• Mature • No rest for the wicked

Recovery

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Elyna
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The room was warm, dark and comfortable. Elyna stretched out slowly. The last time she’d slept peacefully had been before…well everything. The last night she’d spent with Yorath, not that she’d had much sleep. With a troubled mind and heart, sleep had evaded the Lady and she’d found herself restlessly wandering through many dark nights, or waking in the early hours. But as she surfaced from deep dreams, Elyna felt rested, as though she was sleeping in a vat of syrup: sweet, warm and difficult to escape.

There was warmth behind the curtains, and sunlight, but it was quiet except for birdsong and the occasional cart being moved along. How long had she slept for this time? She had promised Levinia and the Doctors faithfully that she would rest. She’d informed the infirmary that she would be remaining at the barracks, if not staying with a friend in Midtown. Quietly, she had agreed to stay with Mortalborn. It seemed the best chance of being able to recover quickly, and she’d been too tired to argue with him and refuse.

Malcolm had expected her to travel straight to his home, and the infirmary had expected her to back to her rooms. Setting out, in the afternoon she’d felt almost normal. Just a bit tired as she made her way through lowtown. Against the promises she’d made, she did visit her rooms first to collect a small bag of belongings. A change of clothes and toiletries. Setting out to cross back to the midtown, Elyna had realised her mistake. She wasn’t quite right, her footsteps were slower and she felt as though she carried an enormous pack of equipment, threatening to sink her into the mud. The simple journey was a struggle and when she arrived at Malcolms door in the evening, she’d anticipated frustration and anger. Once inside the threshold though, he’d carried her upstairs and left her to sleep.

The Skyrider risked a quick glance at her wrist, her healing wound had closed, the stiches removed so that the air could dry the final line that would make a thin scar. But it the skin surrounding the cut was a mirage of colours: greens, blues, blacks, purples, spread in flowers over her wrist, onto the base of her hand and inched down her forearm. Elyna sat up and changed into the fresh clothes she’d bought, washed as best she could and brushed her teeth, grateful that her host had set some water out.

It was strange to be in his house, but not as much as she had feared. There was something about the room she was in, that marked it as definitely his. It smelt of him, the faint spiced scent that was his own, tinged with soap. She could recognise a few of his belongings, from their travels together. All neatly set in place. She wondered if there was any news about the crew, and if they’d come back safely. A flutter of panic caught her chest, what if they came to Malcolms house? But she pushed it aside, too tired to add any energy to worry. The simple acts of washing had left her hands trembling and she lay back down. How long was she going to feel like this for? But then, other than the small meals in the infirmary, when had she last eaten?

Elyna counted to a hundred before sitting up once more; swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and standing barefoot on the floorboards. Feeling as though she was walking on the deck of a ship, she made her way towards the door, balancing her hands on the walls at first and then the doorframe. Satisfied that she wasn’t going to fall over. She straightened and made a careful descent of the stairs. Her shirt was pushed up to the elbows and hung from her shoulders. Her hair trailed down her back and she wore a pair of old pants, softened with age but cut just below the knee for sleeping in.
Last edited by Elyna on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 699
Malcolm
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Downstairs the lamps were burning, shadows cast upon the surrounding walls where the light saw them flicker and dance. The smell of a reduced, meaty stew bubbled away over the open fire, which was slowly suffocating itself under a pile of ash and the hallowed remains of charred logs, crisscrossed about the fire-pit like old, blackened bones. The heat from the fire had enticed sweet fragrances from the dried wildflowers hung above the door, something Malcolm did to keep out dark auras, and filled the house with a warm, welcoming smell.
At the table in the middle of the living space, Malcolm sat with his back to the stairs, staring at a letter informing him that his presence was required in Krom next season to sign a formal document in front of the noble family of Krom to pass down the title of baron to his two sons Marcus and Vaughn. The letter was not written by Vanessa's hand but perhaps one of her siblings, and stated that they all hoped he was well on what they believed to be the forty-ninth anniversary of his birth sometime this arc.
He heard footsteps overhead and put the letter down, turning his head to peer out through the small kitchen window, meshed with crossover iron and small, coloured sheets of glass in the top two rows of diamonds, twinkling green, purple, and blue under the burn of the streetlights. As it was very early dawn, and with the stars still glittering outside in the night sky, Malcolm smiled when he realised Elyna was padding down the stairs and pushed his chair away from the table to stand, turn, and scoop her up over his shoulder, carefully returning her to the bedroom, one stair at a time.
"Rest means rest," he scolded in jest and plonked her down on the mess of covers. "Do you want a glass of water or anything to eat? It's still a little early for you to be up," and extremely late for him to be, he then thought, but it had been impossible to sleep, even if he had almost drifted a few times while sat at the table.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 374
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Elyna
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Elyna was able to catch a glimpse of the captain before he stood and collected her up like a rag doll. He was far away in thought and she could only imagine where those thoughts took him. Had he heard about the others? Was it regret she saw in the distant watch out of the window? Did he wish that they weren't here, the pair of them, heart strings tangled and healing from countless hurts? There was very little coin in her bank vault at the moment, but she would have drained it to be party to his thoughts. How well did she know him, really? He’d pulled her into a world of immortality, secrets and abilities beyond anything she could have dreamt up. He’d told her his secrets, and she had a clear picture of him as a captain. Calm when faced with crisis, struggling to make the right decisions for his team and for Rynmere. Brave and self-sacrificing to a fault. Maybe that was all enough, maybe it was all she needed to know? And still, she would have given anything to learn his mind.

