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The High Priest rules Raej with political acumen and charisma, but not all is well under the desert sun. As the years progress tension between Blood and Landen grow and are now nearly at a fever pitch. Odji Khaldun’s secret war against the Landen is not public knowledge but the workings of it can be seen. Blood and Landen die on both sides while Raej subtly prepares for civil war.
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Author Topic: Nothing Ventured  (Read 608 times)

Description: tag: Rehema

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Nothing Ventured
« on: Feb 26, 18, 04:14:33 PM »
Corvo rolled away from the attack, and cursed,  He had barely spotted it in time.  He had no idea who the merchant was that he was protecting, only that he was foreign and wealthy, and that he had paid well for his protection; but who had killers on them in less than a week in Raej?  He shielded his charge from the next attack, and shoved the man into the next room, leaving behind three breakable Blood Opal shields to slow their assailants.  The merchant was blubbering, and it was all he could do to keep the man on his feet, and running.  Corvo had a safehouse along their route, but they would have to lose pursuit for long enough for him to get the merchant ensconced, before he could deal with those same pursuers.  It did not help that the merchant looked like someone had dressed a barrel in finery.  He stood out like a pig in a chicken coop.

As they went, Corvo bega to pluck away gold and jewels, some of it he vanished, some of it he just threw in the street.  Each time some bit of old or other finery hit the dirt road, a crowd of people dove for it, giving them more time to get away.  When his employer began to protest, Corvo reminded him that the money was paid, and the contract forced him to listen to his guardian, namely Corvo himself  If he broke that, he lost the money, and his protection, and the Blood Opal Prince seemed more than able to leave a merchant to his own devices if push came to shove.

Corvo conjured a plain cloak, an threw it over what was left of the merchant’s finery, bundling down several back alleys and along lesser trod streets.  Once he felt like they had the fewest eyes upon them, he cloaked them both in a Sight Shield and kept them moving.  Once, he spotted one of the killers in the street, so he snatched a saucer from a nearby cafe table, charged it with Craft and hurled it as hard as he could, imparting the saucer with additional force and accuracy.  The item enhanced edged opened the man’s throat, and he fell back into the alley he had stepped out of.  Corvo scowled.  He was not necessarily in the killing business, though he was more than capable.  He was in the saving business, and every time he did take a life for whomever his current employer was, he found himself questioning the differences between himself and the man or woman he had just eliminated.  No time for philosophy, though.

The current owner and operator of the Council sanctioned Anansi Guardians bundled his charge off down the street and into the safe house without further incident.  Once there, other members of the Guardians were engaged.  These men were family, some of them literally.  Corvo explained the situation to them, gave them their orders, secured their charge, and collected a few extras to go back out into the streets, and watch for assassins.  Not for the first time, he lamented his inability to access his Father’s Gift.  Dad could look at a situation, and see where it was going to fall apart, intuitively, without needed to really observe a room.  Corvo had to do it the hard way.  He had to watch, observe, see the patterns and the breaks in it, and figure out what was going on, and if he were very lucky, who was going to do it.  He went to the safehouse rooftop to do that, and settled in with a fieldglass to see what was what.

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #1 on: Feb 26, 18, 04:30:50 PM »
A few days passed since her early dinner with Naliah. Things weren't exactly better and it might take some time before any of it bore fruit, if at all, but at least they started somewhere. The High Priestess of Raej wanted a relationship with her sisters, that had to be enough. Being only the second of five siblings to be blessed with Jewels, and no less of the Healer Caste, it was important politically as well for Naliah to maintain a good relationship with her. Though her twin sister Masika might argue that Nailah was only looking to keep up appearances, even Rehema knew that she would say anything in order to ensure that their relationship remained sour. After a while, anger and resentment were too heavy a burden and she wasn't sure how Masika wasn't tired yet.

Not that she had gotten much sleep of her own. Though Healer’s were rare and protected in Raej, they were often easily accosted as well.  Precious as the Caste was, and being so few, there was no shortage of sick and injured people to tend to. Taxed beyond her limits she had been forced to visit the temple at least once a week in order to commune. Had Nailah or even Kontar known of this, they would have seen her set off duty and put to rest.

Rehema’s calling to care for the people of Raej was just as powerful as her sister’s to surmon to them. The young landen girl reached her hand up holding five fingers aloft. “Thats the improvement?” she asked and the girl smiled sheepishly. “Well then thats not even close to where we need to be. Hmm...lets try again.” Rehema wiggled her fingers over the wound on her knee. It was poulticed and slowly healing beneath the bandages so no Craft was actually needed. Then again, that wasn't the point. The Landen girl looked down as if expecting something miraculous. She smiled, her imagination filling the gaps and nodded, holding up two more fingers. “See, it will be a 10 by tonight. You stay off your feet, no running until mama says.” The Landen girl smiled as Rehema cupped her cheeks and looked up at the approving mother. “There should not be a scar. I will see you in a few days.” Standing she winked at the child, brushing a strand of dark hair from her eyes. She wore a long white healer’s robe over a gossamer emerald gown and a pair of gold foiled sandals. Her long black hair pulled  up into a conservative bun to keep it from getting in her eyes. That was a dismal failure this late in the day.

Checking on a few patients, she sat with them a while, speaking, checking wrappings, even consoling a grieving male who sat by his elderly mate’s cot. She was shrouded and soon they would have to remove her before disease set in, but the two other healer’s who worked the clinic provided him some privacy by drawing curtains around them. New life saw its way into Raej through her clinic, but with equal turn it was taken, despite their best efforts. It was late and she should have returned home to cook supper an hour ago. No doubt the house would be empty, Masika choosing silence as her tool of torture. But sometimes it was best to linger, Darkness only knew who else would need aid at any moment.

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #2 on: Feb 26, 18, 04:40:52 PM »
Corvo had expanded their perimeter.  He had moved out to a distance of perhaps three or four city blocks, and settled in to observe the streets and the people that moved along it.  He had paused for a snack of dates and water, when he saw the first thing that was out of place.  Two men moved down the street, looking intently at building, and occasionally stopping to talk with shopkeepers and street urchins.  Their attire was very similar, down to the colors, and Corvo would have eaten his fieldglass, if they were not armed, and probably in an identical fashion, given the way they walked.  Hands strayed to where hidden weapons were, eager to make a kill, and hoping that the next man they saw was their target.  There were only two, that was not an insurmountable amount, and if he was careful, he could manage it on his own, without pulling anyone from the charge.

He marked their position, and began to make his way down to street level.  Corvo wrapped up his head and his face, leaving only his eyes visible.  His eyes were often a problem.  Few had eyes to bright, and if these men had taken note of them, he might not get very far.  He had small, flat throwing blades on him, and two sticks.  Corvo had to get their attention, but he had the feeling that whether or not they recognized him, that would not be a problem.  They had been foiled in their little quest, and they would be eager to stab someone, anyone, even if they were not their target.  He moved around the alleys and streets, and managed to find the pair, approaching them from behind.  Corvo moved briskly but quietly, reaching the two without being noticed.  He shielded at the level of his Blood Opal, and burst through them, moving briskly, then breaking into a run and cutting down an alley.

As expected, they gave chase.

Corvo let them catch a glimpse of him rounding the next corner, and then skidded to a halt.  He pulled out one of the sticks, and waited.  He did not have to wait long.  When the first man came around the corner, he was met by a Craft-enhanded stick that cracked into his forehead.  His feet kept running, and the man flipped completely over, landing in a belly flop and not moving again.  The other drew a blade and came at Corvo.  The Blood Opal Prince fought him with two sticks--and that was when he realized he had failed to consider something; a Sight Shield.  It was an old trick.  Give them a few people to see, hide the rest.  Corvo was shoved across the alley, where he smashed a plaster covered mud-brick wall.  He bounced off, losing one of his shields in the process, and found himself up against three men.  Corvo sighed, and shifted his sticks to one hand, while dropping a throwing blade into the other.

"I do not suppose we could just talk about this over tea?"  They advanced, and one got a blade through the foot he slid forward.  The alley filled with his scream, and then the fight was on.  "No sense of humor.  Right."

Perhaps twenty minutes later, he was being carried into a clinic.  Corvo had his hand over a wound low on his belly, and he was bleeding like a stuck pig, which he was in a sense.  The cut was not deep enough to spill his entrails, but it was deep enough to bleed through the pressure he applied with the scarf he had had around his head.  He had paid one of the street vendors to help him here, as walking was an exercise in futility.  He had to keep the wound closed, but walking and putting weight on that leg only seemed to make it worse.  Corvo conjured his calmest smile, and fixed his bright blue eyes on one of the woman.  "Your pardon, Lady, but I seem to have a problem..."

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #3 on: Feb 26, 18, 05:29:00 PM »
The shift was long but exhausting. Making final preparations for the next day she was speaking to another Healer on what was to come in the morning. The clinic did close for a few hours each night to clean the bins of refuse and to supply quiet time for the patients. It had been some time since she had been relegated to overnight duty but being one of the Darker Jeweled Healers in the small facility she wanted to be sure that the others as well as their acolytes were appraised as to what was to come.

The poor young woman who greeted Corvo at the entryway was not prepared. Eyes widening her carefully rehearsed smile faded almost immediately as she stared at the crimson fabric wadded against the man’s side. It was her first evening and while she was prepared to welcome a scrape, or even a pregnant woman close to giving birth she did not expect to find a stabbing victim to be carried in off the streets. “Of course, please put him in one of the cots, to the back.”  Remembering herself she scurried ahead, glancing over her shoulder at the men as though they would lose their way in the short distance from one end of the clinic to another. Pulling back a curtain she gave them a wide breadth. “There, please, careful now.”  She instructed before turning her head. “Lady Abbasi, Lady Abbasi, we need you!” The girl moved to Corvo’s side, staring down at him with a grimace. An expression that Rehema would later call not at all helpful.

Hearing her name shouted with such insistence, the Healer appeared through the curtain, looking first to the girl and then down toward the man lying prone on the cot. The merchant who helped him in didn't linger long, slipping away with a bloodied shirt. “Tahim I need fresh bandages, purified water and the draught. Go.” A few face greeted Corvo, through her almond shaped eyes sought his own for only a second.His own were a brilliant shade of emerald at first notice. Shockingly so, enough that she turned her gaze away as she gently pulled his wrist from the bloody rag and replaced it with her hand. “Bad day?” She asked absently, her expression softened, though she did not smile. “How long ago did this happen?”  She asked, trying to establish a timeline for his blood loss. A fresh bundle of clean rags were set at her side as Tahim returned with at least that before scurrying off again. Removing the blood soaked scarf she let it fell off the cot before quickly substituting it with another. Pinching the edges of the skin together she tilted her head examining. It was a bit deeper than her liking but clean enough. Blood swelled into the crevice and she quickly substituted the rag motioning to a second healer. “Remove his shirt, just cut it free. We have you....” She allowed her senses to touch his. “Prince.” Her own scent was sweet, subtle but woody like sandalwood and birch.

The second healer drew a pair of shears cutting the shirt off of Corvo as she held the rag firm. “Did you commit a crime?” She asked him. It wouldn't make a difference,he would get the healing he needed but she had to know what kind of element just wandered into her place of work. The warmth of his blood soaked her fingers and she closed her eyes. “Breathe steady and be still.”

Mending flesh always came easily for Rehema. She was not just a Healer but a surgeon. Her Craft leached out, exploring the areas around the wound before delving deeper still searching for injury, tissue and perforated arteries. Her senses expanded, his stomach was not breached, intestine hole, there was hemorrhaging. Had he not sought out assistance it would have been a slow and very painful death. She located the frays like delicate lines needing to be rejoined before the flesh could be mended. Her lips moved as she did, quietly instructing herself on what was to happen next. It was a quirk of hers, while her Craft worked, on repairing arteries, it also sought out new areas of concern. He had bruises, they could be ignored for now Her Craft dove deeper still, numbing some of the pain centers as bleeding began to recede. She was tired and hungry, it was a long day and that realization pushed to the forefront of her mind as quickly as it was cast aside.

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #4 on: Feb 26, 18, 05:32:08 PM »
Corvo remained calm.  This was not his first injury, and he doubted it would be his last.  He did not always have access to a healer, which was why there were a few people in the Guardians that were more than skilled at field medicine.  It was the sort of work that left scars behind, but it was also the sort of work that saved lives.  A Healer was, by far, the preferred method of not dying.  The woman that came to him had probably not seen very many combat wounds, her expression was one of surprise.  He wondered if it was because of the blood, or because violence was the source of the injury.  Corvo would have to ask later.

When they shouted the Abassi name, Corvo's eyebrows shot up.  He knew that name, and he had not once associated it with a Healer, but then again, he typically kept busy, and when he was not busy, he was not in rarified circles.  Lady Abassi, as it turned out, was a Healer, he sensed her approached, and admired what he saw.  He was only bleeding, after all, not dead.  He managed a smile at her question, "No, more like an average day.  There are dead men not far from here that had a bad day."  He gave the mildest of shrugs, not wanting to move the wound anymore than he already was.  "Oh, only a few minutes ago.  I was trying to keep killers from a client, and missed one, who took the chance to not miss me."

