled for a moment, allowing her words to help soothe the man inside that was instantly beginning to recoil at the mention of a party. Parties were just another occasion for him to stand out against the backdrop of his family, the lone, shabby goat from the herd of perfect, white sheep.

Swallowing past the thoughts, he allowed her excitement to encourage him. After all, it was not as though he would be competing with his brother here. No one knew Brogan as well as he did - not out here. And even if they did know of him, they were not so easily cowed and wooed by the gray as many of those in court. Releasing the tension, he allowed his mind to focus instead on her velvet touch. The tips of her fingers were tracing a pattern across his hand, the light brush leaving a tingling phantom in its wake.

His eyes shifted to the window, the carriage slowing even as time seemed to speed up to take her away from him again. A grand party would mean he would have to interact with any number of people. Any number of people who were not Caprice. His eyes shifted back to her face, silently wondering what tonight would bring. Would they dance? At the moment, he was not entirely certain he could remember the steps he learned in the lessons he had taken so many years prior. Would she prefer another dancer to him? They had not tried dancing together, and if there was no chemistry between them while dancing it could be a devastating discovery. His fingers twitched, sensing the moment between them coming to a close as he chased her fingers with his own for a brief moment before allowing her patterning to continue.

The next few hours could change everything, especially as he was a Devlin entering the house of Sheane. Though still a guest, there were any number of things her family could tell her about his family. Looking back at her, he studied the gentle curve of her neck - her features hidden behind a mask and turned in profile to him before shifting to look down at the hand she held captive.

Weakness. That's what it was. Or perhaps he was allowing himself to be caught under the spell she had woven. The small red-headed healer had entranced the angry Devlin brother. She had wooed him away from his constant vendetta against his brother and given him another focus. She tormented him with promises - promises of sweetness and an intimacy he could not taste. Her eyes allowed him a glimpse into what it was he truly needed yet could not allow himself. She was both an angel and tormentor. Leaning forward to look over the pattern she was drawing, following the movements for only a moment before speaking.

"Are you casting a spell to keep me from leaving before the party?" There was a tone of a dry smile in his voice, but the woman did not look up at him. With his free hand, he reached up to touch her smooth cheek, the passion gentled at the feel of her skin. He felt her hand hesitate in its pattern. After a moment, he moved his hand so that his index finger was poised beneath her chin, his thumb gently brushing her bottom lip before lifting her head so that he could see her eyes again. So he could remind himself of the forbidden promise that lay there.

With the fire of before subdued by strength of will alone, he leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers for only a moment. The passion was not pressing him against her, but instead a gentle brush of her lips is all he stole - something to remind him why he would stay. To remind her that he would stay. Pulling back almost immediately so that neither of them became wrapped up in the passion that was inevitable between the two if the kiss was prolonged. His fingers brushed across her face again before retreating, even pulling back enough to take his hand from her grasp just as the door to the carriage opened.

He turned his eyes towards the man who opened the carriage, shifting over in the seat without glancing back at his angel. Stretching out his legs, he ducked under the door before stepping down the steps and onto the ground. Turning, he smiled at Caprice Sheane, holding out his hand and awaiting her descent from the carriage as well.

47
Scelt / Re: Licking the Wounds but the Venom Seeps Deeper
« on: Sep 28, 11, 06:00:54 PM »
Brennan had turned to leave, fully expecting to do just that. He was no longer in any mood to share his irritation with anyone, especially as any further fighting with Brogan would only result in more pain and less satisfaction. He could already feel the pain beginning to taunt him where his body had taken a few bashes by the battering ram he called a brother. But that was a great joke as well. Brogan was no brother to him, despite the blood they shared.

He sensed he was being followed though he did not turn back to look at who it was. Naturally, as he heard Brighe's voice, his stride lengthened hoping to lose the witch. Hadn't she done her duty for today? She stepped in and broke up the fight. That was all well and good but she did not need to chase after him to give him yet another lecture on taunting Brogan. He heard enough of those from all sides growing up and he was in no mood to listen to another one now.

