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 Not Nobody, AU:17 [Vessa/V'ael]
Ivy
 Posted: Aug 18 2017, 10:15 AM
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Sleep was traded for time with the blackrider, it was becoming noticeable thanks to the slight discoloration beneath her eyes and yet she had not uttered a single complaint on the matter. Only those who paid her a lot of mind would notice, though any concerns would be waved off. Vessa was happy for the first time in many turns; her free nights were spent in his arms and beneath him, his free days were spent much the same. When not wrapped up in each other he’d been showing her how to better master the silks, she doubted she would ever move around with the ease he did but she was improving.

Apima was far from a fan of the lessons, being caged when they were playing with silks did not sit well with her even if her kennel was large and comfortable. Thus far the feline had only marked a few areas of the weyr - there was a light feline musk to their living quarters now but it would fade with time. Vessa had been diligent about cleaning up after her pet and making sure she didn’t get herself into trouble. V’ael had carefully stored his things where Apima could not get them (not that she didn’t try for a solid two sevendays to reach the silks with no luck) and thus there had not been many problems. He had even gone so far as to have some toys crafted to help entertain her - while she would never appear grateful she did seem to enjoy playing with them. A few swipes had been taken by the feline at the man in the first few days of moving in but nothing as bad as Vessa had feared. Perhaps it was Apima’s age that helped mellow her out, or the fact her handler had done all she could when she was younger to try and socialize her - either way there was not much bloodshed and for that Vessa was grateful.

It wasn’t picture perfect exactly, but then again what things in the world really were perfect? He offered stability and safety. A warm bed and strong arms; not to mention the rest of him that helped make her feel wanted and needed. Recently a worry had wormed into her mind, that he might not want her long term; he was not an open book when it came to his feelings and from time to time she found herself questioning where she stood. At the same time she never said anything to him about her worries - their relationship was still fairly new and there was no need to rush things. They were happy and she saw no need to challenge or drastically change things. Another thought came to her one evening after he had fallen asleep and she laid there basking in the afterglow watching him rest. He deserved something nice from her, more so than just a roll between the furs. It was then that began her planning to surprise the man who thought himself to be ‘nobody’ but who was far more than that to her.

Memorizing her rider’s schedule wasn’t difficult now that they shared not only a bed but a weyr. She knew when his drills were and when his free days were; they varied from time to time but not often enough to cause issues with her plans. Threadfall wasn’t scheduled to hit their area for a few days at least so it was simply a matter of finding a day they were both free. A trip to Crescent Hold to see her family preceded what she had planned, she needed to pick up a few things without him knowing. Baelryth was an observant dragon, if she flitted about the Weyr picking up odds and ends he would notice - of that she was certain. So after spending time with her father she went to task picking up what she needed, storing it all in her wherhole before returning back to their weyr. The night before their shared free day she had patrols and while her partner had questioned what was in the heavy looking bag she had strapped to her back she’d kept it a secret. When patrols ended she and Vessk ventured together to the northern part of the island in order to drop off her bag which Solstice and Poe would guard until Vessk returned to keep watch. There had not been reports of wild whers in that area of the island recently and her green could handle herself, it would only be a few candlemarks before she’d return to the Weyr to sleep and the firelizards would return as sentries. Worry creased her brow slightly as she watched Vessk’s bulky form slip out of the weyrwall before making her way up to her weyr. Be safe.

Be no worry. Vessk was happy that Hers was happy, and she was pleased she could help with the woman’s plans. While she was a bit upset that she could not join them the next day, Vessa had promised if they were still on the beach come Rukbat setting that Vessk was welcome to join them. Completing her task for the night the handler stripped before slipping in between the sheets and pressing herself next to V’ael. Body inched closer until her head rested on his shoulder, a kiss pressed to his neck. If he woke she would tend to his needs whatever they might be before nodding off; if he remained asleep she would nap a few candlemarks before waking up and rousing him with a well placed squeeze.

”Good morning, I’ve got a full day planned for us if you’re up for it.”

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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Aug 21 2017, 09:10 PM
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V'ael wasn't the sort of heartless prick who refused to acknowledge when someone he'd gone into leagues with, was losing sleep because of him. When the circles got noticeably dark beneath Vessa's eyes, he was often prone to wearing her out by way of...extra-curricular activities, and simply refusing to let her flee from his bed until she'd slept. Usually when their off-days and nights coincided, which normally ended up being a twenty-four-candlemark period when he ordered up their meals and spent the day either in bed catching up on sleep for both of them, or in the bath soaking until their fingers pruned and he was pretty sure his ass had congealed to the bottom of the deep basin.

He also made sure to feed her, because while both the former Holdless and his Black were stick-sculptures of bones, muscle and sinew, he enjoyed his partner's much more comfortable form immensely; and working the silks, plus patrols, plus V'ael's overly demanding needs for bare flesh in his sheets weren't exactly helpful in keeping her in the shape he'd first encountered her in. The first place most women he'd met lost weight, was in their ass and chest - both places he was rather fond of putting his hands, and thus, Vu had begun to make sure that burned calories from various antics between them, were more than adequately replaced.

He didn't call it love between them. He refused to say the words, wasn't entirely sure that it was the emotion he felt. Part of him wasn't sure he was full of anything but hate, piss and vinegar, but the worst part of all of it, was that deep-seated sense of why she stayed with him. While he was about as kind as anyone could manage when they wanted something that someone else had to offer, he wasn't entirely sure why he seemed to matter so much to her, and likewise, why he was more than comfortable not only having her in his weyr, but that he got upset - irrationally so - when she wasn't there. He tolerated Apima in the ways only a feral-raised man used to apex predators could; while he doubted he'd ever be able to pet her, he did make her toys and played with her whenever the urge struck him.

While she'd gotten used to his routine, so to speak, V'ael concerned himself almost nonexistantly with hers - it wasn't his way. He was a man who took partners, prior to her, as he saw fit, and never bothered himself with the who's and why's and all that nonsense. Vessa went where she wished, did what she wished, and Vu didn't chastise her for anything short of ending up in someone else's bed, which she'd promised not to do. While some part of him wanted to manage a flit just to keep an eye on her - what, he's territorial, she knew that when she got involved with him - the cons of having to look after something else reptilian to feed and make behave, on top of Baelyrth, outweighed the pros.

