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Messages - Kazim al-Latifh

Pages: 1 2 »
Pruul / Re: By Water Bound
« on: Aug 27, 19, 09:51:17 AM »
Kazim felt her hands on his face, aware of the scruff of his cheek that he hadn’t shaved in a day.  He would have to make a better point of keeping himself neater now that he was going to be a part of her Triangle.  His eyes closed and he let out a sigh that surprised him in the way it poured from his lips in a happy sound.  He felt her fingers winding into his hair and he leaned into the touch, feeling very much like his horse when he was getting a good brushing.   He resisted the urge to let out a very horse-like huff of contentment.   She could touch him all day like this and he would die a happy man.

He opened his eyes to find her staring intently at him, looking for something with the utmost assurance that she would find hesitation or doubt in his heart.  The man who never thought to find a Queen he would find worthy to serve, he had not only found her but found her a woman that he loved and wanted to spend the rest of his days with.  In that intimate moment between them, he felt the weight of the ring he had purchased at Winsol in his pocket.  He had seen it in a shop, a small delicate thing.  Certainly not the sort of ring a Queen deserved but it called to him, told him it was meant to live on the hand of the woman he shared his life with.   

A million times since that moment he had wanted to ask her, but he couldn’t.  There was still so much she had to do, so many obstacles to overcome.  When the storm finally passed, then they would have the time to look towards the future without the present becoming a dark burden.

Her admission that she would have offered him the Consort’s ring had him reaching up to hold her hand to his cheek as he nuzzled her palm.  “No love,” he said, his voice throaty with emotion.  “What we share together is not a matter of Court or politics.  I do not want our joining to be flavored with anything but love and devotion.  Never duty, never obligation but only joyful surrender.”   His eyes brightened with smoldering need for a moment, telling her without words that he would never come to her bed out a sense of duty, only the purest desire

He watched her summon the dagger and place it to her wrist.  Every hair on his body bristled with fury as he first saw and then scented her precious blood rise beneath the blade.  Instinct roared that he had to protect, had to stop the thing that was hurting her and only her words, words of Protocol and Ritual leashed the beast within.  The power that rose up in her as she spoke those ancient words blew away his anger and left him with a cool clarity.

“I will serve,” he said, his voice filled with sacred promise.  The Bond of Queen and her Males transcended him, transcended his caste and his person; Kazim was not a very religious man but even he couldn’t deny the sanctity of this moment.   His lips covered the small nick and he sipped the blood gently before he brushed his thumb over the injury with a touch of Healing craft to close the wound.  He stared up at her with dumbstruck awe as her thumb slid across his lips and when she kissed him, his entire world settled into amazing silence.    His arms slid around her waist and he gathered her into his lap.   She might have been content to rest against him, but his mouth was not and he let it wander across her cheeks and down her jawline.  Her skin was warm and salty, flavored with the oils she used to keep her skin moist in the dry heat.  There was nothing lustful about his actions but a simple need to connect.

“This will be one entertaining evening,” he whispered softly as his lips brushed against her earlobe.  “I can think of at least five of your courtiers who were hoping for this promotion.  Is it wrong that I am quite amused to see the looks on their faces when your decision is announced?”  He chuckled warmly leaning back so she could see the mischief in his eyes.  “Perhaps we should warn the staff to place tarps down to catch the spilled food and drink when they drop their plates.”

Pruul / Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
« on: Jul 10, 19, 05:25:38 PM »
Kazim brushed his hand over his tunic, one of his nicer ones that he had made to tailor fit for one of his brother’s wedding a few years back.  He rarely wore it, preferring to keep such precious things for special occasions.   Riding the dunes didn’t lend itself to keeping clothing clean or tidy.  His guard’s uniform was good enough for most things but this was important.  This was special.

He fingered the ring on his right hand, feeling it spin around on the skin as he stared at the light reflecting off the metal.  It was such a small thing with such weight to it.  First Escort.  He was his Lady’s First Escort.  If fortune smiled his way, perhaps it wouldn’t be the only ring that he wore that bound him to her, but that was something to be discussed after the Clan was allowed to leave Onn, and he could take her on a long ride into the desert as his father had once done for his mother.   As First Escort, he could such things now without reporting back or answering to everyone in the triangle.   His word would be enough, not that he would do anything reckless but he didn’t owe an explanation to anyone. 

He was fairly certain that the knowledge of his comings and goings to Dinah’s tent was fairly common even outside of his guard brothers and based so far on the reactions and looks he had gotten,  no one seemed to mind.  Well, outside of Rasheed, Shaula and a few of her sycophants anyway.

He strode long towards the dining tent, a lightness in his chest that he hadn’t felt in a very long time.  Aisha had helped him with his hair, offering to braid some warriors braids into it to which he indulged.  They brushed against the tops of his shoulders as he walked, and it made him think about growing his hair out in the style that his brother had once adopted.  It seemed to bring his niece some comfort, on the nights she fell asleep in his lap while he read and her hand wound into the lower locks.

One of the guards at the doorflap gave him a once over and a cheeky grin at his attire and Kazim returned the playful tease with a roll of his eyes at the antics.   It earned a soft chuckle from the other guard before they pulled back the heavy folds of cloth to allow him entrance.   The cooled air and rich scents of food filled his nose, but there was only one scent that he craved more than even water. 

Dinah was seated at the center of the long table, with Rasheed to one side of her and her Master of the Guard beside him.  The seat once reserved for Javid was empty, a constant reminder of the man’s demise.  He felt a small bit of regret that his elevation came at the cost of another man’s life… but only a small bit.  Javid was a traitorous bastard, though he was his Queen’s brother.   Kazim approached the table and heard the conversation come to a quiet as he made the proper bows to the Court and to the Queen before stepping forward to place his hand on the back of the seat next to Dinah.

The air turned sharp and eyes stared at him in surprise as he pulled the chair back and moved to stand before it.  A glance at Dinah’s calm expression that looked up at him might have looked neutral, but he saw the glint of happy mischief in her eye.  So she hadn’t told them yet. How fun.

Kazim felt his lip twitch as he reached for the goblet that was in the place setting and raised it.  “A toast, to the memory of our fallen brother.  I can only hope that I can do proper honor to the title that has been bestowed upon me in his stead.  May the Darkness embrace you Javid.”  He raised the goblet to his lips, and may the harpies in Hell roast you forever over a slow-burning spit.   He would only think those things to himself behind the tightest of shields but that didn’t make them any less true.

Some joined him in toast, some still stared at the hand that held his goblet, that caught the light of the witchlight and showed the Escort Ring.  One face didn’t look at him, one pair of dark eyes stared far too intently at Dinah with a look of hungry eagerness that befitted a cat waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting bird.  He lowered the goblet and looked down at Dinah who was staring at her own goblet quietly, but with a strange focus that he had only seen across her face once before.

She was sensing something with her new craft.

He said nothing, turning to the rest of the room as if he didn’t even notice her peculiar behavior and took his seat, his hand sliding beneath the table to rest on her knee lightly.

*Poison?* he asked lightly, *Your vision?*

Pruul / Re: By Water Bound
« on: Jul 07, 19, 12:57:58 AM »
Kazim saw her appreciative glance, the way her eyes slid over his body so intently that he almost felt her fingers brushing along his cheeks, his shoulders, his stomach, his thighs.   He felt the air shimmer with the sweetness of her breath as she spoke his name softly and gave her an honest smile filled with emotion.  Oh, how he loved her.

She rose from her bed and approached him, and he relaxed his stance as she neared him.  It was just the two of them in her tent and it made it so much easier to forget his place.  She had summoned him as her Guard not as her lover and until he was certain of why she had called him, he wouldn’t deviate from his duties.  She looked so serious as she approached him,  “How can I serve, my Queen?”  The response was almost automatic and he flinched internally as he realized it made him sound detached and uncaring.  “You seem troubled Lady, how can I ease your mind?”  There, that sounded better.

He could see her pulse fluttering in her thin throat as she stepped closer and reached up, a bound piece of paper in her hand.  His heart sped up, the thundering echo of a horse in full gallop in his chest.  Was he being dismissed?  Was she sending him away?  Guards only received orders like this when it was time for them to change their service.  He swallowed nervously as he took the paper from her.   Perhaps this was the working of her Father.  The man had never liked the influence he had over Dinah; he might have taken advantage of her sadness and loss to push his agenda on her while she was weakened in grief.

He let his eyes drift away from her face and down to the paper that was suddenly in his hands.   Official certainly, with all the elegant penmanship expected of any court document but instead of her father’s handwriting, he recognized her own.  Her delicate, neat penmanship that he would know from watching her study and make notes as she secretly poured over her Widow Craft scrolls and books.   His eyes started to slide over the words without reading but he returned to the beginning and focused.

“First Escort,” he whispered faintly, his wide eyes turning to her face.  She was offering him a place in her Triangle, in one of the most trusted and intimate places of the Triangle second only to the Consort.  “I think this is very very clear,” he said with a warm, teasing half smile as he re-read the document again, and again, and a fourth time before he took a long full breath and looked back to her.

“Dinah, are you sure?  Your court won’t break without a First Escort and you are still in mourning for your brother.  I don’t want you to feel like you have to offer me a place in your First Circle right away.  I have always been happy as I am,” he glanced down at the paper.  First Escort meant no more rotations, no more excuses of why he couldn’t be with her.  The Master of the Guard would be equal with him instead of his superior; not that he had ever disliked working under the man who had his sister’s best interest at heart.   Most importantly, it meant he had more of a say against her Father who sought only to advance himself at his daughter’s expense.   First Escort and no one could keep him from her side.   He carefully rolled the paper to preserve it and as he did on the first day he had seen her, knelt at her feet.

“My Lady, my only wish has ever been to serve you, protect you, watch over you and love you.  I am humbled by this; and I would be honored to take this position at your side.  Yes, I will serve Lady until my last breath.

Pruul / Re: By Water Bound
« on: Mar 12, 19, 01:58:58 AM »
Kazim was bone tired. It had been another long and brutally hard day.  The air in the city was thick with tension, he could almost taste it.  It brushed against his skin like whipped sand and made him irritable.  Winsol was approaching soon, and hopefully with the season of festivals some of whatever had been riding the tempers would fade off in the distraction.  He had been hoping to find a special gift for Dinah but between taking double shifts most of the time and his attempts to work with the various remnants of the tribes to see who would be interested in running the blockade and bringing much needed supplies, there simply hadn’t been time..   The sandworm presence outside the walls had dimmed, but they were still there.  After the initial glut of prey had subsided, they had begun to venture out themselves in search of easier meals.   The rooftop gardens had been helping, but there were so many things like grains and fresh meat that was needed to keep the Clan healthy.  Not to mention the restlessness of an entire city meant for a nomadic life being kept penned up behind stone walls.

When Dinah called for him to come to her tent, he had gone.  Of course, he would never deny her a single thing, but if she was wanting more than company and comfort tonight, he wasn’t sure he would be up to the task and for a Warlord Prince to admit that before his Queen was… well it was a little embarrassing.   Then again, she might not be seeking that side of his skills this evening, given that she had only just performed the funeral of her brother.

That had been a spectacularly glorious disaster.

Kazim sighed and decided not to dwell on that matter and focus on the presence.  His Queen requested his presence, and the request had an air of formality to it.  So he brushed off his uniform as best that he could, brushed his hand through his hair to tidy it somewhat and after an introductory knock on the door frame before stepping into her room.   He took a formal guard stance just inside the door, his back stiff and straight.

“You asked for me Lady?”   His eyes fell on her, curled up against the plump pillows of her seating area and despite her own weariness and grief was still the most beautiful woman he had ever beheld.  Beneath the surface, she was a woman of character and strength, compassion and determination.   He stared at her and in that moment, he knew exactly what gift he was going to give her for Winsol.

His Dinah, beloved of his heart blushed and flustered under his praise and it warmed him to know he had brought those smiles to her lips when so much had cause her pain and worry.  “May that moment be my last, that I should cause you such pain.” He said softly, his eyes holding hers with intense emotion before he shifted his gaze to the plants.  Aisha, already fascinated with the green growing things,  hadn’t noticed the moment of emotions, her sharp dark eyes studying the differences in the leaves.

“Kazim knows lots of things, he travelled out on the dunes for a long time. That’s why I never met him before…”  the little Queen looked sad a moment before she looked back at Dinah.  “Well I think it would be hard to talk to horses, because they don’t say words.  I think maybe it’s like you, just feeling about horses.  Plants must be even harder because they don’t even think like we do.”  she said after a moment of deep thought.  She held her hands obediently out for Dinah’s guidence, her small hands pressing into the dark dirt that had been carefully created to nourish and grow the food.  Kazim leaned forward, interested in being witness to such a special sort of Craft.  He schooled his features not to display his amusement as his niece screwed up her face into a hard look of concentration so reminiscent of his brother that he could almost see him as he had been when they were both children.  Finally Aisha slowly opened her eyes, seeming almost hesitant and uncertain.

“Hot,” she said slowly, feeling confused by the response she was getting, “bright but good.  They like the sun, even though it is very hot.”   When Dinah asked about the roots she squinted her eyes again, her mouth pressing into a thin line of disappointment.  “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like they are looking for water right now.  Just the sun.”

Kazim watched on with fascination, his own hand pressing down into a nearby patch of dirt but he didn’t feel anything more than the soft looseness of material.  There was no deeper calling that resounded in him, as well there wouldn’t be.   As he watched the two Queens talk, he watched a kinship of caste forming, even though they were far difthese ferent in age and Aisha had not yet received her birthright.   Already, Dinah was stepping into her role of instructor and guide for the future of the Latifh, and someday Aisha would take lessons from the elder Queen and been the leading source of her own people.

Lesson completed, the offer to allow the young girl to help with a new planting made Aisha’s young face light up with excitement.  “Yes please Lady!” she said, looking around for the piece of the garden that would be hers to tend.  Kazim looked up when his name was spoke and dramatically held up his hand, already covered with some dirt and sighed.  “Ah, if I must roll around in the dirt to appease my ladies’ request.  Otherwise, what sort of escort would I be if I were afraid of a little dirt.”

Aisha giggled, “There could be bugs too!  Bugs like plants.”  She covered her mouth as her eyes widened in a mischievous thought, “Uncle Kazim might get scared of a bug!  That would be funny!”

Kazim beamed at Dinah, aided more by the soft touch of her mind to his, and the way she called him her love.  For such things, he would roll around in the middle of the city in the muckiest of mud if Dinah asked it of him.  “I am always at the ladies’ disposal,” he said with a little formal bow before looking around.  “What shall we plant then?  Something tasty for a future meal?”

Pruul / Re: A Storm of Stone and Dreams
« on: Mar 12, 19, 01:58:10 AM »
Kazim looked up as Ebra bolted in behind the Healer and immediately his scent laced with fear and panic as he looked down at Dinah.  The Healer had joined him on the ground beside their Queen and was looking her over, but it was the male’s distress that he chose to focus on.  The younger man’s emotions would push at Dinah’s already fragile sense and she needed to recover herself before dealing with the weight of others.

*Not yet, let her come back to herself and get her feet beneath her before we knock them out again.   I suspect that on some level she might already suspect, but let’s get the shock out of her before we confirm anything,* he responded to the Healer as he gestured to Ebra to move closer with a jerk of his chin.

“Lady Dinah is not poisoned,” he said in a soothing calm voice, more intended for Dinah’s ears than Ebra’s through a steady voice would help his Bonded brother.  “She is not sick and she is not harmed in anything except heart.   She has received a shock I think, it is important to keep her warm and to bring her back to herself.   What she needs,” and he held the other man’s eyes with a hard look, “is to know that we are safe and well.  Her first concern was for our well-being.”  He shifted himself a little.  “Come here Ebra, take her hand in  yours so that even while her mind drifts, she will feel your touch and know that you are well.  It will be an anchor for her.” 

He looked up at Saladin then, a hard lined frown on his lips.  *This does not bode well for our Queen.  Illness in the streets and now the First Escort is dead by suspicious means.  Danger circles our Queen, and if there is poison in the food and water, it could have been brought into the compound.   Should I pass this information to the rest of the Guard or should I wait?  I don’t want to cause unnecessary panic among the Clan, not until we know for sure his poisoning was from outside the compound.*

Kazim watched as his niece threw herself happily in Dinah’s arms, happy that despite the tragedy of her young life, she would have a mentor and role model in Dinah to lead her.  Even though they were still growing to know each other, each day with the young girl was opening up something inside him, a part of his heart he hadn’t ever really thought would be something in his future.  Of course, he never thought he would find his Queen, and never imagined that the woman who held his leash would hold his heart as well.

He smiled gently watching the pair as Dinah spoke quietly with the little Queen, and saw Aisha settle herself at Dinah’s side, her own little fingers reaching to touch the plants that Dinah had been tending with that inquisitive expression that all children had when faced with the world, though judging by the scrunched look on Aisha’s face when she extracted a small bug from the midst of the plans, she wasn’t too fond of crawling things.  He didn’t blame her in the least.

“Of course Lady,” he said, nodding his head, “but the Queen is the heart of her people, they follow her example.  Your dedication and hard work in these gardens has been an inspiration for even the most doubtful as to their success.”  He gave her a little sly look, “I was never one of those.  I am not so foolish to ever doubt you.”   He moved a little closer, crouching down on his heels to watch the two Queens.

Aisha shook her hand so that the bug had no choice to fly away and Kazim was pleased to see it was not a harmful pest.  He wasn’t sure of the name of the little creature, but he knew the types of pests that got into growing things and caused destruction.  The little girl looked up at Dinah, her hands folding in her lap politely, “Mama used to tell me that too,  sorta.”  She bit her lower lip in concentration, “A Queen is like a rope” she said slowly,”[/b] I thought it was a joke  but then she showed me how a rope looks like one piece but its lots of pieces that are all together.”[/b] 

She shifted a little nervously and looked over her shoulder at Kazim who just smiled encouragingly and nodded his head at her before the little girl looked back at Dinah,”[/b] He told me that Queens have special craft, he told me the Jinan Queen can talk to horses which I think sounds very nice.  I like horses.  He took me riding on Zar, he’s a good horse.”[/b]  The little girl shed some of her nervousness and beamed, “He said that you could teach me what special craft I will have as a Queen.   Mama had special craft, Papa called it…” she squinted her eyes and thought a moment, “Papa said mama could feel the ground.  She always knew where there was bad sand that could make us sink.”

Aisha looked towards the plants and back at Dinah, “You can talk to plants?”

Pruul / Re: A Storm of Stone and Dreams
« on: Dec 28, 18, 11:55:24 PM »
Kazim heard the report from Shinar about the lockdown and which entrance they were to enter through as they ran back to the Quarter, all the while keeping his eye out and listening to Ebra’s account.  “Sick people?” he questioned, the only words he said as he let the younger man explain what he had seen on the streets.   People falling ill from food and water, and the angry and frightened voices blaming this on the Sabbah Queen’s gifting of food and water from her mine water and rooftop gardens.   Dinah had been working with the concept on the rooftops of the Tabur but no one had fallen sick within their compound, had they?

Poison.   Hadn’t Dinah had a vision about a poisoning attempt, weren’t those the words that she had shared with the veiled Black Widow?   Suddenly he was pushing a faster pace, in a hurry to get back to Dinah. 

“Yes, the Queen ordered a lockdown,” he explained shortly, motioning to a guard who opened a way for them to enter.   As soon as they were inside the protections of the quarter, he saw Ebra looking around with concern on his face as he cast about for a certain person before explaining his intention.  Kazim nodded, clasping him on the shoulder solidly, “I will attend the Queen and share information.  See to the Healer and do likewise and keep her safe.  If there is a sickness spreading through Onn, we need her well.”  He released the other man’s shoulder and turned on his heel, lengthening his stride back towards Dinah’s quarters.

