Closed Colours and Promises

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Colours and Promises

Postby Khara on May 20th, 2015, 4:11 am

She felt guilty for not reciprocating those words in the first place, but it felt even more prudent now that Zhol had said them again. It was such a simple phrase, however, and for that reason Khara felt that it never would fully capture all the sentiment behind it. More than anything she wanted to kiss him right then, to be able to whisper against his lips, to find some way to let him know they weren't just words to her; that would involve having to force him to stop kissing her the way he was, that would mean possibly moving her hand away from it's gentle attentions to join the other so she could pull herself tighter against him, and Khara couldn't quite bring herself to bring a stop either one.

"I love you," she replied, trying to come up with something else to add rather than just moving her head to the side to expose more of her neck to him. "I-I need you. I want..."

It was the beginning of a phrase she was never quite sure how to complete. Admitting that she actually wanted anything was difficult, making sense at all of what was happening within her head at that moment was even more so. There was an obvious answer, of course. One that was plagued by guilt and uncertainty. She hadn't planned on anything, tonight wasn't special. But, in a way, maybe that's what made it be. There wasn't any excuse that could be construed as her feeling obligated, there wasn't a plan that weighed over her if it didn't go just right. There was only the two of them, the love they shared, and that was more than enough reason, wasn't it?

"...You," Khara settled on. She could almost predict Zhol's answer - it would have been almost the same as her's, after all - You already have me, or something akin to that. This wasn't that all encompassing, this was more specific, closer to what she had said before when she said she needed him.

"Zhol?" If there was any question that his name was being used to try and gain his attention, the hand that had been resting against the back of his head moved forward to guide him entirely reluctantly away from her neck so she could look into his eyes. "I-I want... I mean... If you do... c-can we...? I-I don't want to wait anymore."

Khara couldn't help but flinch at the stuttered Nari and she hoped that he could see everything in her gaze that her lungs and tongue refused to let be spoken.


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Colours and Promises

Postby Zhol on May 21st, 2015, 1:03 am

I don't want to wait.

Those were the words that changed it; that morphed the adoration in his eyes and the hint of a playful smile on his lips into something else. At first there was a frown, his eyes peering into hers in slight confusion, trying to discern what it was she wanted. Then the word came. Wait. There was only one thing they were waiting of that Zhol could imagine - had imagined - Khara speaking of in a moment like this. Only one thing she could have thought of with her hand where it was; with his mouth where it was.

His heart stopped.

For a moment Zhol stared, gazed, peered into Khara's eyes with uncertainty. Was she sure? Did she really? Was this just a trick of the moment? Had she thought it through? But she had asked; it was different this time. She wasn't trying to gauge whether or not Zhol wanted to; she was stating that she did, and asking if that desire was shared. Zhol could see how seriously she had meant it from how instantly her face had turned crimson; this was no flippant, casual enquiry, no mere spur of the moment.

Zhol leaned forward, a gentle kiss placed against the burning heat of her blushing cheek, before his own brushed against it, buying him a brief moment to muster the phrasing for the only answer he could possibly give. "I am want -" he tried, but stopped himself instantly. This wasn't the time for his fumbling Nari, his feeble attempts to string a sentence together. Khara didn't need something haphazard; he could feel the nerves and anxiety in her, the uncertainty. Khara needed him to be sure and definite; she needed to know how resolute his answer really was.

One hand slid to her waist, the other roaming up her back to weave it's way into her hair, cradling the back of her head and neck. Swiftly but gently, Zhol eased Khara down onto the bed beside him, rolling himself and her so that she lay atop the sheets, him kneeling naked beside her. "Yes," he breathed, his eyes utterly refusing to deviate from hers, unprepared to allow even the tiniest doubt of how certain he was to linger in Khara's mind. The hand that had been in her hair brushed gently across her cheek, and he let a brief ghost of a smile flicker there before he lowered his head to hers, a long, deep, and lingering kiss delivered against her lips. The hand that had held her waist snuck free, his fingertips tracing a spiral across her stomach, before beginning to creep downwards, sneaking beneath the waistband of her bryda. As his fingers slid through the copper curls and into the cradle between her thighs, Zhol let his lips finally, gaspingly part from hers, his gaze finding hers once more.