Some small part of him said he trusted her; not something anyone earned lightly, and to date, there had been only 3 people at the Weyr who could say Vudicael trusted them. Jali, Armon, and To'rua. And Sora, to some extent, but Vu hadn't spoken to her much short of when he'd spent the nights holed up at the foot of their bed, or under the hammock.

It was instinct when she slid up against him, by that point. A naked body, especially one as fantastic as the woman he'd somehow managed to not run off. Vessa's legs were hooked with V'ael's own, the lengthy, well-muscled but whipcord appendages curling to drag her in against him, long arms draping over and bringing her up against his chest without so much as a second's hesitation.

Experience had made it clear, she was the only one able to humor that fact; V'ael slept with a knife very near his pillow, in a sheath against the headboard, and he wasn't afraid to make use of it. A drudge had gotten ideas once before on a dare, while Vessa was on patrols one evening, and V'ael had nearly put him in the infirmary.

The murmurs of that story had gone around the Weyr tenfold, and yet so much proverbial dung was talked about the Blackrider that it was easily assumed another tall-tale wrought by idle tongues and cobwebbed minds. He stirred when she shifted against him, but largely remained at least moderately out of it - the benefits of living in a Weyr, particularly in a hole so far above the ground, was that danger was hard to come by. It had made Vu a very sound sleeper, for the most part, though he was still likely to be woken by a mouse fart over a thunderstorm.

The squeeze, though - that got his attention, and that earned her one of his own, as he diffused the situation by rolling over on top of her and shoving both hands up under her pillow, nestling his face against her chest and huffing comfortably. Someone wasn't, apparently, in any particular hurry to move.

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Ivy
 Posted: Aug 22 2017, 10:31 PM
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It would figure after all of her hard work in putting together something just for him that he would want to stay in bed all day. Normally she would be amenable to doing just that, snuggling against him beneath the sheets, taking breaks from that in order to indulge in far more physical endeavors. All of that sounded just wonderful on a normal day but this wasn’t a normal day at all. In her mind she could only imagine her bag being ravaged by a million wild firelizards or tunnelsnakes, though her fair had not alerted her that anything might be off. Gazing down at the man resting atop her she let out a soft sigh.

Everything she had now was good, great even on most levels but she wondered over the permanence of it all. He was hers and she was his, yet he’d made it clear from their first time together that this wasn’t about love. How could it not be when she felt it though? The idea of taking another man had not crossed her mind since she first laid with him. Other women who looked his way when they were together earned the iciest of stares from the small handler; he was possessive in his way but so was she. A few topics rarely came up - the future key among them. As far as she could tell they would remain… whatever it was they were, until one of them decided otherwise. Children were something else they had not really breached as a ‘couple’, though he didn’t seem to want any - ever if she was reading him correctly. A family was something she had wanted so desperately; yet she would give it up if it meant never losing him. Wasn’t that worth expressing aloud rather than keeping it all bottled up to herself? He thought himself a nobody but to her he was far more than that, perhaps she could make him see as much without having to say it.

A quiet sound of contentment rumbled in her throat, ‘mmmm’ as she kissed the top of his head. Arms shifted to lay against his back where she busied her nails against his flesh. ”Well if you don’t plan to join me I’ll just go all by my lonesome then…” Teasing him she rolled her hips beneath him in an effort to at least wake some part of him up, then maybe he’d be easier to deal with. One hand slid along his back to the back of his neck before her fingers weaved into his long hair, playing with black locks as she watched him resting atop her. ”I know they make great pillows but I’m serious!” Bottom lip stuck out in a pout with hazel eyes widening to look their most innocent and pathetic - of course it would only work if he bothered opening his eyes to look up at her.

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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Aug 28 2017, 09:19 PM
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"Your body speaks, and yet your mouth does not," V'ael accused quietly, eyes never once opening as he lost himself in the glorious expanse of her body and the sheets on his bed.

It wasn't hard to figure that being a Holdless had earned him the capacity to tell when people were trying to hide something, especially when it made them act differently than most people might. He was a creature born into and raised on instinct, who hadn't learned the social graces of most civilized persons until long after he'd surpassed his teenaged turns.

As the proverbial saying went, you could take the Holdless out of the wildlands, but you couldn't take the wildlands out of the Holdless.

She talked more than he did, more often than not. It was when Vessa went quiet, when her body stilled, and when she seemed determined to drag him out of bed and to some place, that he was instantly suspicious. He hadn't told her when his turnday was - he wasn't entirely sure himself, as he hadn't celebrated it at any point in his life - so it wasn't that. He had a dragon, now, and Baelyrth didn't know what was going on, when Vu pressed him in accusations.

He nuzzled his face further into her cleavage, huffing through his nose before one eye cracked open and looked up at her. The opened eye squinted, before closing once more and V'ael practically fell back asleep on top of her. So it appeared, anyway, with how still his body became.

"You are not doing anything of the sort," he finally grumped, arms tightening further around her ribs and shoulders, though it didn't prevent her from wiggling out either way. He wasn't that committed to the pin, to keep her there.

"What are you so tail-bent on dragging me to?" Irritation was apparent, though there was no mistaking his curiosity, either.

He finally begrudged her the comforts of her chest, sliding up to sit on her hips with a peer down at her from above. Hands ran up the length of her frame, before he eased off and out of bed, stretching himself out in a measure that revealed his ribcage through the whipcord state of muscle along his lean body. Hipbones exposed in kind, before he popped several joints in the gesture and settled back to his feet with a scratch of his bicep. Long black hair was sifted through his hands and fingers to smooth the straight strands into place, before he plucked a half-empty mug of water off the table, inspected it, and set it back down. Baelyrth's tail caught His' hips, slinking around V'ael only to slip off as the Blackrider moved away, he stood at the mouth of his ledge and squinted into the light.

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Ivy
 Posted: Sep 3 2017, 04:01 PM
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Alphahandler





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It wasn’t exactly fair how well he could read her while she was left curious; though his motives were fairly evident. V’ael was a simple creature even if she made him out to be far more complex - he desired nourishment, safety, and physical companionship. It was likely only her own desire for something deeper that left her wondering if there was more he wanted, but she would never come out and ask him about it. While the dancing they did within his silks and sheets was far from delicate this was an entirely different type of dancing; she knew she needed to be cautious or risk somehow pushing him away. His grip on her tightened and in retaliation she wiggled, rolling her hips against his again while raking her nails down his back. ”I could think of a few things my mouth would be better for right now than talking.”

