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All Work And No Play

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> The Crossroads -> The Scathachian Sanctuary
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RR Cullen
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Joined: 18 Sep 2017
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Can Be Found: West End Precinct, Rhy'Din
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:06 am    Post subject: All Work And No Play Reply with quote

His fingernail had been absently tapping at the corner of a stack of papers on his desk for about nine minutes now. Insofar as paperwork went, the lieutenant was relatively caught up. He wasn't really sure of why things were so quiet, but he rarely mentioned that they were. He wasn't stupid. He'd grown up in this city and knew all too well about the curse of evoking the word "quiet" around these parts. Still, he wasn't sure whether to blame the winter weather for keeping people honest, and more importantly inside, or whether he should give credit to the ladies with the crimson sashes.

Cullen hadn't seen or heard from Isuelt since the blowup he'd sported on his birthday. He couldn't blame her, he'd acted like a complete asshole. And the fact that months had gone by without him seeing her felt like the most severe punishment he could imagine. He had been singularly cranky this holiday season; he hadn't really blamed it on any one thing (though he was sure the Watchmen in the precinct were taking bets), but it had occurred to him just this week that this was the first Winterfest in recent memory where he hadn't at least touched base with the Scathachian leader. She was almost always at the Governor's Ball or other festivities, helping to keep them orderly and safe. But this year he hadn't seen her, nor had he had any word from her about any criminals she'd brought in. It was like she had disappeared. And while he knew that was an untruth, it still felt as real. He still felt empty. That was the cause of his "Bah-Humbugging" and it was sobering to realize.

In fact he’d been fighting his instinct for quite some time. Perhaps even years. And that was more than grating on him; it just wasn’t his personality to ignore his gut, to deny his instincts. But this was more than a passing fancy on his part. He’d been working with Isuelt for close to seven years and Cullen found it harder and harder to pass off his feelings toward the striking Scathachian leader. But he would belittle himself thinking that if he were to voice any feelings, he would fall in line behind a hundred other fellows in this city alone. So, he kept quiet (begrudgingly so) and kept his self-reprimand in order. Besides, she was assertive. It didn’t take a genius to see that. If Isuelt wanted more of a relationship with him, she would have made it clear. But he didn’t have time for this sort of sophomoric nonsense anymore than she did. The angst of love, especially in this city, in this line of work, was more of a hinderance than anything else. He wasn’t a poet, he wasn’t a troubadour, he wasn’t a romantic by any stretch of the imagination. These sort of teenage fantasies would have to stay just that: fantasies.

In any event, these thoughts were drowning his mind and keeping his focus from where it should be: work. Cullen grumbled under his breath for what possibly was the hundredth time today and ran his hands roughly over his stubble, trying to wake himself from these fruitless reveries. With a resounding exhale, he leaned back in his chair and stared at the paperwork before him. “**** it,” he muttered as he pushed back from his desk and stood up. As he grabbed his coat on the way out he nodded his head, figuring that a break from paper-pushing out in the cold air would do him good. After all, he’d already had one cold shower today, maybe this would work better.
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RR Cullen
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 18 Sep 2017
Posts: 5
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Can Be Found: West End Precinct, Rhy'Din
441.76 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cullen wasn’t even really sure of where he was going until he ended up there: the gates of the Scathachian Sanctuary on the Northwest Cliffs. About two heartbeats before he pulled the bell, he thought about turning around and leaving. Of course he then figured that with neighbors like the Scathachians had and the sort of work they did, they probably had all sorts of was of seeing him come, stand there like an idiot and leave. And the least thing he wanted right now was to appear to be a complete buffoon.

“Now or never, asshole,” he murmured under his breath through an exhale as he reached up and gave the bell pull a heavy tug. He heard the bell echo behind the door and it wasn’t long before the door was opened by a young woman with curly blonde hair. Cullen thought for a minute, searching Isuelt’s intel for the woman’s name.

“Yes, how can we help you?” Sheryl’s bright blue-gray eyes narrowed for a moment. She knew this man. She looked him over, trying to place him.

“Sheryl, right?” Cullen’s brain had come up with his answer first.

“Yes.” Sheryl blinked and finally caught up with him. “Detective Cullen, right? From the Watch?”

