• Mature • The long dark

Malcolm

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Elyna
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:45 am

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14 Ymiden 716
“So how do you know him?” The guard towered over Elyna, more muscle than brain. His dark hair was shaved close to a head that looked too small for his enormous chest and shoulders. He obviously lifted a lot of weights.

Elyna folded her arms over her chest, one hand wrapped tight around a bag strap “You’ve searched my bag, I’ve paid my coin; let me in,” dressed in a shirt and breaches she hadn’t worn her wings, or anything that would mark her as nobility. So the man looked her over again, the authoritative tone at odds to the diminutive figure before him. His dark eyes lingered until she met his stare, impatient. She had waited long enough, and if this meat-head didn’t let her in soon, she wasn’t going to be responsible for her actions. Her heart was a constant flutter in her chest, throbbing in uneven beats.

“He hasn’t wanted to see anyone,” the guard shrugged and turned to unlock the heavy wooden door that would lead down to the arena cells. He led the way into the putrid corridor, “so I’m just curious…” he glanced at her, “’cos maybe he’s got some arrangement with the brothel? All the pretty women coming to see him,” he grinned, “or maybe the bastard was luckier in another life.”

They left behind the warm glow of a red and golden sunset, the stars starting to shine in a wave of midnight blue that edged across the sky. It was going to be another warm night with wisps of cloud that drifted over head. The twilight birds sang from the branches and at the edge of the city, bats would be circling back and forth between the treeline and the walls, foraging for bugs. The air was fresh and sweet.

“I don’t care if he doesn’t want to see me,” the words were a growl and she tightened her fists, “I’ve paid the coin. I will see him,” she tried to remind herself that it was a good thing that Malcolm had people who would want to visit him, “what?” she demanded as the hulk looked back at her.

He shrugged, pausing to unfasten the next door, “you just don’t seem his type. The others were all the blonde, blue-eyed wispy type,”

Her fingers tightened on the bag and her gaze narrowed to a scowl, “well he didn’t want to see them,” she retorted, but she stumbled on her next step. Just like Vanessa, younger versions of his wife? It was then that the smell of the place hit her, the outside world a distant memory. Urine, faeces, blood, death and despair. There was a grisly handprint, blood faded to brown, swiped across the wall at the door and trails of the same washed over the hard cold stones. The smell smacked her across the face and she choked on it, bent double as she coughed, one hand pressed over her nose and mouth, her free hand landing blind on the dried but bloody print. She struggled not to see her lunch again.

She had been desperate to see Malcolm, but after Ben had dragged her out of the Arena she’d blacked out. So here she was, as quickly as she could come, and still perhaps too late. The guard, Daven seemed happy enough to wait for her to catch her breath again. His face was gleeful at her discomfort and he nodded to the second guard stationed at the door. She wondered if his own sense of smell had been burnt away, so he was used to the overwhelming odour of decay.

How could Mal be in a place like this? It still didn’t make any sense, and the only way she was going to get answers was to by seeing him. Was he still alive? She stumbled again, balancing her fingertips on the wall. She could do this. She’d seen him dragged off the sands, blood pouring from his side. He had to be alive…the Skyrider would have sworn she knew two things for certain. Malcolm was alive, and someone really wanted him dead. Poison, and then the arena? They were determined, but why?

Following at Daven’s heels as he greeted other curious guards Elyna kept her head down. Daven delighted in playing the host, in pointing out all the disturbing details on the walls they passed, showing off.

“One guy dragged his nails all the way down the corridor,” he chuckled, “look, you can see where the paint came off…it was really funny. He couldn't do it when we chopped his fingers off,” he grinned and looked at her for encouragement. Finding only a blank expression he pointed out a large pool of dried blood in an empty cell, “she didn’t make it to the arena, nor did her bastard.”

Elyna flinched, “can we just get on?” she struggled to keep her tone level. She hated this place, always had, and always would. She hated Daven and everything he stood for; but she needed his co-operation or he could just take her money and usher her back out into the sunlight that was fading to dusk.

