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Eddie Blake
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 13 Feb 2016
Posts: 34
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Drifting
1980.44 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:42 am    Post subject: Renegade Reply with quote

Blue on Black

Blind, Oh now I see
Truth, Lies and in between
Wrong, Can't be undone
Slipped, From the tip of your tongue
~ Kenny Wayne Shepherd

25 December 2017

Tahlia watched the drow disappear into the gentle fall of snow. It seemed her shopping trip with Ace was well timed - the Triumph, much like its owner, didn’t like cold, or ice. Running her fingers through her hair, she checked herself in the mirror..shaking her head to dispel the last of the fog from her senses. She wasn’t entirely certain what had just happened, or why, but it was hardly important now. Glancing at the clock, she bit back a curse. She had a half hour to get home, and be waiting when Eddie came to reclaim his jacket. Normally, she wouldn’t be concerned, but the weather meant she couldn’t push the Spitfire as hard and fast as she normally did. It would be close, but it would be worth it. Checking behind her, she ran her cheek along the sealskin, not entirely aware of the smile that touched her lips. Still watching for whatever chaos Rhydin might create behind her bumper, she reached for the shifter, intent on the night ahead.

She probably should have checked to make sure the locks were engaged, the oversight would become blatantly obvious as the passenger side door opened and a figure slid into the seat. A look at the snow would reveal the footfalls, though they disappeared after only a few steps. It wasn’t that they’d been covered in snow, they just stopped. The door closed, and Tahlia would find herself locked into a pair of eyes the color of a clear blue sky where the horizon met the sea. They were just as cold as well, the face that held them was young, like time stood frozen on the surface of her skin. Her waist length blonde hair was wet, as though she’d stood in a storm uncovered, but the thick fur coat was dry save for the few flakes of snow that still clung to it.

Those eyes slid over Tahlia, slowing as they roved their way across the jacket she wore. The woman’s expression became harder, if that were possible. Any evidence of feeling hidden beneath an icy shell. “You… should be more careful with that.” With a flick the woman’s eyes darted to Tahlia’s face again.

In her defense, she hadn’t realized Cianan’s hand was still on the door when she’d engaged the lock. Tahlia’s eyed hardened to the smooth sheen of carved jade. She was in no mood for delays, certainly not from chilly, fur-clad women who seemed to know the leather was only in her keeping. Of course, given how she was engulfed by it, that wasn’t, necessarily, difficult. “And you...should maybe keep your opinion outside. With the rest of you.” She didn’t carry weapons, or not exactly weapons. But there was a set of knives in her glove box, along with something snub-nosed and silent. She didn’t think she could make the grab, so she didn’t try. The new car would be better fit out - she’d been finding herself surrounded by dangerous people a lot more often, here. Including the man who’s jacket she was currently wearing.

Her car, and she wasn’t going to let the ice queen think she was cowed. Reaching for the pack stashed in the change well, she fit a gold filter between her lips, and lit it. The engine was running, so the fans sucked most of the smoke away, leaving just a trace lingering in the air. “Can I help you?””

“You’re pretty, I can see why he likes you. It’s a pity that you’re so… handicapped. Where is he?” Her voice was as cold as she appeared to be, and it seemed she should be cold as one leg shifted to cross the other, a bare leg slipping free of the long coat and ending in a foot just as free of garment. “That will be help enough… miss?”

Cold as the weather was, the woman moved to roll down the window. “Your pardon… it reeks of Drow in here, and I do not want it to cling to me.” Dispassion had become disdain, even her words were clipped short with prejudice. “I’d appreciate it if you’d start to drive, it may not be too late to avoid explanations.” To whom she didn’t say, though it was obvious there was much more to say from her. It was questionable if it was all going to be good, or any of it for that matter. “Take me to him!”

Tahlia mouthed the word ‘handicapped’ and very deliberately, put the car back into park, and took her foot off the brake. She could guess, with the opening salvo about the coat, to whom the woman was referring, but she was not going to make it easy. Certainly not given the air of superiority radiating off of her in chill waves. “Oh...where do I begin? Ignoring, of course, your assumption that I am, somehow,’ll have to be a smidge more specific about which ‘he’ you I’m sure you noted while you were spying on me, there is more than one man in my life. However briefly.” Another drag of her cigarette, and she blew a plume of smoke toward the icy blonde with a smirk. “You also seem to think that this is a taxi, or that I am under some obligation to bring you to whoever it is you believe I know the whereabouts of. Which I may. But I am generally not inclined to share information with nameless women who feel free to enter my life without asking, insult me, and expect me to jump.”

Ignoring the disdain, she merely took another lungful of smoke, and sent this to the ceiling. “Too late for explanations would imply you did not owe me any. And that I’m going to do anything until I have them.” Eddie, she was certain, would rather she was late for their rendezvous than that she brought some unknown party to him without warning.

“So, you don’t know where he is.” She shook her head in disapproval. “I am Nimsu Sulei… you may call me Nim, and I don’t insinuate that you’re broken. I tell you that you are limited, and while I had thought that was simply to the land, I see that it encompasses even more. That’s just ignorance though, and I shouldn’t fault you for it. I do…” The first hint of a smile passed over he lips. “...but I shouldn’t.” She looked to the roof of the Spitfire, perhaps to see the smoke, though with what came next it was unlikely. “Is this truly what you would have me protect...EJ?”

Nim lifted her hand, leaning close to Tahlia and snaking it’s unexpected warmth through the hair at the side of her head as she whispered. “You hold the key, but have no idea how to use it. What else should I have expected from the land bound? Drive please, towards the water. There’s much to say… and the air of the city smothers me.”

“Touch me again without permission, and you will lose your hand.” Ice bloomed in her veins, and the fingers gripping her cigarette turned white. “Another woman sent to protect me while the menfolk face their foes.” Without a word, she turned, dropping the Spitfire into gear and sending it flying backwards, with barely enough time to shimmy on the glaze of snow before the engine roared and the two-seater shot forward into the night. She drove like she did most things, recklessly, and with abandon. The tiny black car slid around turns, and left celtic knotwork in its wake.

“I’m guessing you’re related. He…” She snapped her teeth closed, not that she expected Eddie’s love for the sea would come as any surprise to Nim. EJ. She’d have to remember that...assuming she saw him again. Taking a drag, she let the breath out in a rush, in order to stave off the sting of tears. She was not going to let this woman, whoever she was to Eddie, see her weak.

“You misunderstand… Where to begin. Let’s start with, what do I call you?” Nim still sat close enough to her that the draw of her breath could be heard. A sudden intake through her nose, that was released almost the same way Tahlia had exhaled smoke. “Certainly not child. I doubt you’ve been one of those for… a very long time, whatever you are.”

“Much begins a long time ago. Ancient history to most, even around here. The clan hasn’t had someone quite like EJ for the past two centuries.” Nim curled into the passenger’s seat, her ear pressed against the headrest as she watched Tahlia struggle with her inner demons. “For most of his life, he’s been hidden, protected though perhaps he never knew what it was we were doing. It was believed that he was better off living here than with us. Of course we didn’t figure on his penchant to make trouble, though perhaps looking back we should have.” She held loosely to the console separating her from Tahlia. “Yet, even with how he moved around, he remained hidden, sometimes even from us by distance. He always would return to the sea, he has no choice in the matter. Hold out for a while… but he would always return.”

She thought, for a long moment, of giving her the same alias she hid behind so often, and was a bit surprised when she heard herself say instead, “Tahlia Faras. Tahlia, is fine.” She gave the woman perched on her passenger seat a sharp glance. “You’re not wrong. But it seems I’ve aged as well as you have.” She swallowed her usual barb, although there was still a hint of it in her tone. A leopard couldn’t change its spots, after all.

“He’s a force of nature, that’s for sure.” One hand left the wheel, the other, cigarette held high, braced by her palm as she steered them through the dark, and fell to her mid-section, covering the small, silver seal that hung there. “I wouldn’t think there’s been anyone quite like him. Period.” She knew about the draw the sea had on him, had sat on the hood of the Runner and watched him in the waves. She'd seen him, all of him, the night of the squid. Without really thinking about it, she turned the nose of the Triumph toward their favorite beach in Seaside. “Remind me not to hire you guys for security…” She didn't tell her to stop, though.

“None of them are ever quite the same...Tahlia, save in form. And he was fine until a couple of months ago. There are more things in the sea that would seek him out than the landbound can even imagine. Mer, Mokele, Rokea… even other selkie clans.” Nim watched Tahlia, and could see that she knew that to be the truth. “Something happened that made him become… visible if you will.” Sighing almost in frustration, the girl couldn’t understand, only this time it was Nim’s fault because words were insufficient to explain it properly. Without thought about the threat Tahlia had made earlier, she lifted a finger to touch just beneath Tahlia’s eye. The tip of her forefinger came away moist. “Brace yourself…” It was the only warning she would give, and less than a breath later she placed the tip of her finger on Tahlia’s forehead.

Salt tinged the air, the sound of waves lapping at the sides of a boat, a memory of blue on black… tears on the water… real memories and something more washed over Tahlia at Nim’s touch. Beneath it all a cry, deep and strong pulsed outwards. The sound carrying far beneath waves in all directions. An answer warm in her arms a kiss she knew and craved. The sound did not end with him though, it went onwards stretching beyond sight and was heard by more than one Selkie with an attitude. The siren call was fixated upon by others, and they were coming.

“They’re coming… come… here.” Scents overlapped, things too faint for normal noses, though Tahlia would recognize one of those, if not the other. She would know him, even if she didn’t recognize herself. Something else did, and it was following the path left by them.

The tick of the engine was the first sound she was conscious of, and it sent her scrambling out of her pride and joy, checking every inch for dings and scratches. Nothing. Letting out a sigh of relief, she sank to her knees, resting her forehead against the cool metal for a moment. The drive back was...cloudy, was the best way to describe it. No. More like she’d been watching the drive through a pool, and not actually been driving at all. Only she had. Somehow. But she had also been back on Little Tony’s yacht, or not on it but near it. She’d never asked Eddie how he’d known where to find her, just assumed he’d had Reggie track her, or someone had called, or…something. Now...her head hurt. Standing, she made her way to the elevator, her key card not only opening the door, but signaling her floor to the computer. Which gave her a moment to sink against the wall, and try to process everything Nim had showed her.

The muted chime brought her back to the present. She needed a drink. Something was coming for them, for her...and she had no idea what. She could guess, but this was all new, and an army of Eddie’s seemed overwhelming. Just one Eddie was often more than she thought she could handle, but she couldn’t seem to resist trying. The squid. The poison. The kidnapping. She was losing track of how many times she’d been helpless in his arms, and how much more she gave away with each repetition. Tahlia had spent centuries hiding, and it seemed she hadn’t much left in the shadows.
Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Tahlia Faras
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 113
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Can Be Found: Here and there, depends on her mood
2910.46 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


The jig is up, the news is out
They finally found me
The renegade who had it made
Retrieved for a bounty
~ Styx

The apartment was dark, and chilly, a draft sweeping through the cause obvious in the form of a half dressed figure standing in the doorway to the balcony. The denim was gone in favor of the simple comfort of sweat pants. His torso was bare, and the kiss of snowflakes graced his shoulders, and from the looks of the streams of water down his back it was obvious he’d been standing there for quite some time. The sound of the elevator had him shifting to look over his shoulder toward the door. The sound of the knob turning had him licking his lower lip, and turning back to watch the snow fall on the city. His hair was streaked white, a gift from above and one that he managed to push free with a sweep of his hand through it. “Must have been a good night?”

Eddie’s gaze looked further than it probably should, past the tall buildings and towards something hidden from sight by light and shadow. He held a glass of scotch in his hand, half gone though he’d been taking it in sips. “I wasn’t sure which I preferred more tonight… quiet or music.” The same could be said about proper lighting too it seemed.

Stepping inside, she drew the jacket tighter. The form in the doorway drew her like a magnet, although that wasn’t any different than usual. “Seems like that kind of night…” She would swear she could smell him still, although why that would surprise her when she was wrapped in his skin, and he was right there...but this was different. This was bone deep, and made her head throb. They’re coming… come… here. She shook her head, and walked faster, her heels clicking against the floor as she ducked beneath his arm and clung to him, burying her head in his chest. She hadn’t the slightest idea what she’d done, or what to do now.

The scent of him filled her lungs, subtly different that the smell in her memory. It seemed crisper, sharper somehow, with the cold. Tahlia tilted her head back, looking up at him for a long moment before resting her cheek against his chest. “I would have been here sooner, but...I got waylaid.” She didn’t know who Nim was to Eddie, or how to broach the subject of her strange visitor. She just knew she had to. Eddie would know what to do. Eddie always knew what to do.

Eddie held back a wince, letting his arms fold around Tahlia because it seemed like she needed it from him. “We all get waylaid now and again.” He took a few shuffling steps backwards, enough to let the door be closed. His hands slid beneath the jacket, and slipped it from her shoulders. Eddie knew what to do, but he also knew that the proximity of the blonde was enough to make him forget how long they’d been apart. He proceeded to do exactly what her sweater demanded of him. It wasn’t the first time he’d unwrapped this particular present, but it wasn’t going to be the last one either.

His hands found her waist, and lifted her higher, his eyes taking in her face before he engaged in one of his favorite past times. The game was called kissing Tahlia, and it was going into extra innings tonight. “We’ll talk about it later… right now I’m going to show you what you’ve been missing while being waylaid.”