Corvo nodded at the Lady's assurances, and at the mention of cutting his shirt, he just vanished it to save her the trouble.  He laid on the cot, lifting his head to see what she was doing.  He had always been fascinated by Healer Craft, and seeing himself healed did not deter him from that fascination.  "Prince Corvo Anansi, Anansi Guardians.  That last part is for the authorities, if you choose to involve them.  It was not random violence, it was work."  He was comforted by her presence and scent, and there are worse things to do then be tended by a beautiful woman.  Make no mistake, this Healer was beautiful.  Corvo smirked, "The only crime committed was that I believed I knew where all of them were."  He nodded at her command, "As you say, Lady."  He lay back, and focused on steady breathing, though he opened himself to his sense of her.  He would not have a Healer harm herself for him.

He could feel what she was doing, even as her lips moved silently, as she guided herself through the unseen steps of her Craft.  His pain lessened, and still she went on.  He did lift his head once he sensed that her Healing energy no longer flowed into him, and saw that the bleeding had stopped, and that the wound itself was closed.  Corvo would, thankfully, live another day.  He reached for the Healer's hand with his own bloody one, "Thank you." And then he added, "You should rest, before you wind up in a cot next to me.  You also should not do anymore Craft today, if it can be helped."  He glanced down, "Is it safe for me to rise, or should I say right here?"

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #5 on: Feb 26, 18, 05:35:28 PM »
Rehema didn't get the sense that he was lying. Men who laid in her cots and brought with them wounds and inconsistent explanations often requested more from her than healing. They sought sympathy and to endear themselves with the Healer long enough to be well and out the door again to the next nefarious task. It was a rare thing that she denied them upon return but it was known to happen.  The man said there were others dead not far from here and she arched a brow toward him. Blood killing Blood was not uncommon, nor was it technically illegal when used to right a wrong or in a manner of self defence. Protecting a client certainly fell into that category.

That didn't mean she liked any of it. “Is the one who injured you dead as well?” She asked flatly. “Well Prince Anansi, you might might want to consider something safer as a career choice.”  It could have been a joke and if it was she gave little indication. Once his shirt was vanished she set to work, drawing on her Craft to mend his flesh. If he truly was no stranger to the work of Healer’s he would find that her tending was not only merciful in terms of pain management but the swiftness and precision of her work was incomparable to many in Raej.

His only crime was being ill prepared. Everyone got waylaid at some point but Prince Anansi viewed it as a personal slight. Men and their pride.  Settling back onto her heels once the skin began to mend she watched as the wound sealed evenly, leaving a small, healing scar. Reaching a hand back,the girl handed her a damp, warm rag which she carefully  used around the white line which would fade soon enough to mop up dry blood from his side with a gentle touch.

A crimson stained hand reached for hers and she looked up to meet that striking gaze again. The man was completely nonchalant when it came to this predicament which she found both refreshing and strange at the same time. “Rest?”  She asked, confused, though she knew the truth of his recommendation. “I don't know if you got a chance to look around when you got in here, but asking a Healer to rest is like asking a Warlord Prince to take up knitting. Unlikely.”  With a soft, almost coy smirk, she retracted her hand from his by sliding her fingers around. Using the warm cloth, she washed his palm, scrubbing lightly but thoroughly before handing the rag back to the girl behind her.  Tahim placed the bloodied cloth into a bowl and moved away to clean it out. “Tahim, please have the clinic guard go out and look for the men this male has mentioned. Just to make certain they don't require assistance.” she instructed the girl who nodded.

Turning her attention back to Corvo, her hands folded neatly onto her lap. Rehema’s face maintained youthful qualities, with high cheekbones, and gently slanted, dark eyes.  “You should stay, for at least a few hours so I can be certain nothing was missed.” Nothing would be, but having him move about would not be helpful when the flesh was still so weak. “So Prince, what exactly do you guard? Or are you a sword for hire?”

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #6 on: Feb 26, 18, 07:32:28 PM »
Corvo watched the Healer because it was at once appropriate to do so, and enjoyable.  At her question, he flashed on that moment again, considering it.  It had turned into a moving fight, with Corvo using his environment to his advantage.  He had gone from being comfortable with the odds, to being endangered by them.  He felt the blade bite into his side, and did not even think about his reaction.  He lashed out with a power bolt to shatter a shield, and hurled a shishkabob skewer he snatched from a passing cart, meat, vegetables, and all, into the one assailant's eye.  Corvo nodded, "Yes, the man that did this is also dead."  He laughed at her statement, "It's not always like this.  It's a protection business, not a mercenary company."

"I know one Warlord Prince that carves wood.  It is not knitting, to be sure, but it is the same in spirit.  Knitting needles make deadly weapons in a pinch."  Corvo hald-smiled, and looked around the Clinic.  "Yes, rest.  If you do not rest, these people will lose the services of the Healer that cares so much for them."  He let her wash his hand of the blood that had covered it, getting sticky as it dried upon his skin.  At least it was his own blood, which was a strange thing to think, all things considered.  HIs kills had been fairly clean, blunt force trauma, thrown weapons, or straight bursts of power.  Corvo listened to the Healer give her man orders, and frowned slightly, "They are all dead.  Your man should be watchful, in case there are more."

Corvo met her eyes, and for a moment, he fell silent, regarding her.  Mother Night.  Wait.  Did she ask something?  Did she say something?  Was he staring?  His eyebrows rose slightly, and his ears finally managed to upload what he had heard to his brain.  "Okay then, I will stay."  He sat up on his elbows, very carefully, muscles rippling, as he looked down at the now faint scar.  "Excellent work, thank you again."  Corvo smiled at the Lady, "Actually, I am a Healer's Escort.  There are only so many that need my services, so we hire out as personal protection."  He shook his head, "I do not hire myself or my people out to hurt or to harm, or with intent of either.  We protect."  He met her eyes, and quietly added, "You really do need to rest.  Much more, and you will completely deplete yourself, and make yourself ill."

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #7 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:12:31 PM »
“Just sometimes like this.”  She teased without really intending to. As a Healer it was not her place to decide if a male’s job was appropriate or not. Prince’s were resourceful without the added rage and volatility of their Warlord Prince counterparts. Corvo came off as a man who was very much at ease with what he was doing and that included any hazards therein.  Her Caste however preferred others stayed hale, which was not common in his line of work. It was a compulsion for them to help others in need, their empathetic natures demanded it.

“Thats hardly the same.” She chidded him. “Wood cutting involves knives...why exactly I'm arguing this point with you I don't understand.”  a soft skeptical smile spread across her lips for only a moment. She was not accustomed to maintaining it long and often so her eyes would cast down thoughtfully. It wasn't that she was a shy woman, but a private one. Her eyes would always lift back up to match a gaze though. The Prince’s were particularly stunning, but the man was proving to be a bit sure of himself.

“We have two guards, and he is the most seasoned. We can't leave bodies on the street. It's unsanitary.” No doubt they would have been picked clean by now, in the streets of Raej there was no sanctity in death. “I will rest the moment I return home.” she reassured him, which wasn't really one at all.

Rehema knew the truth of it, the week was long and after several births, miscellaneous injuries and twin surgeries not to mention a stab wound she was taxed out. Her strengths demanded she be summoned for such delicate tasks as mending flesh and she found it very difficult to deny someone comfort. There wasn't a day that went by that she didn't do for others, even when the time should be hers. Familial and professional obligations never ceased.  For a moment she was glad Nailah had not chosen today to visit her as she was suddenly aware of the exhaustion and how it was possibly painting in her eyes. Consciously she ran her hand over her head, smoothing down the fine hairs save for a few that danced across her temples. She was looking forward to letting her hair down, feeling the release of the clasp and perhaps enjoy some herbal tea before retiring for the evening.

If only it was that simple.

He moved, despite her warning and her eyes snapped up to meet his again. Certainly the male was healthy, with lean cords of muscle that wrapped around a sturdy frame. It carved an excellent physique. Last thing she needed to do was gawk, well much like he was and she rightly couldn't tell why. “A Healer’s escort? Well, thats one way to drum up business.” smirking again she shifted back into her toes, tipping back to stand. The length of her skirt fell  across her ankles. Reaching back, she pulled a chair closer and settled by his bed. Once again he locked her in those blue/green eyes and she felt her chest hitch. “How do you know that?” she asked unsure if it was because she looked drained which made her yearn for a mirror, or if it was something else. “You know, even if that was the case, you are in my house, my rules Prince. I will rest but you must as well.”  Looking down she noted how his legs dangled off the edge of the cot for the first time. He was so tall it would take lining two beds to keep the covers from skipping away from his feet.  Stifling a laugh she glanced back to him, settling back in her chair. “So you protect, perhaps some armor might help next time?”

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #8 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:33:32 PM »
”Right.”  Corvo smiled at the teasing, ”Only sometimes.”  He did not like killing, no matter how good he might actually be at it, it was not his real purpose.  However, protecting someone or something sometimes meant putting threats down permanently.  It was not his favorite part of the job, though he supposed he liked a fight now and again.  He was not a Warlord Prince, but he still had a measure of ferocity, and could access it when needed.  Corvo continued to smile at their banter, ”And knitting uses stabbing needles.  I do not see the difference.”  He had, of course, seen more damage done with knives, but he had just killed a man with a skewer, which was sort of knitting needle-like, so he felt his point was valid enough.

He shook his head slightly, ”I am not suggesting we leave the bodies to rot, just that they be careful.”  Corvo eyed her when she claimed she would rest at home.  He did not believe her.  He glanced around the clinic, and considered her earlier words.  She was not a Healer who rested.  She had worked on him, and been very thorough, out of reflex, he had monitored the use of her energy, and he would have stopped her himself, had she gone too far.  There were many Princes, and very few Healers, and considering the people in the clinic, she was far more necessary than he was.  Corvo had recognized her name, of course, and had not expected the Lady that he met.  It was an opportunity that he could, perhaps, take advantage of.  She needed the support of a neutral Escort, if he was any kind of judge, and he wanted to be contracted by a Healer, not a sweaty foreigner.

Corvo noticed he eyes sliding along him.  He was, unfortunately, terribly tall.  His Father did not understand where it came from, and his Mother had not been a tall woman.  Combined with his eyes, he was a bit hard to miss.  ”I was not guarding a Healer at the time, but I would certainly like to be.”  Her eyes lowered, and he took a breath.  The Lady Abbasi was a striking woman, beautiful and almost exotic in a land full of exotic beauties.  Corvo’s nostrils flared, as all of his senses breathed her in.  ”It is my job to know that.  I have a gift that was cultivated by my Family.  I told you, I am a trained Healer’s Escort.  I can sense what you have left in your well.”  He tilted his head slightly, ”I will follow your rules.”  He settled back, ”But I will not lie here and let you hurt yourself.”  Corvo laughed, ”Armor is not subtle.  I will just be more careful, and remember this wound…though, returning to your gentle hands has its own appeal.”

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #9 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:38:38 PM »
“Are you always so concerned for the safety of others and not your own? Keep it up and I may send for a Black Widow, just to make sure there aren't any cracks.”  It wasn't like her to joke around so much, so she wasn't sure why she was doing it now with this stranger. Rehema was rarely at ease around new faces, even when she saw so many on a daily basis. Not that many maintained such a pleasurable appearance such as he. Maybe it had more to do with the way he brushed off the near death experience like a hazard of the job. If he had any fear of dying, or concern for his safety, he certainly didn't show it. The Prince’s cavalier attitude was different to say the least.

“I am unsure how you are misusing such tools and I feel this only further proves my point.”  Knitting was a hobby of hers and she couldn't imagine a Warlord Prince taking up the monotonous task to pass time. The Prince however was industrious and warped the benign nature of blunt knitting needles into something far deadlier and not at all their intended purpose. A thin elegant brow arched but she said nothing more on stabbing implementations. “Should I remove everything sharp or blunt from this room or can I trust you not widdle my cot legs into spikes?” Apparently this was a thing with him, and oddly she did not feel threatened by the macabre humor whatsoever. There was something about Corvo, be it his self assuredness or the glib way he chose to treat the situation that brought him into her clinic that maybe she shouldn't be keeping a better eye on him.

Not as if that would be hard.

She asked about his ward, and his response was peculiar. Of course she took it as though he was merely being flirtatious. Prince Anansi would not be the first male who lay in her cot after some careful ministrations and took the opportunity to tempt her favor. For a moment she wondered if she had lingered a bit too long by his bedside, but she felt no desire to move. In fact her body praised her simply for taking the time to sit for a while. “Id offer you a stool for your feet if you like.”  Looking back to him, she noted the way he studied her intently. ”You can sense that through Craft?”  It was a rhetorical question, it was not a gift she had ever heard of and certainly never encountered until now. Though he had not invaded her privacy, it felt peculiar knowing he could see such weakness and use it as a tool for his guardianship. “That’s useful.” Smirking, she tilted her head back, glancing at him askance as if asking ‘Really? You’re worried about me?’ Given, his Craft was unique and she could see where it benefited a Healer, but until this day she had never heard of a dedicated Healer escort. Kontar, her younger brother had escorted her sister for quite some time now, taking odd jobs when he could. Rehema figured that a muscle for higher did not necessarily specialize on a Caste. Then again, Prince Anansi had a particular set of skills. She just hoped for his sake that wasn't the only one.