They reached a final door that was dutifully unlocked and opened for her. She wondered if she’d ever get the smell of the previous corridor out of her mind, or the coating of fluid off of her boots. Thankfully, in the final room she caught a breath of fresh air, and wondered if there was a vent? How could anyone heal in a place like this? Daven offered her a candle which she accepted with shaking fingers.

“End cell,” he gestured and Ely nodded, “half a break,” he warned and she nodded again, mute.

He closed the door behind her and she edged forward, as though suddenly afraid of the dark. The cells she passed were empty, everyone else had died in the arena and the cages had been stripped and water thrown over the walls. No one wanted the next batch of fighters to die on infection before they made it out to the sand in Saun. After all, they now had the rest of this season to re-fill the cells.

The candle gripped tight, with wax sliding down and coating her fingers. Stinging as it did. A fresh bandage was wrapped around her left hand, to cover the marks the golden chain had scored across the back of her fingers and palm. Reluctant steps took her to the final cell as directed. She had no way of knowing if Mal would want to see her, or what she would do if he sent her away. The candlelight held back the worst of the shadows, casting an orange glow, flickering and dancing on the walls. Why hadn’t Marcus told her? Why wasn’t he hear to see his Father? She knew the Sailor only briefly, but it still seemed out of character.

She reached the final set of bars, her heart beat and footsteps dragging, the candle shook in her grip and so she knelt to set it on the floor. Still gripping the bag with her right hand, she pressed the left to the necklace that didn’t belong to her. Although she’d tried to clean the medallion, flecks of her blood and tears were still caught in the metallic grooves. But the touch of cool metal strengthened her resolve and she moved forward, planting her feet squarely too look in the cell, balanced, as though about to fight.

How did she know Malcolm? He had saved her life. Rebuilt her and then left her broken again.

“Mal?”

What if he sent her away? He’d ended their affair so easily and left her standing alone on the docks. Pain trapped her voice in her throat. He’d promised she would never have to feel this way again, but she was drowning. She watched him from the familiar distance from herself. She could help him though, the Immortal had said she could help him; and that was all that mattered.
Last edited by Elyna on Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:21 pm

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It had been a bad day, followed by a rough night. Passing out was a luxury, and the few times the pain or sheer amount of blood loss had enabled him to lose consciousness was a blessing, but it never lasted long, not nearly long enough, at least, to forget the pain he eventually woke up to. The cell blocks were driving him crazy. The smell was hard to get past at first, but after a while one could get used to the burn, and almost forget it after a few days. Somewhere beyond the sandstone walls and the iron bars, however, a leaky tap had been dripping away relentlessly, difficult to forget when conscious, like the doors that were always opening and closing, the rattle of keys, men walking up and down the corridors, and the distance screams of new arrivals, tortured and forced into cells. This makeshift prison was a terrible place to find oneself in, and an even worse place to die.
They had stitched him up, not well mind, but good enough to stop the bleeding and close him up. There had been no attempt made to wash or dress him, and Malcolm's limbs were dusted with dry sand that had stuck to the oil, sweat, and blood that had coated his skin the day before. The bedding was a joke, a wooden bench made up of three lengths of wood that were nailed together and left uncovered. His right arm was pressed against the wall, while his left hung over the side, fingertips dangling a couple of inches from the filthy floor. At least they he been given a bucket, one they sometimes remembered to empty, not that he could see himself getting up to piss into it now.
Malcolm's middle had been wrapped with bandages, covering the wound on the left side that had bled through and dried, and perhaps should have been changed hours ago. He cursed the thought of them changing his bandages now, knew from past experiences the way they tended to stick and pull at the flesh, reopening wounds. At best he could manage shallow breaths to fight the pain, hair wet with sweat from the fever his body had worked itself into, trying to fight off infection. The Mortalborn dreaded to think what he might have picked up from the dirty axe blade, the bloody sand, and this hellhole of a cell. Part of him had longed for death during the night, but slowly his temperature was dropping, and the man felt almost himself, despite the agony of his wound and broken rib.
A familiar voice, that belonging to Elyna, cut through the silence in the cell and Malcolm's eyes rolled open as he turned his head to look at her, if only to make sure he wasn't hallucinating or hearing things. Curiosity satisfied, the man pointed his gaze at the ceiling again and closed his eyes. He had already had three visitors today, Benjamin who had turned up with Kathryn, Thea from his history class, and a woman by the name of Monica, who informed him that she was merely a friendly face, checking in to see if he was all right, though Malcolm thought it was more likely that she was working for the local newspaper, or visiting on someone else's behalf to find out whether or not he had lived through the night. He still wasn't certain he would make it through the next one, and with little to live for, found it difficult to care.
I have nothing to say to you, he wanted to tell her, we are done and we owe each other nothing. Instead the thought that had hunted him since late last season worked its way to the forefront of his mind, and without any consideration for the way it would make the woman feel, Malcolm murmured, "you fucked my son." There was no malice in his tone, or confusing, he spoke only as if he were stating a fact, one which should see her turn around right now and walk out, or so he hoped.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Elyna
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:55 pm