“How could I forget?” Her thighs wrapped around his waist, her arms over his shoulders, her hands knotting into his hair as she eagerly joined in for as many extra innings as they both could manage. For as much as she rarely talked about the man she was currently wrapped around like a limpet, there was hardly a moment he was far from her thoughts. The various marks he’d left across her skin might have had something to do with that, but it was just as likely the smell of him, the taste of him against her lips, the heat of him enveloping her, and melting away the world outside. Tonight it all seemed so much more intense, until she had to drag her lips from his to draw in frantic breaths.

Forehead to forehead, still floating, she hesitantly brought her eyes to his. She wasn’t ready for half of what Nim had said, or implied, but this...this was familiar and as safe as anything ever was when it came to Eddie Blake. “Eddie..? Bedroom - please? And I really like this sweater…”

-------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------

The tangled mess of blonde on his chest occasionally caught in his fingers as he stroked through it. The pounding of his heart had slowed to something more restful, they had a tendency to get each other to this moment. On the brink of sleep, except that he knew this wasn’t going to be one of those days. It was day, and far enough into it that most people had been up for hours. Lunch was right around their corner. He’d rather be like this, tangled up arm and leg with her. “So tell me about Nim.” He’d known the moment she looked up at him, even if she hadn’t quite made it to the mirror to see for herself.

“The ice queen. She invited herself into my car outside the Inn.” She still wasn’t certain where Nim fit in to Eddie’s world, save that she’d clearly known him for years. “Kept calling me ‘landbound’.” Her headache had faded some in the intervening hours, but things still Not substantially, because being with him, like this...felt more right than a lot of things in her life. Shifting, she laid her cheek against his chest, fingers idly swirling over and around the scars there. It didn’t even occur to her to ask how he knew. She assumed he could smell the other woman on her. “She...did something. Said you’d suddenly come out of hiding, and other things were coming. Because...because of me?”

She wasn’t sure how to describe what Nim had showed her, and the way it had made her feel. “Eddie...the night I got did you know?” She suspected the answer wasn’t what she had assumed, but she needed to hear it from him.

“I dunno, I heard you… felt you… I just knew.” He didn’t know how else to put it than that. “What she did… it may be for the best, but she is cold. Has always been that way that I can remember. Too much time out there, too much power. Still, she did warn you… I wasn’t expecting the other.” Eddie’s finger touched the spot just between Tahlia’s eyebrows. It wasn’t something he could do, maybe if he weren’t so different. “I...there is a lot that is going to happen. I mean, I suppose I knew it could but somehow it just didn’t seem like it would.”

Eddie pointed towards the wall, there was nothing different about it but if she’d followed the direction he indicated she’d find the island. “The thing about them is… a long time ago they chose to defend this place. It was a lot smaller then, and there were more frequent visits between. They even let in outsiders. That didn’t really sit well with the others. A few of them ambushed the last...It’s not important what they did. Only that until that night they didn’t know about me. Now they do.” He shrugged as though it was an even smaller deal than his words had already indicated.

“Because I tried to escape.” She’d followed the direction of his arm, but she was still sifting through sensory memories that weren’t always her own. “I thought we were closer...that the water wasn’t so cold...tried to swim back. But it was dark, and cold..and I remembered the squid.” Her voice softened, the words not her own. “...tears on the water…” She blinked up at him, eyes narrowing while her teeth found her bottom lip. “All I could think of was you rescuing me from the squid...I wanted you there, so much...even though I knew you didn’t even know I was gone. But I…” She shook her head, curling back against his side.

“I didn’t know. And now, because I...whatever I did, it didn’t just call you. And now something’s...looking for me? Is that why you gave me your coat? Nim...she kept calling you EJ. Said you wanted her to protect me. But...Eddie..why?”

“Shhh. There are answers, they’re not what you may be expecting though.” His fingers ran the length of her spine, to soothe or distract as he could. “They’d have come anyway, the only difference is not everything out there wants to save. Fact is, more often than not they’d drag you down deep. That was the expectation, but now they realize there’s another Cosain. It would have happened eventually.” Eddie didn’t say anything about what Nim called him, his nose wrinkled, though she may have missed that.

“There are factions under the waves, different mindsets, different belief systems. Many of them would see an end to those who’re confined to the hard earth.” Even among his own people there were those who held on to prejudices. “I understand it, people take far more than they need. Take it from them. I don’t know who is coming, Tahlia. They’re looking for me because in saving you...” He didn’t say which time, or if it was both. “...I have declared my own position. You’d be safe, if I were willing to leave you alone. I’m not though.” He didn’t know if he could put it any better than that. Maybe if he had a week and an unlimited supply of paper to get it right.

“Oh.” For a moment, it was all she could think to say. There was a lot to absorb in that single statement. And some of it more dangerous than the rest. Curled up against his side, Tahlia reached over to stroke her fingers across the newly inked image on Eddie’s forearm. She didn’t know what a Cosain was, but the way he said it - the way Nim had talked about him - left no doubt that it was a title. One that didn’t come along every day. Laying her cheek on his ribcage, she didn’t bring her eyes to his face, looking at his arm while she continued tracing the edges. “I don’t think Nim likes me very much.” That, was probably an understatement.

She’d told him about her past, told him about Simon...there was perhaps one other who had any sense how much she feared abandonment. “I don’t think you’re wrong...or they are. People have lost respect for nature. Fear of the darkest depths and midnight forests. But I…” She drew in a shaky breath, the stroke of his fingers keeping her calm, and just a little distracted by the memories of what those fingers could do. “Eddie...was I supposed to drown? Is…” She shook her head softly, realization blooming. “It’s not about me. Is it. You took something from the sea, and now they’re coming for you. I can help. Eddie...please?” So different from the last time, but her face shone no less intently.

“Nim doesn’t particularly like anyone. She’ll do what’s right though.” In this particular case it was his version of right. He turned to look at her, propping up his head and shoving some pillows beneath it. “What do you mean, supposed to drown? If I were the type to believe that kind of thing, then the obvious answer would have to be, no. Otherwise you would have done just that. There’s more at stake for Nim, for all of them. The roane haven’t been a power for a very long time. We keep the harbor, it’s ours. By association, the land attached is as well.” He sighed out a deep breath, and reached for the pack of smokes pulling two from it and lighting both. One he handed off to her.

“Come up here.” Eddie offered her no choice as he grabbed her backside and pulled her higher on his chest. “Of course you can help me, but inasmuch as there aren’t any rules to this game, there’s rules. Maybe they try to use you, they’re not supposed to… depends on who’s coming. I haven’t been part of the roane enough to know which groups are where,who was closest, what their opinions are. We’ll have to wait and see. I should get some kind of word.” At least he hoped he would. There was still a rift between him and them.

She was careful not to let the burnt ember touch his skin as he hauled her higher up against his side. She couldn’t resist a squeak, or taking advantage of her new position to sneak a kiss. It was Eddie, and even if they had just spent hours exhausting each had been too long for her liking since she’d had the taste of him on her lips. She let the rest go, his argument was valid, and she wasn’t usually one to spend too much time considering ‘what ifs’. She was here, with him. And the rest...she didn’t know what a roane was. Save that it seemed she did. She could see the cove, and figures in it. She tried to look closer, but it wasn’t her memory, and the attempt made her head throb.

Burying her face into his chest, Tahlia let out a whimper, and focused on the scent of sea and musk that was uniquely his. The same scent that had toyed through the watery visions earlier, and surrounded her whenever she managed to coax him into letting her borrow his jacket. “Ow. Moments like this, I really wish painkillers worked…” Instead, she turned her head just enough to steal a drag from the cigarette he’d given her, and slowly exhaled. “I don’t know what she did to me...things just go...funny from time to time.” She wasn’t sure Eddie did either, really...but she certainly wasn’t going to ask Nim.

“It should pass… fade as the mark does.” He’d said it now, if she understood that he meant a real mark positioned right at the pint Nim had touched her. Eddie wasn’t entirely sure what was done, but he could see it, the warning to leave her alone. “Speaking of… you should probably go take a look at it.” It was difficult to say how the femme fatale would react to what had been done. There was no real excuse for him not telling her sooner, the reason wasn’t complicated though. It could still be felt in the ache of muscles and the way she smelled, the fact that it was almost impossible to distinguish them from one another.

“Mark? What mark?” She hadn’t looked, hadn’t wasted a moment after she walked in the apartment and been swept up into Eddie’s arms. She slid out from beneath the sheets, padding across the moonlit floor to lean one palm against the dresser and brush back her bangs with the other. Turning her head back and forth, she surveyed the mark Nim’s touch had left behind, frowning at her reflection. Her beauty was her fortune, and now there was a blemish, and so prominently placed it would be immediately obvious. wasn’t, exactly. She had no idea how Nim had created it with a simple touch of her finger, but it was delicately twined, an intricate symbol that almost looked like a tattoo. Still, though. “What is it? Eddie?” There was a note of concern, a quaver that she couldn’t quite hide.

It wasn’t so much the mark itself, as that she hadn’t had a choice - there had been no discussion, she’d simply been the canvas. Pushing her bangs away from it, her fingers sought the risen symbol behind her right ear, tracing over each delicate line without a conscious awareness that she was doing so. The two were not so dissimilar, in her mind, even if one had been punishment, and the other… “What does it mean? Is I have to leave it visible?”

“It’s a ward, a little like a do not street sign for the purposes of what’s coming. It should make the others leave you out of it. It’s kind of what I meant by even though there’s no rules… there are still some rules.” His voice increased in volume, and it wasn’t long before he was behind her, hands on her abdomen. They rode her curves upwards even as he pulled her against him. “It’s meant to be seen, though other fae may know it for what it is. They’ll at least know it’s kinship.”

“At least it’s pretty?” He tried to lighten the mood as he whispered it into her ear. “Not like a tattoo covering half your face. That happens too, depending on who is doing the warding.” He shrugged, a bare movement of his shoulder more felt than seen. “I’ll show you one if I see it.” Eddie surrounded her, a robe of her very own complete with its own body heat.

“It is…” She conceded the point, leaning back against him, safe and secure, and lulled into complacency by his warmth. As strange as it sounded, she’d always felt most at ease in the company of the rogues and rakes of society. And these weren’t many out there more rakish than the darkly handsome man wrapped around her. Letting her head fall back against his chest, a thin beam of moonlight seemed to kiss the sigil, bathing her face in a gentle glow. Her arms rested atop his, fingers laid almost strategically atop the pie that graced his forearm.

“So, the other challengers will see this, and leave me alone? What happens if they don’t? And we know when they’re coming? Just so I can maybe schedule...not to be out? Or not with anyone else.” Ace might understand, but Jordan would not be pleased to be surprised by some stranger with an agenda against his companion. Especially not if that agenda involved Eddie. He hadn’t quite said it, but Tahlia hadn’t been doing this as long as she had without learning how to read beyond what was spoken. She didn’t want to think about it right now. Right now, she was warm, and safe, and all she could sense was Eddie wrapped around her, and a thousand questions she’d never ask.

“Nim didn’t say. As for when they’re coming, I’ll know when they get close. We’ll be drawn together. It would help to know who’s coming, and maybe I’ll hear something if the others aren’t trying to hide.” Eddie’s thumb slid along her jaw, a distraction meant to have her leaning into his touch so that he could have a clear shot at her shoulder with his mouth. “If they come for you, I’ll do what I did before.” The closer he got to her the more his need of her became apparent. He turned her around to face him, kissing her hard and drawing her toward the bed. “Now… let’s see if you can do what you did before.”


“But now and then, a woman walks up, full blossom, a woman just bursting out of her dress…a sex creature, a curse, the end of it all.”
― Charles Bukowski, Post Office
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Eddie Blake
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 13 Feb 2016
Posts: 34
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Drifting
1980.44 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Princes of the Universe

I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings, yeah, yeah
I have no rival, no man can be my equal
~ Queen

2 January 2018

Tahlia stepped out into the winter light, lifting a hand to wave goodbye to Rath, and ducking her chin into the collar of her leather jacket. It was chilly - and she had never been a fan of the cold. All the more reason to call someone to warm her up when she got home. Her first choice was obvious - even if he didn’t realize he was her first choice. She hadn’t bothered with gloves - it was a wonder she’d bothered with a coat. But this one went well with the leather pants she’d worn to work this morning, even if it wasn’t really heavy enough for the weather. Bright red heels flashed as she quick-stepped toward her car - the black and gold Panamera was stashed in an alleyway, something about not ruining the atmosphere from the fortress across the street.

Head down, the tiny blonde reached into her purse for her keys, and her phone, the breeze whipping her hair across her face as she turned into the shadowed alcove which held her newest toy. Letting out a squeak, she stopped just out of the wind to clear her vision, her search paused while she set herself to rights. After all, she was used to being safe as houses this close to The Line, and the brewery. Something about the combination usually meant trouble stayed away as much as possible.

Eyes, they were blue, though the shade was so dark it could only be distinguished from black if there were something of the color to compare it to. They followed the blonde, seeing like anyone would, but it wasn’t seeing that drew Jax Samson here now. The others had scattered at his arrival, land or sea that really never changed. It was instinct, and they were more than accustomed to following it. Certainly more so than the woman. She’d have made herself scarce too if she knew, if she even suspected that things were taking a decidedly darker turn tonight. The real sense that had him moving was the scent of her, or at least something she possessed. It was about time, he’d been waiting far longer than he really liked to wait for anything.