She tried to protest as he returned her back upstairs, but without the strength to wriggle successfully away, she sat cross-legged amongst the sheets. The skyrider pushed her hair out of her eyes and looked up at him. Why was he up so late?

"I feel like I've slept for a whole cycle," she complained, voice husky from lack of use. She shook her head at his offer of water, "perhaps something to eat, but later. I'm not hungry but I feel it would be a good idea." Elyna looked up, scanning his expression. The shadows played on the shapes of his face, he looked like a wolf in the half-light and she loved it. With all the veneer of civilisation, experience and age stripped away, there was something else beneath that called to her. As much as his kindness and her desire to be wrapped up in comfort and made safe in his arms, there was a thread of darkness that had curled just as securely around her heart.

She felt as though they were at a crossroads, that the passing moments were infinitely important. The skyrider knelt up and curled her fingers in his shirt, as she had the first time. Back in Krom, when she’d silenced the warning to run away and had surrendered to impatient desire. She brushed her nose along his cheek, heart racing. Pulse thumping against her skin.
Last edited by Elyna on Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:31 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 439
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His skin prickled under her touch and balls of what felt like electricity, concentrated below the ears and the edge of his jaw, were swallowed down to zip through his form and stir desire, while every hair on his forearms and the back of his neck sprung to attention. Malcolm felt his insides twist and contract excitedly as anticipation, turned bravery, saw him bow to press a lingering kiss to an exposed stretch of bare skin just before Elyna's shoulder. With his left hand set then just above the woman's right knee, he drew in a breath and closed his eyes, letting his mind go where the physical form did not follow, kisses paved up the length of her neck, her mouth fixed under his as tongues spoke a language only lovers know and with bodies splayed upon the bed, took her.
Malcolm swallowed, pulled away and slicked his hair back against his head with quivering fingers hidden in the dark strands until stilled, while heart rapt in his chest, threatened to burst through his rib-cage. His skin felt hot all of the sudden and the slight chill in the air sat so close to the window, was no more. The captain wet his lips with his tongue and let his hand fall against the covers again as slowly his lowered gaze crept up the woman's form to watch her mouth, perhaps waiting for her to speak, only to break the silence himself. "I will make sure there is something delicious on the table for you in a few breaks then."
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 273
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Elyna
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Elyna felt the tension rising through the muscles in his arms and chest, felt his heart quicken against his chest. His breath caught against her cheek and she felt her own skin starting to burn. Desire spread like a wild fire through her veins, thankfully quicker and far more potent than any poison or toxin had been. But he resisted and retreated back, leaving her staring at him, lips parted in surprise.

Too late she tried to smother her disappointment. The skyrider edged back, drawing up her knee as if to protect it, wrapping her arms around her shin and hugging it close to her chest, "your not going to join me?" She asked quietly, forcing herself to meet his gaze. Her own eyes had lightened again, flecked with copper and dilated. Her cheeks and neck were flushed, desire dissolving quickly into embarrassment.

Did he wish he had sent someone else back with her and remained with his crew? Did he regret an over extended sense of duty to a problematic member of his team? Elyna to a moment to inhale and looked down, breaking the stare to watch her fingertips circling her bare ankle. Perhaps it was a hangover from the poison that she felt the Mortalborns hesitation so keenly. But the skyrider still felt as though they were hovering close to the edge of something important, something tangible and dancing just out of reach. After so many trials moving back and forward, trying to offer up her heart and still keep it guarded, his pause stung more than it should have. It meant more than it would have at any other time. Elyna wondered when she had become this person, selfish and insistent with her demands. Demands she really had no right to make.