"Please, yes."


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Colours and Promises

Postby Khara on May 21st, 2015, 1:10 am

His touch caused her breath to stutter as much as his answer did. She would have smiled uncontrollably if not for the way her lip was slightly bitten at before she was forced to remember to breathe. Relief and excitement were felt first, enough to almost bring a small laugh to her lips, but rather a soft murmur of pleasure escaped in it's place. With all the overwhelming emotions and nervousness coursing through her all Khara managed as a truly verbal response was a breathless, "Okay."

One of her hands lowered, brushing across Zhol's arm and wrist on the way down her body until she hooked a thumb into her bryda and undergarments. A small tug, a bit of wiggling and enough movement without fully disturbing Zhol's hand removed them from her. It probably was more appropriate or maybe meaningful to have allowed him to do it, but he had before in previous evenings and while those times had been nothing but entirely enjoyable, Khara also knew that they never quite ended how either of them may have wanted. The anticipation they both attempted to create in times past had worked against them in a way, leaving too much room for hesitation and doubt to seep slowly into place. It might have been so easy to let it just happen again, and Khara knew there was nothing inherently wrong about that, but she had asked if they could and Zhol had responded with please. A request from both of them, then. One which the other was happy to oblige, apparently.

Her hands returned to the back of his head, to his cheek, to cradle against his jaw as Khara pulled him close for another few kisses, each more drawn out and almost desperate in nature than the last. "I love you," was uttered, a word at a time stolen between gasps for breath while their lips barely parted. She doubted it would be the last time she'd say it in such a way that evening.

Neglecting to breathe once more turned on her, leaving her struggling to do so as she gently continued to tug him close, resting his forehead against hers for a moment. It was a moment of clarity that let for another question that was lingering to be asked. Though, she wasn't entirely sure if Zhol himself would have the answer they needed. "H-How should we...?"


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Colours and Promises

Postby Zhol on May 21st, 2015, 1:41 am

How? What kind of a question was how? There were his parts, and her parts, and -

His thoughts drifted, searching through the memories that he unfortunately had of the exploits of others in his pavilion. When so many people lived together within a single space, you could not always simply excuse yourself every time two of the occupants became intimate; nor could you ask everyone to leave every time the urge took you. While it was something you attempted not to notice, not to hear, not to glimpse; Zhol could not help it. His brothers and their wives had practised one of two ways - things seemed far more rushed and frantic when it fell upon his brothers to do the work, he'd noticed; they were far more inclined to take their time when they were lying on their back seeming to do very little - but he had overheard conversations; his brothers, and others, talking about their conquests over those they considered beneath them, talk of how they had taken them like beasts so that they did not have to risk looking them in the eye.

The thought was fleeting, lasting only a moment; but in that instance it swept through disgust, sadness, and then anger. His mind combined various realisations; the grazes on Khara's hands and knees, the few fragments of detail about what the blacksmith had said, the fact that she'd needed to ask -

Already close to her, Zhol stole another kiss before he moved, slipping himself between Khara's legs. "Put your arms around me," he asked gently, sliding his hips as close to hers as he could get; things made contact with each other, and for a moment Zhol's thoughts were too utterly lost, too focused on the feeling of Khara's warmth and readiness resting against his similar state. Khara has hesitant to respond; it took a smile, a gaze into her eyes, and a kiss of reassurance before her arms both hooked themselves around his neck; and then Zhol lifted, hoisting her off the mattress, straightening up so that he settled back onto his knees. His hands guiding her legs to wrap loosely around his waist, before sliding up her thighs and body to cradle her back, holding her close to him, but not in such a tight embrace that he could not gaze lovingly and longingly into her eyes.