She kept doggedly on his heels, despite the turns he was taking, hoping to lose her around the next corner or at least discourage her from following after. Still she pursued him. Damn sisters knew how to be irritating when they were least wanted. At her command, he did stop, but only because he knew she would hound his steps until he slowed or she could corner him. He would much rather her corner him out here than where others could overhear the conversation or jump in to lecture him with her. Brighe did not need any help in that department.

He spun around, tense as he waited for her to finally catch up. "Look, Brighe, if you're here to give me another lecture, I'm not in the mood." The tone he used was not indulgent, but rather irritated. Much like he was. "I've heard it all a dozen times before and it's not going to change a damn thing about how I behave." He was prepared to spin around on his heel again and storm off, ready to be alone to sulk in private rather than face any member of his family.

48
Scelt / Re: Licking the Wounds but the Venom Seeps Deeper
« on: Sep 19, 11, 02:25:34 PM »
Anger mingled with the self pity taht was ever present in the young Prince, his gray eyes flashing with emotion that only revealed itself when he and Brogan were really into one of their fights. And the fact that he had not been expecting anyone to interfere with them led to the fact that he was taken completely by surprised when her voice rang through the air, like a slap that sent his head snapping over in her direction. The fire in his eyes did not lessen, but the fight was going out of him. He may not belong to his family, but he was above hitting his adopted sisters. No, Brogan was the only one he actually allowed himself to hate and despise - mainly because Brogan was the one who hated and despised him.

"Don't speak for everyone," his tone was almost casual despite the anger and violence settling around them. For a moment, he wished he could see Brogan's face at her words. Of the entire family, Brogan was the one who had been most convinced that there was no hope for Brennan. That he was a bad seed. He could see it in his big brother's eyes every time he looked at him. His big brother. That was a joke. Brogan stopped being a brother to him long ago, and the only thing that remained was the comfort with throwing each other around that brother's possess. Neither of them had any issue with leaving the other bloodied and bruised, and they would both walk away from the fight without losing sleep over the injuries given.

But just cause he would not hit Brighe did not mean he was opposed to growling at her, which is what happened when he felt the lash of the Tiger Eye across his hand. Not enough to do any real damage, and had he been thinking about it he likely could have shielded against it even with how poor his defense was. The red mark was already beginning to appear along with the stinging, but Brennan scarcely noticed. Bruised as he was, one more did not matter, though his fingers seemed to twitch as though trying to get the feeling to dissipate more quickly. Her words were sharp, though that was what Brennan always expected from his siblings however unfair and untrue it was.

He snorted slightly as she mentioned that neither of them would whine about not being seen to by a healer. Brennan scarcely went to a healer right away anyway. His pride often smarted too much for him to risk that look by anyone in there. He could see to his own wounds enough to keep them bearable, and that would suffice him just fine. Glowering at his sister his cheek twitched before he glanced back at Brogan, reading the older brother's expression for a moment. He could not read anything there, though as always there was a hint of a future occasion where the two would once again meet and come to blows. It was an unending cycle, one that he doubted the two of them would ever get away from until one of them was dead or gone.

"I've had enough of this too," the words seemed forced out, his eyes staring hatefully at his brother. His muscles were tense with unspent anger, but without throwing another glance towards Brighe, or even a word as to a farewell, he turned and stormed away - the same direction he was heading before being so interrupted by Brogan, though in solitude this time. The girl he had been with was long since gone, and he suddenly was not in any mood to see her again. Brennan was quite certain he had enough of his brother to last a lifetime - enough of the family to last an eternity. This was not his home, nor was he able to find a place in it.