He wasn’t surprised to see Saladin still there and was grateful for the Voice’s presence but it was Dinah’s form crumpled on the floor that gave him cause for alarm.   He knelt at her side, his hand reaching for her own before stopping as he looked into her face seeing that distraught and distant look that seemed to come across her when she had seen something particularly horrible in her webs.   Concerned he looked to the Voice.  Had she told him her secret?  If she spoke of the things in tangled webs, the Voice would surely know by now.

“Dinah,” he said softly, his hand sliding to touch her shoulder gently in case she was lost in that abyss but not enough to jar her reality with his presence.  “Ebra is safe, he is tending to your Healer.  The quarter is on lockdown per your instruction.   There is a sickness in the streets, more than one.  There are those falling ill from food and water, and this has cause a sickness of fear that is driving the True Sabbah to action.   A mob is heading for their quarter as we speak and I think no good will come of this.” 

When she didn’t respond, his hand moved to her hand and almost swore with the cool feeling beneath his hand.  Looking up at Saladin, he pulled a covering from her bed and wrapped it around her, pulling her into him and rubbing her briskly.   “What happened?” He asked of Saladin, her pale complexion raising his hackles, “what…”

A soul shattering scream rippled across an open Tiger Eye thread, sending ice shivers down his back at its intensity.  Shaula’s voice, and someone was dead.   There is only one person that he could imagine would affect the upstart Queen with that much trauma, she was not one who cared for anyone except herself but the Bond between Queen and male went to the heart of both. 

“Javid.”  He said, his voice almost too cool to be polite as he answered his own question.   Javid was dead.  Kazim didn’t mourn the bastard too much, but he would keep his thoughts to himself.  Dislike him though he did, he was still Dinah’s brother.

Pruul / Re: A Storm of Stone and Dreams
« on: Dec 19, 18, 01:10:34 PM »
Dinah had been on edge all the day, and that in turn had left an itchy feeling under his skin. His Queen was in distress and he had nothing to fight or destroy to relieve her anxiety.   The most he could do was keep a calm face himself and sooth her, distract her when possible from the things that were riding at her mind.  Still, he could feel the scratch scratch scratch at the back of his own mind, growing with such intensity that he knew it must be driving her mad.

Finally, he had forcefully put his foot down and orchestrated a shift in her schedule so that she might have an extra hour to herself before the evening meal.  It had been difficult, he had begun to suspect whatever was bothering her had less to do with Javid’s recent behavior or her father’s near disastrous outbursts but something that was known only to himself within the camp.   Hourglass reasons.

So he had escorted her back to her quarters and posted himself outside the door and may the Darkness help anyone who came to bother her in those stolen moments.  He knew he had the look of a man out to seek blood from anyone who came even close to her doorway and it amused him darkly to see the few people who had approached go scurrying away at the look in his dark eyes.  No, he wouldn’t actually harm anyone, or at least he didn’t think he would but until Dinah had a chance to sort herself, he was creeping nearer and nearer to that line.   Then, there would be prices to pay.

He could feel her, sinking slowly into her depths, felt the resonance of her at the Opal, a constant state of awareness that let him be certain of her safety at all times. It was a soothing sensation, the gentle rippling of her Offering at the level of his Birth, and a symbolism there that steadied his need to lash out at her distress. 

Fear flared, panic and shock hit him and he passed through wood and stone at the whisper of his name and was at her back before the webs she had been studying could even touch the floor, his arms wrapping tightly around her waist as he held her close.   One hand reached up and brushed sweat-soaked hair from her face, which was flushed and hot.  She was muttering almost incoherantly and he picked out “storm” and “Sabbah” and “Ebra”.   For a moment he wondered if she was ill but then her eyes turned toward his and he could see the whites all around her beautiful brown.

Ebra, the young man Delara had brought back from Tuono and his Bond Brother.  He hadn’t spent much time with the younger man, but he belonged to Dinah as he did and he would not begrudge his Queen anything. “Are you alright?” he asked gently, helping her to her bed, his hands working in her hair to pull it up and away from her face.   “I will go, but I need to know if your storm has passed or are you still pulled towards your web?”   If there was more, if she was still feeling the pull of her Craft, he wouldn’t want her alone and risk someone else walking in and discovering her secret.

Her assurances that she was going to be alright, and he nodded, pausing only a moment to press his lips to hers, willing his strength into her.  “I will see out my Bonded brother and bring him back you to.  Stay in your room until I return and open the door to no one you do not summon.”    Then he was on his feet and out the door, rushing out of the residence and into the night.

The wind was whipping up, and there was an energy in the air that seemed wrong.  There were lights in the far distance in the direction of the Sabbah quarters and he vaguely remembered Dinah telling him there was a wedding planned.   Yes, he remembered the quarrel between Rasheed and Dinah now, about her desire to send a wedding gift and his outrage that she would dare associate the Clan with that woman.   Kazim had meant to speak to her privately and find out the whole of the matter but it had dropped from his memory.   The air was heavy, weighted with something that seemed ready to descend on the whole city and Kazim heard shouts and noise from the opposite direction and growing closer. 

Wrapping himself in the Sapphire he saw torches approaching and growing in number, shouts growing louder and more coherent.   Shit, it was a mob and they were heading in his direction.  Kazim ducked down a nearby alley, cloaking a sight shield around himself to be safe.   They might have another target in mind, but angry mobs were like an uncontrolled fire.  Sometimes they burned more than their intended target and while he could count his skills highly, there was something to be said about the power of numbers. 

On a thread he reached out towards Ebra, searching for the familiar sense of the Yellow Warlord and caught a faint flicker that was overcast by too many around him dulling the sense of the young man. Frustrated, he pulled himself up over a dividing wall that separated two alleyways and nearly dropped on the fellow who was coming up from the other side.

“Ebra,” he said, relieved that he hadn’t missed him in passing, “Lady Tabur has need of you and sent me to find you.  There’s something brewing, something dangerous and she needs you back at the Residence immediately.”   The mob was getting larger, growing closer, and the weight in the air increased.   Yes, he knew the feeling now, the same weighed feeling came across the air when a Sandstorm was rising in the distance and rushing forward.  It was dangerous enough in the open desert, but in a city like Onn which had narrow streets and alleys to funnel sand and wind it could prove disastrous.

He expanded his Sapphire shielding around Ebra and steered him back towards the Residence, eyes ever vigilant on any approaching danger and wondered exactly what Dinah had seen in her webs and what would greet them when the sun rose in the morning. 

Kazim stepped into his room, feeling dusty and tired from the day’s work.  He hadn’t had guard of Dinah today, a fact that had bothered him, but doing his shift along the walls of the city with the rest of the guard had been enough to distract him from that for a little while.  He knew Dinah had been preoccupied all the day with Court matters and dealing with the growing strain of the Clan being confined inside city walls and would probably be equally as tired.   Aisha, darling girl, looked up from her seat on the worn rug that adorned the equally worn floor of his small room, and gave him a bright smile.  She held a weaving in her hand, a simple thing made with a number of colorful strips of old rags.  He recognized it very well, it was a common enough lesson for young children who were starting to learn how to harness their craft.  The exercise had them moving the strips of cloth over and under each other without touching them.  It required concentration and as they mastered the wider strips of cloth, they worked with smaller, narrower, and more material until they were able to accomplish the same goal with string passed through a wooden backdrop.

“Uncle!” she said happily and sprung to her feet with the agility that only the smallest children seemed to possess and flung herself into his arms.  He obliged her with a happy swing upward until he lifted her to the ceiling and held her there. “Hello there little bird!”   He had started calling her that when he learned of her affinity for being held up over his head.  She giggled and flapped her hands in a mock wing-like gesture and he spun her around so she could “fly” before setting her onto his hip.   “I see you’ve been working on your lessons,” he said, looking over at the weaving.   Her dark hair bounced as she nodded her head forcefully.

“Basira showed me, brought me the ribbons.  I want to make Lady Dinah a Winsol present,” she said with childlike pride.  He smiled and leaned his head against hers, kissing her hair.  “I think that is a wonderful thing, I know she will love it.”   She rested her head on his shoulder and and got very quiet and very still for a moment, something that was very uncharacteristic for his overly energized niece before she said, “Mama and Baba went to the Darkness, didn’t they?”

He hadn’t gotten around to talking to her about her parents, he should have.  It had been weeks since the attack on Onn and he had been doing his damndest to distract her with lessons and play and anything he could think of to keep her away from talk of the dead and especially on her parents.   In the beginning she had cried out for them and he had hugged her and let her cry but he had never actually addressed what happened with her.  She just had been told that they were gone and she wouldn’t see them again, but the talk of what that really meant, he wasn’t sure if even he was ready to talk to her about it.

“Where did you hear that?” he asked, moving over to sit on the edge of a cushioned seat so she could perch on his knee and look at him.

“Mama told me about the Darkness, that it was the place we call came from and that when we went away, that’s where we went.  I didn’t know that it meant forever.”  Kazim sighed and placed his hands on her slender shoulders.   “Yes Aisha, they are in the Darkness now and one day so will you.  Everyone, Blood and Landen return to the Darkness eventually.”   She looked solumn and sad, “Even you?”

Kazim nodded, “Someday, but I don’t plan on going for a very very long time.  I have too much work to do.”

Aisha nodded her head emphatically, “You have to take care of me, and you have to take care of the Queen.”  She seemed to ponder that a moment and tilted her head.  “I’m a Queen, like mama and Lady Dinah.  Is that why you take care of me?”   Kazim felt tears sting the back of his eyes. 

“No little one, I take care of you because you are blood of my blood, your baba was my brother and you are my family.  I would always take care of you, even if you weren’t a Queen.  I take care of Lady Dinah because she is a Queen, but more importantly she is MY Queen.  Did your mama tell you about that?”   Aisha shook her head and Kazim pondered how to explain the thing that even he sometimes couldn’t properly explain to himself.

“Dinah is Queen of the Tabur, that is all of us.  But to me, she is very special.  The Darkness chose me to be a special person to her,  it’s like we have an invisible rope that ties us together.  I can always feel where she is, and if she’s sad or happy or scared.  It lets me take care of her better.  She also has Lord Ebra, who is also tied to her.  You remember him right?”  At her nod he continued, “Someday, you might meet a male who has his own invisible rope tied to you, and his job will be to take special care of you and keep you safe, so you can do Queen things for the Latifh.”

Aisha turned her dark soulfull eyes to him, “Can’t you be one of those special people for me?  I don’t think Lady Dinah would mind if we shared!”  Kazim couldn’t help but grin at her expression and genuine tone.  “Well, no I don’t think she would because knows how much it would mean to you but you don’t get to pick who it is but you’ll know when you meet him.  You’ll feel like suddenly…” he pondered a moment trying to explain his own reaction to her, “you’ll feel happy and surprised and suddenly like you just realized that person had been away for a long time and just came back.   At least, that’s how it felt for me.  You’ll have to ask Lady Dinah what it was like for her.”   Silently he offered an apology to Dinah for thrusting a questioning child in her direction.   Aisha seemed to think about this, and he watched his own brother’s look cross her young face.  His brother at his most pensive, held his eyes in the same manner.

Finally after a few moments of silence she said, “So what sort of Queen things will I do for the Latifh?”   

“Well, every Queen is different, just like every member of the Blood is different in the different skills we can do. Queens have special talents that no one else has.”  Aisha piped up in awe, “Even you?!”

Kazim laughed, “Yes, especially me.  But you little one, you will have special Queen things you can do that I can’t.  They might be the same as Lady Dinah or they might be something else.   Some Queens can make things grow, some Queens can make people feel happy or peaceful with their touch.   I heard,” and he ducked his head softly to whisper at her, “that the Queen of the Jinan can talk to horses.”   Well, that was probably a gross oversimplification of what he had heard, but for a five year old, it was more than enough to elicit a look of awe and excitement.

“Oh wow!” she said, “Maybe someday she can show me her Queen thing too!   I want to learn all the Queen things so I can be a good Queen like my mama!  She was the best Queen, everyone said so.  Baba did too.”  She lost some of her excitement as she fiddled with her tunic.

“Baba gave me to you, because Mama needed him and she was his Queen.  If something bad happens again, would you leave me alone because you have to protect Lady Dinah?”   There it was, the question he had hoped she would never think of but she was so blasted smart and quick witted.  He was so proud of the way her mind drunk up information and shaped it into what worked for her.   He slid his hands down her small arms and took her little hands in his.

“If Lady Dinah was in trouble, I would go protect her because to me she is the most special woman in the world.  Special like your mama was to your baba.  But I promise you Aisha, I would fight with everything I had inside me to come back to you.  Just like I know your baba did, just like I know your mama did. Your baba loved you so much, he gave you to me to protect you.  He didn’t want to leave you alone, but he knew that I could get you away from the Sandworms and keep you safe.  He protected both of his Queens, and that is what all males are supposed to do.  It is the honor and the promise we make.”

She didn’t meet his gaze, looking down at her hands, his hands and just nodded quietly.   Feeling a little uneasy at brutal honesty, he squeezed her hands gently once before picking her up and placing her on her feet. 

“I have an idea. Why don’t we go up to the rooftops and look at the gardens.  The Sabbah Queen, who is very good at growing things, shared with Lady Dinah the idea about making gardens on the roofs of the buildings so we can have food to grow.  Helping the land and the plants is one of those special Queen things you might do when you are grown.  Would you like to go see?”  She brightened then, and grabbed his hand, eagerly dragging him towards the door of their shared room.   Glad for the change of mood, though regretting not having changed out of his dusty clothes, he let her ‘pull’ him up the stairs that lead to the rooftop of the central building of the Tabur district.  There were many buildings that made up their section of Onn but it had been decided that Dinah and her court would occupy the largest and most central of the buildings to conduct their business and live in.   

The sun was nearing the horizon, though it wouldn’t fully set for another couple of hours, still plenty of time for the young girl to explore the rooftop that had been transformed into a field of food.  He watched her hurry over to the first set of vines, her tiny fingers delicately picking up on strand and studying it and he bent over to look at it.   Based on the pods that were budding, he guessed a type of bean but truthfully he wouldn’t know which kind just looking at it.  His eyes scanned over the few people who were crouched over the far end of the room and his eyes on a familiar shape.  He might have been fully distracted by his niece but as soon as he cast his eyes on her, his attention was all for his lady.

“Aisha, look” he said pointing in that direction and Aisha sprang to her feet so quickly she almost hit him in the chin with the top of her head.  Without further required invitation, she ran across the rooftop towards Dinah, drawing up short beside the other lady and fell into what might have passed with a curtsey if she had been in less of a hurry.   Kazim just chuckled to himself as he took his time walking over, hands folded behind his back and giving Dinah’s assigned guard a recognitive nod of the head.

“Ah my Lady, I was just discussing with young Aisha about some of the things that Queens do for their people and thought she should see the result of your own Craft.”

Pruul / Re: Bloodcursed, Bloodbound
« on: Dec 09, 18, 03:23:31 PM »
 The news from Tuono had been grave and horrible.  He could see the way it had weighed on Dinah to hear about the total destruction of not only Tuono but the people who had perished.  He had called in as many good will chits as he could with the other guards, changing shifts with them to be able to stay by his Queen’s side and support her in this time.  No one seemed to mind, and most seemed to understand.  He valued the brotherhood that the guard had become to him, especially in these times.

So he found himself serving as her escort and personal guard the majority of the time.   Usually this brought him intense joy, but today he was stuck also escorting her father and Steward, someone whose presence seemed to hang a cowl of oppression over his Queen’s demeanor.   Rasheen might have been a skilled Steward in some aspects, but his need to put up any roadblock he could in Dinah’s path at every turn irritated the Warlord Prince to the point of extreme dislike.  Dinah’s father or not, he could run him through with a sword and bury him out in the sands without a second of regret if the opportunity arose.  Only to spare Dinah the pain of that familial loss did he hold his temper and his tongue.

Dinah had been anxious waiting for information from Saladin and Delara, and when news reached them of a group of people travelling from the direction of the destroyed city, it was all he could do to keep her waiting in the encampment until they arrived.  When they did, Dinah had hurried towards them ready to help.  Kazim felt pride rise through him when she disbursed the orders to heal, feed and offer them sanctuary in the wake of their tragedy.  Rasheen’s outburst snapped the leash he had been keeping on his temper, driving him dangerously close to the Killing Edge in rapid anger at the outburst, particularly because it sounded close to insubordination to Dinah’s command.  His hand twitched and fell to rest against his hip, not exactly touching the pommel of his sword but close enough.   His blatant disrespect not only for Dinah but for the sandriders had him ready to toss the man to the sandworms.

“Sandriders are an honored group, full of courage and the grace of the Darkness to tame those creatures.  Perhaps you should spend time among their ranks and endure their trials to appreciate what they have sacrificed better,” he said softly, just loud enough to be heard by Rasheen and perhaps Saladin.  He didn’t like Rasheen on a good day, and today he was bordering on his last nerve.

There was a young man with Delara, he saw him approach cautiously and warily as he looked around and then stopped suddenly, staring at Dinah.  Possessive instinct flared up along Kazim’s backbone and the basest of his nature wanted to curl an arm around her waist and glare at the rival male until he backed down in recognition of his prior claim but rational and training had him holding his position as guard.

He was relieved to see Dinah’s healer doing well, well as well as can be expected after having to deal with the aftermath of the attack.  She was loyal and hard working and Dinah certainly needed to surround herself in those that held those strong loyalties.  Saladin, he had mixed feelings about but he had also proven himself a true ally to his Queen so he nodded his head in greeting to the other man and relaxed his stance.    That was until the little Healer marched up furious and clocked Rasheen in the face, earning her a grin of satisfaction that he quickly slid back into place behind a stoic look.  He would have whooped in delight and even though he wasn’t the one enjoying the violence personally, it quelled a little of the angry beast in his soul.  Only just a little. 

Saladin’s stealth and speed impressed upon Kazim, and he decided he should spend some time getting to know a man who did not hesitate to unleash a vicious justice on anyone.  Steward though he was, Rasheen’s belittling of their guests was unhonorable and if Kazim held a more official or less contested position within Dinah’s court, he might have done the same.  He gave the Voice a respectful nod, his face not hiding the satisfaction to seeing Dinah’s father dropped to the dirt.   He sent along a message to the Master of the Guard, knowing that when Rasheen awoke he would probably be bellowing his outrage to his son and as his superior, he should hear first hand and immediately the cause of the attack.

“Welcome,” he said as soon as the unconscious man was carried away, both to Delara and the young man but to all those who had gathered behind them at the scene.  “We will see to getting all of you a place to stay, tents to rest in and food and water.”   He lifted his hand and a few of the guardsmen who had come up behind them stepped closer.  With more authority that he probably had, he motioned them to the refugees.

“Let’s have them set up on the eastern part of the encampment.  I think there’s space enough there for the tents without having everyone cramped atop one another.”  He paused and bowed his head to Dinah, “that is, if the lady thinks this would be a suitable arrangement.”

Pruul / Re: What Do You See On The Horizon
« on: Nov 10, 18, 10:48:21 PM »
Kazim watched the young, ragged looking man who stumbled into Dinah’s tent, instinct at another male anywhere near his Queen flaring against his spine, especially a strange male.  He bristled at the intrusion though he realized that Dinah had probably summoned him and held back his temper, taking in deep slow breaths that were filled with Dinah’s calming scent.  Being in her tent and around so much of her helped quell his greater need to throw the male out.

He had remembered Dinah mentioning a young man, Sandrider if he remembered correctly, E...something.  He wouldn’t admit that at the time he was rather admiring the slope of her dress along the curve of her hip as she was talking to him and didn’t quite catch his name but the younger man matched the appearance of someone who had been dragged through the desert on the back of a Sandworm.