“It’s lieutenant now, actually.” He couldn’t help but smirk, sending the stubble on his cheek for a sweeping expression.

“Oh, well that’s…congratulations, Lieutenant!” Her sunny disposition was always a mirror to her golden locks.

“Well, thank you.” The ease of Sheryl’s smile and the genuine sentiment behind it couldn’t help but lighten Cullen’s mood. He was quite disarmed for the moment and seriously considered if the Scathachians weren’t in fact nymphs or sirens the way they were able to elicit such a response from even this hardened Rhydinian. “Uh,” he cleared his throat quietly and recovered himself, “I’m looking to speak with Isuelt. Is she here?”

Sheryl, who had stepped back to allow the lieutenant entrance into the Sanctuary, canted her curled head to the side, “Oh, I’m so sorry. She’s currently in Old Temple and is not due back until tomorrow. I could get a message to her, if you’d like?”

His disappointment was short-lived as it came to him that he needed to see Isuelt more than actually talk to her. “No, that’s all right. I’ll catch up with her there.” He turned to go and stopped dead in his tracks. He turned around to look at Sheryl, he wanted to acknowledge her kindness. “Thank you, Sheryl. Have a good day.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant Cullen. I wish the very same to you!” Her lips curled softly, “And a happy new year to you as well!”

Her wishes were so genuine, so heart-felt and her expression was so sweet that this grizzled Watchman could actually feel himself blushing. He meagerly waved at the young Scathachian as he backed away. And if he had tripped over a rock or even his own feet, he wouldn’t have been surprised. Luckily for him, his steps were sure as he strode off the property. Though all the way to Old Temple Cullen pondered the nature of these priestesses of the goddess of war and why the hell he felt the way he did around them. He wondered if other men fell prey to them as easily. He began to see where their true weaponry was. Even the young Sheryl garnered the same sheepish, weak in the knees sort of reaction that he had always felt around Isuelt. “Damned enchantresses, all of them…” Cullen mumbled as he contemplated the femme fatales in the crimson sashes.
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RR Cullen
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Joined: 18 Sep 2017
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Can Be Found: West End Precinct, Rhy'Din
441.76 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old Temple was no rougher than any other part of the city. In fact, before recently, it was one of the quieter precincts. “That’s because the gods used to mean something to the people around here…” Cullen muttered to himself. He had been continuing his inner monologue through most of his trip from the Scathachian Sanctuary on the far Northwest Cliffs of the Seaside district all the way to Old Temple; alternating between muttering and silence. He didn’t think it strange that he was talking to himself, in fact it usually helped him think. Though he did sustain a few fleeting glances from passersby as he vocalized things like, “This used to be the holiest section of town…now look at it…” Shaking his head, he passed the Temple of Divine Light, a place where as a child his parents would take him often. Richard Cullen was a third generation Rhydinian and his grandparents were part of the generation that propelled this city to the status it held now as a powerhouse in trade. His great-uncle was part of the workforce that helped to erect the newer sections of the Temple of Divine Light and he was actually buried just beyond it in the Rhydin Cemetery, as were all of his family. He could see the gates of the cemetery in the distance and sighed. It had been a while since he’d visited his parents there, but tonight was not the night. Tonight he had other sentimental business. Even still, he know that his family would turn over in those graves if they could see what this precinct had become: peppered with dance clubs, shops and strip clubs in and among those holy temples.

Cullen sighed heavily and looked back to the Temple and the tower that rose like a beacon against the night sky, trying to prove that this city was more than just a crime-ridden cesspool. Maybe there was still good in people, more people than he gave credit to. Maybe there truly was something worth fighting for here. He certainly thought so, but why did so many outsiders flock here and end up helping. Like Isuelt and her Scathachians. Like Isuelt’s allies, the heroes and vigilantes who did more than their part to help keep the citizens from harm. And keep them safe for what? To stay alive, fall in love, marry, and have children that could visit them when they were buried in the Rhydin Cemetery? Cullen’s brows lowered into a scowl.

“Not liking the look of the steeple tonight?” Isuelt’s voice slithered into his ear and shook him from his poetics.