“Nor is being a foot taller than a camel, but here we are. I'm just saying, some light armor might be beneficial for a man of your stature.” Emboldened he flirted a bit more openly and she had the good sense to look bashful for a second. “Ah. Well, we charge more for repeat offenders.” she warned.

“Lady Abbasi?”  Tahim stood at the archway of the adjoining room. The clinic held an open floor plan with wide sweeping arches that allowed patents to look through and about. The openness of it also allowed for airflow, though a few sections that contained long silk curtains that could be used in case privacy was needed. “Rajit Kannan is here, he says his daughter has colic as well as a rash, they ask for you specifically. Should I tell Lady Ranma to tend to them instead?”

Rehema looked up thoughtfully, though she felt a touch of resignation. “No, I will see them.” Standing she smoothed her skirts and looked down at Corvo. “You, try and rest, I will be back to check on you once I'm done.”  Before he could argue she added. “I will heed your warning. No Craft, but you, try and sleep.”   Stepping toward Tahim, she turned before exiting the room, raising her hands in surrender to Corvo before twirling around and greeting the next patients with a renewed smile.

The babe yowled in her father’s arms.  Cooing soothingly she scooped up the newborn, bouncing her before leading the father away and leaving Corvo to rest.  Tahim brought him a pitcher of water as well as a cup of herbal tea, setting the cup in his hands.

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #10 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:48:30 PM »
Corvo shrugged, ”What’s the point of all of my Gifts if I cannot use it to keep another safe?”  He offered casually, ”Your Black Widow would only find s sad story.”  He smiled at her, and settled back on the cot.  He chuckled at her mild surprise over his insistence that knitting needles could be deadly.  He decided that she must actually knit.  Only someone that used the tools often could take such offense.  Corvo laughed, putting his hand over his wound as he did so, though there did not seem to be a need.  She had no idea how close a guess she had just made.  ”I can assure you the cot is safe where it is.”

He lifted his head and looked at his own feet, and smirked.  ”A stool won’t be necessary.  This is not my first short bed.”  Corvo nodded at her question, ”Yes, I can sense it through Craft, because it is what I am trained to do.”  He nodded; it was a useful talent to have.  She seemed surprised by his concern.  It was more than just training, it was simply ingrained.  The Lady Healer had no idea what his story was, or why he was interested in Healer’s and their Craft.  He had grown up worrying about Healers, in one sense.  He replied to her expression, ”Yes, I am concerned.  You would be concerned if you saw a man about to fall off a horse, would you not?  This is not too different.”  Corvo shook his head, ”My stature is often defense enough, usually.”

 ”How much more does it cost?  I can always see a moneylender.”  He smiled, and heard her name called.  His eyes cutting to the Male that walked into the room.  Another patient had arrived, and for such a minor thing.  Corvo knew that the Healer was at the end of her reserves, and certainly a crying child pulled at the heart strings, but that same child would not be served if the Healer broke herself for something as regularly solvable as colic.  ”You should let Lady Ranma see this patient, please, Lady Abbasi.”  She was selfless, as many Healers were, but she seemed willing to see that instinct through to a fault.  Corvo watched her rise, and turn away, and he placed a Blood Opal shield around her.  She could physically move, hold a child, shake hands, even flip a coin or other fine work, but she could not lay her hand on someone through his shield.

He braced himself for her to respond poorly, and he was debating his choice after he had done it.  It was his job, only it was not.  Corvo had merely exercised an instinct based on his knowledge of where her reserves were.  He spoke to the Male that brought him tea, ”Please, Lord, you should get Lady Ranma, I fear Lady Abbasi will be back very shortly.”  She might not realize what he had done, at first, but the Healer would feel it soon enough and there would be only one person to blame.  Lady Abbasi had a quick wit, and her math would lead her back to him.

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #11 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:51:44 PM »
“Business must not be so great if you have to see a moneylender.”  She smirked at him before rising. It was one last opportunity to heckle the all too confidant guard. Corvo insisted that he was a protector, and she could actually see him in that role. If he could sense when her well of power was low, it would certainly be useful to both parties. Rehema was aware that she had a tendency to overexert herself and it was something that she felt truly couldn't be helped. There was so much pain and she could not stand to witness it without taking some sort of action. Just as he saw it as his duty to be a guardian, hers was to heal. The Darkness created her Caste for a noble duty. Even Nailah would have commended her on that.

“Rest. I'm touched by your concern, I truly am. I promise not to extend myself."  Soothing the worried father was the least she could do, or she would find them both in the clinic again. Newborns were not as delicate as budding parents. Every little thing, a cough a bump and even a scratch were taken as extreme emergencies in need of immediate care. Placing a hand on his shoulder, her fingers lingered a second before turning to meet the parent and gather the child in her arms. The babe was colic, her wails could be heard in every corner of the clinic. The father looked absolutely exhausted, and Rehema recognized him as the husband of a Blood female who had a particularly hard childbirth. No Craft could be used on her until the baby was born which made for a rather risky delivery that tested Rehema’s prowess as a surgeon.

“How long has she been this way?” He would hear her ask, just as she bounced the baby against her and hesitated. There was no sensation where the soft blanket should have brushed her skin. She could feel the babe’s weight, but the sensation of Craft being used flared up around her. The father blinked at her sudden stillness, taking it for the worst.

Tahim looked down at the Prince. He had seen this before, males becoming infatuated with a Healer that treated them. It was not uncommon, especially with those who were stricken with fever. Only the Prince looked fine, his skin dewy though there was a hint of nervousness in his eyes that made the helper pause. “Lady Abbasi is one of the best Healer’s here. She will be back to tend to you shortly once she has seen to the next patient. Be still, please have some tea to calm you.”  Tahim bowed politely excused himself from the room.

Realizing something was quite wrong it took her only a moment to suss out the source for the shield that surrounded her. Carefully handing the baby back she whispered to one of the maids to call on Lady Ranma while she attempted to break it. Nothing she did worked. What was worse, her Jewels were shielded as well. Being unable to touch her patients meant her gifts would not work on them. There had been some confusion before the realization rushed in on her at one. Of all the gall.

Corvo might catch her scent, but not before a roll of bandages struck him in the chest and then another bounced off the top of his head. Rehema stood at the entry of the room in which he was the sole occupant, in her hands were two more rolls, which would bounce harmlessly if not annoyingly from him, at least until she showed some ingenuity of her own. “Don't make me fetch my knitting needles.” Her lips thinned, dark eyes narrowing on him. “A shield, really? Take it off now.” If he tried to argue she would take a step forward, dropping the rolls back into the basket where she found them and give him perhaps the most threatening look a woman had probably ever laid on him. “Alright, fine.” moving around his cot she settled by his bed on the chair. Dropping herself onto its surface her legs crossed, followed by her hands. A psychic thread brushed against his senses, knocking hard against his barriers. She had no need for touch to use all sorts of Craft. Even a shield couldn't stop her from it. “Take. It. Down. Or we can talk about my childhood. I have hours. Do you think my jewels can last that long?”  It was a bluff but one she didn't think he would take lightly. It hadn't been her intent to use her Healing on the child. A poultice would treat the babe’s rash and colic simply had to be waited out, but no, this strangely protective giant had to prove a point.  “I was born in Kemerovo just outside of the city, I have four other siblings. My parents...” she began, her brow arching  as she prepared continue.

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #12 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:53:43 PM »
Corvo smiled at her reassurance.  He believed her.  He believed that when she told him she would not overextend herself, that she absolutely meant it.  He also felt certain that the moment she was faced with someone in need, particularly an infant, she would absolutely forget that promise and try to help, even though there was another Healer.  He also knew there were practical remedies, and that this Family must be dealing with their first baby.  Corvo had seen probably a dozen babies in his own Family growing up, some that had been dream children that slept through the night, and others that were nightmare screaming demons in tiny forms.  Whatever the case, he could not trust the gentle Healer to not want to help, it was in her nature.

He looked to the Male, and chuckled, "Oh, I'm calm."  He even accepted the tea and had a sip, "And what you have just told me only confirms what I've said."  He nodded as the man bowed, and waited.  After a moment, he decided a hot cup of tea in hand was not the best idea, so he set it aside.  Corvo began to count under his breath.  It was, to put it mildly, a bold move on his part.  Was it a gambit for a contract?  No.  He had done so more out of instinct than anything else, but he should have thought the better of.  She really was likely to do herself harm, and he had trained all his life to do just what he had done.

Corvo was not entirely surprised when the roll of bandages struck him in the chest, despite them sailing out of nowhere, preceding the Lady Healer's appearance.  The next one got him in the head, which only surprised him because of its accuracy.  When he did see her, her hands were loaded with soft improvised weapons, which he endured with patience and aplimb.  "You seem, well, you are actually taking this better than I thought you would."  He tilted his head when he sensed the tap against his mental barriers, and he allowed the communication in.  At her threat, his eyebrows rose slightly, and he looked at her for a long moment.  He answered audibly, "You would drain your Jewels out of spite?"  He made a bit of a face.  It was a bluff, of course it was a bluff, but he could hardly take the chance. 

He waited until he heard the other Healer approach the family and the crying infant, and he figured that situation was no handled.  Corvo dropped the shield from around Lady Abbassi, and gave her a nod.  "There.  It is gone.  You really should be careful."  He gestured, "Would you like some tea?  I'm told it is relaxing."  He smiled at her, and then conjured card on heavy stock, the lettering and calligraphy both lovely and clearly done by hand.  It fluttered into the Lady's lap, declaring 'Anansi Guardians' and their location within the City.  "I truly meant no harm.  I have not had a Healer to mind in some time, and--I hope you'll pardon me for saying so--it seems to me you could use an Escort.  Someone who worries about you, while you worry about everyone else."

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #13 on: Feb 26, 18, 08:58:31 PM »
Her ankle bobbed as she spoke through the thread. Eyes meeting his, she ignored his comment about draining her jewels out of spite. Only the upward curve of a brow questioned whether he was willing to take that chance. Of course it was a bluff, but if this guardian’s protective instincts were so strong to suppress the urges of a Healer's caste simply due to concern, then she was confident she would win before he she had a chance to cause any real harm to herself. At least she hoped that would be the case. “My sister’s names from eldest to youngest are Nialhah, Theoris, Masika my twin and Kontar my bro...” she rambled on, prepared to go into the family lineage if she had to. They had once owned a cat too, she would be hard pressed to remember its name, but she would figure it out if she kept talking.

Only it wasn't necessary. The shield came down and she felt the Craft release its hold. Pausing she watched him for a long, tense moment before adding through the thread. “Yes, yes I would.”  It didn't seem like the smartest choice but it was the best way to beat him at his own game. Severing the link she sighed, her lips parting as she did, never once did the annoyance abare from her dark piercing eyes. Who was this man who had himself dragged in her half stuck, bleeding and had the audacity to tell her when and where she could use her Craft after completing surgery on him?  Sure he was pleasant enough and she found herself lingering not because he needed comfort but because she enjoyed the scent of him and the way he spoke with such bravado that it was almost entertaining.

Nevermind the fact that she was exhausted and felt as though the nagging headache she had endured since earlier in the day would never abate, or that she was physically drained from currying around the clinic since the early morning.  She had made a promise to take it easy and the Healer did not feel as though this stranger had believed her, even though she had nothing to prove to him. While Corvo’s actions were a reflex, it was no less intrusive. “If this is how you make a sale, I understand why you are here.”   He offered her the tea and once again she fit him with a flat look. Lady Ranma could be heard ushering the nervous father away, which strangely only aggravated her more. Yes, it was nice to get a little more taken off of her plate, but how could she be effective if she was being babysat?

The card floated to her lap. Skeptically she pinched the corner raising it for inspection. He wasn't kidding, he really was a Guardian. Rehema wanted to protest the point but it was not the first time it had been made. The two clinic guards were escorts for Lady Ranma and Lady Tuvari respectively. Somehow she had managed to dodge Kontar’s insistence that she retain the services of one herself. It wasn't because she was against the idea but because thinking about herself and her own well being felt secondary considering the chaos in her life.  Shutting her mouth against further argument, she vanished his card and leaned forward, her elbows resting on her knee. “Rest. That tea, its quite soothing, I brewed it myself.”  She let that implication linger. Rehema had requested a draught to help him calm earlier. “Now, I have to finish up, and if I keep my word, you will not shield me again unless you want a bed pan tossed over your head.” It was a threat, but the faintest hint of a smile worried at the corner of her mouth.

It wouldn't be long before he felt the soothing, Craft based effects of the tea take hold. Rehema moved about her business, avoiding patients, but cleaning and visiting a few who were nearly ready to leave. She made sure that the rags were set to the wash and that no personal objects had been left behind. By the time she had returned it was dark, dusk having flown by in a blaze of orange and blue wings. Bending over his cot she shook him lightly as she hoovered overhead. “Prince Anansi? Ive come to say good evening. You can stay and sleep if you like. Your wound is sealed. If you are hungry I can have soup brought. “  She offered the infuriating man. “I'm on my way out. “

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #14 on: Mar 03, 18, 10:36:55 PM »
Corvo knew when he had been outmaneuvered, but that was what made such engagements fun.  He had not expected the Healer to be so stubborn as to bluff with her own reservoir, but she had accurately figured him out.  He could not take the chance, and she knew it.  It was a dare, but he could not call her bluff.  He could tell that she was tired, that her reserves were low, and he really did want her to rest and to listen to him.  She was not his responsibility, but even a Healer not under his contract was a precious thing.  ”Oh, I do alright.  I am here because I successfully protected a client, not because I was trying to make a sale.  There are always risks, Lady.  Some things are worth it.”