A little smirk of approval slipped across his features as he noted the not so delicate way he handled the stubborn Healer by pushing her down into a chair.  He would have to talk to the boy about the proper and more Protocol appropriate manner in dealing with stubborn witches, especially when everyone's nerves were still frayed.  He was new to Dinah’s camp, and while he could understand the youth’s impetuous nature, another male would take offense for the Healer’s behalf and act on it. 

“Sometimes” he said with a heavy sigh without looking over at Dinah but instead giving the Healer a serious look, “and while we can appreciate the strength of her spirit in giving so much for the benefit of others, it would also be wise for the lady to understand that without rest, she would be worthless to anyone who might still need her help.”  He looked up at the young man...oh what was his name… “Still, it would not be wise to try and out stubborn a witch.  In the end, you both just waste energy better suited to more important things.”   He did fix the Healer with a stern look, “This is not one of those times to be stubborn though.”

He moved over to Dinah’s side, one hand drifting behind her back to rest lightly between her shoulder blades as he watched her eat, his posture a subtle reflection on the Healer, see even the Queen is taking the time to eat and regain her strength for the day to come so don’t push the boy too hard.

Pruul / Re: The Spider's Caress
« on: Sep 01, 18, 10:22:12 PM »
I am the luckiest man on all the sands, he thought blissfully to himself as after that moment of surprised release, Dinah began to use his body to her pleasure, gliding on him with all the grace of a Jinan on one of their steeds.  More beautiful, more wild, more everything.  Sweat glinted along her skin and he thirsted to lift himself off the bed and drink the droplets of water from her neck, her breasts.  He followed a trickle as it traveled down her belly until it vanished into the undulating movement of their bodies and let out a loud grown.

His request to touch her made her smile, a teasing smirk that made his cock throb inside her with tortured need.  She was hot silk and tight around him, moving in just the right ways.  He loved watching her learn his body and how to use it to bring her to climax.  Every new discovery in her exploration lit her face with ethereal bliss.  She began to lean forward, and his eyes followed the path of that dark nipple as it grew closer and closer. 

Her hands slid over his wrists, reaching for the scarf and then suddenly stopped as her back arched and her mouth let out the most skin tingling sound.  Blood flooded his cock as he moaned in response to the spike of pleasure in her scent.  One of her hands gripped the scarf that bound him like a lifeline as her lower half shifted and changed.  She panted and leaned forward, her eyes half closing as she found something in the position that pleased her intently.

He was vaguely aware of anything except the slow progression of her chest towards his lips, and heard her whisper his name in a softness that was almost reverent.  Her eyes were dark with lust and he arched his back up, his mouth closing over that hard pert flesh to pull it between his teeth with a satisfied growl.  Salt and water flooded his tongue and he used the same to flicker and tease the sensitive tip as his mouth suckled her.  He felt her hand on his arm, gripping him tightly until the prickle of her nails into his skin sent electricity down his spine. 

He pulled, tasted, kissed, his face turning to offer the twin supple mound his mouth and his attentions as her body exploded around him, trembling against him and she screamed.  A wild, intense, primal sound full of life and extacy that almost sent him over his edge completely.  In response his body pushed up into her, driving her up and over that wave again and riding down its crest together with her.  Her legs trembled around his hips, and he wished his hands were free to wrap around her and drive her back down onto him.   She might have spoken, her voice was so far away from the roar in his ears as he sought to keep that sound flowing from her lips, his feet digging into the bedding while his hips jacked up into her as fast as he could move, until his stomach ached from the effort.

She begged something, and collapsed against him, her chest rising fast and hard and he thrust one last time and rested beneath her.  Now that she was so close, his lips tasted that sweat on her shoulders, kissing her skin and her neck as she panted, flush and beautiful against him.

His hands suddenly fell free, and he almost mourned the restraint.  She had been so magnificent, a woman grown and claiming her body and his, that he didn’t want it to end, but her breath puffed against his chest and he felt the glow of heat that radiated off of her.  So much, too much for her to handle.  His hands slid down her back slowly, skin on skin as his fingers moved down over her soft ass, fingers teasing at the back of her thighs before settling on her hips.  His own body continued to move, his cock throbbing painfully for more, wanting more.

Her request made him purr with satisfaction and he turned his head to capture her lips slowly and tenderly.  “At your command,” he said, nibbling on her lip before he tightened his hold around her waist and rolled them, still tightly joined.  Now above her, he gently pulled her long dark hair from her damp neck, taking the same scarf that had bound him, and used it to wrap her hair up off her face.  He glided in and out of her, in slow tender movements as he kissed her face, her lips, her eyes, her neck. 

He wanted her to be ready for him when he began again, wanted her to join in the pleasure as he brought them back over that cusp again.  When she seemed ready, he rose back on his knees between her thighs without pulling free.  “Tell me if you do not enjoy this,” he whispered softly, before his hands slid down her legs, pulling them up to a bent position.  One hand reached over for a thick, plump pillow that had been pushed to the side and he lifted her hips up and slid it beneath.  His hands slid over her stomach as he lifted up on his knees, arching his body into hers and pushing her hips up in the same motion.

The depth astonished him, feeling his body slide full to the hilt within her.  A groan of satisfaction echoed from his chest as he repeated the motion, a full long glide into her depths while his hands slid up her stomach and cupped her full breasts, fingers teasing at the sensitive tips as his hips rolled and pushed, thrusting hard enough to make her hips arch. 

Need, a fullness and desire to unleash flooded his senses and one hand freed itself to her waist, holding her in place as he began to push harder and faster, the sound of skin on skin becoming rhythmic in the air around him.  He watched her arms rise up above her head, her hands pressing back on the headboard behind her as she matched his tempo with her own thrusts.  The sight of her languishing and writhing beneath him broke the last of his control and with a primal growl he fell upon her.  His blood boiled, thundered in his ears and all that was Dinah filled his senses.  Harder, faster, deeper….mine...mine...mine….claim her… make her scream….mine.

He slid both around beneath her and pulled her to sit upon him, rocking and thrusting into her as he held her to him with  his mouth and teeth closing upon that spot at her neck and he whispered thickly, “Scream for me again little Spider.”   He might go insane if he couldn’t feel that delicious release of her body on his, couldn’t ride that wave with her before burying and filling her.

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Aug 23, 18, 02:44:23 PM »
Mother Night, had anything ever felt so good in his life?  She moved beneath him, her body molded to fit his perfectly and the flush of her face, her skin, the scent of her arousal and pleasure, the wave after wave of feeling her body tighten around him and knowing he was doing that, he was giving her pleasure she had never was even better than the sex….well almost.

He had worried he would hurt her, or cause her discomfort and so had timed himself to catch her body when it was most ready and it had worked.  Her body arched up against him as she was caught in yet another wave of orgasm and he felt his own body rise up in response.  Oh he had meant what he said about loving her all through the night and this would be just the first of many many sessions before the sun rose in the morning.   He intended that neither of them be fit to stand by the end.

The movement of her leg over his shoulder had been done in the heat of the moment, and if he had been using his brain foremost, he might not have attempted it...not so soon but given her reaction, it had been a venture well worth it.  He would have bright red scratches over his shoulder and down his arm and every sting was well worth it.

A hand slid between them, and his fingers sought that pearl of flesh, thumb pressing in and rubbing it as he drove into her quickly, the motion of his body into her making her bed move beneath them.   He felt the brush of her Opal against his mind as she whispered his name and looked down into her eyes as he let her past his barriers and was stunned silent.

The euphoria that flooded him, the waves of physical and emotional pleasure, and the depth of….Mother night, he had often gauged his performance on the reactions he could see but this…  he felt the press of his flesh into her, felt the way he slid against something side that throbbed and released over and over.  His hand ought her hip and he moved her slightly and felt the jolt as his cock hit just the right spot and pulled a cry of pleasure from her lips again.

*I need you* her voice echoed in his head and he let out a moan that had no name for the feelings it conjured. 

*Always yours, only yours* was the only response he could manage as he felt the swell of his balls as they readied for his own release.  His hands slid down her arm, pulling her hand up beside her face as his own hand grasped hers.   She thought of him as a rock in her turbulent sea, he could see that image and now she would be his. 

“Ah…..” he said loudly, his hand tightening around hers as he lifted his body up and into her in a final encompassing thrust before his body released deep inside her, causing his legs to shake with the spurts that rushed through him.  His head bowed, face pressed to her ear as his breaths came in hard ragged jolts.  His hips pressed in a few more times before the euphoria slipped away into a fogged, tired pleasure.   

His body sagged and he lay atop her, his mouth moving to her neck and kissing her softly.  “Dinah, my Queen, my all,” he murmured against her skin.   Their scents were everywhere, and he breathed in the rightness of that mixture for a moment before reasoning and better sense had him slowly moving his weight off of her.  Not wanting to lose the connection, even as his body betrayed him, he turned and pulled her to his chest, drawing a blanket up over her so she would not chill.

A breathy chuckle a few moments later in the muffled sound of the rain above them, “That was…amazing doesn’t seem quite enough,” he said warmly, his hand sliding down over her waist and hip slowly.  Then, concern coloring his voice, he turned his head to look at her.  “Are you alright my lady?  I didn’t….I lost myself a little.

Pruul / Re: The Spider's Caress
« on: Aug 23, 18, 02:18:56 PM »
Mother Night, he was coming undone.   

Her painfully slow exploration and savoring of his cock was driving him mad with need.  He wanted to bury himself deep inside her until they both screamed their release but he knew, he knew that if he let his leash slip something would be lost in this moment.  Still, he sucked in hard breaths as he tried desperately not to let go of that scarf.

The look in her eyes when she met his gaze, the knowledge that she was driving him insane with need was worth all the agony of the wait.  He gave her a fierce, hungry grin as she slowly crawled up his body, and he felt that oh so sensitive tip brush against her skin as she moved.  Watching her, as she moved to straddle his hips, feeling her play with his tip against her wet and waiting folds had him rolling his eyes back in his head.

*Please* his mind whined as he felt his hips lift just slightly up, seeking that warm sheath.  A finger slid around his shaft as she slowly lowered herself onto him, her body wrapping tightly around him as he slid into her depths.  Kazim let out a groan of satisfaction and then dismay as he felt that build rising inside.  No no no….he squeezed his eyes tightly shut, and felt her hips roll over him, felt the slide of that slickness against his hard shaft and was undone.  He felt the swell through his cock as he let out a loud, harsh echo of pleasure.

Fuck….no….did I just…. Shit….

Panting, he stared up at her.  He couldn’t have...he wasn’t some unpolished youth with no stamina...but he felt hard, his balls were still full and aching...good...good.   Relief flooded him as he realized that he was fine….he hadn’t ….he could still…

And then her body moved again and he all but tore the scarf in reaction to the feeling of her moving atop him. His eyes drifted down her body, to the sway of her stomach and the rise and fall of her breasts as she began to find her rhythm.   He moved against her, up into her, matching her pace and rhythm.

“Yes, Dinah yes….like that… uhhhh….that feels amazing beloved,” he whispered, his eyes hooded with lust.  “Let me touch you, please…

Pruul / Re: What Do You See On The Horizon
« on: Aug 23, 18, 01:28:41 PM »
Even if she hadn’t insisted, nothing short of another attack could have dragged him away from her side that night.  He wasn’t even sure he really slept, just closed his eyes for the briefest of moments with his senses on hyper alert for another danger to his Queen, to his Clan.  He couldn’t stop burying his nose in her hair, breathing in her warm safe scent and thinking that he could have lost her, lost everything that held him tethered today.   

Sleep did not come easily for Dinah either, her body restless no doubt with the thoughts and images of the day, and given the way she would rub at her wrist absently, she was probably plagued with visions under the skin aching to be released.   He wished there were some way to give her the rest she needed, and while he could think of a few interesting ways to ensure this, none were appropriate tonight.   Not with the feel in the air and the small child curled up in a ball in a small bed nearby.

So he just ran his fingers through her hair, gently rubbed her shoulders and back and did other things he could think of to try and sooth her through a long night of tension.  At least Aisha hadn’t seemed to be suffering the same.  Maybe she was too young, maybe she didn’t understand that she would never again see her mother and father.  Kazim tucked Dinah tightly against him and silently mourned the loss of his older brother.  They had never been very close but he was still of his blood, his family.   His eyes flickered to the still child in the dark.  He would honor that tie by making sure Aisha was raised as his brother would have wanted.

Dinah stirred, turning to press her face into his chest and he shifted to allow her that.  Whispering soothing words against her ear, he hoped this was not a full waking but only that half awareness that quickly faded into sleep again.

He felt the rising of the sun before the light began to creep beneath the door to the room they had occupied.  He was used to rising before the sun for his guard duty and had an accute awareness of it.

*Guardsman Kazim reporting in,* he sent to Shinar, Dinah’s Master of the Guard, *am I required at post today or should I maintain my vigil of the Queen?*

Shinar’s response told him that the man was as tired if not more than Kazim, meaning he hadn’t even been to his bed yet, *Maintain your vigil guardsman, we have more than enough bodies around at the moment, we don’t need you just yet.*  A pause, and then serious member of the Triangle was replaced by concerned brother.  *How is she?*

Kazim pressed his cheek into her hair, *Exhausted, heart weary, she’s slept a little but not deeply.  Today will be a trying day for us all.   Do we have a full casualty report yet?  She will want to know when she rises.*

*Not yet,  I’m sending out a group of men after the sun rises fully to assess the damages.  I know from the guard on the wall that the monsters have been circling outside all night.  Anyone who wasn’t already dead and didn’t make it back inside the walls...there is no need to send out a rescue party.*   

Kazim paused a moment and pushed his own feelings deep down into his stomach. If his brother had made it inside the walls, he would have sought out his daughter. If he had been injured and unable to make it inside... Kazim swallowed hard.   *I will stay with the Queen and let her sleep as long as she can.  Shinar, you sound about half ready to collapse yourself.  Get some rest, neither of us are useful to her if we can’t stand on our own two feet.*

All he got in return was a weakly humored sense before the connection was broken.  He knew, because Shinar was much like him, that the man would probably be near dropping before he stubbornly agreed to rest himself.   He felt Dinah tense as awareness came over her and he looked down at her to see her eyes were open and looking up at him.  Her eyes looked so dark, so lost and she lifted her hand to brush against his cheek.

*Had you been lost…*

The swell of feeling from her hit him like a gut to the stomach.  Had he not been thinking the same thing all night?  More than his Queen, the woman he loved with all his heart and she could have been taken from him in an instant.  He understood what drove his brother to run into the face of danger without a second thought for himself. He would have leapt into the mouth of a sandworm to save Dinah had it come to it.

Overwhelmed he allowed himself the moment to capture her mouth with his own.  *I know...I know…* he whispered to her mind as he pressed himself against her, letting the weight and warmth of his body assure her that he was here and safe.  *I love you Dinah* he told her with words and body, his mouth soft and tender against hers. This was not a time of passion, but a time of comfort.  Passion could and would come later.

Pulling back so they could both breath and not be caught up further than they could allow themselves, he closed his eyes and pressed his face against her hand as he reached up to gently wipe the droplets from the corners of her eyes.  “Shhh love,” he whispered gently and felt the barriers between them part until there was just barely a difference between his mind and hers.  He felt the swell of sorrow that was drowning her, the feel of throats closing with emotion as she thought of all those who had been lost, and those who might have been but for the fortune of fate.   It was humbling when she did this, chose to let him see all of her and hide nothing.

Her thoughts of Aisha, the small girl child he had thrust into their lives and how Dinah already saw her not just as a responsibility as Queen, but as theirs.   Theirs.

Now it was his turn to feel tears prickle against his eyes.  He had entertained the thought of someday seeing a child of their making grow inside her, maybe more than one.  It was a fanciful dream to him.  He had never thought of children before, of having a family of his own until he met a woman that he wanted to share in that joy with.   He felt the hope rise in him and he quelled it for now.  These were large choices, things that would not and could not even be thought of for years to come, until certain trials were overcome.

Hands sliding over her skin in a soothing manner, he returned her sweet kiss.  *We could,* he hinted playfully *just shield the room and no one would find us.* He knew what she meant, but with a day that would be filled with so much heavy emotion, a little levity was not amiss.

* I have already spoken to your Master of the Guard, I can relay that report to you, but you should eat something before facing the day.* He bent his head to kiss her shoulder lightly, turning his head to look at the sleeping child.  *I envy her, the ignorance of what has happened and what is to come.*  With a soft sigh of regret, he slid off the bed and extended his hand to Dinah to help her up.

He took the water she gave him, scrubbing his face to chase away some of the sleep from his expression.  Coffee would get him through the day, but tonight he would sleep like the dead.   He frowned slightly realizing how wrong that expression was given the current climate.

He took Dinah’s brush from her stand and moved behind her, gently running it through her long dark hair.  He knew she mourned the woman who had been like a friend and close aunt even more than a maid to her, a woman who would have been here now doing the same thing.

*We will. We have suffered losses, but every Clan is greeting the morning with sorrow my lady. The Tabur are strong, and we have a strong Queen to guide us.  Failure is not in our future.*   He believed his words with all his heart, and let his voice carry that conviction to strengthen her.   Thankful for his years of experience with escorting and some of the lesser things he had learned along the way, his fingers wove her hair into a long simple plait to hang down her back, kissing her bare neck gently and wrapping his arms around her waist.

“I will my Queen,” he said softly, his mouth closing over that sweet spot at her throat for a moment to savor the flavor of her on his tongue.  His eyes flickered to the child.  “Let her sleep as long as she can, she could use the rest.”

He returned a short time later with a woman who curtsied and introduced herself as Basira and a basket of bread, jar of jam and a large container of coffee.  He set out the food and poured Dinah a cup of the dark liquid, passing it to her.  “Drink this, and eat.  You need your strength.”  He motioned to the young woman.

“Basira has experience with littles,” he said gently.

The younger woman nodded, “Yes, I took work as a child’s keeper for one of the outermost tribes for several years, a branch of the Kaid before I came to stay with family here.”  Her eyes looked a little sad for a moment but she brushed whatever feeling crossed her mind off and gave Dinah a confident smile.  “I can watch the little girl for the day Lady, or however long you need before you find a more suitable arrangement.”

Kazim spread out some jam on a slice of bread and placed it on the table before Dinah.  “There, now eat something before everyone shows up.”   He glanced at Basira, “There’s enough here for you as well if you need some breakfast.”   He ran his hand over his rough face.

“I think it would be best to keep Aisha away from everyone as much as possible today.  Maybe playing games, coloring, whatever things a child her age enjoys.  Give her time to adjust to her new surroundings and avoid as much of the reality of the world as is possible, hmm?”

Aware of someone outside the tent, Kazim placed an aural shield around the sleeping child and pulled a dividing curtain between her and the rest of the tent before a dirty and exhausted woman entered.  Kazim rose and offered her a chair but watched as she shook her head and chose instead to stand but just barely.    Pouring another cup of coffee he gave it to her, with a look on his face that broached chance to resist.

*If you won’t sit, you’ll drink this before you collapse in front of your Queen, and that will only worry her more, * he said seriously to her before returning to his place behind Dinah.

Pruul / Re: The Spider's Caress
« on: Aug 13, 18, 12:44:28 AM »
He saw it, the moment when she pushed past that last thought of doubt or concern, saw the flash of something in her eyes.  He wondered if his own eyes did that, showed just for an instant that something powerful was beneath the skin, wanting to break free. He knew that feeling well and he knew how dangerous it could be to try to supress that creature.  Control it, leash it was an absolute, but not forever. He wanted to see what had been growing behind Dinah’s skin in all these months.  Wanted to see the part of her essence that had been drawn out by the Hourglass craft and training.