A devious grin lit up her face when he finally relented and sat atop her. Warm hands wandered up her bare flesh in a way that almost made her change her mind about taking him out. Soon his warmth left her completely as he stood and she turned on her side to watch as he stretched, ”As much as you eat sometimes I wonder where you put it all,” it was a playful observation and to ensure he didn’t think she bore him any ill will she slipped from bed in order to stand before him, peppering kisses along his chest. ”You’ll find out when we get there. Were you planning on dressing today or traipsing about in the nude making all the other women jealous of me?” Gripping the curve of his rump playfully she gazed up at him for a long moment before she slipped away to find her own clothes.

It wasn’t all that often that she wore dresses outside of feasts and gathers but today she planned to do just that. Winter would be upon them soon which meant the air outside had a chill to it but she had already planned for that - packed away in her bag she had a few thick blankets they could use if they got too cold. ”It will be fun. You trust me, right?” Slipping the dress on she frowned as she realized she’d put her arm through the wrong hole. A few tries later and she succeeded in getting the crisscross straps to lay on her back without being caught in her hair, arms through the proper holes, and the deep v cut neck settled in a way that showed off curves he was fond of without leaving her completely on display. Rather than all of the fabric ending at her ankles the front hemline crept up to her knees with the back tapering towards the floor. Sandals finished it off and gave her an extra inch of height. It fit her better than most of her dresses seemed to, she’d had it tailored to ensure it hugged her hips and chest just right. Turning in a circle she smiled brightly while running her fingers through her hair from root to tip. ”Whenever you’re ready I am.”

@RhiaBlack


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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Sep 17 2017, 10:32 PM
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Many people had tried to see more in him than there actually was; a fair share of men and women alike had looked for some sort of connection with him, but to no avail. She was most likely the first to ever actually put a foot in the proverbial door as far as getting to actually know him, and even then he remained moderately guarded as far as what he wanted out of life.

That, or there simply wasn't anything at all. It was hard to have hopes and dreams when one existed in the wildlands, and everything - and everyone - was trying to kill you. He expected a knife in the back before he ever expected kindness, and it had taken Baelyrth to calm down that side of him. His dragon gave him status, it gave him enough respect to warrant the consideration before someone tried to kill him.

"Empty leg," he remarked dryly, though the joke was there. Something he'd heard repeatedly in reference to those who ate quite a bit, but the truth was that V'ael was so paranoid and had so much nervous energy, let alone what he expended between the sheets, that it was indeed a wonder he wasn't already dead. That, or spending every waking moment eating.

"Now you want clothes, too?" he cocked a brow suspiciously. "Am I going to be on display for someone, then?"

Nevertheless, Vu pulled on a pair of pants and shoved his feet into his boots, not bothering to tie them more than enough to keep them on his feet. That was, until she donned the dress; he'd taken enough clothing off of her, enough times, to know dresses weren't part of the norm, and while it obviously made him even more suspicious, he did his best to at least look somewhat presentable, just in case.

Clearly, something his Black had insisted upon.

Clean socks were pulled over his feet before his boots were properly tied, and a clean shirt was buttoned up without completely closing off the space at his throat. He checked his nails, and idly moved up behind her to inspect her attire. Fingering the fabric curiously, he straightened the straps across her back and eyeballed her.

A quick grab of her backside, before he pulled himself aboard Baelyrth, and offered a hand down to help her up.

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Ivy
 Posted: Oct 3 2017, 09:28 PM
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”Just for me.” Winking she waited until he was ready to look him over, appreciating how lucky she was to have snagged him as her own. ”I don’t think I’ll ever tire of how good you look with clothes on and with them off,” leaning back against him as his fingers toyed with the fabric of her dress before fixing the straps for her she smirked before following after him. Taking his hand she pulled herself atop his black, with his help, settling behind him with her arms wrapped around his middle.

If his intention was to have Baelyrth take them to their destination he would find himself disappointed - she wasn’t giving in that easily. A surprise was a surprise, and she wouldn’t tell his black knowing that he might tell.

Otherwise she enjoyed the lift down to the weyrbowl and watched as he dismounted first, turning and sliding down to either land in his arms or on the ground - either way she was on her feet walking towards the road leading out of the weyr in no time. Twirling around her dress flared out before settling against her legs once more, ”You don’t mind a quick walk, hm?” ‘No’ was clearly not an answer she was willing to take today and if he fell behind she was quick to take a step back to catch his arm with hers. Giving it a gentle squeeze she looked up as Ione popped from between to help escort them out of the Weyr.

Foliage was thinner now as nature prepared for the cold that was to come, soon enough there would be white snow everywhere to hide it from view. For now it was still mostly green but no longer encroaching on the dirt road they took; she knew him well enough to know he’d never be able to relax if she had him traipsing through the jungles with her. The walk was quiet - needless prattling would do nothing for them nor would it get them there faster so she kept to herself unless he felt the need to speak. It was not until they were close to reaching their destination that she finally spoke up, ”Any guesses yet?”

Hard packed dirt gave way to soft white sand that threatened to swallow their feet with each step as it shifted beneath their weight. Ahead she could see firelizards circling - her firelizards - above the large boulder. On the other side was their destination and her excitement mounted with each step. ”You’re not the sappy sort and I appreciate that…”, she started before releasing his arm as her pace quickened to pull ahead of him, ”but sometimes a lady needs to be. I promise you can make me pay for enduring all of this later.” Looking over her shoulder at him she grinned - she was looking forward to that as much as she was whatever she had planned for now.

Coming around the boulder before him, but only just, she quickly dropped to her knees in the sand and pulled out the basket she’d left. Nothing was food that could be spoiled from staying out overnight and between Vessk and her fair of firelizards everything inside was safe and sound. Opening the basket she pulled out a large blanket and turned still on her knees to flick it open and toss half of it away from her before tugging in order to lay it over the sand. Crawling onto the blanket she laid down and peered up at him with a brow raised, ”Complain and I’ll knock you on your arse.”