Jax could be patient, he often was that, circling, moving constantly to lull his prey into believing itself safe. That was always the time for attack, and let’s face it, Jax did enjoy playing with his food. Tonight he’d been patient for other reasons. This place, and some of the creatures that stalked it were...formidable. Not that he couldn’t have taken the half ogre, he surely would have, but that would have put his true prey on alert. These people were not normal, they believed that they were strong. They’d have discovered what strength was, if he hadn’t been aware of how they operated. Go in strong like that, and he would face more than one...likely many more. He’d be taking care of the lionfish, and never notice the school of barracuda gnawing at his fins. Patience was best, and when patience became action the brutality was worth the wait.

The little fish tried to disappear down an alleyway, that wasn’t a bad choice, could have worked if it...she perhaps...knew the danger. She preened, like some too colorful Beta fish, barely a mouthful but far too eye catching to ignore. He did like to eat the pretties.

“Excuse me, miss, but I think you have something that I am quite interested in knowing better.” Jax voice was deep, though it didn’t vibrate exactly. The harsh rasp that went into it made anything else undetectable save that it sounded like the deepest part of the sea. His seven foot frame loomed even from the dozen or so feet that still stood between them.

“Hm?” Caught in the midst of gathering those golden waves back from her face, Tahlia turned toward the voice, the delicate knotwork Nim had left behind just peeking out from beneath her bangs. He wasn’t a customer, she would have remembered such a hulking presence, and besides, Rath and Jerry (if not the Boss himself) had made it clear that anyone hassling the pretty bartender wasn’t likely to enjoy the consequences. Still, she hadn’t always been so well protected, and she’d worked more than a few places where the patrons felt free to try for more than was on the menu. “Look, buddy, whatever you think is between you and your primal urges. It’s been a long day, and I’ve got places to be.” Letting her hair fall back across her shoulders, she slid her purse behind her, tucking one hand inside, reaching for keys or phone, something, anything to give her a way to summon help. She might have been confident, but she wasn’t stupid. And she knew better than to leave a mess this close to work.

Jax moved forward with a fluid grace, despite his size. His black leather jacket was open at the front to reveal a plain white tee shirt. He gave a raspy laugh as he ran his hand along the band of dark hair that was only along the top and back. The sides of his head were shaved bare. “You mistake me.” The reason behind his voice became visible as he closed with her, scars ran horizontally along the sides of his neck in precise lines. “You possess something that doesn’t really you.” His eyes were not only too dark, they lacked eyelids, a sight that might be at least as disturbing as the overly muscled form that even the jacket couldn’t quite hide.

He scanned her face, a sadistic smile forming on his lips that revealed teeth that were not simply pointed, they were serrated and there were far too many of them visible. “Give that to me, and things will go far easier.” The symbol on her forehead held his attention. Jax rolled one eye back in his head, causing it to turn so that he could focus better on it.

“I do not understand these Selkie, and their tendency to lose themselves so easily… for landbound… even if they are pretty.” Iris and pupil of his rolled eye moved back around to look at Tahlia. “Clearly, you force him to do many things...including lie for you.”

She was getting heartily tired of being accused of theft. Of course, it was hard to claim otherwise when the item in question hung halfway down her thighs, and kept threatening to slip down to cover her hands. But the mention of the jacket had her fingers retreating from her phone. Eddie had said they weren’t supposed to touch her. So no matter how massively intimidating the shark-toothed stranger might be...all he could do was loom. Even if the looming was enough for her to seek the warm security of the stone wall at her back.

“No. It might not be mine, but it is sure as Hell not yours. He gave it to me, and I’m keeping it until he wants it back.” She had some idea how important the leather was to Eddie, and that was all she cared about. Bristling, she brushed her bangs back from her face, those wide green eyes hard as the stone they resembled. “You’ve obviously never met him. No-one forces Eddie to do anything. And I never would. Not for a minute.” She had no idea what lies this stranger thought she’d demanded, or even if there had been any at all. Tiny as she was, all she knew was what Eddie told her, and that, perhaps naively, she would stake her life on. “If they come for you, I’ll do what I did before.” - he never had answered her that night.

Jax was standing right in front of Tahlia now, looking down at her with other earthly eyes and jagged smile. “Did he tell you what your name is? Not if he gave you that as you say. I have to say that you do surprise me. The strength of your call… I thought you’d be… bigger, Misery. Misery Woe, that is what the sea calls you. There are still whispers about that night, some among my brothers when they tell of their feast. You’ve done remarkable things. They are evil to be sure, but still remarkable.” Jax raised a hand, and slid his finger along Tahlia’s jaw.

“Still, he’s attached to you. I can use that against him. If you won’t just give me the thing...I’ll just have to take it from you!” Jax’s hand grabbed her hair and gave a solid yank exposing her throat. It would be quick, and satisfying...for him at least. Pain lanced through his hand like a bolt of lightning striking every nerve ending and following it up his arm. He would have screamed, tried to but his body was no longer his own. A concussion of energy pushed him backwards, tossing him like a giant, some fifteen feet away from Tahlia.

Jax tried to rise, but he had no hands, no feet. Where once a seven foot man had stood, there lay an eighteen foot white shark. It’s gills working to keep him breathing, but there was no movement and no water to make them function properly. At the mouth of the alleyway a wall of distortion rose. It’s sides touching the buildings, the top of it rose until it matched their height. It moved towards Tahlia soundlessly, though there was the sense of something rumbling, and the pavement shivered under its pulse. It slid over Jax inch by inch consuming the creature he’d become. Where it passed over him, nothing remained, but the wall did not stop moving. It pushed onward towards her like a wall of fog.

The sharp snatch brought a scream to her throat that never made it past her lips. Something throbbed, flashing through her like an electric charge, and sent him flying backward. For a moment, she simply stared - she’d never done anything like that before, and then she remembered, the mark on her forehead pulsing through her consciousness. Eddie had said it was a reminder to keep away, it seemed it was a little more than a simple tap on the shoulder. The shark writhed on the far side of the alley, thankfully away from her car, although she would likely wreck the bumper trying to drive out over him. It didn’t seem she’d have the chance, the alleyway sealed off by some witchery. Logic would tell her that the advance of rushing deep shouldn’t hurt her, if the sigil was responsible, but in the moment...logic was far away.

The closer the fog came, the wider her eyes swelled, and the more she struggled to remember to breath - in the face of what appeared to be the advancing ocean, her body instinctively tried to hold on to the air in her lungs. Frozen against the wall, all she could do was watch as the water swallowed the struggling shark, and swept past her. When it was gone, she was left dry, and unharmed, but left with the scent of deep water in her nose, and the feel of salt across her skin. Gasping for air, she slid down the wall, hovering on her heels as she tried to make sense of the last few minutes. Out of the corner of her eye, three figures disappeared into the bustle of commerce - it seemed the wards effects hadn’t been visible to anyone outside the alley. Shaken and tingling, Tahlia scrambled to her feet, snatching her keys from her purse and throwing herself into the vehicle. Brake lights lit the stone as she sent the Porsche rocketing backwards, fingers summoning a familiar voice as she slewed the car around in the street and sent it screaming toward home.
Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Tahlia Faras
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 113
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Can Be Found: Here and there, depends on her mood
2910.46 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Put a Spell on You

And I don't care if you don't want me
I'm yours right now
I put a spell on you
Because you're mine
~ Annie Lennox

Eddie didn’t let the little things bother him after a call from Tahlia that was half panicked and all confusing. He’d gotten what he needed out of it, something had happened, and it wasn’t a hey I just won the lottery moment. So small things, like red lights and pedestrians crossing streets were just not bothering him at all. He ignored them for the most part. The Road Runner was fast, so making it through a few intersections against the lights wasn’t too difficult. The pedestrians, well, this was RhyDin after all, and pedestrian traffic was much lighter on its feet than any other city in the known universe. Probably from all the marketplace bombings… maybe… no...definitely probably. He’d formed a plan on the drive to Tahlia’s place, worked out every detail and solidified it on the elevator as he rode it up to the penthouse.

It only took a moment to work the lock, and open the door. Eddie pushed his way inside, spotted Tahlia and was in front of her in just a few steps. The key fell from his hand as he reached for her pulling her to him and holding on tightly. This was a diversion from the plan, it was a stupid plan anyway. “Are you alright?”

She’d curled herself into a corner of the couch as soon as she’d gotten home, not even bothering to remove the jacket that had been the focus of so much interest. Pupils still swollen anime-wide, she blinked up at the approaching figure until her brain caught up with her eyes, and she flung herself into his arms in the same moment he reached to pull her close. Wrapping around him, she buried her face in his shoulder and clung, nodding in response to his question. She didn’t trust herself to speak, not for a long moment, just held on tight, trembling with relief. Eddie would know what to do - Tahlia knew enough to know she was out of her depth.

Slowly, she relaxed, although she made no effort to let go of him. “I was leaving work...there was this…guy waiting for me. I thought he was just...but he had these scars, and he wanted your jacket, and said he could use me and called me Misery like it was my name and said I had done horrible things and then he grabbed my hair and everything went weird.” Relaxed might be an overstatement. Now that he was there, and she was starting to feel safe, the words came tumbling out of her in a rush that was likely no less confusing than the phone call had been. “He turned into a shark, Eddie...and then there was water but there wasn’t and he was gone and I just...all I could think about was getting out and getting to you and he said I made you lie for me and I don’t know what’s going on…” She ran out of air, and finally stopped, her face still buried against the crook of his shoulder.

Listening is not the same thing as hearing, though it’s often mistaken for it. Eddie listened to the story, though details were understandably lean. There were enough for him to actually hear her though. The description was of an attack, anyone listening would have known that. What he heard though, was that Tahlia was scared and more than a little confused. Knowing that didn’t make it any easier to figure out where to begin. “Misery Woe...A child’s story, she doesn’t exist never existed. Like Jenny Haniver…” Eddie took a moment to look at Tahlia, his explanation was only serving to confuse her more.

“You don’t know her? Jenny Haniver is kind of like Mab Darogan.” There was still that confused look on Tahlia’s face. “Right… that’s fae legend. Think of her as a combination of Mary of Nazareth, and… Lilith. She’s supposed to drive out… well that’s not important. I guess Misery Woe is kind of like…” Eddie went quiet, thinking obviously of the right person to compare her to. “Ishtar...that’s probably too far back… The Whore of Babylon maybe is closest.” It was as close as he could come with what he believed she would know. “Just a stupid myth, though I’m not surprised to hear it come from a Rokea.” The last word was spit out of his mouth like a curse. “They’re not so bright, proof being that he saw the sign and acted anyway. That was probably the lie he thought I was telling. You’re Ceangailte Talún, I doubt he’s ever seen one that actually bore the mark.” He doubted anyone had ever seen it, he’d never heard of it before, and those stories had been given to him like elementary math.

“He’s alive, but nowhere that he can hurt you, or me for that matter. It sounds like Nim’s mark took him to another plane. I hadn’t expected that.” Something painful, that had been the expectation. Maybe Nim knew something he did not? “That’s not everything though is it?” Eddie wasn’t letting go of the little blonde. He kept her ear to his torso, letting the vibrations of his speech soothe in ways that no amount of telling her that everything was alright ever could.

“ all happened so fast. And felt funny. Threw him across the alley...everyone keeps thinking I took your jacket, and they don’t believe me when I say you gave it to me...and there…” She tried to think back, through the chaos and confusion. “There were these...figures. Three of them, I think. It was after the water...well, not water but...kind of?” Clarity was not going to come any time soon, and possibly never. This was his world, not hers, and try as she might, she was occasionally swept away by all the new things. “It passed, and took him, and they took off, and felt like I passed through the ocean. Like the night…” Tahlia shifted, perfectly content with being curled up against his chest and in his arms, that raspy voice echoing through her memory.

“The night of the squid...that sort of salty tightness. He said something about a feast...that the call...the call was so strong he thought I’d be bigger?” She wasn’t sure what was important, and what wasn’t. So she tried to remember it all and was certain she was missing things. “Eddie...I’m what?” She hadn’t lived 300 years without some facility for languages, repeating them, if not always understanding what she said. “Ceangailte Talún? And the other he a shark version of you? His teeth…” Shuddering, she clung tight once more - those teeth were going to cause a nightmare or two.

Eddie breathed deeply, letting it sigh out of him with relief. “They’re here, were there. Undoubtedly you answered one of their questions. The mark is real, knowing that they’ll not bother you.” It was nonlethal though, and he wasn’t sure if that was because Nim hadn’t wanted to help, or if she valued the lives of the others more. So much prejudice among the sea people. “It did what was intended, he broke the rules, consider him in a vast prison. It has no walls, but the way back here will test him… it may even destroy him.”

He put his fingers beneath Tahlia’s chin, and lifted her face so he could kiss her. This was already some kind of record to have waited for that first one. “Ceangailte Talún… literally translated it just means...attached to the land.” Plus it sounded prettier than calling her Land Bound. Still it was that fact which had given her that name. Eddie, behave or you’ll become the plaything of Misery Woe! Those words had worked once, but eventually they’d lost their influence, and he’d only act up even more. “There are many things beneath the waves, Tahlia. Fae of a sort… though men have called us monsters. Rokea, Selkie… even Sirens are out there. I guess it depends on what you mean by a shark version of me?”