She took up his card and read it over.  He had dozens of those handy, though this was the first given to a Healer in his recent memory.  Corvo could protect anyone, but he was especially good for a Healer.  He could sense the Lady’s strength, and he knew that he could protect her.  He only hoped he had made an impression, and even if it was not a good one, at least he knew it wasn’t entirely bad.   Corvo eyed the tea, ”Of all the—that’s a dirty trick.  Aren’t you supposed to let a patient know before you drug them?”  His eyes narrowed, maybe he hadn’t had enough—then he yawned.  ”Mother Night’s…”  He let the curse made under his breath trail off, and breathed a sigh, before he grinned.  ”Okay, I know when the cards are stacked against me…I will rest, and trust you to keep your promise, but not because bedpans worry me.”

Corvo yawned again, and frowned.  ”This was very unfair, you realize.  I will be watching for this—“  Another yawn hit him, despite himself.  ”—next time.”  He hadn’t even finished the tea, having taken a sip or two before putting it aside to await the Lady’s reaction.  He was glad that he had, after all, she could have thrown anything at him.  Corvo watched her leave the space he was left in, and found that he was watching her with more than professional interest.  He shook his head, and restrained yet another yawn, grumbling as he settled back down in his cot.  Corvo began to focus on his body, attempting to improve his stamina, before he remembered that he really had just been healed.  He sighed, and decided to get rest while he could.  The next thing he knew, the Healer was over his bed, calling his name.

He blinked a moment, ”How’d you get in here?”  Then he remembered where he was, and blinked again, frowning.  ”The tea worked, I guess.”  Corvo rolled onto his back, and then sat up, testing the wound gingerly as he did so.  He turned in the bed, putting his feet on the floor.  ”I am hungry, but it can wait.  I will see you home.”  He got to his feet, and reminded everyone there exactly how tall he was.  Corvo reflexively ducked when he felt his hair brush the ceiling.  ”I can probably grab something along the way, someone was selling kabobs earlier, they probably still are.”  He smiled at the Healer, ”Lady Abbasi, might I have the honor of your first name?  As you have said, you have sisters, and I find specificity when dealing with sisters is always best.”  Corvo had no shirt on, but that did not seem to bother him.  Someone had removed his boots, so he stomped his feet back into them, and regarded the Lady, ”Shall we?”

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #15 on: Mar 05, 18, 05:28:35 PM »
“No, didn't you see the sign at the door? We reserve the right to drug the difficult ones.” She smirked, watching as the realization set in. The man would be asleep whether he liked it or not. Though she had completed surgery it was not in her nature to leave anything to chance. He would have to lay still for some time while his body took to the healing naturally. This wasn't just a shop where people could walk in missing a limb and and then back out within a few hours. A Healer’s Craft worked with the body to make it whole and sometimes the scars they could not see where the hardest to seal. Giving a patient a small respite, a safe haven to rest and recover was important. That he was mildly annoyed by being victim of his own game was satisfying to her. “They should they are heavy, and full.”  It was some dirty humor, but she smiled through it, far less annoyed by his intrusion.

Resting her chin in her hand he would find a thoughtful smile to match the softness of her eyes as he began to fade away. “Sleep. Ill be here.”  She whispered with a gentle coax. ‘Next time’ meant he had considered another interaction in the near future, hopefully one less bloody.  Though something told her he would return in the coming days to check on her. There was something about the way he watched her that made her believe this wouldn't be the last time they saw one another. A part of her was flattered by that , though a little wary. By the end of the evening she was truly exhausted. Her stomach felt tight as the last time she had eaten was hours previous.  Rehema did however keep her promise, and for some reason that mattered. Partly because of practicality, Corvo could sense when her reserves were low which she had to admit was a useful ability for a guardian to have and secondly because it seemed to matter to him. Which was ridiculous because he was a stranger, but it was a rare thing that anyone looked after her as she did for others. Even her own family members were absorbed into their personal issues with each other and for a long time, she was left to care for them and herself.

 If she would have slipped out he would have been none the wiser, but she checked on him. Resting a cool hand on his brow as he stirred awake. No fever, but a bit of confusion which was absolutely normal. Good thing the tea she brewed earlier in the day was so potent. For a moment she doubted it would have much of an effect on a man with such stature. “I snuck in through a window. You're a lousy guard.” she smiled softly then stepped back, giving him room to sit up. Why was she being so playful? It was strange even for her.  "You don't have to, you can stay and rest. I just didn't want you to wake up to find me gone.”  Maybe he would send a search party, she didn't know at this point.  At his insistence he peeled away the covers she had rested over him and stood. It felt like he would still be in the process of standing a minute later. The top of his darkly mussed head nearly brushed the ceiling. Rehema reminded herself he was carried in when she saw him and even when laying in a cot she was not prepared for his impressive height. The woman looked slight next to him, The top of her head reaching his ribs, she had to tilt her chin back to look at his face.

What more, he was shirtless she realized, though he had always been, it was different when those muscles tensed and drew up before her in a rippled canvas.  “Rehema.”  She provided her name though she had given him her siblings names earlier.  “You really don't have to. I take the same path every day.” she offered, but the male was insistent. Before she knew it they were outside of the clinic. A bit nervous, she considered what Masika would think if she arrived with a man the height of a fig tree in tow.

The night was cool, witchfire lit up a portion of the streets along the clinic in small Crafted lamps. A few people mulled around though some vendors prepared to break their booths down until the following day. The street smelled of roasted meats and incense. One would think it a strange combination, but it was one that reminded her decidedly of home. Tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she once again checked the knot of her bun, eager to release it the first chance she had. “How long have you been in this business Prince Anansi?”  She asked making conversation. “You said you completed a contract? Was that just today?”

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #16 on: Mar 15, 18, 12:10:59 PM »
The Healer had, in her own way, promised him that she would remain.  She had told him to sleep, and promised that she would remain.  Well, perhaps not a promise, and sleeping had not been his choice, but all the same.  She had, indeed, remained.  She bantered with him when he woke up, because for a moment, he had the very real thought that this lovely woman had somehow gained entrance to his room.  It would not have been a bad thing if she had, Corvo preferred to remember how he arrived from point A to point B, and he had no memory of bringing anyone home for the night.  He cleared his head, and got is feet under him, quickly realizing the reality of the situation.

Corvo regarded her from his height, and leaned down a touch, so she did not have to step back.  "I know that I do not have to Escort you, but I will anyway.  It is proper."  He was drawing eyes, he knew, standing at nearly seven feet, he always did, but he was also fit, muscled, a bit scarred, but otherwise not terrible to look at.  He was used to being noticed, unless he did not want to be.  That was the flip side, sometimes it was easier to disappear with small changes when the enemy was looking for a blue eyed fellow standing a head and shoulders above the crowd.  Take to the roof, cut through a basement, or just hunch, and it could be easy to avoid notice.  "Rehema.  Thank you, Lady.  Please, call me Corvo."

He smiled at her, "All the more reason you should have an Escort.  Predators watch for routines."  Corvo walked along with her easily, even if he seemed to take only one step for two of hers.  He tried not to stare down at her, or lag too far behind, doing the same.  He was tall, not blind.  After a moment, he realized that he did not have a shirt, and conjured one to shrug into, but he did not bother closing it.  "Thank you for your work, it feels good.  I did not have much range of movement before, and I feel pretty much the same as I ever did."  Corvo regarded Rehema for a moment, took a breath, and asked, "How bad was the wound, really?  Did I narrowly avoid the embrace of Mother Night?"  He chuckled at his own dark humor.

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #17 on: Mar 15, 18, 12:47:04 PM »
Proper? She wondered how often Prince Anansi worried about propriety. Finding herself in a merciful mood, or rather far too exhausted to argue, she reluctantly agreed to allow him to Escort her home.  Lady Ranma often complained that Rehema had no personal escort of her own, and considering how much need lay beyond the walls of the clinic, she feared some desperate souls would resort to unsavory methods to acquire the help.  She really didn't think in those terms, though her brother too was in agreement with this assessment and as Kontar was unable to cut himself in half to be with her , their sister or his Queen at any given time she had assured him she would look into the matter at some point.

Maybe.

Well she’d forgotten, but the point was that someone was escorting her home now and she was being rather gracious about the whole thing. They walked down one side of the street. “Prince Anansi will be alright for now..” they had already become a bit familiar with one another and though Rehema met people from all walks of life, she did not wish to give him the impression that his walk to her door would move past the threshold. Though they had not kept their interactions very professional.  They walked companionably just beneath the glow of wichfire lamps. Occasionally she would glance his way and remind herself that the door would be his last stop. The Prince was impossibly tall, broad shouldered and trim. Strength was hidden in his well coiled muscles, and she had taken note of such when administering to his wounds.  Her Craft told her what she needed to know, the good, the bad, if there was pain or older injuries left untreated. Judging by the small scars she had not been able to assess fully, it was clear he didn't always seek the aid of a Healer when wounded.  “Do they? I suppose I should be more concerned then. “ she hummed, folding her hands in front of her as they walked.

His steps were shortened and she smirked lightly to herself. “You're welcome Prince.” He asked how bad the wound was, despite the fact that he felt good now. “You lost a lot of blood, the knife did not perforate your bowel but it came very close. If you didn't arrive when you did, you would have bled out within minutes.”  She explained honestly. “You also didn't answer by question. Or do you prefer not to speak about work?”  Arching an elegant brow she looked up at his face, partially shadowed in the light. His piercing eyes cut through the dimness and she found herself turning back sharply to the street. The door. That was it. He would walk her home and they would part ways.

Stifling a yawn, her fingers pressed to her lips. She was famished, no doubt dinner awaited her at home. That was if Masika was even there. It felt as though the farther they got from the clinic the more weathered she was beginning to feel. “I noticed your scars before. You never saw a healer for them. I could remove them for you if you like?”

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #18 on: Mar 20, 18, 10:50:20 AM »
Corvo, with the exception of being drugged, had been enjoying himself well enough.  Not being dead did that to a person.  Once the wound was cared for, and the sort of ignorant danger of it all had passed, he felt a little more alive.  He had been hurt enough to know when it was bad, and he knew well enough when to go to a healer.  His scars spoke of the times when that had not been an option.  The Lady Abbasi had performed surgery, the Healing had gone deep, he had sensed that much even as it happened, and she had been very skilled at it.  Corvo smiled when the Healer attempted to create a bit of distance with formality.

"As you wish, Lady Abbasi."  He half-smiled, "It seems terribly formal, considering you have drugged me and washed me of blood, but if it makes you feel more comfortable."  They walked toegther along the steet, and he told her that a routine could be dangerous, which was not untrue.  If people were going to decide to kidnap her or cause her harm, if they were smart about it, and they could be, they would watch for a routine.  Once they new how and where she went, they could grab her when it was the most dangerous for her, and the safest for them.  Corvo nodded, "It is something to think about.  Varying the route, without being unsafe, is a good idea."

Corvo smiled when she accepted his gratitude, and listened close to the description of his wound.  He understood the terminology used, and as expected, he had narrowly avoided something worse.  His Father used to tell him that a knife fight always ended one way; someone was dead, someone went to the Healer.  Victory was just in living, coming away wounded, even badly wounded, was the expectation.  "Minutes?"  He took a breath, and nodded, "Well, it was a good thing I did arrive."  Corvo shook his head, "I was more focused on you, and the task at hand."  He smiled slightly, "Yes, the wound indicated that a job was done.  My people can handle the rest.  I have been doing this my whole life.  My Father did it before me."

They continued to walk along, and he stopped her at a street vendor selling meat pies.  "Did you want anything?"  Corvo glanced down at his body, looked thoughtful for a moment, and shook his head slightly.  "I may change my mind, but no, I am alright with the scars.  They serve as reminders, lessons if you will.  I do not want to think I got away with anything, when I did not.  No one does, really."  He gestured at the vendor, "You must be hungry.  How many would you like?"

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #19 on: Mar 21, 18, 03:45:13 PM »
“I didn't drug you, just gave you something to help you relax. You're, relaxed, aren't you?” she asked with a smirk. Rehema couldn't help but find his tone a bit mocking. It was not out of the ordinary to keep a formal note with a Healer. Though her profession demanded some level of vulnerability from those under her care it did not mean that a relationship outside of the aid she provided needed to be formalized.  Corvo was charming, and though they got along well rather quickly he also struck her as a bit of a handful. More than that, the man was attractive physically and mentally. He smelled of masculinity and far more complication than she currently needed in her life. A bit of distance was healthy. She wasn't sure if she would see him again despite every indication he had given. He had the luxury of flirting while staying mobile, she on the other hand had a routine.

Which he was not wrong about varying. Rehema nodded, “Perhaps.”  having taken the same route for so long it had become almost second nature. After a long day in the clinic she could barely think about anything else but returning home and the most direct path of which was the one they were currently taking. Ema hadn't even thought of that, it just came naturally.