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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Oct 11 2017, 08:16 PM
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V'ael grumbled, begrudged by the premise, but too groggy really to protest terribly much. He pulled on something moderately presentable - practically the same clothes he wore most of the time, though he had multiples of everything of course, so they were clean, but his attire didn't particularly change much. Sure, he had nicer things for formal events, when To'rua decided to drag him out places, but for the most part it was usually black or white. No bright colors, no striking contrasts to his otherwise black hair and eyes, and his klah-colored skin.

It fit remarkably well with the dragon he sat, and the personality he kept; perhaps it was amusing at times, for some, that Vessa might have been the counter to his otherwise dark and somber state of being.

Baelyrth didn't bother asking. He seldom ever spoke beyond trying to orchestrate the best of any given situation for himself or for His, so most of the time he simply never asked or offered up information at all, to anyone. His and Vessa were carried gracefully down to the Bowl, where he dropped them off, and followed curiously. If the Black had any suspicions, he kept them to himself.

"Do I have a choice," V'ael grumbled, hands lacing behind the small of his back as he normally carried them as of late. It appeared that his lessons with To'rua were beginning to take hold, in some respects; no longer an entirely uncouth, largely feral man, there was that underlying, still vicious side of him that somewhat held beneath the surface. Much like a knife's edge hidden by the glint of the sun on the surface of a pond - the potential was there, it could do very real damage, but often times unless people were uncaring enough to leap in, they wouldn't feel it.

Vessa had been around him long enough to pick up on his quirks. He hadn't realized it before, but now - walking through the thinner foliage and realizing she hadn't dredged him out during the warmer months for a reason - it dawned on him. And make no mistake, it was something small that most people might miss, but not him. Not V'ael.

A man who was used to death coming from every direction in any time of day or night, never missed anything if he wanted to stay alive. That was something that bonding to a dragon had only magnified, because now there was a much bigger vulnerability, a larger weakness, that he had to maintain control and safety over.

The other portion of that, lay between Vessa's legs. If the discussion ever came up about children, it was probably equally clear that he was not father material. He would never be. The chances were high that if it even made it free of her body, it wouldn't survive its first turn - children were liabilities in his world, and the first time it cried, or squealed, or clung to him, it was as good as dead. He took her between religiously, sometimes repeatedly, after they lay together. Armon was trying to have a child with Jali, and had ribbed V'ael incessantly about his attempts to do the same; once, already, the Master's antics had ended in bloodshed, to the tune of a blade at his throat.

Needless to say, Armon hadn't made the joke again.

"Why would I wish to make you pay for something you want. I have long understood that this...whatever we are calling it...that it means that in order to get what I want, I must occasionally cede that same favor to you. I am told it is called 'give and take', and that I am, apparently, notorious for only being interested in one of those. I have promised several people recently, that it will be something I improve on." He inclined his head slightly, dark eyes glinting in curiosity, despite his otherwise cautious demeanor. "Within reason."

He watched with equal measure as she rent things this way and that. Straightened, unfolded, unrolled, sorted out, and then slid down with a look at him. Vu's overall facial expression was one of inquisitive dismissal; not entirely curious, but not entirely surprised, either. All at once, when she announced that complaints from him would have a very serious rebuttal, he arched a single brow upwards, before craning his head up to peer at the Black that investigated the goings-on.

The idea occurred to him that she didn't care, potentially, to have Baelyrth looming. So V'ael gestured slightly, a one-handed measure to dismiss his dragon. The spiny, skeletal Black opted to venture into the surf, and chase sea-wherries. When they started being noisy, he found himself occupied by laying somewhat further down the beach and searching for sand clab holes.

V'ael lingered for a moment where he stood, before his shoes were removed and his shirt followed it. Sliding down into the blanket's confines, he folded his legs together and momentarily basked in the sunshine. It felt like so long since he'd been away from the Weyr, out where he used to survive on his own. It felt like so long since he'd been truly Holdless, and yet, this was probably the closest he'd ever get to it again.

"So what is all this for? I do not believe for a moment that you brought me out here just for a meal of sorts. There is something else you wish to speak on?"

He peered at her critically, though the look was subdued. He wasn't sure, and when Vu wasn't sure, he got a little bit guarded.

"It is nice, before you get upset. Very...what is the word To'rua is telling me to use....um..." He gestured. "Nice of thought. I cannot remember. And I know why you waited until now, not when it is warm. I...find that very....pleasant."

He was trying, that much was obvious. Hardly a man who'd ever really been in a definitive relationship before, Vu wasn't precisely any expert on making a woman happy, beyond the obvious. And even then, the definition he used of the word, and other people's, tended to vastly differ more often than not.

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Ivy
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 11:07 PM
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Eyes tracked his movements from her prone position on the blanket, her face painted with a pleasant smile as he gently dismissed the black shadow lingering over them. Shifting her gaze to his dragon she watched until she could not longer follow him without having to move her head. Instead of watching to see what he was doing she let her hazel eyes settle upon V’ael once more as he slipped free of his shoes and shirt. He settled and seemed to enjoy the warmth of Rukbat’s rays as she spent time appreciating his physique and the warmth of his klah hued skin. Despite seeing him eat hearty meals the man stayed wiry and lean, a good portion of his energy spent during his duties as a rider - the rest spent within his hoop, the silks, or his bed. Though she shared in similar activities with him she was decidedly not lean, her lover seemed to prefer it that way and she was never self conscious about it. Even now when she laid out on the blanket with her head tilted to the side to smile at him, content in the quiet moment. Reaching out she let fingertips trail against one of his legs before glancing upwards at the trio of firelizards that had taken up a slow circle above them. Three small pops were heard as they disappeared, another three pops sounding out when they returned. Holding her hands up she caught the jug of water when they dropped it down to her and she offered it out to the blackrider, ”I have some in the basket as well, just in case.”

Rolling onto her stomach she propped her elbows up so her chin could rest on her hands. A wide grin lit up her entire face, curling her lips and reaching all the way to her eyes. ”Is it so hard to believe I simply want to spend some time outside before the air is too cold and the ground covered with snow? It would be a waste to spend it all by myself and I happen to enjoy your company even outside of our weyr.” Our, it was the first time since she had moved in a few seasons back that she’d referred to it as being theirs versus his and she watched him carefully for his reaction. She knew her lover, not as well as his ‘brothers’ did but she was well aware of how possessive the man could be. Shifting so. the weight of her head rested on her left palm she gently rested her right hand on his thigh as she continued, ”Speaking of give and take… I appreciate you coming with me.” He was trying, with a soft squeeze of his thigh she acknowledged that while also expressing gentle affection meant to show how much it meant to her that he was not complaining or trying to weasel his way out of it. The fact he had come at all meant, to her at least, that he trusted her to some extent. That in of itself was huge, he was such a guarded individual when it came to most things. Under no delusion that she would ever gain all of his trust she was happy enough with what she had, for now.