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“Fuck you,” she returned. Elyna had thought, or at least she had hoped that she had already experienced the worst days of her life. Yoraths’ death and the bitters arcs since. Malcolm walking away. Bjorns’s death and then watching Malcolm fighting in the arena. But no, it seemed fate seemed determined to deliver new lows and she felt that this, now, truly had to be it. She wasn’t sure how she’d cope if it wasn’t.

She turned on her heel and retreated back to the door, hammering on it. Daven answered with a grin, “send you away as well?”

“Shut up-”she yanked the door out of his grasp and open, so that a little more fresh air could seep into the dank.
His expression fell and he glowered at her.

“I want a bucket of water, clean water,” she demanded, one hand on her hip.

“You don’t get to make orders around here miss-”

“Lady. Lady Burhan and you will bring me a bucket of clean water, and you will give me more time.”

Daven growled before he could stop himself, but he turned and stomped off. She waited at the door for him to return, determined to have as much air flowing as possible. In the torchlight at the door she examined the water and nodded when he returned. It was then a struggle to carry to wooden vessel and the torch she took from the entrance, back to Malcolms’ cell. Screw anonymity.

Daven slammed the door behind her and she let out an uneasy breath, setting the torch on the bracket so that light crept into the pitiful room.

She collected the key from her pocket, shaking hands fumbling as it rattled in the lock and finally twisted freeing the latch. Collecting the candle in a deft motion she moved into the cell and knelt down beside him. Really, she should walk away, but how could she leave him like this? His agony was clear and she was shocked by the dressing she found. Elyna crouched down and set her bag on the bed beside his leg, oblivious to movement he made she ignored him. All the restless, anxious energy and anger made her shiver as she sat, goose bumps racing over her arms as she set the candle close enough to see him by.

The Skyrider drew in a deep breath, not easy when the air was so stale. “I bought some things with me, I was afraid that…”
she was afraid that he’d be in a state like this. But it was far worse than she’d dared to imagine. Panic rose in her throat, but she refused to let it take over. She could help him.

Her hands at least were clean and she unfastened the bag, pulling out the metal flask that had so often accompanied her to the arena. She undid the lid of it, and the smell of brandy lit into the cell. She gulped and extended the flask to her Captain. No matter what they said, it didn’t change who he was to her. No matter what he did… She bit her bottom lip and straightened.

“Yes, I slept with Marcus,” there was no point denying it, or wondering how he knew. There was no point explaining that she hadn’t known it was him, until it was too late. There was no point regretting her actions and she pushed her fingers through the front of her hair.

“I need to change your bandage.”

Why by all the Immortals was he still down here?
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Malcolm
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:09 pm

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Malcolm hadn't expected that and twisted to try and sit up and see the woman better in the dim candlelight, but the biting pain in his side kept him down along with the retreating sound of her footfalls. "No, fuck you!" He bellowed, the boom of his deep voice echoing down the empty halls.