One had never been enough, Eddie was like Pringles in that regard. Letting out what felt like the first full breath she’d taken since a giant hand had knotted into her hair, Tahlia kissed him again before tucking her head back into his shoulder. “He had a leather jacket. I didn’t get close enough to see if it was sharkskin, but then your teeth are normal and you don’t have leopard spots anywhere.” And if anyone had made a study of every inch of Eddie Blake, it was the little blonde currently wrapped in his arms. “But you said other challengers and I guess I just figured you meant they were all going to be able to change like you do. And then he was a shark.” She was trying to make sense of everything he’d told her, vague memories slipping like silk thread through her thoughts. The northern isles had never been her preferred climate - too cold.

She really didn’t care what happened to the sharp-toothed thug, and as far as she was concerned, the farther away he stayed from her, and from Eddie, the happier she would be. “I’ve heard of Sirens...singing on the rocks to lure men to their deaths. And I remember sailors telling stories of creatures …mermaids and dragons and kraken...and having to touch iron before they would let my brother bring me aboard.” Her lashes tickled against his neck, and she smiled, those memories not entirely unpleasant. “I don’t think you’re a monster. But Nim...and now the one today...why do they think I am forcing you to do things?” Nim hadn’t quite said forced, but the surprise at her having Eddie’s jacket had implied it was not his choice, but hers, that she wore it.

“By those standards, yes, they’ll all be like me. The sharks are more obvious, I’m sure that he was out of sorts just for having to transform in the first place… at least to a form that could walk among people. They’d likely be able to change better, if they were to pair with… but no that doesn’t happen. They only mate among their own kind, so their blood is pure. They believe this makes them superior.” Eddie shook his head. “They deceive themselves, mistaking purity as having value, rather than rarity. I’ll take steel over iron...every time.” Weird words coming out of his mouth, that was a certainty.

“I’ve read some of the things that the Greeks from your world wrote. Some of it is true, but quite jaded. Mermaids are friendly beings in their writings, but they’re really quite nasty. They’ll drag a man down, drag him deep until lungs collapse and life flees. There is power in the Siren song, but I’ve been to a few concerts that were just as dangerous. They write about what Siren’s do, as though it’s intentional, but they omit the why of it. There are no male Sirens, Tahlia. Not for a very long time. But there are still Sirens, why do you think that is? If they’re killing all these sailors, who’s telling the stories? It’s about survival of their species… and I don’t want to talk about the things done to my people.” Eddie’s voice didn’t change, the only indicator that he felt anything would be the way he stiffened as he talked about things. With her last question, Eddie’s face filled with an odd emotion for him. There was worry in his eyes, and the crease to his forehead.

“…” He turned his head away, not before worry became pain enough to have him letting go of Tahlia and turning further. “Why does it matter, if we both know it isn’t true?”

For the moment, the rest could be left aside. He’d pulled away, and for a moment her arms hovered, empty, before they fell into her lap, and she focused her attention on her hands. She could understand survival, could understand wanting to keep information close, to ensure that no-one knew everything. She just...hadn’t thought he’d ever keep it from her. “You don’t trust me…” There was only one explanation, in her mind. And why should he? Simon hadn’t. No-one did. No-one with any sense, anyway. And she’d kept her own secrets...but this was a matter of survival. Her fingers twisted and ran along the cuffs that threatened to swallow them. “Do we? I don’t even know what it is - but you do. Eddie Blake...always one step ahead. Even when it comes to me.”

Wide green eyes peered up from beneath a sweep of blonde bangs that split just enough to frame the delicate knotwork that Nim had left in her wake. “You know so much about me, Eddie...even if I didn’t mean for you to. And I thought...after Westport...after the boat...Yasuo...I thought I’d proven myself. I promised…” She took a deep breath, and slid the jacket from her shoulders, pulling her arms free until it lay folded across her lap. “You and I both know better than to run a play without knowing what we hold in our deck. You gave me this. Told me to keep it safe. And I trusted you. So I did. I told him I’d never try to make you do anything. I told Nim the same thing. I didn’t expect them to believe me, Eddie - but I thought you’d already know that. It matters - because some giant walking shark just tried to eat me, and the ice queen thinks I’m stupid - and I don’t even know why.”

“It’s not the same thing, it’s not about staying ahead of anyone.” Eddie didn’t turn to look at Tahlia as he shoved hands that had a slight tremble into the front pockets of his jeans. He wasn’t afraid of anything, not Fast Eddie Blake. He stiffened, like he was flexing every muscle in his body at the same time, but at least the slight palsy that he’d taken on had disappeared… gone, it was gone...or had never been there! “Maybe you’re right about deserving an answer… I can’t say it though. It’ll have to be shown.” He sniffed in a breath and held it for as long as he could. His left hand was freed from his pocket, moving to rub something that was irritating his eye.

“Tell me to do something… something that I wouldn’t normally do.”

“Huh?” Something he wouldn’t normally do. She started to protest, but something about the way he said it stopped her. Almost without realizing it, she found herself looking for the wall from before - she felt the same tension, the same weight, but it was nowhere in sight. She knew him well enough to know that making him do something ridiculous - like a silly dance, would only make a mockery of this. Whatever it was it was serious. “Tell me…” The words died, even though she wasn’t sure she knew where this was going, she knew enough about compulsion to know there were some flames too dangerous to play with. There was, ultimately, only one thing she could think of that was safe enough to test.

“Go to the kitchen. Get one of the small steak knives.” She brought her eyes to his back, watching him like a gazelle tracks a leopard. “And stab me with it. Nowhere fatal, please?” It wasn’t much, but if he could do would at least keep her alive.

Eddie didn’t say a word as he walked out of the room through the kitchen door. The faintest rasping sound could be heard, a serrated edge pulling free of a butcher’s block. When she saw him again, his face would be expressionless, his eyes empty of anything that could be called free will. He moved through the doorway, and took a direct route towards where Tahlia sat on the couch. He reached to touch her shoulder, sliding his hand down her arm until he had her hand in his own. He gripped it hard, not bothering to look at it, those empty eyes were locked on hers. The tip of the steak knife was pressed to her palm, and the first signs of struggle were visible on his face.

Eddie’s eyes narrowed pleadingly as tears began to flow from them, but whatever fight was going on, it was clear that he was losing as the pressure on the knife increased. There was no witty remarks from him, no words at all. Eddie hadn’t been given permission to speak.

“Eddie! Stop!” She’d seen enough, and she could feel the tightness behind her third eye that had come immediately after her attacker had grabbed her. She’d forgotten about the sigil, and what it could do. Her free hand tensed in the leather, a spot of red peeking beneath the flash of steel against her palm, along with a pinprick of pain. Just because she wouldn’t bleed, didn’t mean Tahlia didn’t feel the pain of her wounds.

Trusting to some sixth sense, she leaned forward, leaving her hand in his, the other still knotted in his jacket as she kissed him, hard, tears spilling over her lashes as she broke the kiss and rested her forehead against his. “I’m sorry...Eddie...I’m so sorry...forgive me…”

He’d said he didn’t want to talk about what had been done to his people. Skin harvesting was a thing practiced. Not in his time, not in recent memory really. It had become a thing as forgotten as the Roane. There were still those who took a skin, here and there. It wasn’t common, but he bet that if he went to the docks on any given day, there was at least one fisherman who had a wife that was a little too doting. Eddie kissed her back just as hard. “It was never about trust. If I didn’t, you’d never have been given it.” Perhaps she would understand, it wasn’t often that he was without it. Even when he was, it wasn’t far from him.

“Taking my will… You might as well have just ra…” Eddie bit his tongue until it bled. He wasn’t going down that road. The timing of this couldn’t be worse. He didn’t have the time to undo what had just happened. Not until it was all over, at least. “There’s a reason that those who take a Selkie’s skin hide it. The Selkie will always be looking to take it back and escape.” Would the difference be apparent to Tahlia?

“But I didn’t take…” She was still shaken by what she’d done, what he’d almost done at her word, and what the ward would have done as a result. “I didn’t know. I would never...not to you.” Not to anyone, although she’d seen her sister wield her gifts like a hammer, and Tahlia herself hadn’t been above subtly guiding a will or two in her time. But this...this was different. This was almost beyond slavery, and she would never have gone so far. And she never wanted to see him so blank again. Not Eddie. It was the kind of sin even she couldn’t condone.

“I - you know you can have it back. I’m just holding it. All those times I asked just, it smells like you and it makes me feel safe,” She finished lamely, then brought her lips to his hoping he’d never think to ask what else she might have meant. “Wait - Eddie...all those times I was just wearing your didn’t...I mean...I didn’t make you...did I?” For much the same reason, she stumbled and stammered, still trying to wrap her head around what everyone else thought was going on here. “Oh my god - they all think wonder Nim was so nasty!”

“You’ve done nothing.” Until just now at least, at his urging of course. In a way it was Eddie showing far more trust of anyone than he ever had. “It’s about will, or the exertion of it at least. Maybe think of it like a voodoo doll. A practitioner takes a bit of your hair… makes you vulnerable...susceptible.. Only this is more dominating. I’d have jumped from the balcony if you’d said the words, trapped and just able to watch it all happen.” It was difficult to explain exactly how things were for him. The rest, that would be even more difficult.

“There’s something else.” He took a few moments to breathe, just to steel himself a little better. “Now that it’s been isn’t simply undone, though the how is simple.” Eddie looked at the jacket, but made no move to try and retrieve it. “I’m a little… stuck with this for now.”

“So...until you undo it, I might accidentally do what everyone thinks I’ve been doing the whole time we’ve been...together?” It was the only word she could think of, although it didn’t come close to being the right one, and she worried at her bottom lip even as she said it. She stroked the leather across her lap, and there was something calculating behind those wide, angelic eyes, her head tilting to the side as she looked up at him. “What if...what if I told you to tell me if I did? Or that wouldn’t work. You stopping and walking away in the middle would just…” Tahlia stopped dead, and pouted like someone had taken away her favorite toy. Perhaps on some level, they had. “****. We can’t...not until you can undo it. I’d feel like I was forcing you.” And thank you, Eddie, for putting that thought in her head.

“I don’t want to control you. I never have. I don’t want to accidentally say something and…” Not that she would, or could. She’d tried to explain to Saul, and Reggie - but she wasn’t sure they’d understood. She couldn’t leave Eddie even if she wanted to, and she didn’t. They might wander, they might find other entertainments...but there was something bone deep that she couldn’t shake, even if she couldn’t even put a name to it. “Eddie...what do we do now? I can’t just...not see you…”

“Try this… take my hand, and lead me to where you want to go… then when you get me there… maybe you say.” That old familiar pull came to the corners of Eddie’s mouth. He leaned in to whisper words directly into Tahlia’s ear. His left hand on the other side of her head, holding her in place until he was done.

Her lips curved into a matching smile, and she smeared them across his palm, her eyes locked on his. Wrapping one delicate hand around his wrist, she rose, and tugged upwards, leaving the sealskin on the couch, and drawing him down the hallway.


“But now and then, a woman walks up, full blossom, a woman just bursting out of her dress…a sex creature, a curse, the end of it all.”
― Charles Bukowski, Post Office
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Eddie Blake
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 13 Feb 2016
Posts: 34
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Can Be Found: Drifting
1980.44 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Am Your Leader

Street fighter bitches, this the up cutter
Nunchucka', no time to ducka'
Sign of the cross, cause this is her last suppa'
Play with me, check who came with me
~ Nicki Minaj

9 January 2018

For a place that often looked like a city out of time, there were a surprising amount of clubs. Dark places lit with strobes and lasers where the music was loud enough to replace a heartbeat, if you were lacking one. There was always a bar, and figures in shadowed corners if what was behind the bar wasn’t strong enough. And if none of that applied, there was still the primal bass throbbing through the crowd, moving bodies to the beat, and inspiring all sorts of inhibition lowering. Not that everyone needed it. Somewhere near the center of the crowd, a tall, dark, dangerous man and his petite blonde companion were busy inspiring waves of jealousy, and a few other things. They moved like they could read each other's minds - by this point, it might not be too far off.

It had almost been a quiet night, but the shark-toothed nightmares had finally stopped, and neither one tended to caution. Reckless, and pacing, they’d headed out to this den of poor decision-making, intent on dancing and drinking until other desires sent them to more private locales. Tahlia made sure to stay close, more often than not pressed up against Eddie and doing exactly what the beat demanded. It was no wonder they were drawing envious glances, but one set of eyes held something more curious than consumed, almost as if trying to decide which one of them to eat first.

Eyes in the dark, but they’d been watching far longer. It would have been harder to lose sight of the purple monstrosity that rolled along the streets and brought the happy couple here. The boy had moves, considering… then again perhaps it was where he came from that made it even possible. Perhaps this wasn’t the best place for introducing herself, but it was so like her to ambush her prey from a position they thought themselves safe. In fact, she relished that most of all, to ruin someone’s sense of security with a gnashing of tooth and claw. She moved with a grace of her own, eyes on him, on her, and a smile so white it had to have been done under UV. She didn’t push her way through the crowd, simply moved with the flow filling gaps and openings between other dancers, or better just dancing her way from one body to another until she’d found herself pressing against the blonde and her big friend. Who needed space, this was a dance club, and bodies pressing together was part of what you paid for. It couldn’t be said that she didn’t fit in, even if her more than ample chest was pushed suggestively into Tahlia. Alligator print leggings and a crocodile skin coat, most people would be hot. She’d watched as they deposited the leather coat into the trunk of the purple car. “Now… ain’t you two just, mother****ing adorable.”