He watched as she prowled forward and obeyed as she commanded him to lie down, stretching back into the softness of her bedding.   It was a little strange, to be the prey instead of the predator but that soft voice inside him told him that he was still the predator, seeking to draw out equally dangerous prey.  She called in a scarf and he lifted his arms above his head, crossing his wrists to make her desire to bind him easier.   Grinning at her, he flexed his muscles, making a show of being restrained without actually putting any tension onto the frail and delicate scarf. 

He wanted to respond to her statement with something clever and funny, but then her fingers slide down the hard length of him and he sucked in air between his teeth.  He felt his cock jerk, contact being the unspoken signal that it was time to perform.  He watched her down his body, lifting his head to observe as she touched and teased, her fingers gently lifting and exploring the mystery of his body. No, she had not had the chance to do so on the night of the Rains, and by the Dark Sands if all she did was play with him this way tonight, then he would bear the burden of restraint for her comfort.

No sooner than that thought crossed his mind, he felt her warm, soft lips slide over his sensitive tip, pulling a soft short groan from his throat.  Concerned that she might interpret it as a bad thing, he hissed softly and whispered, “Mother Night Dinah…. Mmmm...ngh…..fuck that feels good.”   He wasn’t a man prone to swearing much, not unless it was in the heat of anger but restraint and common sense were not quite at the forefront when the woman who held your heart and soul also was holding your precious bits between her hungry lips.

Her tongue lavished him, and he gripped both hands over the scarf, holding onto it as a lifeline now to keep his promise of restraint.  His hips rose up of their own accord, straining to reach her lips again when he felt her mouth close over him and slowly take him in. His head fell back against her pillows, inhaling her sweet scent as heat flooded down his body.   Must not thrust, will not thrust….he forced his body not to give into his urge to push into that tight warmth.   Instead he panted softly, his breath hitching as he enjoyed her explorations.   Eyes widening he stared down as she bent her head and the last inch of his length vanished between her lips.

“Mother Night,” he whispered in hot awe.

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Aug 12, 18, 11:18:45 PM »
Kazim had never been a man of faith.  Oh he believed in the Darkness, had seen and felt far too much to dismiss that, but never more in his life did he truly believe in Mother Night and would thank her each and every day for giving him to Dinah.  His mouth swallowed her soft coos and cries as his fingers slid deep inside her, wanting to draw out her pleasure, needing to feel her release before he took his own.    The hard way she pulled his head up to hers, the hungry kiss that she gave him almost took his control away.  Deep inside, the beast stirred. Now, it whispered, give her what she wants, what she is begging for. Do it, and release me!

Kazim’s fingers moved faster, feeling her body respond, scenting the sharp rise of her scent as she soared closer and closer.  She was shaking so much that for a moment he worried that it was too much and he needed to slow things down again, build her slower when she tensed and arched into his hand.  He felt the squeeze of her body as heat poured through her and she cried out against his lips.   

“Yes,” he hissed, his mouth falling to the sweet juncture of her throat and shoulder where her scent was so strong, so commanding.  Even as he felt her shudders continue, as she rode the wave of her release, he moved.  Slid between her soft thighs and eased himself inside her.  HIs eyes rolled at the sensations, hot and wet and pulsating around him.   This is what he craved, had needed, had denied himself for so long and now she was truly his.  His hips rolled forward, claiming more of her as he kissed her hard and deep.

“Mine” he growled darkly as he claimed her mouth while his cock claimed her body.   Lifting himself on braced arms, he flexed his stomach and rolled into her again and again, each time a little deeper, each time feeling her move around him.  He watched her face, held her eyes as she took him in, took in every sensation his body was giving hers and the beast within flowed through him.  He had never felt so complete as in this moment and he did not wish the night to end.   He could stay forever in this tent, pulling every delighted and excited sound from his Queen’s body until they were both exhausted and sated in every way.

Rain and thunder above his head seemed to inflame him, drive him, and he drove forward over and over again, the rain on the tent only a small muffle for the sounds within.  “Dinah, my Dinah….ngh…..yes….yes…..” he moaned, shifting her leg up over his shoulder and taking her even deeper.  Soon, he would shift them, he would watch as she took her pleasure above him but for the moment the creature beneath his skin needed to claim, needed to see her beneath him, needed to watch the blood flush her face and neck and breasts.   He bent his mouth and captured one of those dark nipples, using teeth to stimulate more pleasure.   More...he wanted more.

Pruul / Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« on: Jul 28, 18, 11:18:07 PM »
All in all it had been a wonderful day.  Kazim, despite his difficulties with his brothers loved his family and was very happy to see them all again.  One of his brothers had married and was expecting his first child.  His mother, excited to be a grandmother yet again still had no qualms about asking him about his relationships, particularly with his Queen.   It seemed that word spread quickly among the tribe, even with all the distance between.

He had just settled down with the youngest of his older brothers to enjoy a long smoke and some crisp cold Arak after dinner, removing his boots to relax when shouts and screams filled the dusk air. 

“Sandworm attack at the Jin….AHHHHH” came a scream nearby as the ground beneath his chair shook, rocking Kazim to the ground.  He stumbled to his feet, his brother at his side as they rushed out of the tent. 

“Kazim, get to your Queen,” his brother shouted, pushing him towards his tethered mount.  “I’ll find you in the city.”  Kazim opened his mouth to argue, to say he would come and help knowing that Dinah was already safe in the walls when a loud roar of rumble and the largest Sandworm he had ever seen rose up from the sand, swallowing a whole tent in its gaping maw.  A bull, probably the leader of the herd, judging by his size and the sheer number of scars across his body, signs of fights with his brothers for dominance.  The awesome sight of the creature only momentarily blinded him from the truth of the moment.

That had been his parent’s tent.

Shocked numb, Kazim heard his name being shouted in the fog of his mind and turned his head almost too slowly.  Hasib ran towards him with a small girl in his arms.  His older brother thrust the child into his chest.

“Go!  Run!  Get my daughter out of here!” he shouted and shoved Kazim towards his mount.   The girl in his arms screamed murderously and cried out for her father, clawing at Kazim’s back to pull free from his grasp but his arm locked around her and his legs began moving.  Pulling the tether from its loop, he pulled himself and the girl up into the saddle, striking Zar’s flank with his heel to send the stallion into a dead run.  He held the girl in front of him, pinning her between his body and the pummel of his saddle and bracing her between his arms to steady her.  She was still crying, but the screaming had stopped and he wished he could use craft to secure her in place but they were too near the worms to risk attracting their attention.

*Dinah!  Sandworm attack outside the city, get everyone inside* he called on the Opal, *I’m coming in.*  He was certain that he didn’t have to tell her to get everyone to safety but sending commands to ensure safety was second nature to him.  He raced through the gates and down the streets of Onn, following that ever present feeling of his Queen, his lover that always resided at the back of his mind.  It was how he found her no matter where she was.   He spied her, surrounded by members of her Clan in the middle of the market, issuing orders with all the grace of her station.

Sliding from the saddle, the girl child on his hip he rushed forward, pushing aside anyone that came between him and Dinah until his free arm was around her waist and he was kissing her hard.  Damn who saw in that moment.  He needed to feel the breath on her lips to reassure himself that she was well.  His fingers dug into her waist, holding her tight to him for several moments before he released his kiss but not his grip.

“Thank the Mother you are alright,” he growled deeply, aggitation and worry making his voice rough and deep.  Something squirmed at his side and he suddenly remembered the girl child in his arms.  Hasib’s daughter.    He blinked in surprise.  Hasib had no daughters, just two sons.   But he had said….

Kazim looked at the little girl, who had his brother’s hard ridged nose but the familiar eyes of the Queen that Hasib served as guard to.  Not HIS Queen, Hasib had never bonded but…

“I want my baba!  I want my mama!” the little girl sniffled sadly, giving him large wooful eyes and as he stared at her, he caught her scent and nearly dropped her.  Queen.  His brother had sired a Queen child and never told any of them.  Why hadn’t he said anything?   He knew little about the woman his brother served, only she had been an older and respected woman who had never married.  Kazim hadn’t even heard that she had given birth but then again their tribe were often out in the desert and news travelled slowly.

Turning his head to Dinah he whispered.  “This brother’s daughter.  Daughter of Haria al-Latifh, of the northern hill tribe.”  and quite possibly an orphan…. Whispered the voice in the back of his head that he wished he could be certain was lying.  “I think….I think she is my responsibility now.”

He didn’t know the truth of his words, but as the morning sun rose and he left the little girl… Aisha with a hearthwitch who was looking after the children, he learned that he was the sole surviving member of his family.  Hasib had died in defense of his Queen who succumbed to the poison of the sandworm blood.  Little Aisha was the sole surviving Queen of the Latifh tribe and now his only blood relation and ward.

Pruul / Re: The Gift of the Spider
« on: Jul 27, 18, 02:36:56 PM »
Kazim took his place at the entrance of the tent, one hand resting on the hilt of his khanjar, his eyes eagle sharp and alert. 

*I am in attendance with the Queen.  Alert the guard that no one shall disturb us until I have said so.* He sent on a spear thread to the senior most Guard on shift for this morning.  Since most of the Guard were aware of the fact that he was sharing Dinah’s bed on a regular basis, they would falsely assume that this was the case now.  Not that he had gone about sharing in any of his interludes with Dinah, but the guard in her service were loyal to her brother and to her and as such were hyper-attentive of all on-goings. 

The only person to approach him about the matter had been the Master of the Guard who had sized him up, given him a stern look and a short lecture about remembering to not allow sentiments to interfere with the purpose of his placement and then a tense moment in which the Master of the Guard became a brother with the time honored tradition of “if you hurt my sister…” warning that all males who courted brothered women came to expect.   It had actually humored him, to see his commanding officer step out his character for even the shortest of moments.

He thought a moment to respond to the Elder Black Widow’s questioning of his loyalty but Dinah’s solemnly solid statement to the state of her trust in him stopped the words from forming in his mouth.  He gave Dinah a look, full of emotions that he couldn’t name in that moment while the Sayyadina continued speaking.   In response, he raised up his Sapphire shields around the Queen’s tent; an exercise that was common enough when they were alone inside together that it fell into place with the assumption of his being there in the first place.  Giving Dinah a brief nod that their conversation would now be as private as possible, he returned to his stiff stance.   

It wasn’t that he was trying to eavesdrop, in fact he did the best he could to listen as little as possible.  This was an important private manner and while he was in attendance, it would be still up to Dinah to decide if she wanted him to ‘know’ what was being discussed.  He was well practiced in such things, letting his conscious hearing shift so that he was aware but not aware of what was being said.

Poison.   That word brought his focus to the forefront, that and the way that Dinah’s scent spiked into a fear laced, surprised punch that he drew into his nostrils the way a stallion might scent a mare in season.  His hand clenched on the hilt of his weapon as he now listened in, oblivious to the rudeness of the fact. Dinah was his Queen, his everything, the woman who was becoming more than he ever thought he would encounter in his life and to hear that there was a threat to her very life strained at the leash he held over his inner predator.

Someone in her very court threatened her, that was his first reaction.  After all, how else could someone place poison into her drink.  There were only a select few with that sort of access and he could think of three people right now that were among the greatest threats to Dinah.  One was Shaula, who seemed to be growing in popularity among the men in the camp for reasons that Kazim could guess.  The women seemed less inclined to like or trust her, probably for the same reasons.  The other two prominent candidates were her First Escort, who Kazim was more and more inclined to believe had Bonded to the other Queen.  After all, he recognized the signs having experienced them himself. The third man, and Kazim was loathed to want to believe was the Steward. A man should never conspire against his own flesh and blood, a Queen Daughter most of all but the man had become belligerent rude and disrespectful towards Dinah in more and more public venues, even in front of the full Court standing in the way of changes that she wished to make.

Of course, were he inclined to seek to poison and kill someone he would attempt to point as much direction away from himself so it might not be any of them, and they would merely be the distraction to take away from the true criminal as they made their exit.  Kazim settled into his stance, ears focused on the rest of the conversation as his mind began to work through the information he had at his disposal.

Pruul / Re: The Spider's Caress
« on: Jul 27, 18, 02:00:17 PM »
Kazim stared up at her, felt the shiver in her hands as they stroked his face and wasn’t sure if it was fear or lust induced, though her scent held heavy accents of both.  It drew him towards her, man and predator, protector and beast.   His face pressed to her belly, the contact soothing some of the more violent urges that were bubbling inside.

“I know, and there is no sin in sex Dinah. No shame in seeking the release of your body. I would even argue that it is quite therapeutic, healing even. I find myself quite relaxed and at peace after a good climax.”  He grinned up at her, his eyes devilish.  “Having someone else there to share in the enjoyment, well that’s just even better.  And everyone knows a happy, relaxed Black Widow is a much wiser situation to have then a tense and testy Black Widow.”  He nipped at her stomach through her clothing playfully. “I plan on making sure you are very very relaxed.”

Rising up in one of those singular graceful movements that were a sign of many years of training, he slid up her body wishing only for the first time that he had a little more height on her so he could appear to cover her by only standing.  Lifting one hand, he purred softly, curling one finger in a beckoning motion.

“Come little Spider, and show me what sort of webs you can weave around me.”   With that cue, he took one step backwards, and then another one.  First step, surround the tent in a double Sapphire shield, physical and aural.  Second step, and his burnoose fell to the ground, all the while his eyes held hers, hot and inviting.

“I’m not going to lay one finger on you Dinah, I’m just going to put myself right over here,” another step, and his shirt followed to the floor leaving his hard chest exposed her gaze.  “And then you are going to lead this dance, you are going to decide what it is that you want...that you NEED….and I will be here to appease those hungers...whatever they might be.” Another step and gone were his trousers, leaving him stark naked.  He rose up onto her bed, kneeling on the soft mattress, and waited at attention, in more than one fashion.  He held up his hands to her and made a great show of pulling his arms behind his back, locking his hands around his wrists to hold them in place.

“Your move Lady….” he shifted his body to make the muscles ripple from his arms, down his belly to his legs.  A show, a delightfully appealing display meant to spark her hunger into a roaring needing fire that would burn through the last of her apprehension.

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Jul 27, 18, 01:39:21 PM »
Mother Night, she arched against him with the lightest touch, hunger and need flaring flush across her cheeks.  Had she too been so long deprived of even the lightest lover’s caress?  She was bashful and shy, but had the man who took her through her Virgin Night been so lacking in even the basic courtesy and skill that what should have been a mere introductory step in the bedroom dance have been such a leap forward for her?

Her hand, which had only just begun to explore him, a whisper of touch against his burning skin fell away as she responded to his fingers.  She pulled him down to her mouth and he responded, losing some of the veneer of civility and kissed her brusingly, his leash slipping as his own hunger roared in his ears.  He wanted to part those thighs and plunge in, feel the heat of her surround him and only a thread of his brain held on to his control.  No, this was not a galloping race, but a slow canter.   His thumb moved in slow circles, pressing in and releasing as it moved while his tongue parted her mouth, inviting her to explore his own in a spiralling kiss.

“Dinah,” he growled back as she whimpered against his mouth, her hips rising up in invitation to his hand, which set his fingers sliding between well moistened folds.  Her scent was a heady perfurme, a drunken intoxicating aroma that drew him in closer.  He shifted his body, until he was a hard canopy above her as he kissed her again. His hand slid away and moved down her thigh parting her legs and pulling them around his hip.

“I am here my lady,” he whispered and moved his mouth down her ripe body, savoring the flavor of the rain dried on her skin, the mix of sweat and lust that rose through her as he nipped and sucked and kissed a wandering path of exploration.  He tested her appeal for the sweet, light kisses and experimented with her reaction to a more feral hunger, unleashing some of the essence under his skin when his mouth closed over one plump nipple, teeth grazing and tugging.   Only when he was satisfied with the sounds and reactions that rippled through her body did he continue his trek, pausing at her soft belly to playfully blow air against it.  Sex was intense, but it had more than one avenue of pleasure and as he listened to her surprised giggle at his action, his hands slid beneath her bare ass and squeezed roughly.

He wasn’t sure if she knew his intent, if she had ever been completely enjoyed by another man but he was certain he would make sure she would not forget this.  Crouching back on his knees, his face moved between her thighs.  Like a cat, he rubbed the roughness of his cheek against the soft curve as his fingers parted skin and then slid inside as he pressed his mouth to the sensitive nub of her womanhood. 

His hands held her in place, anticipating the jump of her body when his tongue flickered against that sweetest of spots and he did it again, and again and when she expected his tongue to move, his fingers delved inside, curving and pressing against the inner nerve points that would bring her to true pleasure.   She was wet and ready, but he wanted her intoxicated with pleasure before finally joining with her. 

He had seen the flicker of uncertainty when she took him in with her eyes.  He was not a man to brag about certain things, but what he lacked in height compared to most men, Mother Night had blessed him with other attributes that could be appreciated by any woman.  His mouth moved away for just a moment as he looked up at her, his eyes twinkling.  “Mmmmm, this is a feast I could enjoy every day of the rest of my life,” he purred deeply before his mouth was otherwise occupied again.

Pruul / Re: The Gift of the Spider
« on: May 16, 18, 09:55:49 PM »
Kazim should have been surprised to find the Black Widow ready and waiting for him before he even reached the door.  Certainly she had been the person who the guardsman had spoken to silently.  Still, her appearance at the door had made him take a half step back in surprise.  He hadn’t seen his Queen’s instructor before, thought her name wasn’t completely unheard by him.  Her appearance, half masked and cloaked in black only added to the heavy weight of her caste on his senses.  Black Widows were a necessary part of the blood, but even with his dark jewels, he would have to be a stupid man not to have a healthy dose of apprehension in the presence of this woman.

“Yes Lady,” he said, falling into familiar paths of an Escort as he walked to her left, impressed by her wide stride.  She moved in the direction of the stables that they had just arrived where he saw Zar with his nose buried into a watering bucket.  He considered having Zar resaddled but his ally and friend had given his heart into their morning ride and deserved a chance to rest and enjoy a break.  Besides, he would have to accompany the Black Widow back, he would collect Zar then.

“A fresh horse, and see that Zar doesn’t founder himself in oats.  He’s a bit of a glutton when you let him,” he told the stablehand.  “See that he gets a good brush down, and don’t be afraid to put muscle into the brush, he’s got a hide like leather and it won’t bother him one bit.”   He waited as the mounts were brought around and offered his hands to the lady to assist in her mount (if she required) before taking his own.    Then without ceremony, he nudged his horse with his heels, pleased to see that he didn’t require much pressure to respond and led the way back to the Tabur and his Queen.

Riding hard across the sands, there wasn’t much comfort in the spoken word between two riders, but he lightly extended a spear thread to the Widow.  *Lady Dinah has a growing pain in her hand, an inflammation around the nail that has become almost unbearable.  She believes it is a product of her studies into your craft.   No one in the encampment besides myself and perhaps her most personal servant knows of this training, so she sent me to bring you back.*  He was certain she was probably well aware of most of this but like any good soldier, he felt the need to report in full.

Pruul / Re: The Gift of the Spider
« on: Apr 24, 18, 01:06:48 AM »
Kazim’s head jerked back at her sharp refusal at his offer, his nostrils flaring momentarily taking in the scent of her fear and pain and felt his pulse rise.  Danger, danger to his Queen, his heart.  He forced back the beast within that was still too raw to recognize a physical danger to a danger he could not strike at with fist or weapon or craft.