49
Scelt / Re: A Promise to a Stranger [attn: Brennan]
« on: Aug 06, 11, 03:42:25 AM »
The ire of the guard was oppressive, and was mostly directed at the male in the carriage - as though the fact that she had climbed into his lap and began tempting him with forbidden pleasures was somehow his fault. They had obviously never had a beautiful woman lay claim to their attentions. When staring into the deep, brown eyes heated with the fire of passion, there was little for a man to do except answer the fire with flames. His body was hot, his eyes closing tightly as she held onto him when the carriage lurched. He was a dead man. He was most definitely a dead man - if not now, then later when her father was made aware of what was going on between them. His throat worked to swallow, his mouth suddenly dry. Her eyes were filled with promises, and based on the desperate push of her hands against his body, she was not going to be returning to her seat anytime soon. His back was confined against the soft cushion of the carriage as the woman moved closer, her lips a breath away from his own as she spoke, her voice husky with the passion that coursed through her as it did him. For the briefest of moments, he resisted her assault, her lips finding his in a moment of shock and fear, however that soon fled in favor of the flames that sprung up across his skin at the touch of her kiss. Her body pressed against him, his hands wrapping around her to pull her closer to him, as though there was no contact that was close enough for him. His eyes closed as he drank in the taste of her, his hands memorizing the feel of her through the dress that confined her.

And then within seconds it was over. She pulled back slowly, dragging an almost growling moan from his lips as she separated from him, her teeth tugging on his bottom lip in a tease before there was nothing left of the kiss but the memory of her on his lips. His tongue darted across his lips for a moment as his eyes slowly flickered open, staring at her while she looked down at him, almost shocked. Brennan could hardly apologize, as he had not been the one to start the fiery kiss which would leave him feeling chilled until he could again wrap her in his arms. He had almost forgotten the guards, though they did not allow their anger to go unnoticed for long. His gray eyes glanced towards where they lurked outside the carriage before looking back at her with a brow raised in earnest question. What were they to do about the guards now that they most certainly wanted him dead? It was as though they believed he somehow forced the woman to behave in such a way. If he had that kind of power, he would not be exploiting it in the face of those who were sent to protect her, that much was certainly true. His hands still held her, the warmth from her keeping the cold of the loss at bay for the moment. And then she was gone, falling back into her seat with very little ceremony. Shaken by the shared desire as well as the sudden departure of his companion, he stayed in his seat, his eyes following her movements eagerly. He was devouring her appearance, his eyes tracing over every feature as though he were afraid he would forget something important the moment she was gone from his sight. Or maybe he was just trying to drink his fill since he knew that his life would be forfeit soon. His last vision may as well be pleasant.

Worry laced his features as he saw her hands begin to shake, her body starting to flag from some unseen effort. He could only assume what it was she was doing, especially as the guards were beginning to lighten their disdain of a particular prince in the carriage. Leaning forward, his hands reached out and grasped hers, holding them steady in his own while she worked. He had no way of knowing if anything he did could support her, but he had reached out to touch her for his own sake as well as hers. He stared at her hands in his own, small and almost fragile in appearance though he knew relief at their touch the last time they met. He could remember the warmth of that touch even now as she worked to mend the flesh that had been so beaten. His thumb gently brushed over the soft skin on the back of her hand, forcing himself to stop short of reaching out to her in any other way. He would have to content himself with the fire that still raced across his lips from her  the memory of her kiss and the feel of her hands in his own.

His eyes flickered up to her own, finding that she was already watching him. He sat up a bit straighter, but did not release her hands from his own. Her eyes were urging him to act solely on instinct. To pull her back into his arms, consequences be damned. He cleared his throat, as if to remind himself just why he could not do that, as though the dark air of the carriage were not enough to keep his desires in check. He looked back down at her hands, a wry smirk twisting at a single corner of his lips. "It seems that way," his tone was a bit bemused, his eyes flashing back to hers to return the passionate fire that he saw when he looked at her. "For now, perhaps, though I do hope they can hold off at least until the night is over."

He stared at her, attempting to tell himself why the promises of her eyes were forbidden when he so desperately wanted to steal her away for the rest of the evening. He heard the silence bearing down on the pair of them as he held her hands, her eyes seeming to invade his soul and pull out the deepest part of himself for her perusal. There was no shielding himself from the depth of her gaze, the force with which it compelled him. "It would be such a tragedy if I were to miss spending the evening with you." He gently squeezed her hand wanting nothing more than to pull her back across the carriage and into his lap again. Mercifully she seemed to have the strength to keep herself where she was and he somehow managed to keep himself seated. He exhaled his breath in a bit of a laugh at their situation.

"Darkness, are we almost there?" He was not certain how much longer he could bear looking into her eyes - sitting in such close proximity to her. Oh what he would not give for another kiss, a brush of her lips against his own.