Tahlia would have answered with something scathingly witty, but she’d found herself with a face full of crocodile covered mammaries. Luckily, her recent experience with the matriarch of the Helston clan had taught her a few survival tactics, so she wasn’t in danger of suffocation. Common courtesy had clearly gone out the window though, so she managed to wriggle her hands into position, and push down just enough to give herself some breathing room. It meant there was a positive overload of cleavage compression - enough that several of the men who had been ‘subtly’ salivating before felt the need to turn their hips elsewhere. It didn’t make it easier to speak though - hard to draw breath between a rock and a hard place, not matter how soft the rock. Strobe light flickered over the knotwork on Tahlia’s forehead, but missed the subtle shift of her hand to grip Eddie’s tight. She of all people was well aware the female was rarely less deadly than the male, and if the encounter in the alley had left her guessing, this one fairly screamed her association. Shifting back, the defiant blonde finally managed to sneak in enough breath to acknowledge the interloper. “Baby...when you’re done with her, could you leave enough for a purse and shoes?”

Eddie put a hand on Tahlia’s chin and turned her head for a breath stealing kiss. He already knew what she’d be facing when he walked away… and which guys would be trying to get in line. “I’ll be right back.” That was all he said, and followed the woman towards the alleyway door. He pulled out a pack of smokes, innocently feigning that he was going out for a smoke, though the guy on the door looked like he suspected it was closer to… John and Pro.

“So… what do I call you tall dark and delicious?” The woman had guts, but her taglines needed a refresher course.

Stepping through the door, Eddie shook his head, looked back over his shoulder with a knowing grin. The sharks had made their moves. “Tell you what, babe, in about five minutes you can just call me winner.” He hated fighting… when there was no one paying for the privilege of watching him at least. The thought had him mildly disgruntled. “Scratch that… make it two minutes… and a lot of begging, kind of like your future husband will be.”

Bouncer’s misconceptions aside, Tahlia’s lashes barely had a chance to clear those angelic jade eyes before the first of the brave, but foolish, stepped up. With Eddie elsewhere, she let him get within arms length, but no further. The professional wasn’t working tonight, and this wasn’t where she’d come looking for new clientele if she was. But there was still something to be gained, and she did so skillfully, swaying from one to the next, with a smile that promised absolutely nothing, and moves that kept her out of their grip. She was hard to lose, even in the fog and flash, dressed in Eddie’s favorite color, golden blonde hair left loose over her shoulders and flying like a lash across the face of any of the hungering throng that got too close, or tried to linger too long. She didn’t expect to be on her own for long, and part of keeping the crowd occupied was to distract attention from whatever might be happening outside.

She may have kept the dance floor distracted, but there was plenty of activity in the neighborhood of that back door. A scramble of feet and bodies rushed inwards, all bearing a did you see that? expression of fear, horror and fascination. Still they weren’t planning to stick around and see what else came crawling down the alleyway. Everyone knew that when the **** went down, it was best to be far out of the way. Well except the cocky looking guy who was moving towards the massive creature that the woman had become. Had he really said that is one big ass? It just proved that people in this town were complete nuts. The bouncer at the door looked like he’d planned to go check on things, but there was a heavy collision with the closed door, and suddenly he was finding the crowd inside much more interesting to look at. Hey a conga line… or is that just a regular one for a blonde girl?

The dark skinned woman in the croc skinned coat stepped through the door, a grin stuck on her face. She looked at Tahlia, took a step forward and dropped like a stone from a mountainside. When the door opened again, Eddie stepped through, his silk shirt was torn and a little bloody. Half a smoke dangled from his lips, bent but still lit. He took it out of his mouth and handed it to the bouncer who took it before he realized what it was. “Those things’ll kill a man.” He grinned hard, pointing at Tahlia and motioning for the door. It was time to go do...other things.

It didn’t matter how far the line had gotten, one crook of that finger, and she was off the dance floor, and moving toward the rakishly battered man at the door. There hadn’t been a moment of doubt as to what the outcome would be, otherwise she would have been out there with him, making sure the ashy creature didn’t do anything she might regret. Drawing close, she looked at Eddie’s hands, her lower lip plumping slightly. “Did you already send it out to get cured and cut?” she teased, her gaze already moving up and over, taking note of any cuts, or forming bruises. It wasn’t the time, or the place, not yet, and the bouncer could be forgiven not noticing that any bleeding the big man might have been doing seemed to slow, and stop, the closer the blonde got to him.

Looping her arms about his waist, carefully, Tahlia rose on tip toe to replace that crooked cigarette with a kiss, and then sauntered out, right in his wake. Other things indeed, although it was nearly certain she was going to inspect very carefully for any signs of damage, and make sure to give him some extra special attention to make up for it. Heels clicking across the blacktop, she gained the purple Runner, and leaned against the hood, waiting for the doors to unlock. “So, are they all going to try to take me out, or were those two just...special?”

“Trust me, you don’t want it. That was poor quality tail.” Eddie put his arm around Tahlia’s waist and gave her backside a solid smack. “That wasn’t her trying to take you out. Mostly, it was her just pretending you weren’t there. Not really sure if that’s any better though.” Funny thing about the hand that had done the smacking. It hadn’t moved from that spot either. He started towards the front door, letting his size cause space to open up as they moved. “Gimme a smoke, babe… she crushed my pack.”
Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Last edited by Eddie Blake on Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tahlia Faras
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 113
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Can Be Found: Here and there, depends on her mood
2910.46 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ready For It

Me, I was a robber first time that he saw me
Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry
But if I'm a thief, then he can join the heist
And we'll move to an island-and
~ Taylor Swift

Luckily the elevator in the garage lead directly to her penthouse, without having to deal with the lobby, and odd stares from the neighbors. Still dressed in all the sparkle and slink of the club, she kept her hand wrapped around Eddie’s wrist, as if the big guy couldn’t lift her up and tuck her under an arm if he was so inclined. The drive back had been quiet, with sporadic bursts of commentary on the club, or the route back to Seaside. It wasn’t until they were securely in her aerie that she pulled him close, and kissed him with every bit as much heat as he’d supplied on the dance floor. Maybe it was about safety, they certainly had never been shy about public displays - but there was something about recent events, knowing there were still more out there, maybe. Licking her lips, she blinked up at him, her smile blooming slowly as she started in on the buttons of his silk shirt, or what was left of it. “How many more are there?”

Silence was his companion sometimes, even if there were a driving beat flowing across the speakers of his car it would be like it didn’t really exist. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk, things were just filling his head. That was probably evident by the way the scowl kept finding his face in those quiet moments. It was like being stuck in traffic, when he really wanted to push the gas pedal to the floor. Forced to hold back, no choice in the matter. Small talk, he managed that all right. It had been a good evening. Hadn’t it? His chest burned a bit, he’d had worse but perhaps something with a bit of antiseptic would be advisable. That kiss of hers was returned, hard and full. “Two I think. She was probably the most dangerous.” It wasn’t a lie, not exactly at least. The others would be worse for a few reasons. At least they were stuck in one form, instead of shifting at a thought. He’d been expecting it, that was her fault for being so blatant about things. It had been her downfall as well once he’d gotten a good idea of her speed and size. She was far older than she looked. The damn Crocs, they just kept getting bigger.

“Not sure when the others will come either.” Eddie worked the buttons with his fingers, and peeled the red stained silk away from his chest. It pulled at the fresh scabs, scars are supposed to be pretty things, right?

She certainly wasn’t going to complain, one hand smoothing over the raw cuts, which seemed to obey some unspoken whim and didn’t start to bleed, even as she took the ruined shirt from him with the other, and her lips followed up on the gentle touch of fingertips. “Going to have to take you shopping then. I don’t suppose we could ask the other two to let you change first?” Not that she minded taking him shopping, somehow, that seemed to have carried over a little from their time in Westport. “And I’d hope just wrestled a crocodile in an alley. Between her, and that…shark...” Her eyes widened and she paused, palm pressed to his chest for a long moment before she continued. “Eddie...none of them are squid, are they?” She wasn’t sure if he even knew, but she had to ask. There were nights the two battled to see which could wake her faster.

“I’ll get rid of this...and get the first aid kit.” She wasn’t moving far enough to negate the effect she had on his wounds, just into the kitchen. Actually… “You mind coming in here? I’m getting the place redone, but no need to leave evidence behind.” Bending in those too-high glittered heels, she did remember to bend at the knees, and keep from flashing too much. Not just at the moment, anyway. She wasn’t a healer, but she always had a first aid set tucked away - there were a handful of people who knew what she could do, and she preferred it that way.

Eddie let out a laugh at the croc wrestling comment. “They won’t make a move, not right away.” He didn’t know who they were, what they were for that matter, but he knew that much. There wasn’t a rule against it. As a matter of fact, there’d been such challenges where the one hunted defeated a challenger, but was left almost helpless only to have another come along and finish them. “They’ll want to figure out how to move against me. I’m sure they were there watching.” It’s what every instinct told him that he’d be doing. “You know…” He didn’t mind following after her in the least, and it was likely a good thing she remembered how not to bend… or was that bad? “I’ve never heard of one. Probably… well, they say the Sea Witch is but honestly, she’s more like the stores of Jenny Haniver.”

He leaned against the doorway, it was one of those things that he did for totally selfish reasons. He knew exactly how much of it he filled up, and was quite keen on displaying that at any given opportunity. “They think I’m weak.” Maybe he was.

“The other ones I saw?” Vague figures in the fog the wall of water had left behind, one down...and she hadn’t seen enough of them to be any help. “It makes sense, I guess...figure out your strengths, or strategies…” She’d never bothered applying the knowledge to her own fighting, but she knew enough to recognize sound strategy when she heard it. Hauling the rather ancient looking box out from a cabinet, she set it on the counter, rising slowly to give him ample opportunity to appreciate the view, and the way the fabric clung as she moved. Looking over her shoulder, she winked, and curled a finger, beckoning him closer. Not that she didn’t enjoy the way he filled the space - but then, she’d always had a thing for tall men. Eddie just happened to be taller than most.

His comment made her sputter, and then let out a long, unrestrained laugh, shaking her head at the absurdity. “They think you’re weak? How could they possibly...have they seen you?” There was nothing weak about him, and she bore the marks to prove it.

“No… it’s perfect. If they think I’m vulnerable, they’ve always got a weakness that can be exploited. What I have to hope is that they continue to be blinded by what they think, as opposed to what is.” Eddie closed the space between them, he kept his gaze completely innocent, looking for every visible attribute that he was the willing patient. Problem with that was… Eddie had hands… and while one of them was quite visible tracing the space around the marks scoring his torso. The other was being wicked and sliding along the back of a thigh, and completely ignoring the boundaries of hems. Boundaries were for other people!

Still acting innocent, even though she could surely feel the truth of him, he started to talk. “I started changing when I was three. Sooner than some, but for most I was a late bloomer.” Not unexpected really. Eddie wasn’t fully Selkie, and that had consequences. There were pictures, none that anyone had seen, Eddie kept them squirreled away. It wasn’t like he had a permanent home to keep things like that. “I was at least conscious of what I was, but when I got older… maybe ten years old, I had a friend. He was older, and he wasn’t really a friend to me. He would ask me things. Do seals dream? I couldn’t answer those questions, Tahlia. I’m not a seal, so I don’t know. That was never a good enough answer for him. Eventually I noticed that he only did that when there were people around he was trying to impress. That he was using my discomfort as a way to do that. The next time he asked me, I asked a question in return. Do Donkeys dream? He of course answered as I had always done, saying he wasn’t one so he didn’t know. I let him have it then… telling him… No, you’re not, but I think you might be Were… but not affected by the moon… it’s just whenever Julia shows up you turn into a jackass.

Yes, he was talking… he was revealing things that had hurt him when he was young. That hadn’t stopped him from trying to distract her from being able to listen. Eddie Blake was not vulnerable… not like other people… not at all.

Of course not - he was just easily distracted. Tahlia turned without moving his hand, a damp cloth moving to clean off those claw and teeth marks. She kept her head down, eye contact would somehow break the spell. “Children can be horrible. But they learn from the adults. The hate...the fear...they learn it from their parents, and then they pass it on.” There was antiseptic close to hand, but she was taking extra special care to make certain the wounds were clean. Slow, even strokes, one foot rising to draw her knee up along his thigh. They’d get to that - she was certain there were wounds she couldn’t see yet. From time to time, she let her lips follow behind, as if checking to make sure there was nothing left behind but the taste of his skin. Or perhaps she was checking to make sure there was nothing that remained to cause infection.

Setting the cloth aside, she reached for the salve, and started smoothing it over those same cuts, occasionally hissing under her breath when she could read the marks, and the damage that caused them. “So you’ll let them think you have a weakness. Keep them from coming at you at full strength. Of course, they don’t know Eddie Blake. You don’t have any weaknesses. No faults. Not a crack, or an achilles heel. Right, puddin?” She finally looked up at him, her fingers still soothing the antiseptic across his wounds.

“Who? Me? I’m like a mountain lake untouched by currents or tides. The things I’m hiding though… can be treacherous.” They likely would be too. People saw what they wanted, what they thought they knew, but they certainly didn’t understand what went on between Eddie and the blonde girl that everyone thought was controlling him. They’d learn soon enough. It was his goal to make them understand that what you see ain’t always what you get. That had been the point of the story. He didn’t wince as she cleaned his injuries, it stung but other things hurt worse. Maybe he was just concentrating on more important things than a few measly cuts and bites. There was something underlying in his attention to her. Eddie was still thinking, and the foundation of that was… if he were them, what would he do next? It was obvious by now that he wasn’t going to be able to have his normal life until this was over. It would help to know who and what was out there.