Her switch from voice to psychic thread told him exactly how much she feared this precious knowledge leaking out.  Despite his constant shielding of her tent against intruders of any measure, she was still so cautious.  Perhaps she hadn’t realized what he was doing but now was not the time to dismiss her worries.  His hand gently held her own and even though his fingers were lightly resting against the back of her hand and wrist, he could feel the heat of her ring finger in the air.  She must be in so much pain, and he felt a wince of sympathy for her and a huff of frustration at being unable to take this trial away from her.

*I know,* he replied.  In truth he had been feeling the growing change in her, especially with the shift of her scent from Queen to more, a heated spice that enticed him and still warned that primal part of himself that this change could bring danger and needed caution.  No, he did not fear his Queen but he was a wise man to recognize that a Black Widow was in no way a creature to be underestimated, even new and untrained.  More than that, the man had become acutely aware of the heat of her, a pulse that grew in his presence and the feelings of need and arousal that had permeated her tent when he came to see her in the early hours before duty pulled them both away. 

*No, even shielded beneath my Sapphire, it would raise suspicions.  The sentry this evening is more favorable to your First Escort* - he refused to acknowledge the back-stabbing weasel as being her blood - *and would certainly report immediately anything that seemed out of the ordinary in your behavior or mine, and having my Sapphire shields up for any reason would be cause for alarm.*  He shifted up to sit beside her on the bed, not seeking her permission for the first time and placing his arm around her shoulders comfortingly.  Her request soothed the anger inside, here they would protect, here they could serve.  Being given a task, a goal helped distract the beast’s frustration at not having an enemy to tear into.

*I will go Lady,* he said, *and bring her strapped across my saddle if she won’t come willingly.*  Though he didn’t quite understand how he could pull that off without causing a bigger issue.  *Feign your headache, I know your maid will support this deception.  I will leave immediately and bring Lady Zenja to you.  I have a cousin who serves among the Sayyadina and have not been to see him since my arrival.  If things are questioned, I can simply say I used my free day to visit my kin and while I was there, the Lady requested my escort back.*  That was a plausible enough reason for him to bring back a Black Widow from his morning ride and he did really have a cousin who served the Black Widows, but Kazim would never spend his free hours to visit him.  He hated the man, who had been an arrogant prick as a child and only became more insufferable as an adult.  It hadn’t helped he was already jealous that his runt cousin was born a higher caste, but he had almost chewed his face when he heard Kazim had received an Opal for his Birthright, where he had been gifted with a White.

Kazim leaned in and brushed her cheek with his mouth, a gentle soothing kiss.  *Rest, meditate, try to seek a different state and push away the pain from your mind.  It clouds your scent and will only attract the attention of those you wish not to know of your learning.*  As he moved back, his tongue traced his lips, savoring the flavor of her and memorizing it as he rose.

*I shall be like the Wind* he said, bowing to her before pulling a sight shield over himself and slipping from her tent.  He found Zar lazily chewing on some grains in his stall and threw his saddle onto his back without much ceremony.  The horse blinked at him but didn’t move, well trained and used to a little hurried rough treatment.  Kazim led him from the enclosure and pulled himself up on his back before leaning down to pet his neck and whisper in his ear.

“Our Queen needs your swiftest feet my friend,” he said as he pushed his heels into Zar’s side and the stallion took off in a leap towards the edge of the encampment and the desert.

An hour later, as the heat of the morning sun was beginning to turn the sand to a shimmering path, Kazim pulled Zar to a slow pace and finally to a walk as he reached the outer walls of the Sayyadina residence.  A guard approached, looked warily at him, weapon at the ready.

“I am Kazim al-Latifh, Bonded to the Queen of the Tabur with an urgent message for the Lady Zenja from my Queen.”   The guard paused, obviously relaying his words to someone else judging by the look on his face before his weapon was lowered and he stepped aside.   “Leave your horse, someone will give him water.  The Lady will see you there,” he said, pointing to a doorway.  Kazim slid from Zar’s back and walked swiftly towards the gestured doorway.

Pruul / Re: The Spider's Caress
« on: Apr 24, 18, 01:06:17 AM »
Her hand stopped his movements, he could almost feel her hand on his chest holding him back.  He watched her, concern and caution in his eyes.  Was she regretting the night of the Rains?  She had certainly enjoyed herself and the experience, he would stake his life on that assumption.  He thought she might return to her shyness, after all she had been drawn up in the power of the night, the craft that had brought water from the sky, but this was almost….rejection?

No, he decided after a moment, watching her expression as she too battled with something internal.  It wasn’t rejection but some other strong emotion that was suffocating her.  So he took a slow, half-step backwards to give her a little more room to breathe without seeming that he was retreating from her either.

As her hesitant words finally flowed, he relaxed a little further.  Ah, so that is what had been troubling her.  Not regret over what they had done but worry about what she might still do, what she wanted to do.  He resisted the urge to smile, if only because she might think he was laughing at her. 

She was so amazing, this Queen that the Darkness had given him.  All his years of dreading the day when a woman would lay claim to his soul and he had no choice but to bend his will and his life to her whim, he had never imagined such a precious gift.  It wasn’t the Bond that brought these feelings, it was her.  Her spirit and her heart, how now - knowing what he offered and could offer and would always offer, she refused to accept obedient service over willingness.  She worried that he felt compelled to bed her, simply because of their connection.

Holding her gaze, he stepped forward.  One slow step at a time until he stood before her.   Sinking slowly to one knee, he took her hands in his and kissed her palms, much as he did the first day they met.  “Lady, oh my Queen,” he said warmly, his dark eyes locked on hers even as his lips nipped at the mounds on her hand.  “I swore to you my service, my sword and my shields were always at your beck and call.  I never swore my spear.  That I give freely and willingly to you.”  His eyes glimmered with warm mischief as he turned her hands and brought her knuckles to his mouth.  Letting his voice drop into a treble that was part husk and part seriousness he continued.

“Protect, serve and obey.  Those are the laws that are driven into every blood male from the time we are first aware of words.  They are the code that I have always strove to live by and I will always do so.   My first duty is to protect you, in body and spirit.”  He nipped at her finger playfully.  “There is nothing dark about desire, nothing wrong about the body’s need for physical contact.  Lust and arousal are nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to fear.  I enjoy sex, immensely.”  He let his own hunger rise into his eyes, unleashing it enough so his scent shifted.  Male, adult, aroused.  “I enjoy sex with you even more.  I dream nightly of the day you ask me to your bed again and hope it will not take another miracle for you to do so.”

“Dinah,” he whispered, needing to make sure she understood him very carefully, “If you called me to your bed, you would not be using me.  I come willingly, a man to the woman he desires, a woman he adores.  Not a Warlord Prince to his Queen.   If I did not wish it, even our Bond would not compel me.  You cannot make me do anything that I don’t wish to do every night, every minute of every day since the Rains.”  He licked his lips, feeling his mouth dry slightly.  He could smell the change in her scent, the arousal that was making his head fogged and his cock heavy.   He looked up at her, waiting for her response, hoping that he got through so many years of self-doubt and restraint.

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Feb 21, 18, 11:45:24 AM »
So strong and yet so fragile, this Queen that the Darkness had chosen to hold his leash and his heart.  The Bonding might have pulled him towards her but he knew with each passing day that it was more than a psychic bonding for him.  Had she not been his Queen, he knew without a doubt that he would have loved her nonetheless; though the Bonding had allowed her the instinct to trust him.  Otherwise he might not have been able to be nearly this close to her. 

Her soft laugh, an attempt to lighten her own nervous mood made him smile.  “Well, no harm in letting him think he has that much power, if only for today.”  He gave her a wink, brushing a thumb over her wrist before releasing her hand.  “One day Lady, and I will count the seconds until that blessed day.”  He bowed to her then. 

“I will saddle Zar and see to your mount.  The day isn’t yet too untolerable that they can’t make the trip even slow and have you returned in time to keep your Court from having a stroke at your absence.”  He gave her a little grin and set to his task.

They did have to take their time, he didn’t want to risk her mount’s well being just for a little extra expediency and it gave him the chance to hold her close to him as they travelled, enjoying the way her scent brushed against his clothing and lingered there.  He would never wash that shirt again if only to have her scent on him for as long as possible and when he came to a stop in front of the official Court tent, he dismounted first to lift her and set her on the ground.

“My Lady, it would be my pleasure to ride with you anytime you need an escape from all this,” he said gently, bowing and brushing a kiss to her hand.  “I will see to your mount and make sure she is well taken care of.”  With that he took the lead from the two horses and walked them back to the stables.

Pruul / Re: The Gift of the Spider
« on: Feb 21, 18, 11:23:25 AM »
Kazim awoke instantly at the sound of Dinah’s voice in his head, frightened and desperate and leapt from his bed and nearly ran out of his tent wearing nothing but his jewels.  Only the cool night air that hit his more sensitive bits as he opened his tent flap jolted some sense into him and he called in a pair of loose pants, tying the cord around his waist as he hurried through the night towards her tent. 

He had been getting the feeling that something was amiss but she hadn’t said anything explicitly to him and he knew that if it was important enough for him to be made aware of, she would tell him.  Since he found out about her training in the Hourglass, she was slowly understanding that such private and important things were safely shared with him.

He opened the flaps of her tent without ceremony or announcement, hurrying in as he scanned the darkness within for her before rushing to her side, kneeling by her bed.  “Lady I am here,” he said, a little breathless for the speed that he had rush.  He glanced down at the way she was holding her hand and called in a ball of witchlight before hissing at the sight of the swollen and bright red digit.  “Mother Night!” he swore looking up at her face with worry.

“Let me call the Healer… or shall I seek out your instructor?”  He wasn’t certain of which of the Black Widows was instructing her training, whether she was one of the tribe or someone beyond the reaches of the Tabur politics but combined with the knowledge of her training and which finger of her hand seemed to be infected and pained, he had a sneaking suspicion that he knew what was occuring.

Pruul / Re: The Spider's Caress
« on: Feb 21, 18, 11:08:22 AM »
Kazim strided easily through the camp with a little smile on his face and a bounce in his step.  It had been a good week.  Commendation from the Master of the Guard, Shaula had not been breathing down his neck and trying to sneak her way into his tent, and just last night he had won a fair amount at a card game with a few of the other Guard.    More importantly, this was his week to be on personal escort duty to the Queen, at least for the more unofficial things like meals or short walks.  It also meant he would get to spend some personal time with her, which was something that had been in such short supply between her own duties and his own.  Not since the night of the Rains had they had the chance to spend more than a few minutes alone together, and the memory of that night had made some of those longer nights a little more bearable.

He approached the entrance to her personal tent and reached out, giving her outer barriers the slightest ‘knock’ before calling out, “Lady, Guardsman Kazim reporting for duty.”  He always made sure to be extra officially formal with her, because there were far too many people who were paying more and more attention of his comings and goings.  Oh, he could sight shield and with his Sapphire there wasn’t anyone in her camp who currently could pierce his shielding but his specific lack of appearance was just as suspicious as being openly visible.  He had been working on figuring out a means of permissible attendance that wouldn’t cause the wrong sort of talk, at least among the court.  The Guard knew and it had been dropped by some of his brothers in arms that the Guard fully supported him.  After all, he made the Queen happy and safe, the latter part of course the more important, and there had been more than one comment about Dinah’s improved demeanor after spending time with him.

Her response   Not alarmed or fearful, but there was an undercurrent of something he couldn’t identify by the sound alone, so he slipped inside the doorway and let his eyes adjust to the shift in light.  She stood in the middle of the room wearing her bathing robe, which she was clutching around her like some form of armor.  There was a desperate look to her eyes, as if she were struggling with something with some great conflict.   He studied her calmly, standing at attention as was his habit.

“Lady, are you unwell?”  That might account for why she wasn’t dressed for dinner.  “Shall I have your maid bring a soothing tonic from the healer?”  He wanted to go over to her, to wrap his arms around her tightly and cuddle her until whatever was bothering her either bubbled out or faded away.  He sniffed carefully, though he was already well aware that it was a few weeks too early for her moontime.  The air was tanged with, and drawing and he felt his pulse rise in response, making him take a step towards her.  Guardsman fell way to Bonded, and a male who loved her. 

“Dinah darling?” he whispered carefully, reaching out a hand.  “Come here.  Come here sweetness and tell me what I can do to help you.”  He reached up and shed his official vest before unbuckling his weapon belt and letting it slide to the floor as well before taking another step towards her.

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Feb 21, 18, 10:43:18 AM »
His lady shivered and he wasn’t certain in that moment as he lapped and licked at her scented warm skin if it was from the cold rain or from her own nervous passions.  She was aroused, he had no doubts by the spike of her pulse and the currents of delicious scent that rose off her skin but the body’s reaction to the right stimuli didn’t always mean that her mind, her essence was ready.  He was ready, more than ready judging by the almost painful press against his trousers and the raw eagerness in the back of his mind that wanted to divest them both and plunge deep inside her but this would require the same patient dedication that he had employed that had given her the comfort to kiss him freely.

So he let his hands and mouth coax happy sighs, delighted gasps and long, moaning tones from her soft lips and while she was distracted by the sensations to her body, he removed the last of her wet clothing and vanished them out of the way.  Almost at the same time, her hands fisted into his own wet shirt and tugged.  He lifted his eyes up to her face, a mixture of surprise and aroused pleasure when the shirt vanished off his body, leaving his chest bare to her own explorations.  His mouth moved to her neck, licking over her pulse and kissing that delicious spot that soothed and called to him as her hands slid over his arms, his chest, his waist and then back up to his shoulders. 

He groaned and nibbled along her ear as she whispered his name and pulled his face to hers, kissing him with more passion and need than she had ever responded to him before that moment.  His hands slid down her waist, resting impatiently against the soft curve of her hip as she settled herself closer against his groin, making him groan loudly, his eyes closing as he could feel the heat of her through the cloth.  Mother Night.

Her hips shifted, rocked as if she was seeking something and his vision narrowed as she fit right over him.  Just a little craft, remove that last obstacle…. He bit her lip, sucking it gently through his teeth as he struggled to maintain his control.  “My Queen, my Dinah,” he murmured against her mouth.  “Let’s move to the bed,” he licked at her lip as he rose to his feet, bracing her in his arms without any effort and carried her to the richly covered bedding. 

With careful gentleness, he laid her back on the cushions, vanishing the last of his own wet clothes before laying against her side, his hand tracing down her torso as he let her become accustomed to the sight of him naked in her bed, unabashedly aroused in his desire for her.  His fingers drifted to her hip, playing against the line where leg met stomach while his hand drifted slowly towards her inner thighs, teasing and playing slowly. 

“Touch me Dinah,” he whispered, leaning in to kiss her shoulder, “don’t be afraid to ever touch me.  I want you to be as familiar with my body as you are with your own, because it is yours to do with as you please, as you desire...whatever you desire.”  HIs voice was thick and low as he slid his hand up against her, fingers gliding against her lower lips and slowly stroking her.

Pruul / Re: What Tangled Webs She Weaves
« on: Jan 17, 18, 12:03:24 AM »
“Bonded,” he said softly, a little growl to his voice.  He hadn’t seen the same thing in Javid’s face when Shaula was in the room as he felt when Dinah was nearby.  Lust and desire, oh there was plenty of that, but when Dinah looked at him, it was like her eyes saw right through him.  Javid had eyes only for his Queen, that much was certain but it didn’t feel reciprocated.  It felt… he didn’t know how to describe it.  “Interesting how much shit he gives me about wanting to be around you, when he himself has a Bonded Queen.  You would think it would give him a little clarity.”  He snarled and then blinked in surprise, pulling back on his temper.  He hadn’t meant to be so angry, it had slipped out.

His fingers returned to their slow and gentle ministrations against her head, slipping one hand beneath her skull to cradle and gently press behind her neck, seeking out points that would ease her headache.  “She is...crafty,” he said, trying to be diplomatic about his words.  She was already in enough pain, he didn’t want to cause her more but in that way, wasn’t he doing what her own court had been doing?  Withholding things she needed to hear and things she needed to know simply because they didn’t trust her to be capable of handling that burden?

He leaned down and brushed her forehead with his lips, a soft kiss before lifting his head.  “I will speak from the heart, and these things might bruise but I respect you too much not to say them.  Shaula is a woman who uses her body as a weapon, the way a man uses his khanjar.  She seduces and beguiles, teases and attracts as a distraction from the truth that she lacks any other talent of a woman or especially a Queen.  She is very beautiful, soft and curved in a way that no man could argue is enticing and pleasing.  She sought to use these very things to lure me, and for a moment’s thought I almost fell into her trap.”  He sighed deeply.  “I am still a man Dinah, with the needs and callings that all men are weak in.   She saw this, saw my moment of weakness and struck.  It was you my Queen who saved me in that moment.” 

He paused before continuing, “I have seen good Queens, one of my brothers bonded to such a Queen.  I was raised to seek my place in a court and serve a Queen who was worth my sword and my strength.  I have seen bad, selfish Queens, and I have seen what befalls them in the harsh light of the desert.  Shaula says she is Tabur, says she wishes to rule and care for the Tabur, but the only thing she truly seeks is her own pleasure.  Whether that comes from a man’s cock or from the adoration of a court, in the end it is only about her desires.”  His fingers curled behind her ears, rubbing them between his thumb and forefinger gently.

“I agree with you.  If she were to be given your place, the Clan would fall to the elements, or the people would leave to join other Clans and the Tabur would be no more.  Sadly, men see glamor and flash, charm and beauty and it is a mirage of an oasis, when the reality is it leads them into a pit of quicksand that will swallow them whole.”

“You are my Queen, you are the Queen of the Tabur, and for you I will unsheath my khanjar and step to the Killing Edge to protect your rule and our Clan, no matter the enemy.  I made those oaths on the first day and I will repeat them until my dying breath Lady.  All enemies, even if those enemies are within our very Clan.  I will help you find the proof you need to save the Tabur, no matter the cost.”   He pulled gently on her earlobes, as if he were trying to pull the pain from her head in long slow tugs. 

“I will tell you this though, those who are so blindly ambitious usually become full of their own pride and vanity and will bring about their own downfall.  Shaula has quickly been gaining a certain reputation around the camp, and it is not a reputation befitting a Clan Queen.  Soon she will misstep, and you will have your evidence.

Pruul / Re: Scorpion In Your Bed
« on: Jan 16, 18, 11:37:50 PM »
He gave her an indulgent smile as she agreed to his proposed place to dine.  Something nagged at him though, through the heat that she was throwing his way and the growing invitation for more than a simple escort in the evening.  It wasn’t just a young woman learning to was much stronger, much more direct.

Part of him growled in pleasure, urged him to lean into that sweet Queen scent that made his blood and parts of him warm intensely but another part of him, the part he tried to pay more attention to urged him caution.  Her arm tightened around his and she leaned in, and the fragrance of her psychic scent began to muffle the inner voice.  She smelled so good… the shift of her hair fanned his face with more of that lusty scent, and he pressed his hand against his opposite leg in response, or rather to control his response.

Mother Night.  Heat rushed down the back of his neck and settled between his legs and he suddenly felt all the many many many days since he had enjoyed the pleasures of a woman rapidly rush at him.  “Tomorrow?  I will have to be sure I have not been assigned a rotation Lady, but if I am would be my pleasure.”  He swallowed thickly as she layered more and more innuendo and flirtation.

She was a grown woman, not a ward of Dinah’s court, and obviously very interested in pursuing the activities that most adults enjoyed in the dark of their tents.  He could almost envision her, naked beneath him, soft skin beneath his rough hands, the purr in her voice as he…

“Well...I am sure a Lady of your standing is a far better dancer than I am,” he offered politely, pulling his thoughts away from the direction they were heading before his body began to betray his self-control.  Mother long had it been?  No, better not think of those things.
And then she leaned against him, soft curves pressed against his hard muscles, and her lips graced the edge of his ear and a soft groan purred out of his throat as subtle innuendo turned into a fiery offer.   That fire burned down his body and the little self control he had been holding onto was almost consumed.  One more touch, one more….and he would pull her into his tent and to hell with propriety and waiting.  He was a Warlord Prince, and she a willing woman and there was nothing wrong….