Corvo’s scars told a tale of hardship and some manner of self care. No respectful healer would have allowed scars to form. In fact he would find his skin of his stomach smooth by the morning. There would be no evidence that he was stabbed and spent the day at a clinic with the slight healer. There would be nothing left but a memory.  Again, his tone shifted and she caught herself looking up at him and scoffing softly. Her lips pursed, restraining the smile that wanted to take its place.  “So you don't stop working until you're wounded?”  she asked playfully. “Sounds irresponsible. Are you sure you don't need to hire your own escort to make sure you aren't over exerting yourself?” It was a family trade, he had made mention of it at some point and only now was she reminded. “But you primarily focus on Healers? Sounds like a distraction.”  she smiled, rolling her shoulders back into a stretch where the tension began to take hold.  The day was only now catching up, it didn't chase her for long.

“Its good that you came in when you did. You are fortunate.” There had been no need for her to exaggerate the severity of his wounds. He had to know, how else would he take better care of himself next time? They paused at a small caravan selling flaky meat pastries. Almost immediately her stomach knotted at the aroma of savory spices.  Rehema considered, she could have food waiting for her at home, but she wasn't exactly banking on Masika being there. The pies called to her, still warm without the use of Craft  though the vendor was obviously Landen. For a few seconds she looked to be trying to convince herself to take him up on his generosity. Didn't that just negate the distance she was trying to place between them? Steam rose in delicate wisps from the surface of the hand pies and she made up her mind. It was simply a kind, and friendly gesture. He had gone from asking if she wanted anything, to directly indicating she would be getting something nonetheless. “Two please.” Her stomach clenched in anticipation as the vendor wrapped up their orders. Taking hers, she peeled back the rice paper covering it and said her thanks before taking a bite.

I was embarrassing the way she nearly swooned. How long had it been since she had eaten? Clearly not since the early morning. It didn't seem like something she would forget to do, but that was obviously not true. By the end of each day she was completely famished. Dabbing a finger against her mouth to conceal its contents she addressed him.”Mm, thank you.”  she mumbled, being careful to pace herself as to not cause further embarrassment. They walked companionably, Ema finished the first palm sized pie before taking the next one. They were surprisingly good, well spiced, savory and the bread was flaky and thick. “Do you know what your next job will be?” Brushing a ribbon of dark hair from her eyes, she guided him toward her home. It was a one story domicile amidst a few similar homes. The structure was made of brick and clay with a sturdy roof, and while it was not opulent, it was rather large and spacious, with widows all around. There was a small manicured garden in the front, carefully fenced off from the street. All manner of herbs and roots grew in divided plots. Ema pointed to the house once they were close enough.

“Lady Abbasi?”  A man stood just outside of her gate as if expecting her. He was tall, lean and dressed in a worn tunic and linen pants. The Blood male was light jeweled, his dark hair was sheared short against his head, but he sported a thin beard bound together by a tie. “Yes?” she tilted her head eyeing the stranger. Recognition struck as if this was the correct Abbasi and he stepped forward, nodding toward Corvo rather curtly before addressing the Healer. “One of my men needs your assistance, we are doing some construction work on the new temple, your sister I believe is set for the commencement in a few weeks.”   Nailah had not spoken to her of such a thing, though she was well aware of the construction of a new temple relatively close to her home. Still, there was something in the manner of his tone that struck her as odd, or perhaps it was the mention of her sister which was still a rather sore spot.  “We think he broke his ankle. Come Ill show you the way.”  Ema glanced at Corvo, then paused just as she was about to take a step to follow. The instinct to provide aid was strong, but exhaustion had her in its hold. “My apologies, I am at the end of my day. Please bring your friend to the clinic, there are healers on duty who can help.” 

The man turned, looking momentarily confused, then put off. “If we could bring him I wouldn't have come searching for you. “  His eyes shifted toward the next street, Corvo would notice a second man straighten, he was nearly indistinguishable as he stood so close to the alleyway behind a set of apartments. “You to come. He is in pain. Considering your sister signed off on the project, its the least the Abbasi’s could do.”

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #20 on: Mar 22, 18, 11:54:40 AM »
Corvo considered her smirk, and chuckled quietly.  "Yes, I am relaxed."  He shook his head slightly, "But you still drugged me.  You were pretty smug about it too."  He raised his hands to stop a potential argument, "But, I suppose that I had it coming, after what I did."  He was amused by her decided she needed the barrier of Protocol between them.  They had been enjoying sparkling banter, as far as the Prince was concerned.  That did not happen with everyone, and he suspected, probably not with any other Healer.  It seemed to him that the Lady took herself and her work seriously enough, but did not let it crush her or make her depressed or otherwise emotionally fragile.  Corvo believed that was for the best, it meant she would last.

There was no 'maybe' about it.  Rehema seemed to be considering his words, but unwilling to concede that he was right.  Corvo was not going to press the point.  Sometimes, people's minds were terribly difficult to change.  Routines were comfortable, they were like a big warm security blanket in one's life, and changing could be startling to an individual, especially over something as theoretical as potential harm.  Telling someone they could come to harm was often met with counterarguments about being run over by a horse.  It was a false equivalency, but not worth pointing out.

Despite a desire to keep her distance, Rehema still joked with him.  Corvo smiled, "No.  I had my team take over.  I was a liability once I was bleeding like a stuck pig, so I removed myself from the equation, and besides, the men pursuing my client are all dead."  He breathed a long sigh, "Not that he likely deserved our protection, but he paid his money, and e did our job."  He grinned, "I do not need an Escort.  The only thing I need protection from is your biting wit."  Rehema continued to show interest in him, whether she realized it or not.  Corvo nodded, Yes and No.  I was trained to be a Healer Escort.  My Mother was a Healer, my Father her Escort.  When she passed, he felt like he wanted to serve her memory--so he started the Guardians with our Family."  He smiled, "He trained me, and we found I had a gift for it."  Corvo gave a mild shrug that she nearly missed because of his height.  "I've worked for one at length, one for a brief time, and one of those was foreign.  Your Caste, Dear Lady, is quite rare, but deserving of protecting, in my view."

Corvo nodded.  He knew when he was hurt so badly that field medicine was not going to do it.  This time, it had happened within walking distance of a clinic.  He might not be so fortunate, next time.  As they walked, they passed the man that had helped Corvo to that very facility.  He was a shish kebob vendor, but he was closing up for the night.  Upon seeing Corvo, he held out his hand, and the Blood Opal Prince conjured a couple of coins right into his hands, and smiled as they passed him by in favor of the meat pies.  Rehema finally gave in to her hunger, and ordered two.  Corvo bought a total of six, and handed the Healer hers, before they were walking along again.

He smiled at her gratitude, "It's the least I can do for you."  Corvo ate one of the pies in large bites, chewing each down, and conjuring a canteen of cool water for them to share.  He offered it to her first, one she had a few bites of her own spiced pastry.  Corvo shook his head slightly, "Once this protection job is done, I will go back into rotation.  We have more than one contract going, but they are usually limited and brief.  While there is a shortage of Healers to Escort, present company notwithstanding, there is no end to people that have mae enemies, so we do pretty well."  Corvo laughed, "Well, we will not get rich, but everyone eats, everyone gets an education.  Two large extended Families reap the rewards."

Corvo looked ahead as they approached what had to be the Lady's residence, but he picked up on at least two people waiting nearby.  He vanished his food, to free his hands out of pure reflex, but did nothing else.  He was a towering presence nearby when Rehema was addressed, and then answered.  Corvo's eyebrows rose slightly at the issue raised for the Healer's attention.  Triage Craft should handle that, and then they could move the subject.  It was his job to know something of Healing, so he could gauage a real emergency, if his Healer were not in a condition to do so herself.  Corvo remained silent, letting Lady Abbasi make her denial, hoping that they would just to no for an answer.  They did not, and he could read the change in the man's mood by the look on his face and the palcement of his feet, and that was when the other man suggested himself onto the scene.

The Blood Opal Prince's eyes narrowed, an he snapped shields around Rehema, placing himself close to her and positioning himself to be between her and the two men as he nudged her towards her gate.  "The Lady can perform no further miracles this evening, my Lords."  He gave them the politest benefit of the doubt, though he detected only one Warlord, the other was Jeweless, so there was Craft, but not at a strength he could not overcome.  "She must rest tonight, so she can perhaps perform her good works on the morrow.  I would suggest a bit of Triage Craft to splint or support the ankle, and then a cart or further Craft to transport the patient.  It is hardly a mortal wound."  Corvo took a breath, "Those are my recommendations."  He eyed each man evenly, and let them feel the weight of his Blood Opal and his Caste.  "I will not be polite twice."

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #21 on: Mar 27, 18, 02:45:03 PM »
Drugging him had never been planned. The draught was used with severe cases to ensure the patient had a chance to relax and heal. Some were all too quick to get up even though they suffered blood loss. Craft was not enough sometimes and the body needed time to accept it. Now when it came to Corvo, maybe she was a little proud of herself, but he had made it very easy to be. If he was looking for her to admit it, he would be waiting a long time, though the soft curve at the corner of her lip indicated that it might not be far from the truth.

Chuckling she glanced up at him. It was hard not to considering he towered over everyone in the market. Looking ahead once more her shoulders swayed back and forth almost playfully. It was a subtle mannerism but one she displayed when amused. “I suppose its not really above my nature to do harm if my biting wit wounds you so.” Listening to the tale of how he came to this profession she took on a thoughtful expression. Perhaps it was due to her Caste but Rehema tried to absorb every word spoken in her presence. Sometimes little details could glean a bigger picture. Though they didn't get much bigger than Prince Anansi.  She wouldn't press about the death of his mother, they were not friends and barely acquaintances and it would only feel like an invasion to ask. Still, it was a business born from a loss, so she could respect that. “We are.”  she agreed bit more breathily than she would have liked. Healer’s in Raej were so rare, which tasked those left to carry the heavy burden. Exhaustion must have been creeping up on her because she was feeling a bit morose. The company helped through, a distraction away from her own issues that helped make the walk back to her home pleasant.

Having taken note of the kabob vendor, she arched a brow, but didn't inquire. Perhaps he had stopped for lunch and owed the man money. The vendor had shot him such a venomous look that she had to wonder. Taking the canteen hesitantly, she raised it to her lips.Once she was satisfied it was just water she drank, offering it back. “So its two families? Are you married?”  she asked, then chuckled gently to herself. “It's just a question, I didn't mean it the way it sounded.” she added quickly, feeling a bit warm. It was a personal question and she wasn't quite sure why she jumped at it so quickly. Once the last pie was eaten and her mouth occupied she wouldn't be able to do as much damage.

They approached her home when not one but two males awaited her arrival. It struck her as odd that they had to inquire if she was indeed the correct Abbasi sister. Her gaze shifted toward the house which stood quiet and uninhabited. Using just the slightest bit of Craft, she tried to feel her sister’s presence, only to find the house was indeed empty. Shields snapped around her with a faint buzz of Craft. Instinct registered a warning of danger as she looked between the men. Their assistance was bizarre as was the way they had phrased the request. It was as if the one male felt that due to her relation to the High Priestess Of Raej and the commission placed on the new temple, that her services were owed. The familiar creeping itch of anxiety spread, though she showed no fear. A part of her suggested she simply go and tend to the man, but wisdom won over. Even then, she doubted Corvo would allow her to go anywhere with them. Which was fine by her.

There was veiled threat in the way the second man stepped out of the alley, though he looked between all members of the group before his eyes fell squarely on her. Her mouth felt dry and the nervous tension flared once more, cold and chilling. Rehema was just about to dismiss them when Corvo spoke and in that moment she was grateful, not trusting herself to deliver the message as forcefully as he did. “The man is seriously wounded.”  The male amended, though he had previously not given any indication that had been the case.  Looking to the other Blood male he grew still. There was a moment where he considered his next words and actions, before deciding on something Rehema was not completely comfortable with. “Tomorrow then at the clinic.” with a nod, and a can't to his head, he backed away, keeping a wary eye on the large Escort. Whatever he decided on, it certainly didn't include getting into a fight with the tall, Dark Jeweled escort.

The men slipped away, joining one another once more, but oddly not in the direction where the temple was meant to be erected. Ema blinked, releasing a breath she held and glanced up at Corvo. If she hadn't seen it occur herself, the entire situation would seem staged. Only she wasn't so paranoid to distrust Corvo’s motives. Changing her route would not have altered the outcome, but having him there did. Her fists relaxed, sore from having tensed so tightly, she quickly moved toward the house, as if unsure of what to do with herself.  The nervousness didn't ease, but she told herself it would. The last thing she needed was to make a fool of herself in front of anyone now.  The Crafted locks opened and she glanced back at him. “Would you come inside, for a little while?” she asked knowing it was a lot, but a glance over his shoulder would tell him she wasn't completely convinced those men wouldn't return. “I can make you some tea, nothing that will put you down this time. I promise.”



Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #22 on: Apr 11, 18, 04:32:01 PM »
Corvo was enjoying their banter, if nothing else.  He knew that laughter was a far bettery way to be remembered than by belligerance.  He hoped that she would remember him in the days ahead, and that he had said the right things to encourage her to consider acquiring an Escort.  He was not truly trying to make her fearful, but it seemed to him that she had been terribly lucky so far, and her name would only support that good fortune for so long.  Corvo did not want her to be harmed because of her faith in people, frome purely a business perspective, of course.  "I do not think a Healer can assuage the pain of a wounded ego."  His eyebrows rose a touch when she agreed with him about protecting her own Caste, and he was not certain what she meant by how she had said the words.  "My Father feels the same, and so here I am."