“Enough!” A man could only take so much touching before he needed a hell of a lot more. He looked at Tahlia with an intensity that said he needed more, and he needed it immediately. Why did he need it so badly? Because he was tired of trying to puzzle out what could be… not when there was the chance to have what was right in front of him. There were things he needed her to know, and he’d tell her… after… when there was no breath left in either of them.

She had expected him to lose patience, and her hands were already on the waist of his pants. A twist and tug of dexterous fingers, and it would be hard to tell which hit the tile faster, his pants, or her knees. He’d literally wrestled monsters to keep her safe, if anyone had earned a clear display of her appreciation, it was him. This - didn’t require thought. Those pale green eyes traced up along muscle and sinew, until they met his, the tip of her tongue just peeking between her lips. Arms twisted behind her tugged the zipper of that lavender sheath that clung in all the right places, even as it slithered to the floor. She had no idea what was coming, only that it felt like the next step they took would take them into uncharted territory, and for the moment, she needed something safe, and familiar.


“But now and then, a woman walks up, full blossom, a woman just bursting out of her dress…a sex creature, a curse, the end of it all.”
― Charles Bukowski, Post Office
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Eddie Blake
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 13 Feb 2016
Posts: 34
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1980.44 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Say Something

Everyone knows all about my transgressions
Still in my heart somewhere
This melody and harmony
For you and me, tonight
Whoa, I hear them call my name

Everybody says say something, say something, say something
Let's say something, say something and say something
I don't wanna get caught up in the rhythm of it

But I can't help myself, no, I can't help myself, no, no
Caught up in the middle of it
No, I can't help myself, no, I can't help myself, no, no, no
Caught up in the rhythm of it
~ Justin R. Timberlake, Chris Stapleton

23 January 2018

Hot was better, I mean, I could take the cold better than most. Truth is I kind of thrive in it, but part of me knew that hot was better, at least when it came to bathtubs filled to almost spilling over. I’d started it a while ago, it was a big tub, even if it did have a decidedly smaller feel when I was actually in it, or at least when I was sharing it. It might be better to say that it was being shared with me. My place, or the place that I stayed for now at least, didn’t have a tub. Just a walk in shower with one of those damn folding doors. The thing probably worked great when it was installed, but I don’t think anyone ever even looked at it for at least thirty years. That’s saying a lot considering the motel had only been there for two. Where was I? Oh, right.

Hot was better, and even though I’d left the cold water off, I pretty much knew that there was more space in the tub than hot water in the boiler. I think they make them that way on purpose. Buy our hot water heater… because we want to torture you, and have you pay for it. It’s a ****ing racket, and as nice as the penthouse was, the buildings owners had fallen for it hook line and sinker. On the bright side, the cooler water would lower the temperature just enough to keep us from scalding the skin off of our asses. Call me crazy, but I kind of liked hers just the way it was… that meant skin on.

People say I’m not a morning person, and that’s just not true. What I am is asleep in the morning because I knew sure as my name was Eddie Blake that the nexus had convinced almost everyone that morning was when the sun came up. I knew better, so I woke when it was the correct time… noon, at the least. Later if I could. Sometimes my mind goes on these sojourns and time slips away from me. That wasn’t a bad thing in this case, because it meant that the tub was probably at just the right level to make a mess. I’m not a slob, but there’s something sexy about making the right mess, isn’t there? Try not to lie to yourself. I could tell by the sound though, that it was time to turn off the water and rouse the little blonde girl in the other room. Carried to a shared bath is a good morning that most people don’t really understand. They will even ask you as you walk down the street. Good Morning? I just tell the the truth. You have no idea.

The temperature had to be just right, there was a cloud of steam wafting from the doorway. It lacked the scent of salt, more’s the pity, and hit my nostrils with that fresh water purity. I’d see what I could do to change that shortly. The room beyond the door was a shroud of mist, the hot kind that leaves your skin slick and warm. When I stepped through the doorway, the entire room disappeared.

Tahlia lay sprawled, half on her side, blonde waves tangled and tousled from the night before, and earlier that morning. Even still asleep, there was a sated little smile on her face, although it was half hidden against the pillow. The sheet barely covered her - it almost looked like she’d been arranged by some invisible artist, but it was simply the way Eddie had left her when he’d risen to start the tub. The truth was neither of them were morning people. Not the normal definition of morning at least. The coffeemaker was permanently set for one pm, and she’d resisted any and all efforts to change her behavior. For all she looked like an angel, all blonde hair and gold-tinted skin, she was a creature much more suited to shadows and darkness.

Even the steam didn’t cause her to stir, although there may have been the barest flutter of lashes. It might not smell of salt, but the dampness in the air stirred different memories for her than it did for him.

I felt like I’d been hit by a wall, and was left somehow still standing. The slap of my bare feet hadn’t changed, but the sound of them echoed back at me off of walls that were far distant and a ceiling that rose almost out of sight. There were no windows to let in the light, odd glow lamps pulsed dully in shades of blue-green. There was the statue of a water dragon that occupied the center of the room. Judging by the pool surrounding it and the shape of its mouth, the thing was a fountain. I kept walking. Perhaps I should have turned around and tried to find my way back, but life is forward and looking back is the coward’s way of dealing with it. With each step forward the statue rose higher, I was certain that it should be the other way around until I realized that it was moving. Bits of stone fell away from damp scales that seemed to shudder to clear the casing away. Its head turned toward me and smiled sinisterly. It launched toward me with all the speed and fluidity of a Moray Eel, embracing me in its coils and squeezing as though to crush every bone in my body.

Somewhere back in the world, the petite blonde stirred, whimpering against the nightmare stirring in the last remnants of sleep. She could only watch, the moss-slick walls and water-laden air making her tense and want to warn him even before the statue struck. Her fingers clenched into the luxurious softness of her sheets, and a single word murmured from her lips, although it screamed in her head. It didn’t matter, much like screaming at a horror movie, she was only an observer.

Perhaps it was a good thing that the serpentine dragon couldn’t hear her, her scream muffled against the pillows as it struck, wrapping around Eddie and squeezing tight. But she could hear it, the dripping sibilance, condescending and cruel. “Heretic. You take from the sea what she has claimed, and dare to meet with your betters as if you have still have right to call yourself Cosain? You defile our tradition, and force your clan to support your heresy...for some muintir láibe?” The dragon got closer, sniffing at him, and Tahlia held her breath. “You reek of the filth you have wallowed in, leathbhrá.”

“I’d like to say that I’m not going to stand here and be insulted, but there’s two problems with that.” I can be a cocky bastard at times, okay… most times. It’s just something I find helps keep me from doing what any normal man would do in situations like this...panic. “The first thing should be obvious. You’ve got me a little uhm...twisted up.” Eddie Blake doesn’t panic. I instigate. “The second would be that I don’t feel insulted. Some of that is just plain truth, some of it is propaganda that you’ve grown up with, and now are a willing participant of. Besides, it’s hard to get upset by someone who hides behind illusion. Do I frighten you?”

I knew what it was now, that didn’t make me any less susceptible to it of course. This wasn’t some lucid dream where just because I was aware that I got to dictate events. “And let’s get something straight here. I don’t call myself Cosain, I call myself Fast Eddie. Others call me that, and the reason is because that’s what I am. What I was born to, but your ignorance of Selkie tradition is noted.” As quickly as it had latched onto me the dragon released me. There are things I don’t know, and things that just feel obvious. This display was meant to test my resolve, an opponent looking for weaknesses. It was designed to show me how powerful its creator was, and people like that don’t like it when you forget to be afraid, or counter that they’re the ones who are.

I stood, released from the unorthodox bonds that had held me. The dragon, wingless though it was, flew upwards toward a ceiling that I could not see. It was good that I knew where I was, because the dragon’s flight was meant to be a distraction. I let it happen, knowing that when I looked back I would no longer be alone.

Tahlia had the luxury, if it could be called that, of being able to see it all - from the dragon soaring toward the ceiling, to Eddie in all his glory, to the figure stepping out from the shadows, dressed in scale armor, and robes of a particularly slick cloth she couldn’t recognize. He, and it was definitely a he, looked like something from a science fiction movie, and talked like the preachers who she used to pass on street corners in New York and Vegas, railing about the wages of sin. As he moved closer to Eddie, and into the light, she realized the scale work was actual shell and fish scales, the fabric woven from lengths of seaweed. There was a staff held lightly in one hand topped with shark teeth, and she wondered, idly, if they belonged to the one who had attacked her in the alley. She wanted to reach out, and warn Eddie...but somehow, she suspected he already knew. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him surprised.

“Frightened of you? Why would I be? You live on land...only returning to the Mother when necessary. You live like one of them, ignore tradition and good sense - you let that striapach take your hide. The circle of life is sacred. The fathach na doimhneacht/ claimed her and not only did you steal her back, but you left him to be devoured by the Rokea. And then - then as if the first offence was not answered her Call, and saved her again. All of this...and then you force your seanmháthair to give her the mark, and keep her safe, against all custom.” The Mer straightened, pointing that jagged staff at Eddie’s throat. “I am Ridire na Farraige. I do not fear blasphemers or those who have their strings pulled by some pretty meabhlaire who ought to have been sacrificed to the Mother months ago.”

“Oh, well excuse me…sir Knight” My tone may have been just a touch sarcastic, but that would only get worse from the smirk I wore as I dipped my head. “You await The Great Uprising? Why not call me infidel, then? You seek to bring Jihad to the shores.” I tilted my head and eyed his weapon a single laugh grunted out of me. “Tell me, don’t you ever wonder why that doesn’t happen? Has Jenny Haniver never told you the truth of it?” The snarl that found his face amused me further. I know that I’m an ****hole, no one has ever had to inform me of it. Now he knew it too, speaking the name of the mother was frowned upon by extremists like him. “Because she’s told me… whispered it right into my ear as she rode my ****.”

Part of her wanted to warn him about baiting the zealot. The rest of her couldn’t help but laugh. Eddie was Eddie, always. She wouldn’t have him any other way. But this seemed larger, more dangerous...this was no con, although she wasn’t certain of the rules. The last she’d known, the giant Selkie had been in her bed, with her...this strange creature couldn’t be powerful enough to steal him away without her knowing...could he?

Illusion is a funny thing, the creator makes the construct, and then controls everything within. In a way, I was a part of that construct. Maybe I should’ve kept my mouth shut, that’s just not something I know how to do, or would do even if I did know how. I’m not sure it would have mattered really. This place belonged to the Knight.The pedestal was gone, in its place stood a low stone table. Chains ran through iron rings at the edges and across the cold expanse. It was cold, and I knew it because my back was pressed to the center of it and those chains held me firmly in place. Knowing what I was in made my mind my own, my body on the other hand, that was part of his creation. It wouldn’t dull the pain of what was coming, not unless he chose for it. Something in me doubted he’d be that merciful. What was that old quote? Mercy is for the weak? Well, ****.

Foulness filled my nostrils, breath made pungent by the consumption of too much fish. There was a reason that my kind stayed away from the fisheries, and it had nothing to do with being caught. The scent made me gag, I wanted to give him a breath mint, but I’d left those in my other pants. I suppose in this case it would just be in my pants. “You joke, blaspheme… you take her name in vain?” The serrated edge of his weapon tugged at my skin, not deep, I couldn’t even feel any blood. He was toying with me.

I’d enjoy that while it lasted, then again, maybe I’d just set him off again. “It’s not blasphemy if it happened, right? You want to know what she said just before I filled her mouth with…” Pain stopped me from speaking, the smartass remark I’d been about to deliver cut off in a scream as he cut off the part of me that seemed to offend him most of all.

“What think you of your words now?” There are in the sea many creatures, but I don’t think I have ever seen a race whose smile was so dangerously beautiful as the Merpeople. The shackles on my wrists prevented me from doing what I wanted, There would be no throat in my hands at this point… only a grip on the stone slab and convulsive spasms that I had no control over. That, and the dull splat as he dropped that piece of me to the floor.

“I’d say I’m still too much man for you…****hole.” The words didn’t hold the same kind of smarm, it was hard to do smarm with teeth clenched tightly enough to mar steel. “But you didn’t answer my question. Do you? Want to know?”

Even knowing they couldn’t hear her, and that it would change nothing, she couldn’t help the scream that tore from her at the movement, and the blood. So much blood, and wherever he was, he was far enough that her powers couldn’t help him. And Eddie was still goading, still getting under the Mer’s skin. Tahlia could only assume he had a plan. Eddie always had a plan. She just had no idea what it was.

Deep in the shadows, another pair of eyes watched. Dark as ocean depths, and just as cold, although there was a flicker of something in them as the Mer worked. It was an uneasy alliance, against one of her own. In theory, anyway. Different clans. Different harbors. But she had been sent to test the newly exposed Cosain...and been both impressed, and horrified by what she had observed. Cringing as the warrior priest emasculated the tall, muscular Selkie, Ysabeau grit her teeth. He’d made her promise not to interfere. He needed to atone his sins, and be cleansed. Only she wasn’t entirely certain, now, that he was responsible. No Selkie could be held accountable for what they did under the command of whoever held their skin.