Dinah’s face flickered in his mind, and it was like a bucket of ice cold water was poured over him, extinguishing Shaula’s wildfire.  His Dinah, his Queen.  He might have the right to pursue another’s bed, but it suddenly felt like a deep betrayal to Dinah, to the promise he made to her.  Shaula would temporarily dampen the hunger for sex but Dinah, Dinah was what he truly craved and if he bedded someone in her court, would it hurt her?

Very carefully he bowed, pulling Shaula’s hand to his mouth in a gentle kiss, “I will see if I am available tomorrow evening Lady Shaula to act as your escort.  If you will excuse me,” he motioned to the main tent of the court, “I have seen you to your destination and must go speak to my commander.”  Giving her a proper bow in recognition of her rank he hurried on his way.   If the Darkness was merciful, maybe he could find a way to have someone switch shifts with him for tomorrow night, for the next several nights in fact.  Something told him that Shaula was not a woman used to being denied her prey when she was on the hunt, and he had already seen how vulnerable he was to her presence.

He would just have to avoid her long enough for her to find a new target for her lustful advances, and prayed that would come very very quickly.

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Jan 16, 18, 11:00:27 PM »

One word, so powerful that it sent shockwaves through him.  He had felt her hesitation, felt those old subtle cues that she would withdraw from him again, pull back.  He didn’t want to pressure or push, but in this moment of so much power washing through the land, he felt drawn to be daring.
And so it seemed did she.

Her permission came with her own kiss, her mouth pressing up to his even as she unwrapped her body from around his and stood before him, hands tight into his hair.  He pulled her as closely as they could fit, warm bodies against the falling cold rain and returned her passion, her permission, her ardor.  He groaned into her mouth, feeling her hands slide down over wet skin, pressing soaked fabric along his shoulders and chest until she settled herself on his hips.

Not here… a brush of sanity against the heat of the moment.  He could have.   In that moment of spark and fire, he could have pulled her down to the ground and shown her pleasure and passion as the magic of the Rains fell down upon them, but he was saved by a flicker of reason and caution.  No, his Queen deserved better, his Dinah would recieve better.

Pulling back just enough from the kiss to smile at her, watching the rivulets of rain slide down her face, dark streaks of her own hair dripping water that ran down her chest beneath the cover of her clothes.  He grabbed her hands and pulled her with him, hurrying towards her tent and out of the rain.  There was nothing romantic about catching her death of cold, no matter how much heat he was going to bring to her.  A quick thread to her personal maid that he would be tending to their lady tonight, with enough heat to that thought to make it very clear that her presence would not be required until morning as they rushed through the folds of her tent as another rumble of thunder echoed above the steady drumming sound of the rain on fabric.

He summoned up Sapphire shields around the tent.  Darkness help the fool who thought to interrupt them this night, and he summoned a warming spell for the air inside to prevent her from being chill as he lit a ball of witchlight to cast the room in a faint light.  Then he kissed her again, pulling her back into his arms as he teased and tugged at her mouth, letting his hunger rumble through him and let her feel it through their bond.  His hands cupped her face gently, brushing soaking hair away from her forehead as he eased his ardor to turn the kiss slow and sensual.  He would savor every moment of this night, take his time enjoying this delicacy and making sure that she was well and fully pleased.

“Let’s get you out of these wet clothes,” he whispered against her mouth as his hands traced down her back, reaching for the bindings and ties of her gown while his mouth continued to tease.  He moved to her cheek, and then jaw, leaving a trail of sweet kisses that drank the fresh water from her skin, and then down her throat as his fingers finally found the ties they sought and he began to carefully peel away the wet cloth from her body, his mouth following the material as her shoulders became bare.  He drew her down into his lap as the dress fell past the swell of her breasts.  Here he paused, exhaling softly before pressing his face against her chest, his ear to her heart for another minute before he looked up at her, eyes dark and full of emotion.

“Dinah,” he whispered hoarsely as his mouth pressed against her skin, kissing the spot above her beating heart, a reverant kiss while his hands slid up her bare back, feeling the skin he had only dreamed about beneath his palms finally.  Holding her gaze, he moved his head and let his tongue slide out and flicker against a dusky peak as another hand reached around to cup her other breast, thumb brushing slowly against sensitive flesh.

“I plan on taking a very, very long time loving you,”

Pruul / Re: Scorpion In Your Bed
« on: Dec 04, 17, 11:01:58 PM »
Kazim’s awareness twitched, noting the warm body that was pressed against him, the hand that moved slowly down his arm and he felt something stir beneath his skin.  His eyes slowly shifted to look at her as she looked down, and then up through her eyelashes at him, innocent and disbelieving in her words.  “Lady, where better to bring harm to a Queen than under the noses of those who watch her.  It would show the strength of the enemy and the weakness of the males all in the same motion.  In the place a Queen should be safest, is where you must be the most vigilant.”

Her asking for an escort caught his attention, mostly because he wasn’t sure that the court would like him being close to another Queen in their purview, “Well, of course Lady I would be glad to escort you whenever you wished, “ he reached up nervously and ran a hand through his hair, “though perhaps you might wish to clear that with the Steward or Master of the Guard.  As I said, they aren’t too pleased with my service to Lady Dinah, they might rather you are placed into the care of another escort, one they like more.”  He looked a little sheepish and was happy when she switched the topic.

“Oh, I’m a rather simple man Lady Shaula.  My idea of a good outing usually involves good food, good drink and good music.  There’s an establishment in camp that provides all three and when I have some free time, I like to head down there and catch up with other Guard on things that aren’t related to our work.  The folks are friendly enough, all Tabur loyal so if Lady Dinah has no objections, I don’t see why you couldn’t frequent it yourself.   It’s not a fancy Aristo place, the food is simple but tasty.”  He glanced down at her fine clothing, “Perhaps not the sort of place a Lady of your caliber would enjoy.  I could recommend a few places in the city that would suit you better if you’d like, though I find them a tad dull personally.”  He winked playfully.  “I like music that calls you to the dance and invites others to join.  None of that delicate proper stuff.

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Dec 04, 17, 08:07:59 PM »
“Stay” and his body relaxed under a gentle lapping wave of calm and serenity.  He blinked a little in surprise, looking down at her hand on his wrist and settled against her, his head tucking contently against her shoulder as he breathed in her scent and felt all worry melt out of him.  So this was the Queen’s Touch he had heard about.  He had never experienced such peace and calm, the beast that lived beneath his skin simply laid down at her command like a well fed cat.   It was glorious, and at the same time so very dangerous while out here and exposed but he slid his hand against her stomach and pulled her into his chest.

Another rumble and then a strange sound, something falling and behind him on the canvas of the tents, the sound took on a light thumping rhythm...slow at first but then building in frequency.  In the distance, his ears picked up on a growing sound, a rushing sound like all the tents being shaking free at once to remove sand before being packed away, and the sound was drawing closer from across the darkness.  He shifted his feet, ready to run with Dinah at the first sign of danger and then plop.   Something hit the bridge of his nose.

Plop plop.

His forehead and his cheeks and he watched as Dinah looked up into the inky sky and he followed suit as the sound that had been approaching rushed over them and water fell over them.  It was warm and cool all in the same moment, and he felt the weight of it seeping into his clothing, pulling him to the ground which had the strangest scent rising up from around them.  It was like the sands were rejoicing through scent instead of sound and Dinah…

He looked down at her, the perfect happiness and serenity in her face.  A Queen was tied to the land and Dinah was alight with the feeling she was channeling from the ground around them.  Kazim felt in awe of this moment, even before her whisper trickled through his mind and explained what was happening.  So it had happened, as all the whispers had spoken of.  The Mineborn had brought the mythical Rains that he had learned of as a small child, listening to the stories of tribal elders.  Water from the skies that fell and refreshed and renewed the land and the people.  The sign that Mother Night had not abandoned Pruul.

While everyone else stared at the water that fell down, Kazim stared at his Queen.  Here was his miracle, here was the blessing from the Darkness he had waited for before he even knew he wanted it.  His arms tightened around her as he heard people emerging out around them, shouting and cheering and celebrating in the moment.  He didn’t care who saw him, let all her court come out in this moment.  She was His and he was tired of skulking in the shadows.

She moved, turning in his arms and he stared at her wet face, at the rivets of water that ran from her dark hair and soaked into her clothing.  She was glorious, her face alight with something he had never seen there before and her eyes fixed on his.  He felt her hand move against his cheek before she rose up and kissed  him, slow and soft, the water tasting even more sweet on her lips.  He licked at them playfully, drinking Dinah-flavored rain and feeling the taste course through him, awaking his body in awareness to her.

Her voice in his mind, his name, and he pulled her tightly against him, his arms sliding down to scoop beneath her and pull her up into his arms, guiding her legs around his waist as he kissed her with all the passion and need he had been restraining for so very very long.  He didn’t care about anyone or anything but this moment and her.  While the magic of the Rains ran over them, while the chains that had bound her heart and spirit were washed away, he didn’t want to lose a second. 

*My Dinah, My Queen,* He purred back across the connection between them, his arms supporting her as his mouth moved over hers, feeling her wet hair slide over his shoulders and create a barrier from the rest of the word.  Just the two of them in that moment as he had always wanted.  The creature beneath his skin rose up, insistent and demanding, wanting her in all ways and the need drove Kazim’s hands to grip her thighs and tremble with the force of it.  He broke the kiss, his breath coming in deep pants as he stared up at her face, at the incredible beauty of a Queen with no mask and no veil of fear.

“Let me love you Dinah,” he whispered, begging softly  as he kissed her cheeks and her eyes, “beneath the sound of the Rains and the feel of the land rejoicing, let me show you how a Queen should be loved.”

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Dec 04, 17, 08:07:45 PM »
He almost regretted the movement as soon as he did it.  Stupid stupid man!  The woman was set to run at the barest intrusion to her personal space and he had gone and pushed his luck and stepped over that line.  He felt her tense even as his heart leapt at the way her mouth yielded to his own, the feel of her silk hair in his hands.  If she pulled away, he would release her.  He could never hold her against her will but he prayed to the Darkness to give him just this and he would be greatful.

For once it listened.

She returned his kiss, slowly and tentatively, her hands moving over his arms and gripping them at first like an anchor and then the touch shifted to something more needy in its own right.  She shivered when he said her name and he remembered to do it again when it was opportune.  He moved his arms around her waist, that tiny slender thing and pulled her a little closer, needing to feel her breath against him as he doted on those full lips that had been haunting his dreams for weeks.

Her hands moved then, up to his face and he could have purred as her fingers slid against the roughness of his beard, those lithe fingers he had watched now brushing against hair and cheek as they moved up to his head.  He almost chuckled in surprise as her hands gripped his hair, moving his head to their own accord as her mouth became more seeking, her body shifting up so that she began to seek her own fulfillment in his  mouth instead of simply receiving his.  So he let her, relaxing his mouth so that she began to direct the kiss, making sounds of approval and pleasure with each new tentative attempt.  The heat between them rose and Kazim’s hands drifted to her hips, shifting her just enough to mold her body more perfectly against his as her fingers tightened against his scalp and her tongue…

Zar chose that moment to remind them of the world around them, and the illusion and spell of the moment shattered.  He felt her stop, felt her retreat as she realized how exposed they had been, even though the last of the other visitors to the Oasis had already departed and there were no others to see or be seen.  He loved Zar, but in that moment he wanted to blast the horse over the next dune.  Damnit!

She was pulling away now, and even in the heat of the desert, the air between them chilled in comparison to the warmth that had been spreading over them.  The veil of shyness, of uncertainty was beginning to fall over her again and he knew, he knew that if he didn’t do something then she would retreat back behind it and it would take him forever to get her out of that shell again.  He wasn’t sure his restraint could hold that long, having tasted the sweetness of her and wanted more.

He reached out and took her wrist, his fingers rubbing the skin as he carefully pulled the hand from her mouth very very slowly, firm but not forceful.  He released her wrist and ran his hand over her hair gently, as his other hand rose to slowly run his thumb over her soft swollen lips.

“Dinah,” he purred softly, gently, “please don’t apologize.  There is no shame, nothing wrong in what we shared and if I pushed too far, then I should apologize.  I lost myself in the feel of you, the taste of you.    You are so….so much more than just my Queen Dinah,” he whispered, his head moving forward to touch foreheads with her.  “And I thank you for this gift.  Please don’t shy away from me, not after we’ve come so far.”  He tilted his chin and kissed her brow softly.

“If you ever want to continue,” he said with a slow, sly smile, “I am more than willing to assist your explorations,” he stepped back, his hands sliding down to her hands which he brought up to his lips in a courtly manner.  “And next time I will leave Zar in the stables so we aren’t interrupted.”  One more kiss to her knuckles and a chance for her to respond before he stepped away to go check on her mount who had found shade to rest under.

Pruul / Re: What Tangled Webs She Weaves
« on: Dec 04, 17, 08:07:29 PM »
He hated these headaches, hated the pained expression that came over her face at the slightest movement, even the softest whisper was a ringing in her ears that made her cringe.  He didn’t want to try mindtouch, he could only imagine how much worse the brush would be against those inner barriers so he handed her the brew as he watch her struggle to sit up, the dazed look in her eyes told him how much even that pained her.

“You have been working too many long hours,” he said, trying to keep his voice a breathy whisper to avoid sending more jolts through her already hurting head.  He watched her sip the brew, saw the grimace at the flavor but the determination to finish it all and let its effects take over.  “I thought the purpose of having a Queen in your training was to delegate some of the smaller tasks to her, so that she might learn.  I have not seen her taking on much of your load, unless you have tasked her to getting to know all of the court and guards.”  He wasn’t going to tell her about some of the less than polite things the Guard had been murmuring amongst themselves about Dinah’s protege.  Mostly because he didn’t know how much truth was there and also because he hadn’t seen any of that behavior himself.  Shaula had been polite and attentive, perhaps a little shy and nervous, enough that she took comfort in his presence to escort her in her daily walks.

He sat carefully at the edge of the bed, watching her to make sure she drank every drop, “You have been doing marvelously with everything Lady,” he reassured her, his hand moving out to gently rub against her back.  She tilted the cup upwards and placed it down with a sigh before shifting over and slowly laying down towards him.  He scooped up one of the decorative pillows that was arranged on her bed and pressed it to his thigh so that she had a soft place for her head to rest, instead of the hard muscle and let her shift herself until she was comfortable.  As soon as she was still, his hand moved lightly over the softness of her long tresses, smoothing them down before letting his fingers move into her scalp, fingers sliding against the tender skin in slow light circular motions.  Relax her with gentle head rubs, and then move to the temples to ease out the pain.  No stranger to helping women with the pains of a headache, he had learned through various assignments how to easy massage along the temple and the back of the head could ease some of the worst of the symptoms.

Her questions gave him pause a moment, and he had wondered if she might have perhaps caught an inkling of his thoughts only a few moments ago.  Picking up where he left off, he thought a moment before replying in that same soft whisper, “Well, she is young and very new to court life.   I think she is trying to seek out her place in the whole scheme of it.  She seems fond of you and grateful for the opportunity to be placed here and learn from you.  She asks me questions constantly,” he paused, realizing he hadn’t yet told her he had run into Shaula lost among the tents.

“About a week ago, I came across her a little lost in the encampment and escorted her back towards the main tent,” he said, his fingers gliding down to the base of her skull, seeking out some of the pressure points that would ease the ache in her head.  “She was very kind, very attentive and all she wanted to know was about serving your court.  I found her sweet in her confusion, but behind that she has a sharp mind.  You can see it in her eyes, processing and absorbing information.  These are good things I think, good qualities for a woman who will someday rule her own tribe.”

Kazim smiled, “I think she was flirting with me,” he said with a touch of humor, “but in that way young girls do with older men, to practice phrases and behaviors for the day they have a real interest in another suitor.”  He pressed his warm hands to her neck, letting the heat of his palms move into her spine, “I made it very clear there is only one Queen in my heart, and I serve her with all my being.”  He bent down and brushed his lips lightly against her temple.  “But she has sought me out for escort duty when she wishes to walk around the camp or venture into Onn.  She is very inquisitive.”

“There is talk,” he said, almost in an indecisive afterthought, “that your brother seems rather infatuated with her.”  He paused a moment, “Forgive me Dinah, I’m sure it's nothing more than guard gossip,  things said and exaggerated by some men to make up the long boring rotations.  A few have mentioned seeing him around her tent in the late hours, but I have not seen anything to support these things.”

Pruul / Re: Scorpion In Your Bed
« on: Nov 12, 17, 03:51:55 PM »
Kazim made a noncommittal shrug of his shoulders, “My strength intimidated them.  They are quite used to a set way of having things done, and I wasn’t a part of that design.  A wild card who owes allegiance to no one but the Queen, and I don’t play politics very well.  Which is why I like the guard.  A man can just be a man, not a snake as well.  It’s an honest place and I can keep doing what I came here to do, protect Lady Dinah.”

Her hand slide against his arm again, and he felt every hair respond to her touch.  His mouth watered a moment, and he swallowed a little nervously, reaching up to gently pat her hand.  “Lady Dinah is a wonderful example for you to learn from Lady Shaula, she is well graced and knowledgeable in her craft and her caste.  I am certain she will help find you a placement where you will excel, I have no doubts in fact.”  He gave her a warm smile and watched as she looked right into his eyes, guileless and interested.  He tried not to notice and then tried not to look when he did notice the way her chest rose and feel against his arm, the slow movement of her fingers against his skin.  It had been a long time since any women had focused so much attention on him in a way that a man enjoyed being notice.

He felt a twinge of guilt then.  It wasn’t Dinah’s fault that she was so timid.  She had been browbeat into an emotional box by her family and all the responsibilities that had been placed on her lovely head.  Still, there was no harm in a little courtly flirtations right?  It was how young ladies learned to manage the attentions of the men in their courts, so if he returned a little of the play with Lady Shaula, he wasn’t betraying any sort of oaths to Dinah, he was helping in the little Queen’s training.

Kazim lifted one of Shaula’s hands and brought her knuckles to his lips gently, “Lady, I would be honored to escort you wherever you need to go.  I would be a poor male if I could not protect the Wards of my Queen in her home camp, and lax in my duties as a guard if something should befall you because of my negligence.

Pruul / Re: What Tangled Webs She Weaves
« on: Nov 08, 17, 01:04:28 PM »
Kazim slipped inside the tent that the maid kept adjacent to his Queen’s with a grand flourish.  “You summoned me oh star of night?”  He was in a good mood for no particular reason.  It was hot, the sand was chaffing, Dinah’s court was still trying to push him out of their way but he was just happy today.  He liked the older woman who tended to Dinah’s needs, viewing her much like an older sister or perhaps a young aunt.  He stepped up and gave her a smacking kiss on the cheek, to which she swatted at his arm laughing.

“Off with you, go shower your attentions on the real woman you want,” she said, handing him a hot mug of tea with the needed headache brew inside.  It was a bitter concoction which meant Anahita made sure to add extra honey to the tea to mask the taste.  He tried to look forlorn as he backed up towards the entrance to Dinah’s tent, “Ah but it is only that you reject my advances that I am forced to seek affection elsewhe….hey!”  He jumped, keeping the liquid from spilling as he dodged and artfully thrown object at his feet.  It was a testament to his grace that he could do so and with one last wink at the other woman, he slipped quietly into Dinah’s tent.