Cullen nearly jumped as he turned to stand toe to toe with the Scathachian. She chuckled at his surprise; it wasn’t as if she had actually startled him in that sense, it was more that she appeared almost before his thoughts were going to be led straight to her.

“Damnit, DeRomiano. You trying to give an old man a heart attack?” He clutched at his leather-bound chest, though it was more for show than anything. If his heart was racing, it wasn’t from being startled.

“You’re hardly an old man, Cullen.” Isuelt smirked knowing that the last time she saw him was on his birthday. “Even if I know how old you are.”

The two stood in silence for a few moments, Cullen was convinced it was awkward.

“Tell me what brings you to Old Temple tonight, Lieutenant.” Isuelt uttered.

“You.” Simple truth.

Isuelt’s dark head turned to look at the Watchman. Her eyes took him in: he looked tired, maybe frazzled was the better word for it. Though Isuelt knew that his workload had been light as of late. He didn’t seem ill, but he did seem off. Still, the way he studied her back was almost beguiling.

Cullen held her gaze as long as he did, and he impressed himself. He usually was wont to look away or feign some grumpiness. But this time he looked at her until it was the warrior who finally looked away, and he relished every moment of it. “Yes, you.” He took a deep breath, pretending that he held the upper hand in some chase. “I’m going to spend the night with you.” There was a pause and as Cullen looked back to the high steeple of the Temple he smiled to himself, “Or a night soon, anyways.” He could hear Isuelt turn to look at him once again and it was possible that his smile grew a tad. “I’m going to go on patrol with you,” he finally offered as he looked back to her, aiming his chin as sharply as his gaze upon her.

“Cullen…”

“It’s already decided.”

“By whom?”

“Me,” he grinned fully now before he sobered into seriousness. “And I really don’t care what you say. It’s happening. And I don’t care if it’s here in Old Temple, the WestEnd or wherever. Or really whenever. But I will be accompanying you. At least one night.”

Isuelt drew a slow, deep breath. “I don’t think you’ll like it Cullen.”

“Oh, I beg to differ.”

She continued to shake her head, “You’re not going to like some of the things I have to do, or the manner in which I do them.”

“Oh, I beg to differ.” He arched a brow.

“This is serious, Richard.” She had flirted with the best of them before, but she felt that this was indeed perilous work and she didn’t want him thinking otherwise. “I…” How to put this? “You’re not going to like some of my methods.” Each syllable was tasted on her tongue as she tried to usher the severity of what went on in back alleys. “I wouldn’t want you to think…ill of me.” A slow nod as she tried to accentuate her point.

“Oh, you mean like that guy last year from that Sanctuary dance club that you gutted and beheaded and left outside the city gates?” He held up a hand as she was about to say something, “And when I say gutted, I mean that you pulled the entirety of his intestines out and smeared them about gods only know where, Iz. That murder that was like a goddamn slaughter house event. Yeah? That guy? Methods like that?”

Isuelt shut her mouth without a sound being uttered. She inhaled and looked back to the street before them. She did think it was a small miracle for a man of Cullen’s standard and character to not haul her in for the murder. But it was for Jewell; and she would have done anything for her. Isuelt’s dark eyes blinked and glanced at the pavement.

"I want to see what you do, how you keep all these people safe. And I swear to God…no, I swear to your goddess…hell, I’ll swear to all of them that I won’t hold you responsible for these methods of yours for one night.” She glanced at him, eyebrow arched and he held aloft one finger, “For one night you get a pass, DeRomiano. Got it?”

She sighed heavily as she was currently weighing the offer. She knew that the Lieutenant was a man of his word, he always had been. But was he up for what needed to be done? Would he stand with her? Would he stand in her way? Try to talk her out of doing whatever it would be?

Cullen turned toward her and reached up to take her shoulders in his hands. His fingers gently squeezed her flesh beneath the leather. He felt as if he could drown. Instead, Cullen swallowed and dove into the deep end, “I just...I want to be with you. I want to make sure you’re safe out there. Just one night, that’s all I ask.” His gruff voice was barely above a whisper and for the first time in more years than he could remember, he wasn’t thinking about needing sleep, needing food, needing a cigarette. He just needed her.
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