There was a grunt from the man, though forgive me for not knowing if it was out of frustration or something else. I was a little preoccupied by the fire in my loins, and it was even the fun kind. “I must admit, you’re more impressive close up. The mother needs men like us. She who birthed us, loves us…”

“Are you asking me if I work out? I’m all natural E double D I E. And I like women, sorry.” It wasn’t easy to stay in just the right mood to poke at the Knight of the Sea. It was however my only weapon. He had control of the construct, control of my body the amount of pain I felt. I needed to find his weakness, exploit it. My only weapon, besides my dashing good looks was my mouth. I’m told I use that really well. “You wait for the uprising… I’m not surprised. The great Jihad that raises the oceans and consumes the land. You’re a fool. Exactly how long have you been waiting for it? Does it make sense to you that she waits, allows the land walkers to gain strength? Had she struck long ago…” That wasn’t working, I could tell as he began to flay the skin from my stomach. The sound of my screams echoed off the walls and ceiling. It was up there somewhere. I could hear it. Seeing, that was more difficult with my eyes squeezed shut.

“And they too are my children, born of the sea. That’s what she whispered between gasps of…” I felt the blow for a split second. The jagged edge of a massive blade at my neck, and then there was…
Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Tahlia Faras
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

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2910.46 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take Me to Church

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
~ Hozier (Dance performance by Sergei Polunin)

48 Minutes Later

I was staring at the ceiling, chained to a stone table, the iron shackles bit into my wrists so tightly that I couldn’t feel my hands. I’d been dead, but there was no death. Not so long as my body survived out there. There was only me, and him and...something else on the very edge of my sense of smell.

Tahlia couldn’t follow much of the conversation. Eddie had said this Jennie Haniver was like the name the Rokea had spit at her...Misery something. A myth. A legend. But one the Mer seemed to believe in with a fierce intensity. Her nails rent the sheets, hissing with frustration that there was nothing she could do. He’d saved her how many times, and now he paid the price and she could do nothing but watch with ineffective rage. Later, perhaps, she would realize that the last time she had shrieked with such intensity, as the staff swung, and Eddie’s head rolled and bounced across the stone, she had been handcuffed to a train, and before that it had been nearly three centuries. Even so, there was nothing that said she would admit the reason why. And then it was like the skip of a record, or the twitch of a signal. Everything shifted. And there was Eddie…her Eddie...whole and chained back to the stone.

Bo tried not to retch at the reset. She’d been warned by the knight, that there would be cycles, that he would die a few times, resetting to the beginning. They’d learned already the man was stubborn...cocky. His actions had told them that. Even if she was beginning to suspect they were not his, but the will of the blonde, for all she played at being unaware of their ways. The more the Selkie huntress learned...the Call, the skin...the more she suspected she had toyed with Jax in the alley, fully aware that the mark would protect her, and that she had this new Cosain at her command. It made her blood boil, and she steeled herself, impressed at Eddie’s resolve in the face of such torture.

Confusion, I felt it and I’m certain I had that look in my eyes. It took my mind some time to catch up to my body, or this body. I suppose for the duration of this life it was my body. I studied the Mer closely, he was shorter than I am and lean, not that it mattered much of course. I was chained down and he was standing, the torch in his hand didn’t leave me feeling very confident of my position. He grinned at me, leaning over to look right in my face. “The Mother… she births us to be warriors.”

“****, what’d you do, eat everything that looked like a sea pickle down at the sewage treatment plant?” I don’t know why he wasn’t amused, I thought it was funny even after he punched me in the face. Of course I still thought it was true. At least I could turn my head to spit out the blood. Had I been a better man, I’d have warned him to watch his shoes. Clearly I’m evil and don’t think like that.

“I’ve heard that one before.” He said it, but he also pulled away from me. Maybe he was afraid I would kiss him or something. His tough luck, I like girls.

“How many times? Three, four? Doesn’t matter… and here’s why. I’m confused about something. What the hell does a fish know about birth anyway? You’re spawned, grow in an egg that laid in the sand to be fertilized.” He seemed unimpressed by my flawless logic. Some people were never really satisfied. The torch sparked to life and with the twist of a knob the flame turned blue. “Wait...wait! You don’t have to do that you know. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing… I’ve seen the ruby fields of Tenathor. It’s quite… stunning.”

“Mammals are not allowed there, especially predators.” He seemed shocked, at the very least he hadn’t come any closer to me.

“Hi, I’m Eddie Blake. I do *** that I’m not allowed to. Still, I didn’t see any birthing… Your friend knows what I’m talking about. You fish… the Rokea, even the damn reptiles… egg spawned. We know birth. You shouldn’t hide back there.” I didn’t know her, but I knew it was a her, and I knew what she was. “The Mother, she knows birth too… do you really believe that she’ll side with you in Jihad, when she shares so little in common with you?” The zealot’s eyes went wide, wild with madness as I attacked his beliefs again. It wasn’t much of an attack, just a bit of religious theory EB 101. I caught a glimpse of the woman, she was getting closer. Then the fire seared through my shins and I was shorter by a good foot. All I had left was screams to give.

The pillow beneath her head was soaked with tears, her throat hoarse from screaming every time that shark-edged blade sliced through his body. It was all she could do, to stay in the vision with him and watch each cut, echo each scream, to stay, and not leave, the way she’d promised him she would. It took every ounce of strength in that little blonde body to keep her eyes on Eddie, and not force herself awake. If she ever found herself near that horrid creature, she would wring every drop of blood from his form, or whatever he had in his veins. So focused was she on the stone, and on the form tied to it, that she did not see the other figure until she stepped into the light.

Tall and dark, and dressed in what Tahlia could only assume was sealskin, the figure was...decidedly female. Her hair was swept back, her eyes locked on the stone, and the Mer. Almost midnight black eyes swept from Eddie to the Mer, hesitation writ on every line of her face. The knight had said this was necessary, but she was beginning to question whether it truly was. She opened her mouth to speak, only to stare, open-mouthed, as the fish-man lost his mind, hacking at the male Selkie with wild abandon. Blood sprayed everything in reach, and the screams...those screams brought her to her knees, huddling there while the world shifted yet again, and it was all as it had been. Only she could not get those screams out of her head.
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Eddie Blake
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 13 Feb 2016
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1980.44 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Alone ~ Live (Embedded lyrics altered for situational content)

Another 192 minutes later 7 lifetimes

“I want to talk about your sins.” Disorientation filled me, that was good, it meant I was getting used to the shifts. Knowing that I was had other indications, it meant I’d been here far more often than I should have. That I would remain here until he was done with me. Despair isn’t something I know how to feel. It isn’t that I can’t or haven’t felt it, just that I don’t know how when it finally overtakes me. It should have kept my mouth shut.

“Jeez, did someone lick a Polar Bear’s ****?” I might be too stupid to shut my mouth. The whole thing was feeling vaguely familiar. Wake up to him standing there with his face in mine and that rancid breath. It seemed like I should know what it meant somewhere I was certain I did. I just couldn’t focus on it or anything. My mind was a haze and resistance was growing difficult. How had he managed to do this anyway? Wait, there was something… someone… “You might as well get up… I understand now. This is your doing.”

Slap…, the slap was on my thigh, apparently the Knight didn’t like being ignored. I winced, not surprising, it stung and I certainly hadn’t expected it. I felt nothing about that, but the whimper that came out of me, that was decidedly not very Eddie Blake. “Your sins, betrayer.” I hated the smug look on his face. It had formed the moment I’d made a sound. “We shall begin with your constant need to stay hidden from the rest of us… The little one’s first, isn’t that how you land dwellers like it?”

“Do you see what this is? It’s no wonder they kept me hidden.” Let him think I’m weak. That will be my advantage, but I was losing my grip on it. I didn’t look at the Mer, my gaze holding steady to the unfamiliar Selkie woman.

“Mmm, predictable.” He didn’t like my answer, truth meant nothing anymore and I realized that was my fault. I’d pushed him here, I couldn’t help but push an aggressor. It was a game that I liked to play, I didn’t lose often. When I lost though, I lost big. The first cut had my breath hissing, but by the time he’d carved a six inch square into my abdomen and removed his pound of flesh I wasn’t sure I’d ever talk again. “And...what about your refusal to come to The Mother, unless you’ve run out of time?”

It isn’t isn’t isn’t… The litany had replaced the screams, her eyes shut tight as Tahlia tried to memorize the landscape, just in case. Somehow she knew this was just a dream, a vision...there was so much blood...but the knowing didn’t make it any easier to watch. She had to though - had to stay and watch every cut. If she broke, if she gave in...she would break the promise she had made before they’d left for Westport. And if she did that, she would lose him. She couldn’t lose him. Not after everything.

Bo rose from the floor, her eyes locked on Eddie’s form, even as she shook her head. The Mer was ignored, something he hated, but in this moment it was more important to speak to her own kind. “I did...I didn’t realize...he just said you needed to be brought back to the true way…” Fists clenched at her side, she turned red-rimmed eyes toward the Mer, her voice a low growl of frustration. “He doesn’t understand our ways. She has your skin...I should have realized, in the alley. But the mark worked so quickly. She must have ordered you...You! You will do what is needed to get your answers, but he cannot be held responsible for what he’s done while that raicleach holds his skin. He’s withstood your tortures...and I have held my tongue...let this be the end.” Those sea-dark eyes slid back to Eddie, sweeping over him before she found his face.

“It will answer the question, or it shall suffer.” I was already feeling the next incision, and had lost my audience, for now at least. Her eyes were turned toward the Mer. It wasn’t so bad, not really, the use of the torch to cauterize was worse. Mostly because that meant things were going to be prolonged.

“How is that a sin again? I always return before it’s too late. Seems innocent to me.” There was a hard jerk at the top of my thigh, a lancing of pain as he pulled the blade down towards my knee.

“In her embrace we do remain, rising to the earth only in need. The books are very clear on this. Infidel…”

“I’m to remain with her?”




For the briefest of moments the pain eased. The fool thought I was agreeing with him, agreeing to do it. I could half hear him announcing his victory. “If that’s true, then why make us this way? We’re meant to grow… to leave. Only the fearful stay behind, the unworthy.” He took great pleasure in reversing the angle of his blade and cutting away another piece of me. Another reprieve came after, though he took hold of my arm and forced it to bend at an odd angle.

“And your pact with na diabhaltaí olc... Misery Woe? Confess your sins and be purified.” A wind kicked up, had it happened before? I couldn’t remember one, even of the parts that I was remembering from my previous sessions under the Knight’s hospitality. The way he looked up though, that led me to believe that he hadn’t created it. Probably just a bit of bleedthrough from one of us, even if it did sound like the wind had been saying Pumpkin Pie. Then again maybe I was just hearing things.

“I’m not sure we have enough time for me to list those off. Can you be more specific?” The curve of a blade slid beneath the tattoo on my arm and sliced it neatly away. That wound was superficial by comparison. For some reason it hurt more.

“You wounded one of the giants, stole its prey away from it, and left it to be consumed by the Rokea.” That last part was just stupid. That’s what Rokea did, and they didn’t care if it was land or sea dweller, not when blood was in the water.

“You ever been out, trying to mack on that pretty little manta girl… the one with the lips that just say… well never mind that! Because here comes old Oli the Octopus who moves in and impresses little manta girl with his many…. Talents. That’s what we’re talking about here...and nobody gets to eat my dates but me.” I knew better, and this was the problem with being me in this situation. Gil… I liked giving him that name. It had just come to me, and soon it would hit him too. It was the strangest of events, being carved like prime beef. I wondered if they were serving me up outside. Gordon Ramsey was out there yelling at his crew and cussing until they cooked me correctly. People complained that I was under cooked, and Gordon agreeing with them. I might be losing too much blood.

Two sets of eyes, one the palest green, the other dark as the abyss, both locked on the man being sliced to ribbons on the stone. But only one voice caught sharply at the slice to his arm, one form curled protectively, even in sleep, hands shielding a tiny silver charm trembling against golden skin. But that was all she could do. Watch, and try to will him to hold on. She could tell it was beginning to wear on him, and how could it not? It had been centuries since Tahlia had helped her brother in his lab, testing the limits of pain and healing, and what potions could do the inside of a man. Were it anyone other than tall, dark and dangerous him...she would have been making entirely different noises.

hold on...just...hold on….

“Enough! Not only do you hold him accountable for what the cailleach uafásach orders him to do - now you expect him to command the Rokea? We are allowed to defend ourselves, even against the fathaigh ársa.” Bo could not bring herself to dignify the accusations that giant Selkie was consorting with Misery Woe with a response. That tiny, pale thing the feared legend of the seas? Even if she believed in such things...and outside of the darkest depths, she never would...the idea that a landbound, magicless little trollop like the one who was holding the new Cosain hostage could be the bogeyman used to scare Selkie children for centuries was utterly laughable. “He isn’t going to give in. Surely even you, zealot that you are, can admit that. He is stubborn...strong...after all you have done to him, he still baits you. He has won, Knight...and I shall not challenge him further. Let the trials be finished before you draw Her ire on yourself…”

“It will be judged! It will be measured! Penance shall be exacted!” There was division among them, it was only natural, we were more than separate races, we were separated by species. It would take a lot for one of them, or one of us for that matter, to make a move that wasn’t heavily wrapped in prejudices. “It answered The Call!”

Done, I was done with the arguing and the questions. Done with the pain...just goddam done. “You answered the call too! Whatever you had in mind there would need to be done to everyone in the room.” If it was a sin that is… though I was sure he’d argue that the sin was in saving, not answering. Well **** him, I do what I want.

“None of that is what you really want to know though, is it? You want to know what secrets I’ve given away about us. I will tell you….no. I’ll tell her.” I knew it was what he wanted, that he’d try to force the words… I locked up my jaw, not even opening it when I needed to scream. I wouldn’t give in. Pride runs pretty deep in my family, I guess.