All the witchlights were dimmed to near darkness, a clear sign that his lady was suffering from one of her nauseatingly blinding headaches.  He only hoped someone had aura shielded the tent, lest his loud voice cause her more pain.  On that note, he did so with an Opal aural shield and stepped lightly over to the side of her bed.

“I brought you the brew,” he whispered delicately, placing it down beside her bed on the small stand.  “Drink it down and I’ll give you one of those scalp rubs you like that seem to help.”

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Nov 08, 17, 01:04:13 PM »
He had almost missed when her hands moved, so focused he was on offering her comfort that she needed, that he almost didn’t feel the light touch of her fingers against his hips.  Her hair brushed against his face and he breathed in the scent of her soap, the oils that Anahita used to smooth the strands and most importantly of her.  He didn’t move, didn’t even breathe when he finally realized she was touching him, so nervous that she would start and run away from a fear that he wished he could convince her was never going to come true.

Her face moved, the cheek that had been pressed to his slipped away and was replaced by soft lips.  His eyes fell closed as every muscle in his body grew taunt as she pressed a feather light kiss against the brush of his beard, making him wonder a moment if it felt too rough to her delicate skin.  Her fingers twitched on him, and he smelled the spice of desire drift into her scent and could have moaned at his body’s reaction to the change.   This was the first time she had shown any sign of desire for him and he drank it in like the sweetest wine.

Her lips traveled painfully slow towards his mouth, and it took all his discipline not to turn his head and capture her mouth but this was her hunt, not his and so he became the still prey and let her approach as she would.  When her breath brushed his mouth and that first kiss tickled his hungry lips, he could have died a happy man and regretted nothing.  When her mouth moved again, this time with more heat, more pressure he was certain he was dying.

Her hands slid from his hips to his waist as she felt emboldened by her actions and he let her explore this new territory, keeping his mouth soft and pliable to her but that damned panic rose up and she pulled away.  He couldn’t help it, his throat let out a pathetic whimper of a sound as she ended the contact and he opened his eyes, dark and begging to look at her.  So much and so little and a moment, a precious moment where all could be lost.

“Protocol be damned,” he said hoarsely, his hands sliding more into her hair, “I’ve been waiting for you to kiss me since the moment I saw you.”  He wanted to wait, wanted to give her that space but the creature inside had been given a taste and it wanted, it needed more.  He pulled her tight against him and his mouth sank down on hers.  Hard and still gentle, he coaxed her lips open as he let his desire for her pour through the gesture.  She was everything to him and he telegraphed it in the one simple gesture.  If she pulled back he would let her go, he would never hold her against her will, never force more than she was able to handle but she had opened this one small door and he was not going to let it close in his face again.

“Dinah,” he moaned against her mouth, teasing her lips playfully, trying to show her that there was no fear in this moment, only pleasure and excitement.  He growled softly, a hungry sound but whispered, “I won’t push you any farther, but by all the Jewels, don’t stop kissing me.”

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Nov 08, 17, 01:03:54 PM »

It said a lot about how far they had progressed that he could move up behind her and wrap her in the warmth of his embrace.  Not too long back she had pulled away, had cowered from his touch - not from fear but from being so uninitiated in the simplest of kind touches.   He wrapped his arms around her waist, letting the folds of his burnoose wrap around her as well, cocooning her with body heat and fabric.  His cheek rested lightly in her hair as he stared out with her.

Word about her father continuing his endless pushback against her decisions and plans made a soft growl start in his chest, not audible but enough that she would be certain to feel it against her back.  He bent his head, pressing a gentle kiss to the spot on her neck that smelled and tasted glorious to him, using it as a balm and comfort to his seemingly endless desire to stake her father out in the desert and be done with his troublemaking.

Her willingness to lean against him, both figuratively and literally meant the world to him and her question deserved measured words.  He thought it out before finally speaking.  “We are creatures of habit.  We like knowing the measurement of things in our lives.  We mark the seasons, the days and even the hours in ways we can grasp and understand in a world that is so much larger than our control.  Change means we have to step outside of what we know and what we have already controlled and either find new ways to control or fail.   Most of the control we think we have was established long before our times, and there is a comfort in not having that burden.  It’s why people often anger at change, they are not angry at the change itself, but at unspoken weight of their possible failure to adapt.” 

Kazim tightened his arms around her waist gently, “I think your ideas are sound and solid, and not just because I adore you.”  he laughed gently against her ear.  “There is much changing all around Pruul, and it would be wise to gather allies and make amends to old hurts.  We already have to fight with the sand and salt and sun.  The less we fight with each other, the better we will become.”  He glanced up at the sky at another loud rumble.

“What is that?” he asked, staring up into the starless night.  Strange, he had seen plenty of stars during his rounds but now the night was muted dark.  Not even a shimmer of starlight.  Another rumble, louder now and the air seemed to vibrate.  Instinctively, Kazim through a protective Sapphire shield around her as light arched through the sky, followed by a crackling boom that seemed almost above them.

“We should get you inside your tent,” he said urgently.  Perhaps this was an attack of some sort?  He had never seen such craft.  Was this like the Purge of many years ago, a strange storm of power that decimated the whole of the realms?

Pruul / Re: Kiss The Rain
« on: Nov 07, 17, 11:04:36 PM »
Kazim finished the last of his rounds, stopping by the guard’s tent located near Dinah’s private tent for a quick dipper of water.  The air was strangely dry this night.  Well it was the desert, it was always dry but something else hung heavy in the air.  The next patrol were already gathering, getting their assignments for their shifts, filling up canteens and hearing reports from the night group of which Kazim had been a part of.  He took a seat on an available stool and pulled off a boot, shaking free some sand that had wandered in there somehow as he refilled his canteen and took a long drink.

“Rough night,” said his replacement, a young guard by the name of Abdeen.  Kazim gave him a smile.  “Nah, pretty quiet.  A couple of drunken fools who got lost trying to find their own tents but nothing dangerous.  Heard from some of the outposts that there was a Sandworm incident to the south but nothing near enough to cause us worry.”

“Nasty bugs,” commented Abdeen as he pulled on his own burnoose.  “Alright, I’m heading for rounds.  Enjoy your time off.”  The other man gave him a knowing wink before slipping out of the tent into the chill night air.  From any other man, Kazim might have felt irritated by the wink but Abdeen was a good sort.  From the start he was one of the few men who didn’t write him off as simply another soft courtier looking to circle their Queen.  Abdeen wasn’t competition, his tastes ran towards other men and ones who were far more pretty than Kazim so the two of them had gotten along splendidly. 

Kazim gathered his things and headed out as well, eager to head to his tent to wash and change into a fresh set of clothing before swinging by to see on Dinah.  He knew her schedule almost better than her own Steward by now and today was a morning of meetings, her Triangle and a few important elders of the Clan.  She would probably be upset as she usually was after one of these gatherings so he made a note to see if he could pick up a sweet treat to sweeten her mood.

Hands in his pockets, he strolled around one of the tents and saw the flap throw open and a very familiar figure came storming out into the night.  Alone.  Kazim damn near growled her name as Dinah made a beeline away from the tents and out towards the darkness of the desert.  Muttering something rather unkind about hot headed women and their lack of sense, he hurried after her as she left the perimeter of the tents and stood with her back to everything, eyes fixed on the horizon she couldn’t see in the night.

Sounds echoed and roared through the air, the crashing of rocks he thought but they were far too far away from the mountains to hear a landslide.  The air seemed to stir but he felt no breeze as she made the last few steps to where Dinah stood, hands clenched in fists.

“I’m going to venture that tonight’s meeting went spectacularly awful,” he said, letting a little light humor into his voice to try and ease her spirits.  It wouldn’t though.  He knew she would need the cathartic release of venting about whatever and whoever had riled her ire up enough to send her marching into possible danger without waiting for an escort or calling him.

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Nov 07, 17, 11:04:14 PM »
The water had helped but hadn’t complete abated the fire in his belly, but when Dinah approached him and he saw the shift in her eyes, the fire there as well, it changed the heat inside him to something more predatory, more hungry.  Anger became lust, and it curled through him like a lazy snake.  She pulled his hand to her face and he cupped the skin there.  So close, she was so close now with that expression on her face like he had never seen before. 

Kazim stepped forward just a hair as her words called on him to challenge her, to continue to remind her of who and what she was.  He stood silent as she pressed her wrist into his palm, and his thumb traced thin bone and soft skin imagining that he could see the mark of the spider now.  Queen and Black Widow, my what a woman the Darkness had gifted him with.  Every passing day showing more strength than anyone seemed to realize and in a possessive prideful way, he was pleased to be the first to know of it.

He could only nod, not trusting his mouth at the moment with the way she took more freedom in touching him and letting him touch her than she had in the weeks since he became Hers.  Now her hands held his, and he could feel to beat of her heart beneath her breast, could make out the soft swell of flesh beneath her gown as it touched the back of his hand.  Did she realize this?  Did she know?  So very very close now, it was almost painful and only the breeze on the wet fabric of his pants kept his body in check at the way her scent permeated the air around them.

“Remember these words,” he said, cocking a sly grin, “ when you come to regret that you’ve given me free reign to do so.”  He slid his hands from hers, feeling the warmth of her breast brushed his palm faintly as he lifted his hands up around her face, fingers dipping into her hair to hold her head in his hands.  He bowed his head, cheek pressed to her temple.  “Already you are the bravest woman I know, you just have to show them what I already see in you.”

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Sep 30, 17, 01:55:38 AM »
Kazim smiled warmly, sliding his hand across the sand dividing them, his fingers grazing one of the hands that nervously played with the hem of her skirts.  “Don’t worry, there aren’t many who swim.   I’ll be glad to teach you if you’d like, or we can simply wade in the shallows and cool off.”  He curled an arm behind his head as he lay back, his eyes always on her.  “Resting in the shade is just as good, as long as I’m with you.”  His lips curved in a satisfied grin as he tilted his head back, closing his eyes as a breeze fluttered through the shade.  “I can always go splash around later.”

She was quiet, and he let his eye open to a narrow slat to look at her.  He didn’t want her to worry, he wanted her to relax and enjoy the day because he didn’t know how long it would be before he could pull her away from Court and responsibility again for this much alone time.  He watched her fidget, letting her piece herself through the weeds that muddled her thoughts.  He wouldn’t push her, not in the first steps.  He was learning his Queen was like skittish prey in the desert.  If you chased them, they ran and you went hungry but if you waited patiently and let them come into view, you could succeed much better.

Her voice finally came, small and shy.  He turned his head and watched her as her words came out.  He just smiled gently and let her speak her mind.  The weight of her worries pressed down on him and he slid his hand over hers.

“My Queen,” he said when she finally stopped speaking, and his voice was deep with emotion as his fingers entwined with hers.  “Dinah.”  He rolled a little so that he was still laying on his side but all his attention was on her.  “Never apologize for following your desires and your dreams.  You are a Queen, my Queen and theirs.”  His eyes blazed with protective pride.  “You are entitled to your privacy and owe me nothing.  I’m sorry that I reacted the way I did.  I know you would have told me when the time was right for you.”  It irritated him to see her this way, retreating as if she had something to be ashamed of and when she hung his head he shifted lightening quick, kneeling before her his hand lifting her chin up.

“No my lady, you bow to no one.  You are a Queen, you need to realize this, embrace this and let this knowledge fill you.  I am so proud of you for seeking to fulfill your desire to learn the Hourglass craft.  Your Court should be equally proud and they are fools forever making you feel anything less.”  That anger that had called him to pull away before rose up again and he hadn’t realized how close he still was to that line of civility over the thought that anyone - ANYONE- continued to make his Queen believe she needed anyone’s approval to seek out her true self made him snarl despite his restraint.   He moved on her, unable to control the feral creature beneath his skin and his eyes blazed as he rose up over her.

“I have never met a Black Widow who cowered beneath the gaze of any man.  They are brash and daring, filled with courage and strength to face the visions and webs that hide in the Darkness.  If you wish to embrace the secrets of the Hourglass, then you will need to find that strength and that courage inside yourself.  Mold it with the state of your natural caste and become bold and unapologetic for the paths you seek and to hell with those bastards who claim to serve you and seek to bury you.  I will stand at your back with all the strength of my jewels Lady, but I cannot give you this resolve.  If you truly wish to be Queen and Widow, you need to break free of these invisible chains and rise up with fury.  Be angry that they keep you held down and remind them who they serve!”

He pulled back, panting with the effort to restrain the essence of his caste and moved away from her.  He pulled off his shirt , feeling the sweat on his skin cool in the breeze before looking down at her.  “My apologies Lady, but I need a moment,” he all but snarled before stalking down to the water and diving under the surface.  He swam in the dark cool liquid until his lungs threatened to burst before surfacing a short distance from the short.  He didn’t look to see what Dinah had done and cursed himself for slipping the leash as he had.  He half expected to turn and see her riding away from here, frightened by his outburst until he remembered her horse was unable to make the journey just yet and she wouldn’t be able to coax Zar anywhere without his command.

Slowly, he held his breath and turned back to the shore to face the aftermath of his outburst.

Pruul / Re: Scorpion In Your Bed
« on: Sep 20, 17, 01:34:10 AM »
Kazim gave the younger woman a sympathetic smile, “Oh I’m sure no one will chastise you for getting lost.  After all, many of these tents are cut from the same colored cloth and it is easy to get turned around.  It took me a few days myself to adjust to the layout as well,” he said with a kind smile.  Her hand slid over his arm and he felt the shiver of the contact slide much further than his arm.  Mother Night, he was in a bad way if just a touch of his arm had him alert in ways he really shouldn’t be.

“Well, I..” he stammered slightly, grinning with a moment of male pride, “I would be a poor Guard if I couldn’t escort a member of my Queen’s court to her destination.”  Her smile, that soft whisper in her voice made the pulse in his throat rise up rapidly and he inhaled sharply through his nose.  That wasn’t helpful, all he got was a filling inhale of a Queen who was obviously interested and willing.  He swallowed hard, even harder as she moved against him and he could feel the warm soft swell of her full breast brush against his elbow.  He flickered a glance over at her, trying to keep his expression interested but not too interested and couldn’t resist a quick glance at the assets that continued to brush against him with every step.

He coughed slightly, “Well yes, I serve perimeter duty to the Queen’s tent so I am well acquainted where it is located.  I would be happy to offer you some help in remembering its location.”  He reached over with his other hand and pet her hand gently.  “I found that the nicer tents, the higher quality fabrics and more colorful or embroidered tents are closer to the center of attention, namely Lady Dinah’s tent.  This is where members of the court and the Aristo members of the Clan are granted permission to set up for the festival.”  He pointed out some examples as they walked.  “To the north are the al-Latifh tribe, ours have yellow rims to the tent fringes and to the south are the Bakka tribe, their tents are rimmed with green.  I would avoid that area, they are a somber group and you won’t find much entertainment in that camp.  To the east are the Kaid, with red on their tents.  If you can remember those things and find yourself among those camps, simply turn in the opposite direction and walk straight and it will return you to the center of the camp and the Queen’s section.”

Her question drew his gaze back to her, “I have had the privilege of serving Lady Dinah for these past three weeks, finding a place within her personal and perimeter guard under the command of her Master of the Guard.  It has been an adjustable process, her court was not too happy to have me around at first but I found a way to make myself useful and I think that perhaps they are warming to me.”  He chuckled lightly, patting her hand lightly, “I should hope that one day when you form your own court, you do not encounter such difficulties in accepting a Bonded male into your life as the Lady has dealt with.”  His laugh was weak in humor, an attempt to hide the snarl of frustration that almost slipped out.

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Sep 20, 17, 01:33:46 AM »
Kazim looked up at her from Talo’s foot, “Lady, this was nothing you did or could have done.  It is simply something that happens.  Perhaps in fact, it might have been worse had he not been at a full run, because his weight would have been placed more firmly on the object and perhaps caused more damage.”  He rose, wiping his hand on his pant leg before resting his hand on Dinah’s shoulder in comfort.

He saw the nervous shift in her body language at suggesting the double seat but was surprised when she recovered and insisted on riding double.  “Oh, Zar likes the extra company, especially the company of beautiful women,” he said with a sly grin as he watched the horse’s ears flicker at the kiss on his muzzle.

He carefully took Talo’s reign and looped them into a fastening on the back of his saddle.  If needed, Zar could pull free and run if danger demanded it without being burdened by the slowness of a lame horse.  Talo gave him a lazy look but didn’t give him too much trouble as he reached up around Dinah to grab the pommel before pulling himself up behind her.  Zar bobbed his head a moment as he adjusted to the additional weight but settled quickly and with a light touch of his heel, the horse began an easy walk forward, Talo following obediently behind.

She was ramrod stiff, holding onto the pommel with both hands so tightly he could feel the strain of the leather creak beneath her clutching hands. He settled back in the saddle, trying to keep his hips and weight as far from her as possible.  She was so uncomfortable and it was hard not to take it personally.  He knew she was skittish and would respect that, but being doubly mounted and not pressed against each other was a difficult and uncomfortable task.  The rear of the saddle was curved and hardened and it pressed against his rear and made him wince.

They had settled into an easy gait when she suddenly relaxed a little, and he blinked in surprise as she took his hand in hers.  He could feel the tremors as she slowly pulled his arm around her waist and leaned back slightly in invitation.  Given this change, he had to move forward until her back rested comfortably against his chest.  That soft weight, that warmth seeped through his skin into his heart and he sighed deeply, his head bowing in a moment of bliss.   His fingers moved against her ribs slightly and his arm tightened just a little, a light hug as he relished the contact with every fiber of his being.

Her soft sigh as they came over the ridge of the sand dune that gave them an overlooking view of the oasis had him pull Zar to a stop so she could enjoy the view, his head leaning forward to rest against her shoulder, his mouth near her ear.  “In my travels as a guard, I have visited the edges of Pruul and seen land as far as the eye could see lush and green with fields of grass and grain waving in the wind or mountains so high they could block out the sun before it was scarcely midday with cold winds that match the darkest of desert nights.  There is a beauty to our land, a strength in the fact we have survived and endured so long with so little and perhaps we will be fortunate enough to live to see the day when the Rain will fall again and swell the land with all the water we could ever want.”  His breath was warm against her cheek before he leaned back, nudging Zar into motion again.  The sun was becoming harsh and both the animals and his Queen should find solace in the shade.

He smiled at the guards who called out to Dinah, wishing her a good day and a few called to him as well, men he had worked with on the caravans in times past.  He selected a well covered aread beneath some palms, with fronds growing wild to act like the walls of a tent and keeping the area entirely in shade no matter the motion of the sun in the sky.  He slid of Zar’s back and carefully helped Dinah down before seeing that both animals watered and soaking a cloth in the cool oasis water before wrapping it around Talo’s foot.  The horses were lashed to one of the date trees with enough lead to allow them to graze at their leisure and he plopped down on the ground next to Dinah, taking the offered date from her with a smile before tossing it up in the air and catching it in his open mouth.

“Mmmmm,” he said with a smile as he reclined back on the ground, propped up on bent elbows to look at his Queen who sat shy and apart.  The short time with her in his arms, leaning into him had been heaven and he missed the contact already.

“I am completely at your disposal, and I think that relaxing is something long overdue for you” he said warmly, stretching out his legs with a grunt before kicking off his shoes and wiggling his toes.  “Or we can talk if you wish, about what occurred this morning...again if you wish.  If not, I am seriously thinking of taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing swim.”  He grinned and tilted his head to the side, “Do you know how to swim lady?”