It took a moment for him to catch his breath, the feeling of Khara's bodyweight pressing her down against him, the prospect of how almost their intimacy was ripping the air out of his lungs. "Like this," he whispered, allowing himself a moment to truly appreciate how beautiful she was. "If this is okay, I..." He faltered, realising the decision that he had more or less made entirely on his own. Flustered embarrassment rose to his cheeks, but he refused to let his eyes look away, no matter how much they sheepishly wanted to. "I would like to be able to hold you in my arms, and.. and look into your eyes, when we..."

His words descended into silence; now wasn't the time for them. He leaned forwards, bringing his lips to hers, imploring them to convey every sentiment, every I love you, every facet of his infinite affection, and hoping with all his heart that Khara would understand what he'd never been able to find the words to properly say.


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Colours and Promises

Postby Khara on May 21st, 2015, 1:55 am

All she could manage was a small nod of her head before she willingly returned her lips to his. There wasn't any fear when he had moved her and only a slight bit of trying to adjust where she rested against him as she moved her legs from around him to either side of him, her knees pressing into the bedding that granted her the ability to lift herself from him just a bit. He could move her again easily enough, all it would take would be a request and Zhol could lift her to where their bodies aligned and lower her once more and... But that would require the kiss to stop, the needful display of emotion to end just enough to try and make some sort of sense about what they needed to do come forth.

Her hands found his shoulders, using them to give her just a bit more leverage as she pulled away from where she sat in his lap. A gasp snuck out at the feeling of him pressing against her and she took that opportunity to gently and slowly stop kissing him. Khara moved one of her hands to his cheek as her eyes met Zhol's. She wasn't even sure if she spoke if she'd be able to hear it over the sound of her heartbeats or if they would even make it past the heavy breaths that her body demanded, but she tried anyway. "I love you, Zhol. M-more than I can ever really say. You've become my everything a-and I want nothing than to be yours... Forever."

Khara was forced to blink back the tears that wanted to escape and quickly settled another kiss against his lips, softer and far more timid than before. As it ended, her golden eyes found his once more, and her breath was held as she ever so slowly lowered herself onto him. It didn't happen all at once, and it was anything but one smooth motion, each tentative movement came between gasps and other small sounds as he entered her. There was pain as well though, but only a little and it abated with each passing moment, but it still caused her to pause and she willed every bit of adoration she had into her gaze to let Zhol know she didn't want to stop. It was only as their hips met that she finally let herself kiss him again in a long, slow display of passion. She was perfectly content to remain how they were, just for a little bit, just to fully enjoy the feeling of the man she loved and how it was nearly impossible for them to be any physically closer than they were.


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Colours and Promises

Postby Zhol on May 21st, 2015, 2:06 am

Zhol hadn't known what to expect, and he was glad of that. Had he known, he was not sure that he would have had the same restraint and patience and hesitance that he had. Zhol struggled for breath as Khara slowly enveloped him, only her constant gaze into his mind sparing him from the heart-stopping worry that every one of Khara's hesitations - not to mention the glistening moisture of almost tears - tried to bring. As their hips made contact, as he found himself fully inside her, as he indecisively struggled to work out where the petch he was supposed to put his hands, his mind reasserted a simple, absolute realisation that had never felt more true than it did now.

I am the luckiest man who has ever been.

He had no idea what to say. Khara's words, Khara's sentiments, her actions, the feelings she was causing; Zhol had no response for that. No words could possibly be enough. No look. No gesture. He was lost, for words and for thought, utterly adrift in a sea of feeling and emotion. All he could manage, all he could muster, was to let his arms slide around her, to pull her close to his body, to hold her as tightly against him as he could. This was it; this was as close as they could ever be; and almost all of Zhol wished that they could be eternally inseparable.

