26th of Vhalar, Arc 719
26th of Vhalar, Arc 719
Smoke filled the bedroom with the rich scent of bug berry-laced tobacco. At the windowsill, Llyr absently looked over the shipwrecked homes of the Scalvoris district. An occasional flicker of candlelight, the cross of a shadow in a window frame, the sound of a drunken pair making their way home, and the sound of those still bothering to labor even though the sun had set.
The midnight air felt nice against the dried sweat on his skin. Wearing only his black undershorts, he easily felt the chill of a Vhalar wind drift through the modest house. He took another breath inward of the smoke and didn’t look over. He could hear Em moving about. Whatever she was doing, he didn’t look.
Since their first meeting in Saun, he’d come to visit Em several times over the many trials. Of course, they didn’t talk much. There were far too many things to enjoy with one another than to waste time with conversations. On this night, though, Llyr had been comparably gentle. He’d taken considerate care with how tight he’d secured the ropes and held back the rougher portions of their intimate dance to the point that Em likely would have made her frustration known… if she hadn’t a handkerchief in her mouth at the time.
Em was freed now, though. Free to speak, as well. It wasn’t unusual anymore for Llyr to remain for half-a-break or so, to relax and smoke though he kept from conversing still. Only on his fifth visit did he even offer her an actual name: Llyr.
“Mind if we talk, Em?” he asked, then slowly brought his gaze away from the night’s cityscape to wherever the woman was. “I’ve been… thinking.”
He paused and flicked the end of the cigarette so ash fell outside the window. Whatever she said, or didn’t say, he cleared his throat. After another drag of smoke, he continued.
“Traveling like this to see you; every time I do so, it’s dangerous.” The irises of his eyes held the color of pale lavender and the halo above his head faded to a dim light that almost matched the illumination of the room.
He stood from the windowsill and went over to Em. Llyr placed his cigarette to settle at one corner of his lips. He took hold of her wrist and brought her closer to him. His other hand landed on her hip. He gathered her in a playful embrace similar as if they were about to dance a waltz.
“Yet, I want to see you, feel you,” he explained with the lit cigarette carefully balanced against his lower lip, despite him talking. Llyr swayed his hips side-to-side to tease her. He encouraged her to follow his lead, something she’d gotten better at with each visit. The blond drifted them into a gentle dance with simple steps around the space of the room.
He took the cigarette from his lips and set it between Em’s lips. “Shh. Don’t answer yet, just listen.”
“Do you enjoy living here in this hut in Scalvoris?” he inquired. “Haven’t you ever wanted to travel beyond? See what else there is in the world? There’s so much out there, Em. So much to discover.”
“I live in Etzos,” he confessed to her, not having shared the location of his home until this moment. “Almost in the center of the city, in a good neighborhood… It’s not perfect, it’s a modest house, and it’s not how I plan to remain in the near future. But it’s not the slums. It’s right next to the wealthy sorts, the merchants and… I have connections there. Powerful connections. I own a new business that I’m establishing and…”
He halted their casual dance with a small spin near the window so they could both enjoy the cool night air. Llyr kept his hands on her hand and the curve of her hip. The tall biqaj offered a foxish smile. “Move away from this place. Explore the world. Live with me. We can see each other whenever, have each other whenever we want. Be mine, Em? I’ll treat you like you deserve... and punish you sweetly.”