Thinking he had seen the last of her, the man wasn't sure whether he felt satisfaction or disappointment. The attempt to sit up had been reckless, and the throbbing pain that ignited every nerve in his left side reminded him of this. Malcolm groaned, seeking any form of relief that might take his mind off his current situation, if even for a moment. The groan was followed by an agonising yell, but Elyna would find him quiet upon her return, as if sedated, the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes bunched, brow knotted and creased, his left arm folded up over his face, fingers lost in his greasy black hair.
Elyna held nothing back, acknowledging her act, they had gone their separate ways after all, he had no right to hold her choice in partners against her, but so soon, why so soon; had he meant so little to her? The noble woman explained that she had brought some supplies along and would need to change his bandages. The thought of her uncovering and touching the wound made his heart thump hard in his chest, speeding up the shallow breaths he had been taking. Malcolm folded the leather belt he had managed to peel off in the night, and closed it between his teeth, wrapping his fingers about the cold iron bars at the end of the bench above his head.
As Elyna unwrapped his bandages carefully and had to work the sticky end away from his wound, which had chosen to fuse with the fabric, Malcolm closed his eyes tight, squeezed the bars and bit down into the leather of the belt, his pained groan failing to cease until the bandage was removed completely. He let the belt fall away to the floor and unfurled his fingers from the bars as he gasped, closing his left arm over his face again, ashamed for her to see him like this.
The torchlight revealed the extend of his wound, a ten inch cut sliced from the bottom of his ribs to the top of his belly-button. The axe had cut through the minimal belly fat and muscle he still had managed to maintain after being starved from the end of Ashan to the day of his fight, and pinched something important that the doctor had managed to stitch up, the stranger's work uneven and messy, as if they had expected Malcolm to die, and thus gone to the least trouble possible in order to close him up. His brow, chest, and arms were covered in beaded sweat, and his lips were dry and cracked.
But you were mine..., he wanted to remind her. "What are you doing here, Ely? I don't want you here," he murmured half-heartedly, as if in a drunken stupor, if only he were so lucky.
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Elyna
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:33 pm

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The skyrider worked as gently as she could, cupping the water with her hands to pour over the bandages, softening the healing wound before she pulled back the strips of bloodied cloth. She forced herself to block out the sound of his pain, but even if it didn’t register in her mind, or distract her from her task it pulled at her heart, shredding tiny pieces of it and discarding them in the dirt around her feet. She bit her lip as tears pricked the back of her eyes, she couldn’t even begin to understand the stitching or what the healer had done to his side. She didn’t know enough to change them or adjust them, or anything that could be done to help him. All she had was a bucket of water and some fresh linen.

She bit her lip to hold back her own sound of pain and took the chance to wash the skin around the wound, guiding the muck and sand away from the stiches to give it the best chance of healing she could. It caused a trickle of pale blood to slide down his side. She pulled the bandages she’d made in Ashan out of her bag, laying them over the wound before wrapping them over and under to fasten them in place. She washed her hands and settled back, leaving him the rest of the water for later.

“There’s brandy, some bread, clothes, a cloak…” she’d thought he might be cold. She’d known he’d be in agony. Elyna pressed her fingertips to the necklace beneath her shirt again. The young woman wanted to offer him comfort, her fingers twitched to smooth the hair back from his face. She longed to press kisses to his face or be wrapped up in his arms and told that everything would be alright.

As much as he was in pain, she was afraid and she didn’t know what to do. Who else could she tell? Time was going to start running out if what she suspected was true, that the first night they’d spent together, Malcolm had given her a baby. Their baby… She would have offered to take the pain from him, to be given the wound and limp out in search of a proper healer. But she couldn't risk it, what if it hurt the child? Elyna had never thought of herself as a Mother; she’d never considered it would be something she did. But here she was, it was unexpected and she’d never felt so alone.

She ignored his ire and sat on the edge of the bed, “well…tough. I’m here. The rest of the crew thought I’d be the best person to try give you some help,” all lies. No one had sent her, she’d come herself. Elyna studied her own hands in the flickering light, reluctant to give up with the final item she’d bought. She had no right to keep his necklace, but the thought of parting with it caused her breathe to halt in her lungs. She couldn’t look at him anymore, it hurt too much.