Almost all; a tiny portion of Zhol's mind still had it's wits intact. Even as Zhol held Khara's body tighter, even as his lips fell to the base of her neck, delicate and affectionate kisses settling against her skin, his hips began to move, just a little; barely enough to displace himself within her, but more than enough to be felt, by her and by him. A shockwave of sensation raced through him; one that he couldn't stop himself from trying to repeat. "I love you," he whispered, as he kissed his way along her jaw to find her lips once again. "Gods, Khara, I love you so much."

* * *

Zhol's breath panted it's way in and out of his lungs, struggling to fill his chest with air. He wasn't sure at which point he'd forgotten to keep breathing, but everything that had happened - everything that he had felt - had taken his breath away entirely, and it was only now that he was slowly beginning to recover. He could feel his skin prickling as his body struggled to sweat away the waves of heat it had been flooded with.

None of that mattered though, and Zhol ignored it in his entirety: he was too preoccupied with other tasks. The first was being entwined with Khara. While they were not quite as intimately entangled as they had been just a few chimes before, neither of them had any intention of letting the other escape from their embrace. Both lay facing each other, their legs thoroughly tangled, Zhol's arms lazily draped across Khara's waist while her arms hooked comfortably and familiarly around his neck. Neither of them had stopped gazing into each other's eyes for what felt like hours now, and neither of them seemed even remotely interested in stopping for more than a split second. One of those moments followed almost immediately, Zhol glancing away just long enough to tilt his head and kiss the inside of Khara's elbow; if anything else had been within reach, he would have kissed that instead.

The second task was almost painful; the irresistible grin that had spread across Zhol's face had begun to make the corners of his cheek ache, but he absolutely did not want it to stop. He had never known it was possible to be as happy as he was right now; every word he could think of to describe it seemed feeble and insufficient. Gone was the man who felt like he had nothing, and in his place was the man who had everything; or at least, everything that mattered. He had a home. He had a purpose. He had the love of a beautiful, amazing, spectacular woman; one who professed that she would love him until the end of time, and Zhol believed it, feeling exactly the same way about her. Surely, this was the pinnacle; the highest point of happiness it was possible for any man to feel.

"I love you," he said through the grin, for roughly the hundredth time this evening. .Each time he repeated it, the meaning seemed even more significant, even more sincere. His heart longed for him to utter it non-stop, repeated a thousand times over, but Zhol forced himself to settle for saying it only the once.

He leaned forward just enough to kiss her, only letting his eyes close for a single breath before letting them open again, his heart begging him for the opportunity to gaze at Khara again. "You are so beautiful," he added, the gasp, wonder, and amazement in his voice making it seem almost like he had only just realised it for the first time.


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Colours and Promises

Postby Khara on May 21st, 2015, 2:18 am

It was funny how after everything they had done, after everything that had just happened, that such a simple compliment could still cause Khara to shyly avert her eyes from him and a gentle half hearted laugh to escape. She was sure she was blushing, but the usual rush of warmth was lost among the overall feeling as if it had suddenly turned Summer within their room. Khara knew that too was a result of their actions, that there was a perfectly logical reason as to why her skin was coated in a light sheen of sweat, why she couldn't seem to catch her breath, why it felt as if she had just been plunged into the very heart of Skyinarta itself; but it wasn't unpleasant, it felt more like a comforting fire had suddenly been ignited within her and she wasn't in any rush to quell it.

The pleasant inferno seemed to burn all the brighter as she timidly brought her eyes back to Zhol's and Khara felt that it might entirely consume her and for once she almost wished it was real; that it would turn the both of them into shapeless forms that could be caught up and whirled together in the flames until they stopped being individuals and were only one. Then again, if she allowed herself to indulge in such idle and silly thoughts, she supposed that may have described them already; she certainly felt like she had lost all sense of herself at times during the evening.

A gentle sigh left her as her fingers continued their soft spirals against the skin of his neck as Khara willed her thoughts to return to some coherency. Yet while she wanted nothing more than to think of him and them and all the impossibilities that had lead to this moment, her mind stumbled briefly on something and curiosity tugged her attention.