Bo stepped closer, watching the Mer like, well, like a seal watches an orca. But a seal with a great deal to fight for. As she stepped closer, one hand went out, pushing aside the sharktooth blade, eyes searching for a place to stand where she could watch both, and not brush against one of his many wounds. There was so much blood, so much damage, she never noticed when the inked and bloody strip of skin fell beneath her foot. Angling to keep a wary eye on the rabid Knight, she leaned in close, fingers curling against the stone in an effort not to curl against his skin. Watching him over and over, she’d begun to admire the tall,dark Selkie. “I’m here. Tell me…?”

Her hand was close, but I still couldn’t quite get my shackled arm to make contact. Hopefully it wouldn’t matter. “I can see you don’t trust me… I suppose there’s wisdom in that… but tell me the truth, don’t you ever feel like...just maybe…” The closer she came the more I knew about her. Find the weakness, and exploit it.

“It's easier not to be wise, and measure these things by your brains?” I spoke softly, eyes locked onto the woman’s. I was sure I could still be heard, the slight huff I heard from my left indicated that much. I broke eye contact as I asked the question, shifting mine peripherally towards the mer. It was all I could think to do, be subliminal with things, to be… myself, only exaggerated much further. A little vulnerability could show, right? If anyone had the right to feel it, even show it, that would be the person on the table, under the knife. Movement, it was slight, little more than a shifting of her form, the kind that happens when you’ve been standing with your weight on one foot too long and need to just change.

I pushed harder against the shackles, not unusual, I’d been testing them often throughout this...interview. It was enough, barely, the tip of my middle finger and a hair’s breadth became bone deep ache as I dug the shackle deeper into my skin. It was nothing, barely enough to warrant a look, but a look was what it got and I poured every ounce that was Eddie Blake into the next few moments. Looking back to her, I waited for the shock to end and her gaze to return. “I sank into Eden with you, now I’m alone in the church by and by.” I am not some great mage, or one of the elders with their deep beliefs, and the power that brings. I’m mostly just a regular guy...mostly. I had to try anyway, what else did I have left? I couldn’t do this again. Darkness surrounded me, and not just because I closed my eyes. I had, but this was a different kind of darkness, the kind broken here and there by the shadow of a distant light. Not stars, just points of brightness outlined by shadow on the ceiling and the wall. They were much closer now, even though the sounds in the room seemed to echo still. Hard gasps of breath, and groans of torture, it could be another place within the illusion… but that tortured sound held something else. Absolute need to be treated so… breaths quickened, and that lone voice was joined by another… and then it was gone. I couldn’t hold on anymore.

Ysabeau barely bit back the gasp in time, following the slight shift to the Mer and then she was caught, locked by those haunting reddish-brown eyes of Eddie’s. There was a flare, a flash of electricity that leapt from that minute touch and raced through her. She couldn’t see much more than shadow, but her pulse hummed with those gasps and groans, and she felt her skin flush with understanding. For a moment she was in both place, both voices, and the hall fell away, the stone shifting to a moonlit room she didn’t recognize. Only a moment, and then it was gone, and she shivered. Body tilted to hide the movement from the knight, she slid a hand into his, increasing the contact and allowing herself to sink into his gaze. That he was trying to tell her something was clear, but the vision..the strain..she needed more to be able to understand.

I took hold of what was offered, I’m not a very subtle person sometimes even if it could be excusable here. My hand was bigger than hers, there were advantages to being my size, and that could be considered one such advantage. “I'll read to you here, save your eyes.” Was it really reading? Maybe in some form it could be considered so. “You'll need them, your boat is at sea. Your anchor is up, you've been swept away.” Everything was gone, the walls, the people, the very solidness of the stone and floor were just a memory of something that might have been. In their place the open air swept across skin in a sea cold enough to leave limbs numb. In the distance a safe harbor and the knowledge that they’d never swim so far or survive if they did manage it. Behind the ominous lights of a yacht, and every evil intention that could be housed in the same place. It was hell, floating on the waves.

”And our greatest of heroes won't hesitate
So leave me here, by myself, chained to fate!”

Moonlight over the beach, and the pull against every part of him drawing him into the waves at a run careless of the trail of clothing left behind. There was simply him and the wrapping up of his skin around him, moving without hesitation. in the cold deep, even when walking back into hell. The vision broke apart, they were back inside the church chained to a stone table created by fate itself.

Bo blinked, lips parting...she nearly verbalized the feeling, and caught herself. No selkie would fear the ocean, or the cold, and there were few distances that would...eyes wide, she gave a squeeze to the hand engulfing hers. These were not just his memories, these visions. Somehow he was showing her the blonde’s as well. This...this must have been the night of the Call...Bo could feel it, just on the edge of her consciousness. The tug toward the ocean...he’d had his skin, then...which meant it was not obligation that fueled the rush into the waves. The half-Selkie huntress could not sympathize with either sensation...she’d never felt a draw so powerful, and nothing in the ocean held any fear for her. It was her home, and his. There was a shake of her head, subtle, but insistent. He’d been on land too long, the Mer was right in that at least. He needed to come back to the ocean. She gave a small smile, and thought of the water, the wonders none but their kind could ever know.

“It's easier not to be great…” I’d said I would confess my sins, I’d like to say that I’m not a liar, but to be honest it’s kind of stock and trade for me. I am a liar, but I told her anyway. Maybe she’d get it though, none of this would have mattered if it weren’t for who I was… what I was supposed to be. “And measure these things by your eyes.” It may have been a scene she understood, standing among a sea of Selkie and knowing so very few of them even as he realized that all of them knew him. They wanted things, more than he understood, more than he knew how to give. The Cosain was to be trained, but there was no one who had the knowledge. Eddie just wanted to be alone. “We long to be here by her resolve. You’re alone in the church by and by.” The very air seemed to have eyes inside this cathedral. Eyes...awareness… resolve… desire… pain.

’To cradle the baby in space.
Won’t leave you there by yourself chained to fate!”

It made no sense to me, wasn’t one of my sins, was it? Was it? Perhaps it was something I didn’t understand. That wasn’t something that hadn’t happened before. I had managed to hold things back from her though. Deeper things that I didn’t need to share.

She did understand. She had been in a similar place, alone, the center of attention...and scorn. There were those who felt that anyone not fully Selkie could not be Cosain...but she could change, and she had the gifts, and unlike him, she had had someone with the knowledge, and the will, to train her. Those eyes had stayed on her, even now...she could feel a gaze not the Mer’s, and not entirely of this place. But that was impossible. She understood him, how could she not. But surely he could understand that whatever he thought...the ocean was home. He needed to be among his own kind. The Mer’s methods had failed, but his cause was just. No landbound creature could share their world...she would grow jealous, already she was keeping his skin from him, wearing it out in public like a prize. Forcing him to feel things. He just had to relent, and come back to the Mother, and he would see clearly. He would not be alone. Bo brought her other hand to smooth over the back of his, wondering for a moment at how small they looked in comparison. Closing her eyes for a moment, she took a deep breath, radiating a calm she did not feel. “You must confess everything, Cosain...confess so you may return to your own kind.”

“Are you sure you want to know the things I leave unsaid? The things whispered so softly that no one but I know what they are?” She must, she was asking even if my return to the sea mattered to me not in the least. Well, I could go there if I needed to… couldn’t I? I turned my hand over, clenching upon hers once more. One last time I’d close my eyes, and open my mouth. I can’t carry a tune, not after what I was going through, but I still had it in me to yell things out… and that’s what I did. “I alone love you! I alone tempt you!” Awareness drifted… one last time… Alone on a balcony, my phone to my ear.

“I'll never say I love you... You know why…”

“Why's that, puddin?”

“ changes things. Makes a person start to do things... to think about what would make the other person happier. It makes a ma... person stop being theirself... stop being the person the other enjoys being with.”

”I alone love you!
Fear is not the end of this!”

It all broke away in the sound of a gurgle as the blood from his cut filled my lungs and drowned me….
Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Tahlia Faras
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

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2910.46 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Arms of an Angel

It don't make no difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness
Oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees
~ Sarah McLachlan

I woke up on a stone table…

Bo stumbled back, stunned, staring at the Mer in horror. For the moment, it saved her from processing what Eddie had shown her just before… “You asked for a confession! He was...he was confessing!” And what a confession...but he couldn’t truly...she could not tell the Mer. If she told him anything, now. “I think he was right. You fear him. Even without the training we all received...the strength of his clan behind him...he has withstood everything you have subjected him to. You sought to make him question, and he has instead shaken your foundation. Your temple grows smaller, and no amount of blood will change that.” She could still hear the whispers in her head...the soft, breathless voice she knew must belong to the blonde, and the low, bass rumble that could only belong to the man in front of her. Just because he wouldn’t say it, didn’t change what she’d felt from him. The greatest failing of their kind...

...chains held me tightly to the thing…

“He is to suffer as no other has!”

Mad eyes and the reek of decomposing flesh lined the face of the Merman who stood over me. I tried to say something smartassed about it, but my words came out as sounds. My mouth was wide enough to bite both sides of the Mer’s head, if only I could move! I struggled against the binding chains trying desperately to break free… to shatter them. They were such little things, how could they truly hold me? We weren’t alone, there was another… a she...but she wasn’t chained as I was. I couldn’t keep the look of betrayal out of my eyes, this should not be… should not! I bent, stretched reached for her as much as I could, but there was no way to put my mouth on her. Please… Pain, it exploded through me, the feel of serrated knife sawing against bone. Trapped...hurt...afraid! Please...mother...why?

“Mammal and half breed at that. I was wrong to try to bring him back. I should just kill him and cleanse the memory of him from the waves...but not before we’ve taken him apart again… and again.”

The giggling laughter only made things worse. I wanted to swim, I could swim faster than the laugh… faster than the pain… faster than the betrayer.

The sound brought her attention back to the table, and now it was a scream of rage that slowly built and burst from her throat. “How dare you!? To force...Blasphemer! You accuse him of your sins!” It was too much, finally. “I should have stopped this before.” She held out a hand to the struggling form on the stone...even now, he was a giant, an exquisitely formed specimen of their species. “Forgive me...I did not know he intended this…please…”

His construct, but her connection, which meant she could maintained a link with the world outside - had to, to ensure they were not disturbed. The image of her froze, flickering for a moment before she steadied with a blade where none had been before. Long and thin, it glimmered darkly - not an object of the sea, but of flame. The islands of her birth were littered with them - obsidian hardened and flaked to an edge that would never dull. She could not spare a glance at the leopard seal still struggling, her attention focused on the crazed Mer. Step by step, she advanced, until she was within striking distance. “Enough! I decide who lives” The murky light danced along the blade, and then along the thick, viscous fluid that sprayed from the knights throat. And the world...shook.

“Oh, now, you took it way too far, only love can save him now...All these riddles that you burn
All come runnin' back to you…”
Bo watched as the construct began to fail, her eyes on the Mer as he gurgled...the full realization striking with a little less speed than her blade. She was conscious, and could step from the crumbling vision when she chose...but the Selkie...with a start, she realized that the other was still there. Another set of eyes. Casting her gaze on the struggling seal, she spoke to him, and to whatever entity was watching over them. She suspected she knew. “All these feelings that you hide, only love can save him now…” It was all she could do...the chains would fade as their creator did, but in his current form, there was no way Eddie could escape before the temple collapsed with him in it.

Out in the world, the blonde stirred, the words tugging at something...the only thing she had faith in anymore lay on a stone slab, and she had only the vaguest idea how to help him. Wrenching herself from the vision, she sat bolt upright in the bed, and realized the sound of water was not only within the vision itself. Her bathroom was flooding, the bedroom carpet beginning to soak through. Flinging herself from the bed, she stumbled to the prone figure across the threshold between the two. Somehow finding the strength she tugged him up and over, cradling his head in her lap as she had done once before. This time, she didn’t scream, but the intensity sang through every syllable. “Puddin...puddin...wake up..please...”

My head hurt, maybe more than that. I felt like I’d hit a brick wall with my face. Imagine my relief when it was just the tiled floor. At least it cut down on abrasions, right? I stirred in Tahlia’s hold, an overwhelming urge to weep doing its best to push through my stellar block of all things touchy feely. It wasn’t the right time, even if I could try to pass it off as the water from the tub on my face. “I slipped… fell.” I knew I was fine, that I was whole and undamaged… well except the pain in my head at least. I might have hit something on the way down too. It was hard to tell at this point. “Did you get the water shut off?”

My hand hit the edge of the tub, and I only briefly checked to make sure it had all its fingers, that it was still there...that it was a hand and not… No time for that, I started to pull myself upwards. There was coffee, I could smell it. I wanted it. “I’ll get a mop for this mess.” I probably could have had her just call someone. I hesitated, wondering if that was something I normally did and wasn’t now or… Hell, I didn’t remember and standing there was just going to make questions happen. Either way, I was closer to the supply closet and it was my mess to fix. I started moving again. “You make us a couple of latte’s?” It would get us both moving. I don’t know why I needed that too, or maybe just felt like she did.

I stepped inside the little room, pretending to look for the things I needed and letting the door swing closed behind me. I knew this was the time, Eddie Blake could lose it now.


“But now and then, a woman walks up, full blossom, a woman just bursting out of her dress…a sex creature, a curse, the end of it all.”
― Charles Bukowski, Post Office
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