The covers curled around her feet, another cart rattled in the distance. The world was still asleep, yet here they both were. Awake and with respite out of reach.
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Malcolm watched and envied the shadows moving across Elyna’s skin as the woman recoiled, retreating into that shell of hers, body language screaming while in silence she suffered the baron’s decision with very little protest. The man smiled, one of those slow half-smiles that saw him look down at his hands before turning his attention on the noble woman once more. In some ways she was still a child, impulsive and vain, and often hard to read.
“I will stay,” he promised, “if you will let me tell you why I won’t be kissing you again tonight.”

As there came no timely objection, Malcolm toed the heels of his boots in turn and slipped out of them to get comfortable on the bed. He lay on his side with head propped against closed fist, watching Elyna for a time and letting her get comfortable before he spoke up again. The net curtains danced away from the window slowly only to settle as the draft passed. The low burning flame of a bedside candle threatened to quash itself in a pool of hot wax, filling the room with a romantic orange glow.
The captain squinted light-heartedly as a nagging little voice in his head told him he was coming on too strong, that the truth tasted bitter and weak, like watered down milk left to sour in the sun. No matter how long he had to sit and mull over the right words, they eluded him, there was no good way to say I want to love you, but now is not the right time or place.
“You should be resting, I won’t take advantage of that.” Malcolm paused, rolled his lower lip to moisten it and touched the right side of his mouth with the tip of his tongue before continuing. “I don’t pursue women like I have you, Ely. I can’t pinpoint what it is that I admire about you so much, but I know that each time I see you, I find it harder and harder to wait until I can see you again. I want to sell my home and I would like you to give up your room at the barracks and get a place with me in midtown, somewhere that is ours.”

Yes, Malcolm would admit it too; this place could never be theirs, because it had always been for Vanessa. For now though, the truth had been set free, and with brow stitched, he anticipated the worst while hoping for the best.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 434
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Elyna
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Elyna watched him, mute as he settled down beside her. She crossed her legs at the ankles and kept her arms loosely wrapped around her knees and set her back against the pillows. Her feet had turned cold and so she inched them under the covers in a bid to warm them. She held her tongue behind her teeth and curbed her impulsive protest to his declaration and decision not to kiss her, and the cheekier retort that then sprung to mind of ‘but what about in the morning?’

She should be resting. Damn that he was sensible, and considerate and made much better decisions than she did. The burn in her neck had travelled to her cheeks where it remained, face turning red until she pressed it into her arms, hiding her expression. She wasn’t ashamed of her desire for the Mortalborn, she wasn’t ashamed of what had happened between them, but she too, found it difficult to explain even to herself. Why was she so willing to step back into an impossible situation? She knew how they could end. The pain of losing Yorath in such a way had almost killed her. She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and bit on it. Yet, here she was again, with a married man, in the house he’d shared with his wife and the sensation that burnt most of all was regret that he was too much of a good man to indulge her whims. What was wrong with her? She moved her hand over her brow and lifted her head, shocked as Malcolm continued.

Rendered speechless for the second time in the night she simply stared. It was a nice idea, a fantasy. The idea of giving up her rooms filled her with dread from the top down. What would she tell them? Where would she hide from the world? The thoughts left her feeling exposed. As a child she’d made little caves from blankets, stringing them between old chairs. She felt as though the blankets had been ripped away and there she was, living in a dream world.

What would people think, her moving in with a married man? Well, she swallowed, that was simple, it would be a secret. Her family could never know, so her friends could never know, none of the skyriders or knights and so it would be Malcolms secret to. How could they live like that? Would they go home separately? Would they have to sneak in through separate doors, or a window? Her mind raced away with her and she realised that she hadn’t said anything; and that her silence probably said it all. She gulped again and lay down. She wanted to crawl back under the covers and get lost in the oblivion of sleep once more. It was easier than being awake.

Elyna turned to Malcolm and her heart slowed. Who was she hiding from, really? Somewhere that was theirs. In truth, she realised that there was little hope for a future if something didn’t change. Malcolm could hardly come to the barracks, and this would never be a comfortable place for her to be. The depth of sacrifice he was willing to make for her struck deep and made her breath catch. She hadn’t lied, she didn’t want to fight with him anymore, and his words had rung with the truth she recognised in her own heart. Between the times they had, the trials dragged out and she’d rather spend cycles arguing with him, then not see him at all.