Rehema shared his water with him, and he nodded, before he shook his head.  "Yes, my Mother's Family, and my Father's Family, joined forces to build this company.  Not everyone participates, but most of us do."  He hate a bit more, before he verbally responded, "No, I am not married."  Corvo laughed, "I did not think you were offering me your hand in marriage, Lady Abbasi.  I have been intereviewed before."  He found her blush rather charming on her, and he continued to smile.  "Just when I thought you could not be more fetching, you go and blush."  He grinned when she continued eating, clearly to silence herself.

Corvo had immediately disliked the way these men had arranged themselves.  He disliked the fact that their story changed even more.  He considered how best to kill these two men, while maintaining Rehema's safety.  He could keep her shielded, there was no doubt, but multiple assailants was always tricky.  Corvo would have to drop one swiftly, in one attack, if he could manage it.  The men relented, however, either intimidated by his size or his Darkness, either way, the Blood Opal Prince was glad he would not have to spill blood in front of the gentle healer.  Corvo frowned at the greement o go to the clinic, because now he was concerned what would happen there, but he allowed the men to depart intact.

He growled very quietly.  Dead men would have been safer, but he shighed and straightened from his ready crouch and turned to Rehema.  He saw her relaxing as well, but he did not remove the Blood Opal shield he had her in, instead, he adjused it so it could move with her.  "Of course."  Corvo replied softly, "I was going to ask if I could do just that, just to make certain everything is okay."  He smiled at her offer, "Sedative free tea sounds wonderful.  I can also conjure the food I did not eat, so it woul be perfect.  Thank you."  Corvo stood close behind her, ready to follow her in, shielding her from view and more with his own body.  It would have seemed intimate, if he were not watching where the men had gone rather than Rehema herself.

Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #23 on: Apr 15, 18, 04:57:02 PM »
Rehema stilled her tongue before she could banter back and offer some sort of suggestion on how she could soothe his pain. It was out of character for her to flirt so, especially with a total stranger. But Corvo made the verbal jousting easy enough by not only keeping up, but challenging her at each turn. Lifting a brow she smirked at him, shaking her head. He was so terribly dramatic and yet it made her think back to all that she had said to him and how they verbally spared from the moment they met.

Chuckling she shook her head, if only to try and buck off some of the rosiness from her cheeks. Not much went unnoticed by the guard and she cleared her throat. Rehema was not a pale woman, nor was she so sun kissed that it sank deep into her flesh like dusk. Yet he took note of the way the tops of her cheeks flushed and the corners of her lips rose to meet them. “I am not interviewing you.”  she countered. “Nor would I ask you to marry me with that attitude.” she smirked, clearing her throat. Heat rose to her face but she found it much easier to shield behind a joke. “I'm merely making conversation, you did buy me dinner after all.”  He had in fact purchased her supper for the evening. No matter how she might like to think that Masika would have returned home after work, she knew that would not be the case. For some time now her twin had kept odd hours, and while most would not be concerned about what a Blood woman did with her time. Rehema had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. In the end if left her once again with the brunt of the responsibility for the house. Masika had always been such a wonderful cook She prided herself on her ability, and was even working at a nearby restaurant, but it seemed to Rehema she was left to make her own meals or scrounge after a long day.

Luckily she hadn't been alone this day.

When the man said he would see her at the clinic it had struck a chord. Enough so that it vibrated right up into her nerves setting off the familiar spark of anxiety that she had been able to press down for so long. Though outwardly she tried to relax, inside she could feel the cold fingers stirr and slowly begin to grip her stomach and heart.  The shield moved with her and she as grateful for a stranger’s presence. Corvo’s size was a deterrent, as was his status in the Darkness, but more than that she considered if the men saw her as an easy target. A Healer would offer little resistance if someone was truly injured. Lucky for her, Corvo’s good sense had prevailed. “Yes of course.” He turned her invitation into a request. Opening the door, Rehema stepped to one side to allow him to enter, closing the door behind him with a sweep and locking it secretly. He had stood so close, enough so she could feel the weight of his shadow shielding her from view. For a moment it was enough to still her nervous fingers enough to get the doors unlocked.

With a deep breath she reminded herself that she was home, a tiny place but a sanctuary, and nothing could cause her harm. Instantly she felt silly for the thought, considering she had a guest, even one so conveniently placed. The inside of the house was small but comfortable. Due to Corvo’s height he would have needed to crouch to enter, but he would find enough room to stand fully once inside. The living space contained a large hearth, a couch and two worn, but comfortable looking chairs with high padded backs. A heavy quilt was tossed over the couch and a stack of books cluttered into a nearby basket.  Directly across from that was a small kitchen complete with a stove and a wood oven, plenty of counter space and open cabinets. That was Masika’s space, and she kept it neat.  A small wooden dining table sat in front, the chairs matched the deep wood, a bowl of candles sat at its center.  Beyond was an archway that led to the bedrooms in the back.

“Please have a seat. I will make the tea.” Moving past him quickly she unfurled the scarf from around her neck and draped it over a chair. She moved about gathering a spelled pot and two mugs as well as a scoop of loose tea from a nearby jar.  Once it was filled with water, the pot heated. “Thank you, for that.”  she wasn't sure what to say, nothing like what just occurred outside had ever happened before. It bothered her that she didn't know who those men were or why they were so quick to mention her sister Nailah and the new temple. “I don't know what that was about. " she said in a way of explanation, though it was none at all.  "Do you...think someone was actually hurt?” With her back to him, she could focus on calming the trembling in her hands before it became noticeable. The last thing she needed was for the already smug Escort to use her own weakness as proof of her needing assistance.  Closing her eyes she took a deep breath until the kettle whistled and gathered it all in a tray. By the time she returned composed. Sitting down nearby, she poured two mugs of tea and sweetened her own with a chunk of crystallized honey from a porcelain bowl. Not knowing how he took it, she let him gather any cream or sweeteners he might need.  Turning her head to look at the door she considered those men again before turning her attention back to him with a strained smile. “Here we are.”

Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 18, 11:50:55 AM »
Corvo was, he realized, selling his services.  It was not a hard sell, by any stretch, it was too unconscious an effort for that.  He had grown up in the business, and making mention of it under certain circumstances was second nature now, simply a part of who he was.  He was enjoying the Healer’s wit, and no matter the Caste, that was not too common in his experience.  It had nothing to do with her appearance, of course.  That she was terribly easy to look at was just an objective fact.  It had no impact on his dealings with her.  Corvo told himself that in his mind every now and again, he thought that eventually, the statement would be true.

If he could keep her smiling, at the very least, he would be remembered fondly.  ”Are you certain?  It felt a bit too probing for friendly intercourse.”  Corvo smiled slightly as he spoke the words, and then laughed.  ”What attitude would encourage a proper proposal then?  You’ve made me terribly curious now.”  Corvo could tell Rehema was blushing, and not entirely because he could see it.  It changed her scent a touch, made it stronger.  He was keeping the lightest track of her as they went, and instinctive and protective psychic touch, at a level she could not sense.  ”That is true, but to be fair, you did patch me up.  I think dinner is a fairly small price to pay.”  When the events of the night unfolded, he could feel Rehema’s discomfort.  He did not need to open himself to her to do so, it was in her posture and in her glance.  Corvo would never have staged such a thing, but he would not have blamed her for being suspicious that he had.  Thankfully, she was just concerned about her safety.

He did not like the way the encounter ended anymore than she did, and when she invited him in, saving him the need to insist, he happily accepted.  Corvo stood close to her, a literal and proverbial shield, as they entered.  He checked the gate behind them, and rattled it a bit to be sure it was locked, before following Rehema into her home.  He had to duck to step inside, but he was able to stand to his full height within the room.  Corvo looked around, and he smiled.  It looked largely like he had imaged it would.  It was cozy, comfortable, a home where one could relax.  Corvo took a seat at her insistence, in one of the worn but comfortable looking armchairs.  He watched Lady Abbasi bustle about and ready the tea for them.  ”It was no trouble at all.”  He answered truthfully.  What was he going to do?  Stand there and let her come to harm?  He had never been wired that way.  ”I honestly do not know if someone was hurt or not.  It doesn’t really matter.  You are not in a position to heal them, and if someone really is, they can get to the clinic.  When I leave tonight, I’ll leave word with your clinic orderlies that there could be trouble.  Just in case.”

Corvo had tea with milk and a fair bit of honey, quietly observing her as he did so.  He drank his tea, and smiled in return when sh turned that expression on him.  He reached out and gently touched Rehema’s hand.  ”You are safe now.  Don’t worry.  I can stay for a bit, if that would help you.  I can even meet you here in the morning.”  He could tell the encounter had made her nervous.  ”My home is not far, at least, not when you have long legs like mine.”  He smiled and withdrew his hand, drinking more tea.


Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 18, 04:29:46 PM »
They made it into the house, away from the strange, intimidating men on the street. Rehema had to admit that it was a comfort having Corvo, or someone...like Corvo as her shadow when such a thing occurred. Had he not been there, things might have ended quite differently. Yes she could fight them off as best she could, but being strained to her limits already it wouldn't have been wise. As much as she hated to admit it, Corvo’s insistence that she would harm herself by trying to save everyone else wasn't false. The guard for hire had her pegged almost immediately, though she was certain he didn't expect a roll of bandages to the head. She had managed to surprise him at least a few times.

The pot began to boil within a minute. The heated ceramic didn't scald her hands, in fact it felt good to feel its warmth under her fingertips. The scent of herbal tea and the tang of lemon centered her and reminded her once more that the dangers faced were behind them. They were gone. It would be embarrassing if a stranger like Corvo knew how her nerves sometimes shittered and rocked at the slightest provocation.  Taking in a breath, she poured two cups of hot water into awaiting mugs. A finger of steam curling above the liquid.

“You don't have to do that. The clinic is probably not on your way back.”  she called to him. He was still trying to be a protector, even when she had not purchased his services.  Returning to the chairs she offered him a mug and a bowl of honey.  Rehema too enjoyed honey in her tea and a splash of lemon.  Folding a leg beneath her she didn't look back up to him until the cup was still, and firmly resting on her palm and she had taken her first sip. When she looked up he smiled and she couldn't help but return the expression, feeling a little scrutinized. Again she reminded herself that she was fine, and for some reason this time it helped. When he offered his reassurance her almond eyes snapped back to him and mentally cursed herself for wearing her emotions so close to her sleeve.  The weight of his hand was comforting, despite the sting in her pride.   “You don't have to do that. You wont make any money if you give away your services for free. I can send word to the clinic. “  Her lips shifted, blinking into her mug.

“As for before? There is plenty of probing in friendly intercourse. Especially if one is doing it right. As for how one gets a proposal? Well that takes a lot more than meat pies and a neck ache.”  The retort came too late, much had occurred since she felt the blood rush back up to her cheeks minutes ago. The men were gone, but that didn't mean she couldn't use their mild flirtation as a distraction from the anxiety that threatened to settle into her bones. Grinding shyly at him she wanted him to know that his choice of words had not gone unnoticed. Nor was the attempt to throw her for a loop.  Had things gone smoothly, he might have succeeded, but Rehema wouldn't tell him that. “This is my parents house. At least it was. My sister Nailah moved them into opulent accommodations once she became the High Priestess.”  She explained, glancing around. “I decided to stay with my other sister. We haven't gotten around to changing things. Its how its always been.”  Running a finger over the edge of her cup, she glanced back at him. “Its not much, but its home.”

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #26 on: Jun 15, 18, 10:33:11 AM »
Corvo supposed that there was an element of self-promotion happening as he remained by Lady Abbasi’s side.  He would have done so anyway.  She was not unusual for her Caste, in that she wanted to put her skills to work for everyone, for as many as she could help.  It was not by coincidence that being a Healer’s Escort was an actual occupation, and for some Healers, an absolute necessity.  Corvo had been groomed to be just that, and he knew that an instinctive part of him wanted to exercise that training.  He regarded Rehema as she served the tea, and sat beside him, and told himself that was the only reason he was there, to make clear that she needed help.  Not only did she need help, she needed his help and protection, for her own good.  It was purely professional.

The Blood Opal Prince smiled, ”I know that I don’t have to do it.  I choose to do it all the same.  I have a bit of time, and I am up early in any case.”  Corvo put honey in his tea, and sipped at the hot beverage, testing the temperature and blowing on the edge of his mug, before he attempted to drink any more of it.  ”It is not always about profit, Lady.”  He shrugged, ”Unless you have a strong personal objection to me checking on you in the morning, I will be here to see you to the Clinic.  I will not be the day after that, but tomorrow at least, I will be.”  Corvo drank more of the tea, watching her gaze deeply into her mug.