Pulling her hand back she slowly pushed herself up so she could sit, leaning over to drag the basket closer, ”I have bread, jerky, fruit, and…” Digging to the bottom of the basket she pulled something out and palmed it to keep it from sight, ”... I’ll send my trio back for more food, not everything would keep overnight and they need something to keep them busy. Otherwise they’ll be in our hair all day. What are you hungry for?”

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 Posted: Oct 24 2017, 12:59 PM
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V'ael wasn't the sort who was entirely comfortable, ever. A life brought up as he had been made it impossible to never look over his shoulder, to never wait for the other boot to drop. Paranoia was a state of being, it was a lifestyle that had been so ingrained in his mind and instincts that the only place he ever felt remotely calm and safe was within his weyr.

Even Baelyrth wasn't a conditional source of safety. Dragons were not infallible, he'd learned that as a Candidate, as well. The stabbing of Laanastuth's eggs, the Traditionalists masquerading as Riders. Dragons were as incompetent and gullible as Humans, and because of that experience he trusted only as much as he could back up with his own strength.

Though much as he suspected many other Riders and Handlers thought, his own dragon was more intelligent and capable than any other. A bias that came from being bonded to an extension of one's self, he supposed.

He regarded her fair curiously, before taking the jug of water and setting it aside. He wasn't immediately thirsty, but she'd obviously noticed his habit of hoarding water. Given how precious a commodity it was in the desert, it was probably no surprise. Oasis were few and far between, once one got into the heart of Igen's sandy environment. Salt water wasn't at all good to drink, and Vu had recalled many times the poisonous waters in the inner continent. The ones scattered with the bones of creatures too desperate to care, whose carcasses had been ignored even by the scavengers, for fear that they, too, would die from the taint of toxic algae or corrupted water. Most of them had been tainted by sulfur deposits or springs, but ultimately Pernese weren't as advanced as to know what that was. The smell, alone, usually warded most people off.

His metabolism was naturally very, very high; V'ael had put on a meager amount of mass in his time at the Weyr, but certainly not enough to otherwise change his appearance outwardly. His ribcage and hipbones were still readily visible when he stretched out, the musculature across them far too whipcord to maintain any sort of display otherwise. Like the dragon he was bonded to, he was intelligent, strategic, lean, and witty.

Dark eyes took in his Black as Baelyrth investigated the shoreline, the sinewy form of his drake's tail flicking this way and that as he hassled seawherries and clabs on the shoreline. There was a shock of pain in his face as one of the latter retaliated on his Black's snout, and the surge of laughter that erupted from the otherwise quiet, critically-observant man was equally shocking to say the least. V'ael had, in most situations, never actually laughed.

He could feel Baelyrth's eyes on him, and he snickered to himself.

"Do not kill that one. It has spite in it, much as you."

The Black huffed, and V'ael stretched out on the blanket before looking above him at the treeline. He oriented himself sideways, pulling Vessa across his lap, so that his back was to the Weyr, and his front and sides were to the sea, the treeline, and further down the beachfront.

He caught the 'our', but didn't correct her. It was his weyr, it would always be his weyr, but if she wished to think it in part her own, then he wasn't going to argue with her about it. Her things were there, and Vu had learned well in his lifetime that possession was nine-tenths of the law, and therefore, she was there until he evicted her. Which, incidentally, so long as she continued to lay with him and occupy his bed, he was particularly loathe to do. There were benefits to picking his battles.

"The fact that anyone enjoys my company confuses me," he admitted, fingers trailing through her hair idly while he kept an eye on things and propped himself up on the stone they'd bedded down beside. "But this does not mean that I am not supposed to do things with you."

He regarded what was in the basket, pulling out a piece of jerky and taking a bite before offering her some.

"Roast wherry, if they have made some this morning. That sort with the caramel glaze, the very sweet stuff. With the tougher, sort of crispy skin."

It was making his mouth water.

"And maybe some roast tubers. The rest, it should do, for now. Maybe I will hunt some oysters for us, too. They will have to get my knife to pull them apart."

He could make a bit of a fire with some dead wood and moss. There were enough stones here to spark, and he had gotten quite good at firepits with low flames, though it was ill-advised to do it often with so many wilds back home. Perhaps he could even sharpen a stick and do some spear-fishing...

You're overthinking it a bit, VuMine. This is supposed to be romantic, I believe.
Hunting for the woman that occupies my bed, this is not romantic.
Not the sort of romantic I think she's looking for.


Vu grumbled inwardly, the sound little more than a huffed sigh and a groan before he took another bite of jerky.

Besides, it's not as if you're comfortable enough to lay with her out here, is it?
Certainly not. Too many wilds. Too much space. Perhaps if I took her up into the trees...


It was the Black's turn to chortle, and he kept the humor to himself.

Perhaps just enjoy the time on the blanket, MineOwn, and be still for a moment? I know it's difficult for you, but this could potentially work out for your benefit with time.
We will see.


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 Posted: Oct 27 2017, 07:59 PM
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She jumped at his laugh, had she ever heard him genuinely laugh before? She couldn’t recall and the sound caused her face to break out in a wide grin. It was a pleasant, if unexpected, sound and she followed his gaze to see what prompted it. Pulled over his lap she gazed up at him with eyes that seemed to light up with the smile she wore as she relaxed, enjoying the feel of his fingers as they toyed through her long locks. ”You are rather insufferable at times,” she admitted before leaning up and in so she could whisper against his ear, ”but I like that about you.” Hot breath washed over his neck before she left a kiss in its wake, pulling back and nodding as he inspected the contents of the basket and took some jerky. Lifting her eyes to the trio circling she ensured each of them had a good picture of what they needed to get and where they would find it. Pop, pop, pop the tan, black, and cyan disappeared one after the other in order to fetch what she had sent them for.