The skyrider mimicked his pose and rested her cheek in her palm, elbow pressed into the covers.
“I don’t know how it works,” she admitted slowly. She’d made her decision, but it didn’t answer all of her questions and the inevitable anxieties. She made a move to reach out and touch his arm, before dropping her arm back to the bed before she could, “how do we live like that? I can’t cook,” she tried to add humour. But then he’d sampled her trail cooking, he knew that.

She bit the inside of her cheek, “…Malcolm. I thought…I thought that Yorath died but I think it was me instead,” her brows narrowed a little with thought, she struggled for the right words, “for the last few arc’s I’ve been living at the bottom of the ocean and I didn’t even know. But…you’ve pulled me back…I’m scared Malcolm…but I want to do this. I want to try,” it was as close as she could get to expressing how she felt about the captain.
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Elyna was quiet for a long time, almost long enough to make the man nervous. His body language changed, fist uncoiled, saw him twist a loose, black lock of hair about his finger only to quickly then tuck it behind his ear. The noble woman had moved to mirror his position on the bed, and eased by the gesture, Malcolm smiled, or at least he thought he had, if not some then something had sparred in his dark, green eyes, recognition, warmth, belonging.
When the noble woman finally spoke, Malcolm's features softened and he felt his arm escape the restraints set by honour, to reach out and grasp the top of Elyna's arm, and as she revealed that she too longed for them to give whatever this was a real chance, suddenly all he wanted to do was kiss her. Acceptance was swiftly offered, however, recognition of mortal wound was revealed, not of the flesh, but the heart; Elyna had been in a dark place and it seemed Malcolm's stubbornness had paid off.
There was a time and a place for everything, and momentarily, the captain was convinced words just would do for this moment in time, that only a kiss could say, I'm sorry, and I'm thankful at the same time. He leaned in while pulling Elyna close, lips pressed to hers hesitantly, noses meeting first with an affectionate nudge, followed by the feather-light kiss as resistance saw him halt. He moved away, took hold of the back of his shirt with one hand and pulled it up over his shoulders and head to cast aside before drawing Elyna near again, blankets pulled up over their forms as he tucked himself against her frame.
Long, rough fingers combed the Skyrider's hair from her face before Malcolm wrapped his arms around her and got comfortable. "I won't let you drowned," he smiled softly, "I don't want you to ever feel that way again."
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 340
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Elyna
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The young woman couldn't help the small bubble of laughter that escaped her, when he withdrew from the briefest and most tantalising kiss. Elyna tucked her head into the crook of his shoulder, looped one arm over his waist and curled the other against her own chest to close the distance between them. Her bare shins brushed the wool of his pants as their legs tangled together.

"Not that I'm complaining, but you said you weren't going to kiss me... but it is morning," she forgave his transgression gracefully. Pressed her own mouth, briefly against the bare flesh of his chest. The skyrider could recognise the boundaries he'd set. She wriggled, settling down into the mattress and closing her eyes.

"Not all drowning is bad," she murmured, "I like drowning in you," the words were slurred by sleep. As she had found before, the smallest efforts drained the energy she'd gained. Her breath slowed against his skin. She struggled to stay awake and memorise the weight of his arms around her, the scent of his skin and the warmth that emanated; just in case this, the first time was somehow the last. She wanted to remember everything. But the weight of the lingering weakness pulled her down. Her lids closed and she drifted into sleep and back to the world of Emea, still trying to pinpoint what it was she was feeling. Peace? Excitement? Nerves at the decision they had taken? She was too tired though, to think hard about all the reasons why it couldn’t work and so she simply accepted that it would, somehow.

Elyna dreamt that she was flying over the city, watching all the dancing lights as the dawn slowly crept up, lighting the sky through shades of black and grey till the clouds turned pink and gold. She could see Malcolm though, as though he stood alone in the marketplace, larger than life. Arms folded over his chest he watched her, expression pulled into a half-smile. Elyna wrapped her own arms around Dyuas’s neck and nudged the Jacadon with her heels. The great winged serpent soared, twisting up and leaving the world behind.
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Elyna

Endurance +1
Seduction +1
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Malcolm: Wants a life with you
Malcolm: Frustratingly Responsible
Location: The House Malcolm and Vanessa shared

Malcolm

Cooking +1
Seduction +1
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Specific Knowledge
Elyna: Wants a life with you
Krom: Expects you to pass on the Barony
Dried Flowers: Scent makes a home

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