”Some would say that the probing in such intercourse is the best part.”  Corvo smirked, his smile hidden partly by his mug.  ”So, what you are saying, is that your hand can be traded for a heard of meat pies and a massage.  Understood.  I will keep that in mind for the future.”  He grinned when she blushed, and then laughed as she turned so fetchingly shy on him in the space of a moment.  ”Home is home.  You do not need to explain it to me.  That must have been quite a night for your family, the night that the High Priestess was also your sister.  How many more sisters are there?  Just the two?”  Corvo had more tea, ”I do not have any siblings, but I have plenty of cousins, the gifts of a large extended family.”

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #27 on: Jun 15, 18, 11:17:05 AM »
Charm was Corvo’s scalpel. A tool she could see him using in both business and romance. Rehema might have teased him less subtly about it if she didn't think he was already fully aware of his gifts.  At the moment she could sense that he was trying to gently nudge her toward some outcome. No, she had no fear he was intent on taking advantage of her, he didn't reek of the same desperation and malice the men on the street did. No, he was trying to get her to come to a decision he already made without pushing too obviously.  Ever the salesman.

So he offered her a taste, the first one being free like the sweet dust dealers. Ema had to smirk at the comparison and she realized it slowly inched back some of her anxiety to do so. He would check in on her tomorrow, but from then on leave her be?  “Is it not? Always about profit? What could it possibly be about?” she arched a brow, caught on the last of those words if only to watch him squirm on the hook with her.

Lifting the mug of warm tea to her lips she drank, letting the herbs ease the tension she felt just minutes ago. It wasn't that she wasn't thankful for his intervention because she was, but more so about her being accustomed to self managing everything from her home, to her own less than favorable compulsions. Right now, she was more thankful to her fingers for holding onto the mug while absorbing the warmth and how calm she was beginning to feel around someone she shared no relation to. In fact those abnormals were the main reason she had anxiety, but she would never admit that to them.

Coughing laughter erupted from Rehema’s chest. Pressing a hand to her collar she gasped, laughing. The flirtation took her off guard but what followed had nearly made her choke on her drink.  Grinning she nearly forgot where she was as she laughed, settling back in her chair to open up the airway, her eyes brimmed. Dabbing a fingers above her cheekbones she fixed shook her head at him and fixed him with soft smile that was only accentuated by the curious examination of her dark eyes.  “A herd? At the very least. Though I have never heard of a dowry of meat pies and caresses. ” It occurred to her that her cheeks were warm and considering the way he watched her he had noticed. “I have three sisters and a brother, as well as two nephews, twins. I live with my sister Masika, she works in a Dhemlese restaurant, you know of Nailah Abassi the eldest and Theoris just after her. Technically I would count as the youngest female, but the official title lands on our little brother.”  Sipping her tea, she folded nearly forward she set it on the table. Draping an arm across her legs she regarded him again. “We all knew where she was going. It was no great mystery of the Darkness. Nailah was meant to be High Priestess. It was a change, a big one, but not as difficult as youd expect.”  Mostly because she wasn't around. Nailah had a path and took it, no matter how far it carried her from her family. She’d been groomed to do so. “How many cousins exactly? Are they all like you?”



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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #28 on: Jun 15, 18, 12:02:45 PM »
Yes, it was entirely professional.  It had nothing to do with how she looked, or how truly kind she was, or that she really did seem to need someone to lookout for her.  It was professional.  He blinked at her question, drank more tea, and debated how best to answer when she arched her brow at him.  ”Sometimes, Lady, it is just about doing the right thing.  Sometimes, someone might not even know they need protection, and so we help anyway.”  Corvo smiled, ”Other times it is because a Prince has been healed, and the least he can do to repay the beautiful Healer that got him back on his feet is keep her safe for as long as he can, before other responsibility pull him away.”  The Blood Opal Prince met her eyes, and took a drink of his tea.

He could sense her relaxing, and that was a good.  It was especially good that she could do so with him nearby.  There was already an element of trust developing between the two of them.  There was also a definite layer of flirtation, which he was obviously enjoying, and he believed that she was as well.  Women could be complicated, but he did not think he was entirely wrong in this.  ”Caresses?  I said massages, that is much more than a simple caress.  You must agree?”  He smiled at her, enjoying her blush as he had from the moment he first witnesses it.  Corvo whistled at the size of her family.  The Blood could be fruitful, but the Abbasi seemed blessed more than most.  ”That is a big family, well, a big immediate family.  I am not sure what I would do with so many siblings.”  He drank more tea and listened to her describe the nature of the High Priestess.  She might be right, it could have been destiny, but such high seats were usually filled by politics as well, and he wondered what compromises one had to make to claim such a seat for themselves.

Nothing he did would alter the course of his entire family.


”Like me?  You mean charming and handsome, or ridiculously tall?”  Corvo smiled, ”I am ‘the tall one’, by far the tallest in my family.  No one knows why.  We suspect a giant ancestor from some far off land once came to Raej.  Most are dark-haired like me.  We are all of us eventually pulled into the family business in some way.  The older men and women teach the younger.  Some leave us to do their own thing, but the door is always open for them to come back.”  He took a breath, and leaned back, entirely relaxed.  ”We protect people.  Healers in particular, but anyone that needs us.  We don’t like all of our clients, of course, but we keep them all safe, all the same.”

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #29 on: Jun 15, 18, 12:27:56 PM »
He looked at her for a second or two longer than was necessary and she found herself studying him carefully so she could pick up every word and expression that came along with his answer.  He complimented her and she was again reminded to watch out for that sharp tongue and those haunting pale eyes. The cleft on his chin was even beginning to look rather fetching. “So you are what? Heroes?” she asked playfully. “Or is this you trying to get out of the bill, because I'll tell you, its working.” she smirked, biting the edge of her lip and glancing down at her hands.

Corvo was near death, closer than perhaps he let on when he first arrived at the clinic. Only after he asked her how grievous his wounds were did he come to realize just how hurt he had been. She didn't get the sense that the incident, or bleeding out on her cot dissuaded him in any way when it came to his occupation. He had the air of a man who wanted to make a difference, to help others, even if he disliked them. The money must have been good as he mentioned his last wealthy client, but she couldnt imagine that guarding Healers was a lucrative as he made it out to be. She would have to scrape through her savings to afford an escort like him. It was doable, but it would leave her with no net for Masika’s next stint in unemployment.

Damn he was good. She was already thinking about possibly, maybe hiring him. For protection. It had nothing to do with the fact that she felt more at ease. “I have a feeling that the Prince will be a frequent visitor to the clinic if he continues at the job.”

“Is there a difference? One just applies more pressure than the other. Both can heal, both are pleasurable if done right.”  Rehema smirked, her right cheek dimpling as her lips pursed. She had  given up denying the fact that she was flirting with him, though she had tried to steer it away, the attempt was weak. Corvo was easy to tease and she couldn't just let him walk around with such a big head. Maybe thats why he liked her cutting wit. “I can agree.”

“Well you mostly argue, pick up messes and support one another.”  she said. Though the last one had been lacking in her own family for some time. The former however was frequent. “Its like living with insane people that you happen to love.”   Her smile softened. Life with the Abbasi’s had always been tumultuous, but most could agree with which two siblings resided in the eye of the storm. “I meant more like cocky, stubborn and yes ridiculously tall.”   Her smile stretched, still somewhat shy but challenging at the same time. He had told her about his mother, how she was a healer and how that carried a special place in his heart. Perhaps that's why Healer’s were an exception in his family. It had less to do with their rarity, and more to do with the memory that lived on within them. “Whats the worst client you've had?”  she asked, arching a brow, her hand lifting to tug a loose strand of dark hair behind her ear.


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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #30 on: Jun 15, 18, 01:08:11 PM »
Corvo considered that question for a moment, and then lifted his hand in a back and forth gesture.  ”Not really?  Sometimes?”  He smiled and then chuckled, ”We are guardians.  Even people that can’t really afford us are still sometimes deserving of a little protection.  We will make the money up somewhere else.”  He grinned at her playfulness, ”It is?  I certainly won’t stop now.”  Right, he told himself, purely professional.  Or maybe, it was a response to being almost killed that caused him to think of Rehema in a certain light.  He had almost died, what better way to celebrate life than to find someone to celebrate it with, and the Lady seemed like someone it would be very good to celebrate with.  Corvo coughed and drank more tea.  ”The Prince in question might just continue the job so he can fall under a certain Lady’s care.”

She continued her flirtation, and he smiled, before she went on to talk about her family.  He decided that, perhaps, things bore further exploration.  ”Is there a difference?”  He tilted his head, ”That might require testing.  A caress...”  Corvo got to his feet, and moved around behind Rehema.  Part of his training was also tending to the Healer when they had worn themselves out.  He reached out, and very gently, very softly, despite calloused hands, caressed the round of each of her shoulders, just a slow circle over each with barely there fingertips.  Corvo did that for perhaps thirty seconds, ”As opposed to...”  His hands tightened on her shoulders, and his thumbs pressed just so at two points, and he began to give her a simple chair massage.  He quietly worked on her shoulders for nearly a minute, before he asks, ”Is there a difference?”

He continued the massage as he considered how to answer her revelations about her family, and the gentle teasing she had delivered.  ”Very few are as cocky and stubborn as I am, and no one is as tall.”  He smiled as his hands continued their work, made warm by the heat of the tea in the mug he had held in both hands.  ”My last client was not a good person.  He had enemies because he had made them.  No one sends assassins after someone that didn’t earn that kind of attention.  He lied about it, but luckily, I had a gut feeling about the foreigner, and planned ahead.  The worst clients are the ones that lie to us.  We do not care why you need protection, not really, not if you are willing to pay right up front, but we can’t be as effective if a client doesn’t tell us the whole story.”

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #31 on: Jun 15, 18, 01:33:59 PM »
“That was a rhetorical question, but I had a feeling you'd answer it.” Rehema chuckled. Someone who was so sure of himself like Corvo couldn't resist elevating themselves. Surely he was skilled despite nearly getting skewered to death, that confidence must have come in handy. Had she been alone today she might have been wishing for someone with that kind of bravado to help her out of a bad situation.  “The first time it will work, the second time Ill be sending you a bill.”  she smirked. “I kind of feel bad for that kabob man and whatever you did to make him give you that expression.” The way the merchant had eyed Corvo didn't escape her notice, she had just chosen not to say anything .

“Well I didn't imply..” she began. Corvo stood, her dark eyes followed as he straightened to full height. Being seated, he seemed even more impossibly tall. Before she could protest she felt the weight of his eyes draw in, lengthening against his shadow. Rehema straightened, her back stiffening, but a part of her knew that if she simply told him not to touch her that he wouldnt. Corvo struck her as a man who would stop, but she wasn't sure if she wanted him to. Which made her a bit nervous.

His hands lowered and she felt the  whisperings of a touch against her bare shoulders. It was a suggestion, so light that she wondered if she was feeling anything at all, or if her imagination wanted to feel it. The caress was feather light and she felt her skin prickle as if it tried to lift itself to feel more. Swallowing she tilted her head, glancing across her lap to the mug on the table. It wasn't until he switched the pressure that she was able to sense the fabric of her shoulder straps tighten against her skin. His hands kneaded , squeezing as if pulling free a tension hidden deep within the layers of flesh, muscle and bone. Corvo applied just the right amount to not pinch or hurt her already tense limbs. The two points he chose dug into stubborn knots that had been there, unchecked for as long as she could remember.  The Healer sighed, craning her neck down with a heavy breath.  “Yes.”  she whispered, then cleared her throat. “A noticeable difference.”  Though if he asked her which she preferred more she would have no answer for him. The way he touched her the first time set her skin on fire, while the second soothed and excited her.

And he was a perfect stranger massaging her in her house.

Warm hands worked craft across the delicate slope of her neck and upper back. Drawing her shoulders together with an arch she smiled quietly. “The whole story...and what if the whole story is not very interesting?”  she asked quietly. At least the rich merchant he protected had some surprises up his sleeve. In comparison, guarding a Healer who spent most of her time in one or two locations must have been an utter bore. There wasn't much she could tell him. “And what does your gut tell you about me? You've already said I wound you so.” she chuckled, turning her head to glance toward him from the corner of her eyes.

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #32 on: Jun 15, 18, 02:34:33 PM »
Corvo chuckled, ”Of course, I did.  How could I not answer a question about being heroic.”  He smiled at her, and laughed at the billing warning.  ”Fair enough.”  He coughed a bit, and drank more tea.  ”Well, I did things with a skewer we won’t discuss in polite company.”  He shrugged, ”it is my gift.  I snatched a skewer up and, well, you saw how he felt about what I did.”  Corvo laughed a bit darkly, and shook his head before having another sip of his beverage.  Then he was on his feet, watching how her body reacted to him moving around her.  He smiled at the way her back straightened, and he did his very best not to study her lines.  He failed, but he really did do his best.

She responded favorably to his touch.  It changed her scent ever so slightly, and he could not miss it when he was standing this close.  She almost rose to the touch, and whe he began to massage her in earnest, she moved to let him do so.  She stretched her neck out to feel the relief offered by his work, and he smiled slightly when he heard her answer the offered question.  ”Very noticeable, I think.”  Having begun, Corvo simply continued, offering her the gentility and pressure of his hands over her neck, her shoulders, and her upper back.  He even liked the shape of her shoulder blades, which seemed a strange thing to notice and focus on.  ”The whole story is always interesting to the person telling it.  We just need to hear it, so we know what we’re getting into.”  Corvo continued to work, and considered her question with a smile.