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Sep 06, 17, 02:24:28 PM »
Kazim looked over Talo with a practiced eye, his hands sliding over its withers gently, measuring muscle and form.  “A good mount, even if he isn’t warrior bred,” he said, patting the horse’s neck, “and much prettier than my four footed brother,” he joked casting a look at his own horse who seemed to snort at the perceived insult.  Or perhaps the horse, who had better sense than some humans, was aware at the thinly veiled mask of calm that he was adopting where others might see.  He was still seething beneath the surface but if anyone saw him on edge, they would swarm and take Dinah away from him and this would only make matters worse.

After seeing Dinah onto her horse, he slide up onto Zar with practiced ease.  The two of them had spent many long days and nights together and were very much in tune to the point that he had to give the horse very little instruction.  “Come on my friend, let’s show our Lady a good morning,” and set the pace for a easy walk out of the camp.  He wasn’t sure of how good of a seat Dinah had, but starting a slow pace would give him measure of how she handled a horse.  Zar grumbled, his ears flickering with impatience as they left the confines of the camp and wanted to run and stretch his legs, weeks begin only walked easy itching at his desire to run.  Kazim pet his neck but held him to the easy walk until the walls of Onn were but a shadow on the horizon.  Dinah had moved up on his right, and a few casual glances gave him the assurance that she was no novice on a horse and could handle the spirited gelding very well. 

Her sudden question about the pace caught him off guard and before he could reply, horse and rider leapt forward in a graceful arc and were dashing across the sands.  Kazim almost fell off his horse, the sight of his Queen flowing with ease with the motion of the horse beneath her was a beautiful sight and only Zar’s annoyed vocalization pulled his attention back.  He grinned and gave Zar his way, and the horse took off in hot pursuit.  He might have less of a length of stride, but he had the strength to dig into the hot sands and push himself hard to catch up.  Kazim’s mind faded into mechanical habit on the back of his mount, but his eyes were only on Dinah.  Her hair had slipped loose of its bindings and was flowing free and wild behind her, a dark beckoning curtain and he could feel the joy that flowed off of her.  It was a delicate perfume, strong and fragrant and he watched her lean down to move with the steed.  The horse responded and picked up a little more speed, pulling away.

Kazim let out a little hoot and pressed his heels into Zar, who needed no encouragement to try and catch up.  Ahead, he could see the faint shimmer of green that signaled the upcoming oasis and his mouth watered at the thought of the cool shade when snapped his gaze back to Dinah.  The horse made a sound of pain, and for a moment he watched the momentum of both of them shift forward as the horse’s foreleg buckled and Dinah moved forward.  He cursed the fact he wasn’t close enough to catch her if she went over the saddle but she held firm and the horse slowed to a nervous stop, hobbling in obvious discomfort while the Queen remained seated.

Kazim vaulted off of Zar’s back as soon as he was close just as Dinah slipped down herself and held the reins.  Her confused and worried gaze travelled down his leg as Kazim crouched down, murmuring soothing sounds as his hands slid along the trembling limb.  “Talk to him Lady, he is nervous and pained and might mistake help for more harm,” he advised as he tried to get the horse to let him inspect him.  After some coaxing from Dinah, the gelding stopped trying to dance and let him lift one leg and then the other.

“Not tripped,” he said slowly, his voice low and distant as he continued his inspection, “he could have recovered well from a trip.  No this is something else.”  One leg checked he moved onto the other one and was surprised not to find swelling or heat anywhere along the joints.  So no breaks or sprains, also a good bit of news which he conveyed to Dinah as he lifted the hoof and the horse snorted, pulling back almost instantly.

“Ahh,” he crooned softly, his fingers sliding carefully beneath the hoof and felt the horse jerk again.  He slowly lowered the leg and rose, his hand sliding over Talo’s neck.  “Easy boy, looks like you’re going to keep the the walk for a while.”   He turned to Dinah, “His frog is a bit tender, tells me he probably caught something hard into the underside of his hoof while you were running.”  He glanced around, “Probably the sharp end of a rock or a piece of debris but nothing permanent or crippling but he shouldn't take the weight of a rider for a little while until he’s had a chance to rest it.  Once we get to the oasis I’ll put a cooling spell on a rag and see if I can’t keep it from swelling more.”  Kazim clicked his tongue and Zar trotted up.  He looked at Dinah, and his eyes shifted in almost a nervous gesture.

“Zar is used to carrying double, if you don’t mind but if you aren’t at ease with being so close, you can ride him and I will walk the mounts to the Oasis,” he said softly, trying to keep the feeling of hope from his voice.  In truth, he could picture her curled against his chest, the feel of her body against his as they moved in tandem on horseback, but he knew of her unease at being so close and would respect it as he promised.

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Aug 30, 17, 03:57:58 PM »
Her sudden and commanding assertion to come with him caught him off guard and he just looked at her. Hadn’t she heard a single thing he had just said.  He was unstable, angry, not the sort of man she should want to be around at this moment.   He had started to open his mouth to protest when she repeated the assertion and that was when he noticed that she still held his hand.

Despite the rage, the quaking need he had to tear something apart, she held his contact and refused to leave him alone.  He felt flabbergasted and couldn’t form words through the jumble of surprise that rattled his brain as she quickly dropped his hand and set about putting away her private Hourglass texts, hiding them with a web of her own design.   When he could think straight, he would feel pride at her accomplishments while seeking knowledge and remaining so vigilantly hidden about it.

When his tongue finally loosened he crouched down to sit on his heels, watching her move about the tent. “Lady are you certain?  I can’t….I can’t be sure of your safety riding so close to the line…” his voice was rough and gritted, his teeth clenched against the wave of anger that still threatened to surge forward.  He should just go.  She would be angry with him, but better anger than risk her harm.  He started to rise up when he caught the look on her face. 

She was calm, matter of fact but the look in her eyes told him she needed to get out as well.  It was a perfect unison of moments when she could disappear without obligation with him and no one could argue the action.  Hadn’t he been sniveling to himself for just that sort of chance?  Why would he want to give up the opportunity now?

“Of course,” he said, stepping towards Anahita to take the supplies that she had brought into the tent but Dinah vanished them before he had a chance to take possession.  He gave her a quirk of his eyebrow at her pushy, determined gesture and noticed that without addressing his aggression, her decision and push had knocked some of the heat out of him.  Sending a quick mental thread to the Court’s stables, he ordered his own horse and a horse suitable for the Queen to ride tacked up and brought to her tent.  Then he stepped forward, reaching up gently to tuck a stray hair behind her ear as he adjusted the burnoose just a little around her precious face.

“I think you have taken a few notes from your brother,” he said in a soft voice, his fingers lingering against her cheek, “delivering orders and expecting results in much the same way the Master of the Guard does at morning presentations.”  He quirked his lips in a playful grin.   A soft sound of impatient snorting outside the tent folds told him their mounts had arrived and he slid an arm around her shoulder.

“As my lady wishes,” he said with an air of pride in the tone.  This was his Lady, confident and commanding - her voice firm and expecting.  It was a voice that made the wild anger step back and kneel in response, obeying her wishes above its own.  His own mount tossed his head when they emerged and he clicked his tongue in response, the sound causing the stallion to bow his head obediently.   He motioned Dinah forward to his mount first.

“Zar, behave yourself.  This is our Lady Queen,” he said as he ran one hand over the crest on the horse’s forehead.  “Make your proper greetings.”  The horse blinked one dark eye at Dinah before snorting softly and stretching his head forward, his nose sniffling as it brushed close to her arm.  Kazim watched the interaction between horse and Queen, allowing the stallion to memorize the scent of the woman at his side.  If anything should happen today, Zar would guard Dinah even against himself.  He had taken great pride in training his mount in the secret commands that only he and the horse would recognize.

He took the time to inspect the gelding that had saddled for Dinah, checking straps and ties and when she was ready, he cupped his hands together to provide her assistance into mounting the tall horse.   A few hands larger than Zar, it was a magnificent piece of horseflesh, with a long neck and back.  This was not a warrior’s mount, but one bred for beauty and show.   Zar was not an ugly horse, but he wouldn’t win any beauty prizes.  He was stocky but muscular in a way that would do well in a fight with legs long and nimble enough to run swiftly away from danger if needed.

Once she was seated and settled, he pulled himself up on Zar’s back with graceful ease.  After all, he had spent most of his adult life on the back of a horse, it was almost as second nature to him as breathing and Zar was an extension of his very self in motion.  He glanced over at Dinah before looking up at the bright sky.   “An easy pace to the Oasis then Lady, where we will find some shade and comfort as the sun reaches its peak and our friends can get a fresh drink before we head back, if that pleases you?”

Pruul / Re: Scorpion In Your Bed
« on: Aug 29, 17, 10:51:14 PM »
Kazim ran a hand through his hair, almost already dry in the warm air as he walked back through the camp heading towards the Queen’s tent.  He had taken his break this afternoon by heading to the Oasis and going for a nice long cold swim.  He had needed the cold temperatures to clear his head.  He was getting….anxious.  It wasn’t time for him to have another Rut, not for a few more months at least but being around Dinah and having to be so restrained was starting to rub under his skin.   The little touches and hugs that she allowed him helped, Mother Night if he hadn’t had that much he would have gone mad weeks ago, but it was starting to build on him.

He might have to put in a request with the Master of the Guard for a leave of absence for a few days so he could go out into the desert and beat something into dust to work out some of the temper and energy.  He couldn’t risk triggering his more base needs, not around his Queen, not while this was still so fragile and new between them.  He knew she would do her duty to him, but it might break that trust and he wouldn’t risk that.  So he had gone to the water and swam in the depths until his balls had ached from the cold and the focus on the chill on his more delicate parts broke through the driving push inside. 

Unfortunately it didn’t take very long in the warm day’s heat for the memory of that cold to fall away, so he was feeling itchy again.  He would sup with the guard tonight, Dinah had another “important” dinner to attend to anyway and then slip away for a ride before the sun set to clear his head again before throwing himself into bed.  He couldn’t remember who this dinner was with or for, there always seemed to be some important person or another who wanted dine with her and that had begun to wear on him as well.  Their times together were stolen and brief, with her duties as a Queen and now this new Queenling who was training in her court taking up all her free time, he might have to resort to sneaking into her tent in the middle of the night to even have a moment of time in her presence.

He rubbed his arms, trying to work out the prickles under the skin as he turned a tent and came up short as a beautiful young woman looked right at him, her eyes lighting up when she saw him.  She wasn’t familiar and he cast a quick look behind her for signs of an Escort.  She shouldn’t be wandering around this area of the encampment without an escort.  He mumbled something about the stupid men in her life for letting her slip off unaccompanied.

Visually she was stunning, with smooth skin, dark eyes and long black hair that begged to have fingers run through it.  She was curved and soft and the way she moved had her body shifting in an almost hypnotic motion.   Kazim felt his body react as it would around any beautiful woman and he pushed back his baser instincts as she moved closer.   The air shifted around her and he widened his eyes.  A Queen, wandering around alone?!

“Lady,” he said, bowing politely in recognition of her caste, even if the Tiger Eye he saw on her hand was far outranked by his Sapphire.  Her eyes fell on his necklace and he saw the look of surprise and then delight in those deep pools before she shifted her body, her lip pushing forward just enough to look shy and playful.  Soft pink lips that would look deliciously swollen under a hard kiss.

Mother Night, pull yourself together man, he mentally berated himself.  “Of course Lady,” he said with a warm, kind smile.  “Though you are indeed a bit lost, you seem to have wandered far off course.  These are the tents belonging to the Queen’s guard and no place for you to be strolling alone.”   He gave her a wink, “You are lucky enough that one of the Queen’s Guard happened to come along to show you the way home.”  He held out his arm gentilly.

“I am Prince Kazim al-Latifh, and I would venture to guess that you are the Lady Shaula, who has recently come to apprentice under our dear Lady Dinah, am I correct?”  He caught her psychic scent now, rich and ripe - musky with just a hint of lust beneath.  He resisted the urge to groan.   The Darkness was a cruel cruel bitch at times.

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Aug 12, 17, 11:12:30 AM »
Kazim sat silently at Dinah’s feet, his face calm but she looked right through him, right into the heart of him and he knew she felt the sting in his chest.  Still, she was suffering more.  He could see it in her face as her hands fluttered with anxiety and her voice pitched as she tried to explain why she hadn’t told him what she had been up to.   Her secrets were hers to keep and to hold, he served her not the other way around and he didn’t have the right to demand she spill her private plans.

He reacted when fear permeated the air between them, the panic as she begged him to hold her confidences and not reveal her secret to her family.  His temper slipped its leash, the air in the tent growing chillingly cold as he reacted to his Queen in fear and he clenched his fists into the rug beneath him, holding back the need to attack and rid her of this source of fear.  He reached out, his hand sliding against the cool of her ankle as he looked up at her face.

“Dinah,” he breathed, his voice strained as he wrestled with the instincts that screamed at him to rise to a killing edge and vanquish this threat.  “I, that isn’t correct.  I don’t understand why you would keep such a thing from me.  To be a Sister of the Hourglass is a respected and important thing.  I understand your need to have your private thoughts and your private wishes, but I need to protect you - to see you safe.  I can’t do that if there things this important that you keep hidden.”  He bowed his head, breathing heavily.  “What if you had been harmed in one of these visits?  What if I could have stopped harm to you but I didn’t because you never told me…” his voice cut off.   When he finally looked up at her, his eyes were dark and unreadable.

“I swear on my jewels that your secrets are always safe with me, though it tears at my control to know that you cannot trust even your own blood with the knowledge that you are seeking to grow and learn and become so much more.  A Queen of the Hourglass, doubly casted and doubly blessed by the Darkness,” he ran his hand through his hair as he struggled with his control before growling, “Fools, such fools to make you feel shame and fear when you should be rejoicing in joy and excitement.”

It wasn’t enough, he needed more, needed to hold her, to bury his face in her hair and kiss her neck and breath in her warmth and scent until the fire that burned inside his chest was extinguished but he wouldn’t press the precious trust she had in him so he pulled back, moved away before he either exploded from his rage and unleashed his Sapphire on her court or pulled her down to the floor with him, holding on like a lifeline. 

“I….I need to leave,” he said, his body shaking with barely leashed control.  He turned to her, and gave her the best of a smile that he could manage, “I am in such...awe of you my Lady.  Your courage and strength knows no bounds, your grace astounds me but I need to take my leave right now.  My restraint is frayed and I will do harm to your family if I don’t go.”  He looked towards the tent lining, “I will ride out to the Oasis, to a place where I can unleash my anger at your family without harming anyone.”  He stepped back towards her, kneeling at her feet to bring her hand to his mouth.  “I will return, I promise Lady.

Pruul / Re: With Nothing But The Wind
« on: Aug 06, 17, 08:07:20 PM »
Kazim tucked his thumbs into the pockets and strode towards Dinah’s tent, feeling actually content for the first time since he had first arrived.  No, that wasn’t exactly true - he was always happy when he was able to spend time with Dinah but usually that was a small oasis in the crappy desert of her court.  Ever since she spoke to her brother and Shinar approached him about the idea, things had started to ease up a little.

Kazim found himself liking Dinah’s brother.  The other man had approached him with an measuring air, using his obviously larger size and rough demeanor to try to intimidate him into backing down to the challenge of a sparring match.  Kazim had been faced down by larger and scarier looking men and stepped right up to the line.  They had gathered a decent crowd to watch the bout, most of the spectators were from outside the court but a few faces Kazim recognized appeared around the sparring ring, as well as other guards assigned to the Court.   Since this was not a real fight and just a measure of Kazim’s skill, they used unsharpened blades but with enough force or the right blow, it could still be a dangerous event. 

Kazim had ignored the shouts of derision against his person as he and Shinar circled each other and for the first part of the match, Kazim had been on the defensive, learning the other warrior’s moves and watching for subtle tells of weakness or technique.  Then, he had made his own moves - using his agility and speed more than muscle strength to dodge and avoid the blows Shinar put his weight behind.  Both men had stripped down to just their trousers, the heat of the day drenching them with sweat before Kazim finally made his move, executing a quick blow meant to throw Shinar off his step and while he was recovering, he turned and made a move to strike his sword arm with the flat of his blade.  Never to wound but a move to disable.   Dinah’s family might not approve of him or even like him, but that didn’t mean he would hurt his Queen by harming a member of her blood.

To his credit, Shinar read his intentions and at the last second dropped his arm in a way that made Kazim’s attack cut through air instead of landing a blow.  He stepped into Kazim’s way, knocking him back with the weight of his shoulder and causing the smaller man to fall to the sand.   Shinar stepped over him, one foot coming down on his blade and looked at him, his chest heaving with exertion before he grinned and held out his hand to Kazim.  He looked up at the other warrior before lifting his hand and accepting his aid.

“Well,” Shinar had said with a breathy laugh as someone handed him a skin of water which he proceeded to squeeze onto his face, “you are a quick son of a bitch, I’ll give you that and a whirlwind with a blade.   You could have easily had me tripped up a few times and I thought perhaps that was a mistake on your part but you were drawing out the fight so I could get a better measure of you, wasn’t it?”  Kazim nodded, reaching for his shirt which he had thrown on border of the sparring ring, wiping his face with the cloth.  “Wouldn’t have been fun to have the bout finish too quickly.”

Shinar had let out a roar of a laugh and slapped his hand hard on Kazim’s shoulder, “Well, can’t say I’m happy with the way you’ve come in and pissed all on my father’s shoes with this Bonding thing, but you’re a damned good fighter and we need good fighters to keep my little sister safe.   I think her idea is a good one and we’ll start you tomorrow with the perimeter guard.”   Kazim grinned and held out his arm, which the Master of the Guard took in a firm handshake before both men left to seek out a shower.

The Master of the Guard was a good man, Kazim had decided, and certainly more concerned with the protection of his Queen than he was about politics and protocol.  He could certainly work with this.  He had been so busy for the past week or so with his new position, it had barely left much time to sneak off and spend alone time with Dinah.  She too had been infinitely busy.  Word was that she had taken a new Queenling under her wing to mentor and between those new responsibilities and the fact that Kazim had started taking his meals with the other guards to build that rapport, the only time they were in the same room was the rare occasions when he could sneak into her audiences and sit in the shadows or when he came to her tent in the evening.

Even then, he arrived to find her sound asleep, sometimes seated at a table with some document in front of her.  He would very carefully lift her and put her to bed, pulling the covers up over her before curling up at the foot of her bed to sleep a little surrounded by her scent.  If she had minded or even noticed, she hadn’t sent him word but he needed that renewal of her scent in his nose to refresh and revive his soul.  He was very careful, always very careful not to be seen entering or leaving her tent to be sure that there would be no thoughts of impropriety.  Too much was riding on getting her court to accept his presence and he didn’t want to cause her any more undue remorse.

Seeing the flicker of witchlight in her tent, he smiled and passed through the fabric, wrapping his own Sapphire shielding around the ones already placed around her tent.  He had been doing it every evening since he joined the guard and after some initial grumbling, the action had been seen as a wise decision and left alone.  He watched her as she sat on her couch, her legs curled and crossed before her, a book open and laying out atop her legs.  He watched quietly, just enjoying the sight of her; the small little line that crossed her brow as she puzzled over something in the tome, or the way her mouth curved as she comprehended something else and smiled in the realization that she understood it.

He stepped behind her and leaned carefully over her shoulder intent to place a caste kiss against her ear and watch playfully as she made surprised sounds but just before he was going to press lip to skin, his eyes darted down at the pages that she was reading and he sucked in a deep breath.   Webs - she was reading about how to spin and weave webs.  Why would she be reading about…

He moved around her now, moved in a way to draw her awareness back to room around her and crouched down at her feet so that she was seated higher.  A Black Widow, his lady was studying the Hourglass craft and hadn’t told him.  He felt the unintentional sting of being excluded from her plans as he waited patiently for her to see him.

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