”If they have what you’d like in the kitchens then they will bring it back for you, love.” A distinct pause was offered before she said the L-word studying his face for a reaction. Rather than waiting to see if he would comment on it - which she doubted he would - she tilted her head, ”After the snow falls and thaws do you think I could try the hoop? I’ll probably fall flat on my face or arse won’t I?” She didn’t seem offput by the idea of failing a few times, it was all a part of learning.

A soft trio of pops signaled the return of the firelizards, Solstice gently set the knife down near the couple before moving out of the way while Ione delivered a hide wrapped parcel directly to the blackrider. It was a fairly large item which is why the tan, though young, delivered it given her larger size. A small bag was toted by Selene and she dropped it into Vessa’s lap allowing her to feel it was quite warm, ”Seems they have delivered you your perfect meal.” Ione disappeared between again as the black and cyan settled on the rock being used as a backrest by the rider. When she returned she had a wineskin with her and she dropped it into Vessa’s waiting hands. Opening it she took a sip before offering some to her lover. Whatever she’d been hiding in her hand earlier had been partially buried beneath the edge of the blanket in the sand, it would come later. For now there was food to enjoy.

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 Posted: Oct 31 2017, 04:12 PM
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V'ael's smile faded, as the moments passed. Before long, he was back to the same somewhat neutral, perpetually disinterested expression he commonly wore, though his eyes always betrayed the emotion behind them whether he was amused or not. Anger, frustration, sadness, everything was easily discerned in remarkably soulless black eyes, and he settled them on her momentarily before looking to the flits that popped between overhead.

As she expected, he didn't remark anything about the L-word she'd used. One that V'ael hadn't even spoken to his parents or sibling, let alone anyone else. The emotion behind it, honestly, was lost on him. He didn't understand it, and because he didn't understand it, it was a word he would probably never use. The connotations to it were too much.

"I do not see why not," he spoke in rebuke, fingers trailing through her hair and far more interested in her, than the food. "You will fall. It is not a matter of if you will not, or you will. Everyone does. It is the way of things, until we learn. So To'rua says. We will see."

Truthfully, he'd considered it. Vessa seemed to be much more coordinated than she gave herself credit for, especially given that To'rua's chosen craftspath having things most Harpers didn't tend to use, made them a little bit harder to grasp for a great many who hadn't grown up with them. Even V'ael had his hang-ups about them, and his silks had been the due cause for a large measure of frustration before he'd gotten the hang of them. Much as bring a Rider had. It was strange to him, to feel anything at all for anyone not considered part of his family; adjusting to Baelyrth had been difficult, and even now, he continued to have to talk himself into the benefits of having Vessa in his weyr, versus having to go down to the Lower Caverns to share her bed.

He settled the bags to the blanket, leaving them there for now while he occupied himself with toying with her hair. He hadn't missed the suspicious movements of her hands, but he left it be, for now. She'd tell him when she wanted to, he was sure of it. Ultimately, what mattered was finding out the reason she'd dragged him out here. He was curious, and ultimately when V'ael was curious, things tended to end up either naked or broken. Sometimes both.

It was far more fun when it was both.

"Get what you want first. I will sort the rest."

It was only fair. Vu could put away food, and it was a gesture of rare kindness, given only with her or with Armon and To'rua for him to let anyone eat before him, let alone from something given to him specifically.

Not many people ever witnessed that part of him.

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 Posted: Nov 2 2017, 11:57 PM
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Though he spoke of falling from the hoop her mind could not help but draw a parallel to another form of falling. It would be foolish of her to continue denying the way she felt, despite knowing how he didn’t feel. Hardly the first time she’d harbored unspoken feelings for someone who had none for her in return, but he at least was far more giving than the last had been. Leagues above the last man, actually, despite their first meeting involving him claiming to be nothing. Shifting this way and that she hiked her dress up in order to allow her to straddle his lap, leaning her head back with eyes closed as he toyed with her hair. Reveling in the way his fingers caused her flesh to prickle and tingle she opened her eyes and leaned forward until her forehead rested against his. ”First I want an answer.” Pulling back just an inch she forced him to wait a moment for the question while she kissed him, not deeply but with so much meaning behind the act the heat of their lips meeting lingered long after she broke the kiss to regard him curiously. ”What do you feel when you look at me? And I don’t mean,” shifting her hips she reached down between them to grope him, ”just down here.” Hands moved back to a far more innocent arrangement against his shoulders.

While she waited for an answer - one she was sure would either not come at all or would disappoint - she leaned over so she could reach for the hidden object beneath the blanket. Shaking the sand off she did her best to obscure the object from view, though it was clear it was small whatever it was, as she moved for his neck, ”Don’t worry, I’ll lay with you even if you say you feel nothing. You won’t be rid of me unless you drop me off of Baelyrth’s back in the middle of the ocean.” If he didn’t object, but given his overall distrust he might, she would slip it around his neck. If he did object she would simply hold it out in her hand for him to see and to take. It was a necklace she’d made for him with various shells and glass beads adorning the leather cord that could be adjusted to fit him snugly or loose. Where the cord drooped in the middle there was a claw held in place by a metal fastener. ”It’s one of Vessk’s. She broke it a few sevendays ago and I wanted you to have it.”

Sitting with her knees on either side of his thighs she regarded him with hesitant curiosity. Though she had not confessed aloud her feelings to him she was hardly a closed book. Everytime she looked at him she was admiring him not only for his physical appearance, which she clearly enjoyed, but also for what he was to her. No name had been given to their pairing but she considered him her weyrmate and was protective of the time they shared together. There was plenty of time apart and she hardly demanded every moment of his free time outside of drills but she was enjoyed their time together immensely. Asking him to voice his thoughts and feelings was a dangerous endeavor and she knew it. It was a risk she had to take though, she needed to know and needed to let him know how she felt in turn.

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 Posted: Nov 3 2017, 07:16 PM
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Something in the pit of his stomach clenched when she said she wanted an answer. He'd heard that question before. From the people in Igen questioning his background, his heritage. When he'd been confronted, just before Armon had stepped in, after he'd gotten to know the other man.

Anger flashed in his eyes instinctively, before it was momentarily quelled by the kiss. Confusion took place of it. Kissing him, groping him, but for what? Did she not want that part of him? V'ael looked bewildered, a rather strange expression on his otherwise constantly-indignant features. Baelryth started back towards them, the rush of uncertainty and confusion coming from his usually proceeding something less-than-ideal for public in the past. V'ael recoiled when she went for his neck; he would have shoved her back and off of him, had Baelyrth's tail not slithered up and around him in something of a half-moon, the Black's comparitively long head lowering and pressing the flat reaches of his face up against His' back to keep him from backing off and away.