50
Scelt / Re: Banquet of Beginnings [Caprice + Sheane Court]
« on: Aug 04, 11, 02:41:06 PM »
Standing before the full length mirror and even staring at himself in a full suit, the man felt exposed. The tailoring was almost perfect and the woman who had brought him here then subsequently left him in this room had even seen fit to have a personal tailor come and make alterations on the suit she had picked out for him. By the time he was done, the suit looked as though it had been built to fit him. The black slacks were pressed and had a faint almost indiscernible checkered pattern that matched the sport coat. Beneath was a crisp white shirt with a silk tie, bright turquoise in color. Well, at least he looked like he belonged in the assembly, whoever all was going to be there.

But the truth of the matter was he did not belong with them. He was in the Sheane household attending a party for one of their own. He was a Devlin, and not some adopted child but Liam Devlin's own blood. A shiver ran down his spine at the thought of him being found out. What would they do if they assumed he was there to start trouble? Surely Caprice would not bring him here just to have him killed. He certainly hoped that was the case. His eyes locked with his own in the mirror, still feeling quite vulnerable and exposed despite the expensive suit he had been given to wear. Reaching to the sleeves, he fiddled with them for a moment longer as though that would somehow help to disguise who and what he was. Features shifting into a grimace at the reflection he abandoned the mirror and moved over to the desk. A number of delicate masks had been set out for him to choose from. He assumed they thought he would like some choice in how he appeared that night.

There was not a single one that was as extravagant as the one Caprice had donned, but that did not deter him. Women were meant to outshine the men in exchanges such as these. He was drawn to a rather simple one, black in color and very subtle designs marking the features, but he quickly set it aside believing it would likely be too dull if he ever had a chance to stand next to Caprice. The second he picked up was soft and pliable. Holding it up to his features, the other side was so dark it was nearly black and across both was a faint silver design to accentuate the features of the mask. The nose was what interested him the most as when he held it against his face, the nose was stiffened and lengthened down past his own a bit giving an exaggerated expression. This part was stiffened so that it did not merely rest down around his lips but instead fell off his nose and continued on that same angle. Over the top of the nose stretched a twisted silver tendrils that then stretched above the mask on the opposite side giving an almost horned look. He returned to the mirror, watching his reflection, his head turning to the side slightly. The exaggerated features were almost enough that he could believe that they may not recognize him.

From the room he had been shown to he could hear a group cheering, his mind instantly traveling down to the room where the party was to be held. His hand lowered the mask to his side, his free hand again fretting with the suit. So he was not only an outsider, but he was late as well. Quickly he lifted the mask again, not even bothering to glance at the others that were set out and tied it behind his head. Shifting it slightly, he stared at himself again. Well, he was not perfect but it would have to do.

He fled the room, getting lost in the hallway for only a moment before he made it to the stairs. Quickly racing down them, he glanced in both directions, hoping to see a servant or perhaps a guest that would give him a hint as to where he was supposed to be. Where was Caprice? Would she be coming to find him, or was he to find her? Turning to the right, he moved towards where he heard most of the noise and followed the hallway. Reaching a door, he slowly opened it and peeked into the room. It seemed an appropriate time, since scarcely anyone turned to regard the lone, late guest. Fortunately, he seemed attired in a similar fashion to everyone else, so it appeared on first glance that he belonged. Sliding the door closed, he moved towards the crowd as they started to shift towards the tables. They all seemed to know where they were expected to be, each one moving with purpose to a seat that was designated for him. Fear again began to grip him - that they would all find their places and he would be left standing there, staring at the strangers' faces and wondering where he was supposed to be. His eyes sought desperately through the crowd for Caprice, wondering if she even remembered him in the excitement of the party.

Slowly, his fears were becoming realized. Too many people were seated and too few left standing. Those that were standing were making their way lazily to their assigned seats, the silent dance already memorized as they played their parts. But Brennan had never been to the practices - he did not know the steps nor was he at all certain where he belonged in such a crowd. He stood still, and he knew he stood out, but he disregarded it as he sought out Caprice in the gathering. Where was she? And where was he supposed to be?

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