“Why are you here Malcolm? You should be a free man. You won your fight.”
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Malcolm
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:21 pm

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The chances of the man getting up to wash himself anytime soon were slim, as sitting up alone was a big ask. Malcolm knew the team hadn't sent her because he had inquired about the woman during Benjamin's visit. The knight had explained how Elyna had witnessed the fight and fainted on the way out of the arena. Though Malcolm had felt responsible for such, he was unable to experience any sense of compassion regarding the woman's troubles, not as if the ability to feel had been taken from him, but rather, that it had never existed in the first place; whatever Vri had done was working. Decisions, emotions, thoughts, they all seemed so black and white now, simple.
Malcolm accepted the brandy and drank, the alcohol going straight to his head having gone so long without, and never having been much of a drinker to begin with. The liquor made him feel warm and relaxed and for a while he basked in the familiar silence, one they had often shared, only this time things felt a little tense. Elyna was never usually quiet for long and he suspected she didn't have much time to sit around and wait for him to decide on whether or not she was worth speaking to.
"Were there more?" He asked out of the blue, "Lovers?"

He took another swig the of the brandy, and another, until it was all gone, until sleep might almost seem likely. Down here it was impossible to tell the difference between day and night, often only worked out via the temperature of the air, though his fever made that tricky. Malcolm realised he hadn't answered Elyna's question, and thought this to be the reason for her reluctance to speak all of the sudden.
"I don't know why I'm down here, I am the last man standing, I should be free," he stated, not willing to admit that he had 'won' his battle, for it had not felt like a win to him.
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Elyna
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Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:43 pm

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The noble had gone back to holding her sleeve over her nose. The smell was truly awful; and she really wanted to hit him; or shout at him. A pulse of energy rose up through her abdomen at his question and she took a deep breath. If he even had to ask, then it didn’t matter what answer she gave. He didn’t trust her, and why would he? She had fucked his son. Elyna found her feet and curled her fingers around the rough and rusted metal bars, as though she could bend it through her will alone. She couldn’t.

“Sure, there were hundreds, I’ve slept with at least half the Iron Hand. It was Simon first, then Ronald, Nathan, Ben, Heath, no wonder I’ve been so fucking tired, I’m not even sure how I found time to screw you,” she kicked the iron bars so they rattled against the sandstone. He had promised she’d never have to feel this way again. The crushing desolation of desperate loneliness. Her chest was an empty pit, and even beyond the gates to the arena, and even in the brightest sunshine, the world was darkness.

Somewhere, in the distance she heard the irregular dripping of water from a height. A tap? Drip…drip…drip… and then a pause. Drop. Drip. Another pause. She was on her feet and left the cell again, armed with another small piece of cloth. She followed her ears and marched into the opposite cell, staring at the ceiling. Drip…there it was. She climbed onto the wooden bench and stuffed the wad of cloth into the hole. It would take time to soak through and the noise would stop for a while at least.

She returned to watch Malcolm. If he didn’t look so pitiful and wounded already, she would have punched him. But she wasn’t here to hurt him. The thought stopped her and she dropped her gaze, more shame, more guilt. Even when she was so furious, here he was coaxing her out from behind the walls. But she was safer behind them, and he was safer with her caged too. They should swap places, the world would be better for it. She smoothed her fingers down the outside of her shirt and her abdomen and let out a breath. Maybe in a few seasons maybe that was how fate would fall.

The Skyrider had come to help him and to keep him alive; and someone really wanted him dead. It had never been their freedom to take, fury boiled in her veins. How dare they do this to him. She had to get him out somehow; any way she could. It didn’t seem like he was fighting too hard to his life, and from the look of the wound, he needed to. He’d once told her to keep fighting, so that he could save her life. He was angry with her, anger was a powerful weapon. She ground her back teeth together, “you're pathetic. Look at what they’ve reduced you to Malcolm? Captain Krome who murdered his wife,” and she didn’t believe it for a second, “they grant you your freedom, and leave you to die like a dog…and you let them?”