You ask Mine about emotions he does not understand, the Black gently corrected. He was not raised with love. He doesn't understand the emotion. Up until a few turns ago, he didn't understand a great many of the kinder emotions at all. He didn't love his family, he cares for To'rua, for Armon, for me in some respects. For you. But as far as how to put that into words, you would have as much luck getting a Tunnelsnake to speak, unfortunately.

Baelyrth lifted the necklace from her grasp with the end of his tailfork, holding it place for her to tie it, alongside the other that held the contact-smoothed bones of his deceased family and the whers that killed them.

I'm sure if he knew what it felt like, and that there was a name for it, he wouldn't look so confused. But you ask him as if he's grown up in a Hold or a Weyr his entire life, and such isn't the case. Your word for it, doesn't exist to him. He wouldn't use it, even if it did. You know as well as I, that it isn't his way.

The dragon smoothed his tailforks across His' cheek, before he ran his snout across V'ael's back and shoulders.

Remember that, when you believe he cares nothing for you, and when you believe he does, mmm?

With that, Baelyrth was back to tormenting clabs, and V'ael was left largely at a loss for words. He just kind of lingered there, not really there, but obviously there. Sort of distant, as if the only real answer for a question he didn't have one for, was not to say anything at all.

"I do not know what you ask. How do I feel? As if I am supposed to feel some specific kind of way?"

It was obvious that what Baelyrth had said, had been kept from His. It had been spoken only to her.

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 Posted: Nov 4 2017, 10:18 PM
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A gamble, that’s all it had been and though she knew the odds she had placed her bets only to lose. It was not wholly surprising, though the way he recoiled hurt her heart in a way she had not expected. Too soon, too fast, she should have known better - she did know better - but she wanted it so badly; she thought perhaps that in their time together she had shown him enough kindness to help chip away at the darkness he’d lived his life within. It was a silly notion, there was not enough time in the world to change what someone had known as truth the span of their life thus far. Whatever heartbreak she endured she masked it with a gentle smile, hiding the pain away as best she could. It was not his fault and she knew as much.

Baelyrth’s voice in her head was unexpected and she shifted her gaze from the rider to dragon as he moved about His. Tying off the necklace she gently shimmied back off of Va’el’s lap with her smile still firmly in place. Hope no longer lended an inner light to her eyes as she looked over the man she felt for. It was useless to try and explain, the black’s words reaffirmed that, but as she cleared his lap and knelt before him she offered out her hand. ”Nevermind, it was a silly question. Come, your food is getting cold you should eat.”

Selene lifted the wineskin one of them had fetched and brought it to Hers and Vessa took a long drink from the skin before setting it aside. ”For the record when I look at you I feel… happy. Content. Safe.” There was a faint hint of sadness in her voice but she did her best to mask it behind a smile and a nod towards the food he had set aside, ”In case you wondered at all.”

Had there been a reason for her dragging him out here? Yes there had been but that hardly mattered anymore. The answer she’d been seeking had been given by the man’s dragon, though for whatever reason he had not shared as much with his rider. If he placed his hand within hers she would gently pull him towards her, ”If you fancy a swim once you’re done eating I’d be up for it, then we can help each other warm up afterwards.” A playful wink was given as she tugged the food he’d set aside towards him.

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 Posted: Nov 11 2017, 11:45 PM
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V'ael was confused, to say the least. The fact she was saying nevermind, that it was a silly question, and yet her body language said otherwise. The smile was there, certainly, but he knew the difference between a forced one and a genuine one, especially where her eyes were concerned. The fact she was retreating from his lap, was another sign.

Any other time, she usually couldn't keep her hands off of him.

"What am I supposed to say?" His temper was rising. She wanted an answer from him, but for what? How he felt? How he felt for what?

"How do I feel when I look at you? You are Vessa. The same woman I have been sleeping with, only you, for the last how many seasons, now? I do not know how I am supposed to feel. I like you enough that I have allowed you to move your things into my weyr, to stay with you, and not go to someone else."

Confusion and frustration, perhaps even so much anger, were painted on questioning, critical black eyes and drawn features.

"How am I supposed to feel? I do not understand, and now your eyes do not smile as the rest of you does, and I do not understand why. Have I done something wrong? Am I supposed to somehow know what to say to you, is there something else that I am supposed to do? I do not espouse, I do not have children. I am not sure what else you want from me?"

Baelyrth chuffed, and it drew the Blackrider's attention long enough for the distraction to work. The hard edge to his face softened slightly, and he sighed.

"You Weyrbred and Holdbred are so confusing. All these talks of these 'emotions', that you are obviously wanting me to have," Baelyrth appeared to have clued him in. "I do not understand this 'love' thing. I have never loved anyone. I do not understand what it means, what purpose it serves? I can not eat it, it will not protect me, I can not use it to kill things, what good is it? Am I somehow less to you, now, because I will not say something that I know nothing about? Is that what you wish to hear?"

He looked disgusted, looking sidelong at Baelyrth. The Black clearly had some words for His, given the intensity of the stare-down going on between them, and the substantially indignant look.

"Why did you bring me out here. Do not play games with me, tell me why."

V'ael was growing more and more suspicious by the moment. Almost as if he felt trapped, and in those moments, it made sense. Why she'd suddenly taken such care to bring him out where he'd feel comfortable, where he wouldn't feel relegated to only her comforts. His fingers went to the bones of those he'd lost, instinctively. He rolled them between his fingers, a motion repeated often when under duress. A reassurance of sorts, for himself, that he'd killed things that had wronged him before, and fingers tightened on the bones when his eyes narrowed.

"Why would I say something to you, that I do not understand the meaning of? The point, of? Is it not meaningless to say something you only want to hear, if it is not true? If I do not understand it?"

Love. A four-letter word that he'd never uttered, not without malice as to trying to find out the true meaning of something he had never felt. He was a man of action, a man of survival. Not one of love. Not even his own dragon got that much from him; his bond to Baelyrth was, to V'ael, a matter of partnership for equal gain. If it wouldn't harm him so much to be apart from the Black, he'd have no qualms on killing him if he had to.

But where did that leave her? Them?