Corvo leaned to one side and met her eyes, ”I think you are used to taking care of others, not just with your Craft, but personally as well.  I do not think you often let anyone take care of you.  You have a good heart and try to see the best in people, even if they don’t deserve it—and you are a true Healer, willing to harm herself if it means someone else feels better.”  He took her arm and stretched across the back of the couch.  He ran his fingers along it, and began to massage her arm, starting near her shoulder.  ”That’s just my gut, and observation.”

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #33 on: Jul 02, 18, 02:17:41 PM »
“Always selling.”  she teased, then blinked. Their banter about sewing needles was coming to mind and taking a whole new connotation. A morbid part of her wanted to ask what he had done with the skewers, but at this point it would only be confirmation she was seeking. Whatever earned him that annoyed look from the vendor was not something she wanted to know.

It was rare that anyone took care of Rehema. Not because they didn't want to, but because they were accustomed to Rehema herself playing the role of caretaker. It was a position that could easily be taken for granted but a mantle that most Healers carried.  Corvo soothed her aches, and though she knew it was just another step in the flirtation she had insisted wasn't flirtation at all, it felt good to have someone else make things a bit easier on her.  His fingers worked against the flat of her neck, down the base and winging over her shoulders. She tried to relax where she could, but it was Corvo’s touch who won over the argument. Smiling  in the shadow of a few loose ribbons of hair she considered what he had to say. More so she wondered why she didn't tell him to stop to begin with.  Forget that, she knew why she hadn't. Keeping things formal with Prince Anansi wouldn't be easy at all. “My story is nowhere near interesting.”  She began, her eyes closing a moment, head dropping to her left shoulder.

Strong hands smoothed down her arms, she almost stiffened but curiosity got the better of her. Guiding her arms across the back of the couch so she could recline into the expert attentions of his skilled fingers he worked through the knots paying close attention to her shoulders and upper back.  There was nothing unique about her life, at least nothing she wished to share. The most interesting stories belonged to her brother and sisters.  Her own was simple. “I had a calling, I took it. I work, I come home.” It should have been a relatively safe existence. No danger, no surprises. Only Prince Anansi had been that unexpected but welcomed wrench in her day.

Ema didn't know if she should take his words as a compliment or be struck by how close to the truth they had been. His opinion was formed by observing a few hours of her life. Fingertips traced down the length of her arm. The room was becoming increasingly warm, her skin reacting to the touch of someone she found attractive but perhaps in the long run a bit too cocky for his own good. Ema wished she could see this as a negative quality, it would make it easier, but it fit so perfectly into his personality.  After a harrowing day like today and the exhaustion set forth by worry and preoccupation, she knew that it would be easy to welcome Corvo deeper into her home.  He was a stranger and it was difficult to remind herself of that fact when his hands felt as if they were craft touched. Or maybe it had just been that long since she'd been able to enjoy contact with someone else. 

If he didn't leave now, he wouldn't be doing so tonight. The idea that there was a chance she wouldn't see him again struck her but she tried to reason that if he had a need to come to the clinic it would be because he was hurt, and that was not something she desired. As exciting as the thought was of him putting his fingers to use on other parts of her body was, she knew she would not have much to give, and the moment would only end in awkwardness when the deed was done.  “Thank you for walking me home, dinner and for staying.”  she said, slowly lowering her arms and moving to stand.  She felt relaxed as if nothing had occurred to warrant the alarm that should have been creeping up her spine. The two men in the ally, almost forgotten and that alone made her a bit nervous, if only because it was uncharacteristic of her to be so, at peace. “It is getting late.”  she offered, standing and moving around the seat to stand before him, her smile soft, lingering a moment, wilting and then returning  thoughtfully. “I shouldn't keep you.” It was a dismissal, but one placed kindly. Not that she actually wanted him to leave, which was all the more reason he should.  He was so tall, she was dwarfed by him. “It was a pleasure to meet you Prince Anansi. Perhaps our paths will cross again.”   Tilting her head, she smiled, offering her hand for him to shake.

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #34 on: Jul 06, 18, 11:03:44 AM »
Corvo smiled at the teasing comment, shrugged, and then spread his hands.  She was probably right.  He was always selling, in some ways.  He had grown up a part of the family business, and had been raised to not only take part in it, but to ultimately inherit it in a way that only his Father really understood.  In many ways, it was their way of memorializing his lost Mother, and neither man was ever prepared to let that slip or go away.  Corvo had seen his Father would the Guardians into many conversations growing up, mentioning them as the premier protection force if one needed it, even when they were just starting out.  It was a little bit different here, he supposed since Rehema was so easy to look at--No!-- because Rehema was actually a Healer, the client they most wanted to serve.

His talents had developed along different lines, and because of that, he had become quite good at reading people.  Corvo had learned that he had to be, to both avoid trouble and protect his ward, whomever that was at the time.  Reading people became a habit, something he just did without thinking about it, and he had been reading Rehema since he had met her.  It was not only how she had handled him and his injury, but how she had handled herself at the Clinic, and out in the world.  Even her banter, and flirtation revealed more about herself than she might have realized.  His own did as well, but he couldn’t read himself for Rehema, even if he wanted to.  Instead, he let his fingers do the talking.  He eased tension from her muscles, letting her relax in ways that he was sure she had not been able to enjoy before his bold argument regarding semantics.  ”Everyone’s story is interesting.  Anyone that says otherwise is too wrapped up in their own to see it.”

Corvo tilted his head at the simplicity of her statement.  ”Except your calling is to heal people.  To mend their flesh, to cure a disease.”  He continued to massage her as he spoke, and his voice softened.  ”Selflessness is a rare trait, Lady, one that should be protected.  You would heal someone to your own detriment, simply because you felt it was your calling.”  He smiled, “”No, Lady, that is very interesting.”  He caressed his fingertips along the smooth skin of her arm, and tried to remember exactly why he was doing this.  Corvo was making the point that she needed an Escort, someone not only to protect her, but to tend to her needs as well once she was safe and removed from her work.  It was an entirely professional effort, he told himself, even though a part of his mind scoffed at him, and told him that he was lying to himself.  He was very tall, and had a unique perspective on Rehema’s contours, a perspective he changed by focusing on the massage.  Corvo took a deep breath, unable to entirely resist the scent of her, especially now.

She slipped away and rose to her feet, and Corvo could not quite restrain the sigh of disappointment as Rehema turned to face him.  She thanked him, and he shook his head.  ”No thanks are necessary.  You did save my life, after all.  All I shared was my time.”  He stood there and watched her as she seemed to be making up her mind about something, about him, he supposed.  He nodded, ”It is getting late, but the night is still new.”  Corvo met her eyes for a long moment, and returned her smile.  She had smiled a lot that evening, and he found that he enjoyed being the reason.  His nostrils flared slightly, and his eyes seemed to caress the lines of her face, even as his fingertips had moved along the graceful line of her neck.  ”You could keep me, if you wanted.”  He looked down into her eyes now, as she stood before him.  Corvo took her offered hand, his thumb running slowly across her knuckles, and raised it to his face, as he bent over slightly.  He brushed his lips across her wrist so lightly, it would have been easy for both to deny.  Then slowly, he lowered her hand.  ”The pleasure was mine.”  He let her hand slip from his, ”I will see you in the morning, just to be certain all is well.”



Offline Rehema Abbasi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #35 on: Jul 06, 18, 12:04:17 PM »

"Everyone’s story is interesting...”

Rehema couldn't think of one aspect of her life that would fit into the generalization. Healing had been her calling, a path chosen for her before she took her first breaths. It was easier to focus on the road ahead rather than what was happening around her. Certainly Prince Anansi didn't mean to include the daily mechanics of family life in his theory. Her own was a special blend of dramatic, but that wasn't really a part of her story was it? Family’s fought, some more than others so unless something horrific came of it then there really wasn't much to tell. Or anything she wanted to share on that front.

It was bad enough experiencing it than having to drag a perfectly handsome stranger into that mix. One whos fingers played against her skin like velvet. Rehema sighed and inwardly reprimanded herself for her inability to just relax and enjoy the moment for what it was. Another human sul was trying to make her day just a bit easier and though he was not unclear regarding his intentions to court her into a guardianship contract, this didn't feel like a hard sell. He was grateful and displaying it in the best way possible. Allowing herself to slip, for even a moment wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Why did she have to carry the burden?

Because it was her job.   Ema reminded herself of her words just an hour ago when she cautioned Corv...Prince Anansi to keep things professional. Their banter was anything but, a verbal jousting that left them both though smiles and dancing eyes. “It's kind of you to say. Though between the two of us, youd be in the lead considering this one day. Kabobs, a great escape, healing, and being drugged. Perhaps you'd consider writing a book. ” she had murmured when he said that her calling in itself was interesting. For a moment she believed it was. There was something about the tone of his voice that romanticized the healing arts. He admired it and in a way, her.

It would be easy to reach back and slip her hand over his. To give him that universal gesture of acceptance. Ema could imagine him leaning down and kissing her neck where his fingers had just been, following the trail of warmth left behind by his touch.  Just as she felt herself slipping she remembered what she had just said. It was not like her to contradict herself as if once set on a path she couldn't veer off. It would make her unreliable? A flake? This was the only reason she hesitantly slipped away. If he didn't leave now, he wouldn't be leaving at all. Part of her didn't want him to, which all the more reason he should.

Dismissing him wasn't going to be as easy as she first thought. Neither of them had much of an inclination to part ways.  Keep it professional Ema. The fingers that worked through the tender layers of muscle before brushed her neck. Some might have considered this a simple touch, but the neck was fragile, a place of complete vulnerability and showed so in its sensitivity. The contact both tickled and fractured the delicate nerves granting him her attention.

”You could keep me, if you wanted.”

Professional.

Did she want to? Yes. Now should she? Taking in a slow breath from her nose she could sense his desire, both for her and to stay. Guiding her hand up to his face, her arm extended fully. The next breath was a bit sharper. Perhaps it was his proximity that made her hyper aware of his touch, the way those same calloused knuckles brushed her hand with a smooth stroke, how his shadow seemed to envelop her in its warmth. “You don't need to bother yourself with that.” He wasn't her guardian, but at the moment she was glad he was here. Raking her teeth against her bottom lip she looked back up to him, her dark eyes locked in to the intensity of his gaze. “You should rest. I know I healed it but there is nothing better than that to help you mend, no heavy lifting or...” As if of its own accord her hand slid over the spot on his abdomen where he had been so grievously injured hours ago. “exertion.” she whispered, stepping close when she should have been guiding him out. She was simply instructing him as to the proper care of his injury in a professional and courteous manner. Fingers curled against the buttons of his shirt, slowly pulling him down. 'Stay' she wanted to say, but the built up tension threatened to reveal more. Rising onto her toes she moved to kiss his cheek but found his lips instead.



Offline Corvo Anansi

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Re: Nothing Ventured
« Reply #36 on: Jul 17, 18, 09:25:50 AM »
Corvo was, at the end of the day, a Prince of the Blood.  Everyone liked to talk about the nature of Warlord Princes, their passion, their lack of thought, the excuses made for them when they were incredibly stupid and created tragedies that in many cases could have been avoided.  A Prince of the Blood had the same instincts, the same passions, and if left unchecked, they could make the same mistakes.  Only, a Prince did not, because part of their instinct was to create order from chaos, and order means you don’t leave things to the very last minute.  A Prince still had those feelings, still had those passions, and there were times that Corvo was reminded of that very firmly.  Rehema Abbasi was one of those times.  She would have piqued his interest because she was a Healer, but that was not the only reason, not anymore.  It was easy to see what else might draw him to her, and then they had spent time together, short though it was, it was enough for the astute Prince.

Her skin was smooth and warm, and she was, on close inspection almost golden in complexion.  Corvo was on the paler side for Raej, his blood a mix of influences in a meandering family history behind him.  The contrast between them, as he caressed and massaged her, was not lost on him.  Nor could he do anything but notice how favorable she reacted to him, it changed her scent both in reality and psychically, and he was too alert to her to fail to notice that.  Corvo was beginning to think he had lost his sense of professionalism, that somehow she had tricked him into being far more personal than was wise.  It had happened so very quickly, and soon enough, she was on her feet and probably going to properly eject him, no matter what might happen in the future.  ”It would be arrogant in the extreme to begin writing my memoirs at my age.”  He smiled at her.

Corvo flirted with her, rather shamelessly.  The voice at the back of his mind did not know whether to cheer or to shame him.  She really could keep him, he did not mind at all.  He told her he would see her again, she politely demurred.  Then she told them that he ought to rest, and as she touched his belly where he had been wounded, her hand smoothing over his tunic, she told him not to exert himself.  He could already think of a few exertions he wouldn’t mind at all, even if it hurt a little, it would be worth the effort.  She moved even closer to him, her hands still upon him, the fingers of her other hand toying with his buttons.  Corvo was sure he was going to get a polite kiss, probably on the cheek, and be gently shoved out the door.  He bent at the waist and lowered his head so she could reach him, and found himself pleasantly surprised.  Corvo’s arms went around her when she kissed him, and he slid a shield beneath her feet to lift her up to his level, so they could be more comfortable.  He did not break the kiss when he did so, his embracing gently pressing her against his chest.