She reached up to touch the necklace again, tracing the shape beneath her shirt. Tempted once more to pass it over to him, she didn’t want to. She wanted to keep the part of him she still had left. But it wasn’t hers to keep. Before she could talk herself out of the action again, Elyna unfastened the chain and threw the medallion at him, feeling a sense of smug satisfaction when it landed squarely on his chest, spun in a slow circle and fell over. She had something that would tie her to the Mortalborn forever, whether he knew it or not; and she would never give it up.
Last edited by Elyna on Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Malcolm
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Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:31 am

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A list of names was rattled off and Malcolm felt half temped to believe the woman, especially since Simon, who had been well-known for being a promiscuous little bastard, had made the line up, but she later killed his suspicions with with another breath as names like Nathan and Benjamin were revealed, two men he knew to be very happily married and honourable. Elyna had disappeared from the cell again without a word, only to return a bit later, the Mortalborn quickly realising what she had left to do, it seemed he wasn't the only one driven half mad by the dripping pipe, or tap, or whatever it had been.
Upon Elyna's return she stood at the entrance to his cell in silence and watched him, but he paid no mind to her, not until her words cut through the putrid air to cut him to shreds. Why was she taking her pound of flesh too, why was she kicking him when he was down, what did she want? The noble woman parted with the gold chain and medallion, hitting him square in the chest to suck the air from his lungs with the unexpected whack.
Malcolm took up the medallion and used the nearby iron bar to sit up, pushing himself away from the bench. As he got to his feet, the white of his new bandages were dyed red, and as he crossed the cell to close the gap between them, Malcolm threw his necklace against the sandstone wall, closed his dirty hands against Elyna's face and kissed the woman hard on the mouth, her body trapped between his and the cold iron bars at her back. It was one of those heady kisses they used to share that often left them both breathless, led to him kissing down the length of her neck as stubborn fingers wrestled with small shirt buttons to see them hurriedly pressed, flesh to flesh.
"You're mine," he reminded her, lips against her ear, fingers twisted in her hair, with his second hand lost to passion only briefly. "Take the necklace," he told her, "sell it, they posted my fine last night. You should get thirty for the medallion, you'll need to find another seventy to get me out of here." Malcolm kissed the woman again. "Get me out of here, Ely..."
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Elyna
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Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:20 am

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Elyna tried to retreat when he advanced and was trapped by the bars that had imprisoned him. She didn’t know whether to expect an attack, or if he was simply going to shout at her, her eyes dropped to the bloody bandage but before she could protest he caught her in a kiss. They could have been anywhere in the world, because nothing mattered except Malcolm and the brush of his lips over hers. It was easy to forget at a time like this, everything that kept them apart and embrace the simplicity of passion. She was lost to it, breathless and giddy and nodding in agreement. She was his, heart and soul she belonged to the Mortalborn.

Her arms were wrapped around him before falling as she lent back, against the bars, “I will,” she promised, “I’ll get you out…” The sound of footsteps down the distant corridor saw her fumbling to correct her clothing and running a concerned eye over his waist, “fuck…shit….Malcolm sit down,” passion had rendered her temporarily incoherent to his wound and she pushed at his shoulders, gently, trying to guide him back to the pitiful bed. Not one for curses, she’d used all her swearing for the entire arc in the last break alone.

The door swung open as she reclaimed the necklace and pulled it over her head once more. She wasn’t going to sell it, of course she wouldn’t. Devan stood at the door, clearly impatient. Elyna was caught between the two men, looking between them. She didn’t want to leave Malcolm behind for a second in this hell. She pressed fingertips to her swollen lips.

Elyna refused to give Devan any additional power over the Mortalborn and straightened her shoulders, with a final backward glance at him, she strode out of the cell and back up the corridor, fists clenched.
***
15 Ymiden 6th Break
She had paid the fine the night before, immediately after leaving the Arena. But when she’d returned, the guards had refused to let her back in, until the sun rose again. The Skyrider hadn’t slept, instead she’d sought help. Benjamin sat at the front of the cart, fidgeting with the horses reins whilst she paced, fists clenching and unclenching with tension. The guards were really enjoying this. Watching her move back and forth with barely contained fury until the first rays of light started to creep over the horizon. She’d resisted simply shouting at them, because she had a feeling it would only make things worse, or let them drag every painful mote of time out further.

Finally, Devan returned and unlocked the door. Silent, she followed at his heels. Malcolms’ necklace safely secured under her shirt. Ben left Ronald on the cart and followed close behind. She’d wrapped a cloth over her mouth and moved impatiently, desperate for the final door to be opened and for the bulky guard to unlock the door to Malcolm’s cell.
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Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:48 am

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It was quiet. So very quiet except for the sound of bated breath as it struggled into pained lungs. It was dark too. There was no proper light to alert him of her visitation, but she needn't disturb him. Well, he was already awake from the pace of his heart. He didn’t know that she was there, however, and she took a moment to gaze upon him.