V'ael's appetite was dusted. But Baelyrth wouldn't let him leave, something that frustrated him even further. The former Holdless hugged his knees, turning his body in a visible display of distrust that hadn't even manifested when they'd met. She was misleading him. Trying to make him say something he didn't understand, something he might not ever really get the full meaning of, and the fact she thought it better to hide from him than speak up on it was annoying to say the least.

"I do not wonder. I never have. If you did not feel those things, you would not have moved in with me, would you not? You are not a dimglow woman. Not one of those who lets herself be manipulated by other people, I am not sure why, suddenly, this has all come up. That now, I must apparently say meaningless, pretty things to somehow keep you around. If that is something you desperately are needing, then maybe it is better that you are getting it somewhere else. I thought we understood one another, but apparently I am not doing what you think I am supposed to be doing. Maybe you should find someone who is Holdbred or Weyrbred, who understands what you want and who can give you everything I suppose you are seeking."

He untied the necklace, leaving it on the blanket as he got up and started towards the Weyr. Confusion mapped his face; perhaps one of the only handful of times he'd really appeared out of sorts. Usually it was the same disinterested or drawn expression, but this one was conflicted, and Baelyrth appeared not particularly interested in following His. He lingered there with the clabs, as V'ael began to make his way back to his weyr.

As far as he was concerned, she wanted something he couldn't give her, and on that effect, she had deemed him unworthy of her company any longer. He needed to talk to Armon. Armon would know what to do, how he'd messed up, how he could figure out what had been done, how to potentially fix it.

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 Posted: Dec 3 2017, 03:45 PM
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It was suddenly clear he felt betrayed by her question and actions, she should have known he could see through her happy facade to see she was bothered. He knew her better than most in the Weyr thanks to their time together and she struggled to try and answer his questions - his accusations - as they came. How could she make him understand something when he was not raised around the same emotions she was? Love and acceptance were not something he craved in the manner she did, they did not serve the backbone of his upbringing. Instead he knew only survival and meeting needs - was there any way she could translate her own thoughts and feelings into words that might resonate with him? ”Asking if you have them and wanting you to have them are two different things.” Not that she wouldn’t have liked for him to have felt something tangible for her besides the obvious. It was clear he enjoyed her company if only by the way his body responded to her closeness more times than not. He was possessive of her time and body as well, that should have been more than enough for her; and it was, yet she couldn’t be faulted for simply inquiring could she? All she needed to know about the man she knew from his actions and yet she’d pushed in order to calm her insecurity. She had made him uncomfortable after putting so much time, effort, and thought into making him comfortable with her. Her motives were selfish and for all she knew that she also felt a hint of betrayal as well when his eyes squinted and he looked at her in that manner.

Pain flitted across her features as his words sunk in and she was faced with everything all at once. ’I do not espouse.’ It had not been something they’d spoken of but she had assumed with enough time he would be agreeable… was she wrong in thinking that? It was not something she expected now by any means but someday she had hoped... I do not have children. This she knew his feelings on if only for the amount of times he saw her go between in order to ensure she was without child. In the back of her mind perhaps she’d been convinced if she could elicit deeper feelings from him he might be persuaded to change his mind in having children, was that wrong? Was it wrong to want a family with the man she adored even knowing he had no such desires? Then there were questions and she shook her head, ”Do you know me for playing games? I wanted to enjoy time with you and share my thoughts and feelings. I know you didn’t understand once but I thought…” She thought their time together had changed that. Instead she was wrong and her face fell upon the realization; none of this was his fault but hers for expecting that her feelings for him would suddenly fill in all the blanks in his past and help him understand everything he didn’t about emotions. She was wrong.

When he closed himself away from her she did not attempt to reach out and soothe him. As much as he accused her with his words she did know him and whereas she would have been comforted by a hand on her arm or leg she knew in this moment he would not. Though they spent much of their time together and their bodies had joined as one many many times in the past turn they were still vastly different individuals. Now he thought she didn’t respect that, or him, and that she wished him to be like all the others in the Weyr. If she acted with him as she would one of them she’d only push him further away. Losing V’ael’s trust had not been her goal in the least and her heart ached enough to almost draw tears to her eyes.

Confusion, hurt, and anger took turns in blatant displays across her face as she sat there first staring after him as he left and then looking down at the gift she’d given him that he’d cast aside. At first she did not feel inclined to follow after him - for a moment it appeared she might give in to the sorrow in her heart but then her anger boiled over and she was on her feet storming after him. Brows furrowed as she had to take double the amount of steps he did in order to catch up, sprinting at one point until she was just behind him. Grabbing hold of his arm she glared daggers at him, fear briefly shooting through her as she tried to recall if he was in possession of his knife - grabbing a holdless man from behind was never a smart thing to do if he was armed. Yet she had witnessed his restraint before and knew he would not purposefully harm her even as she dug her fingers against his flesh, ”V’ael! You do not get to decide the conversation is over simply because you are confused. It was a question, I do not expect you to be like others. If that’s what I wanted I would have any one of them over you but I don’t. I want you, don’t be a dimglow!” She was fuming now and stomped her left foot onto the ground, feeling her foot sink into it slightly as they’d reached the border where sand began to give way to dirt. ”I do not expect you to tell me pretty things just because I want to hear them, just as you cannot expect me to not want to hear them simply because you do not know what they mean. Did I hope like a fool that being around me made you feel them? Yes I did and for that I am sorry. I don’t make you suddenly understand and feel them and that is fine.”

If he tried to pull away she would only tighten her grasp, even if he pulled away she would grab hold of him again. ”You do not get to leave me here alone, you’re stuck with me until one of us goes between for the last time even if you will not espouse me ever, or love me, or have a family with me because to me you are not some nobody and even if you are infuriating and difficult you are mine and I will not give that up. Not now, not ever.” Cheeks and ears were red as she glared up at him as if daring him to tell her she was wrong about him being hers after all this time.

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1. No advertising.

2. No in-depth discussion of highly personal issues, incl. medical issues affecting you, your family or friends, or your pets. Do not ask for medical advice in the cbox.

3. Please refrain from explicit description of illegal, violent or gross subjects. Be mindful of your fellow members and guests to the site.

4. Important communications for staff should be sent via PM - just because someone is on the site does not mean they are looking at the cbox! :)


Cbox Mods: Ruin, Rii, Ivy
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