Sea green eyes brightened as Pre examined her nephew, his wounded body lay upon the bench, weak and possibly feverish. His injury was festering. Pre had known with his compassion gone, his will to care, to live, would slowly slip away from him. It was no surprise to her that he had found himself in such a place. Pre half expected it of him. It was why she approached the mortal woman so openly, why she went behind Pier’s back, it was why she was here, in the silence of the cell, watching him.

Very softly, she spoke another spell with her bell like voice, whispering like a soothing song into the putrid air that lingered in the place. As if a gentle draft came through, moving the air, it help dissipate the smell. Her own perfume spread into the room and soon, it was a tolerant space to stand within and breathe. It was also a way to welcome herself.

“Dearest nephew…” Pre greeted, stepping toward him in all her fine silks and jewelry, yet she made no noise at all. She sat eloquently beside him, her eyes unnaturally bright and glowing softly. Beneath her flesh, her very veins brightened, as if her whole body was made of energy, coursing through her like blood. “You’ve found yourself in another predicament, I see. Rest assure, I come alone…”

Eyes peering down at the bandage around his wound, she gently laid her hands upon it, a wisp of a touch as not to harm him. “You will have your justice, should you seek it. By my power, I promise you this… However, you must listen to me, nephew. I will not repeat these words again.”

“There is great danger coming… War. I’ve visited the space beyond your grasp and sought Ziell for the truth and it is as I feared... Prophesied by his words, the dragon will breathe fire once more. Destruction will befall great cities, your homeland, and all that you hold dear should you continue your idiocy among these games that you play with the mortals.” She paused, her hand reaching to brush at his grime and sweat covered hair. “You have been with this world for a long time yet you’ve only existed for the purpose of existing. You wish to walk the same path as your Father thinking that it will spare you from the pain of existence and loss but the truth of the matter is, it will not. You are more than these mortal men. That was made clear by these uncivilized arena fights.”

“You must leave, Malcolm…” She paused, letting her words sink in. “You must.”

“Within and beyond the lands of Rynmere are many more Mortalborn… most of them do not know of what they are and I fear retaliation should my presence startle them.. So I ask that you seek them out… Gather them so that when the time comes, we may have some force against this catastrophe that will soon unfold.”

“This is your purpose, Malcolm… Your compassion and devotion to a just cause will bring the Mortalborn together. And now that Vri's curse is broken, I am not so fearful that you will reject such an important task. Please do not turn from it. You will not have another chance to do so…” Within the silence, the sound of footfalls echoed off the corridors, alerting the Immortal to the sound of a visitor. Though, if she was correct, she wouldn’t need to worry about hiding. She simply sat and waited till the guard came around with a fidgeting mortal woman. The torchlight brightened the darkness, however it was nothing compared to the Immortal woman that was noticeably seated inside.

A sudden stop of feet told Pre that she’d been spotted just before the guard pushed the mortal woman away from him so he could rip open the cell door. She moved with grace and was upon him before he could utter another curse from his mouth. Thin fingers gripped his cheeks, her palm pressed to his chin to hold his mouth closed. Her sea green eyes were hypnotic, dragging in his attention till her voice ripped from her throat in deadly undertones that would cause all around her to quiver. As she spoke the Ancient Language, the energy in her veins glowed brighter as power simply radiated from the woman.

The guard, tense and struggling, slowly calmed and stared upon her as once again, silence fell. “You have shown Elyna to Malcolm’s cell and have released them both. They’ve left and you will think nothing of this encounter nor will you say anything to anyone about this. If you see them again, you will disregard their existence. Should you dare go against this truth, your justice will be coughing up everything that you own to Lady Burhan and serving out your days as her personal servant… This is the truth.”

“This is the truth.” He uttered back to her gruffly.

Releasing her hand from his face, Pre watched as he left, leaving the doors open as he went. The glow that had overtaken the woman slowly softened and she called out for the mortal who had been thrown aside in the sudden panic.

“Elyna.” Pre called lightly.
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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”J.R.R. Tolkien
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