A deep breath filled her lungs and was let go slowly as she finally tested the heady air with her voice, almost fearful that all that would leave her would be one of the wordless utterances he had managed to elicit from her earlier. "What does it mean to be married in Endrykas?"


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Colours and Promises

Postby Zhol on May 21st, 2015, 3:11 am

At any other moment, Zhol might have thought all manner of things at being asked a question like that; but in this one, Zhol had but one care in all the world, and she was here safely in his arms. It was not unlike Khara to ask such things, and this was exactly the sort of curious question that she had asked about his home before. "It depends," he answered cautiously, making sure to let his smile shine through a few moments longer, just in case even the faintest flicker of anything negative or nervous dared to cultivate in Khara's mind at having asked such a thing. "Depends on whether it is a good marriage, or a bad one."

A frown tugged at Zhol's brow, but it was purely thoughtful, not at all sad. While his father was a Drykas, born and bred, his mother had been born elsewhere, and had told her children stories of what the world beyond Endrykas was like. She had explained the ways in which marriage was different in Syliras, or Ravok, or Riverfall; but that information didn't help here. Explaining the complexities of a marriage between three or four instead of merely two, explaining how that affected the way that children were raised, how beds were shared at night, and all of those factors, wouldn't answer the question for Khara. He might as well have talked about the mating habits of lizards or glassbeaks: both were equally foreign concepts for her.

Then there was his own statement; while he had meant it in jest, there was plenty of truth to it. A Drykas marriage could be harshly one-sided, the wives entirely unwilling and completely mistreated, there to bear sons and buy political advantages for their husband. True, many husbands did seem to sincerely love their wives, and many wives loved their husbands in return; but from what his mother had told him, from the stories of how in the rest of the world people strove to find just one person to share all of their affection with, Zhol couldn't help but fixate on the darker aspects of Drykas matrimony.

"If it is a good marriage," he said quietly, his hand rising slowly to brush across Khara's cheek, gently encouraging her to glance up at him so that he could peer into her eyes again, "I think it would be almost exactly like this."


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Postby Khara on May 21st, 2015, 3:39 am

He both had and hadn't answered her question and while normally Khara might have pushed for more information, she couldn't really bring herself to in that moment. The whole concept still seemed so strange to her, though it wasn't entirely foreign. Marriage wasn't entirely unheard of within Wind Reach, after all. It was just rare and most couples that decided to dedicate themselves to each other didn't make a big fuss over it. Most however, had no desire to attach themselves to a single individual, they found it confining and limiting. Khara had always found that to be strange considering the nature of Wind Eagles or various other birds of prey. Maybe it was just too lofty of a goal for the Inarta to consider themselves capable of, or maybe it was just that life was too short to try and emulate the creatures they respected most in such a way

Although it didn't enlighten her, his answer did make her smile. It was nice to think that maybe there were others within the world as happy as the two of them. She also liked the thought that how they were, how they acted towards one another and all the joy that came from it was something Zhol could consider a good marriage. From what she had known they were practically married by his former culture's standards anyway. He had asked her to live with him in the best approximation of a pavilion that Wind Reach could offer, he had allowed her use of part of his name to further identify herself with him, the only part that had been missing was... well... what they had just done. She knew there was more to it than just that, though.

Khara shifted a bit, pulling one hand away from the back of his neck and softly ran her fingertips along his cheek and jaw, trailing them softly downward until she softly brushed against his collarbone. "I don't think anyone really calls it marriage here. If they wish to only be with another it is more like the Wind Eagles - they mate for life. I like that, though..." Her voice faded and her eyes tried to look away again but swiftly found his again as a playful smile formed on her lips. "And what do you mean almost?"


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Postby Zhol on May 21st, 2015, 4:13 am

There was something nice about the realisation that even as they were, even after what they had just done, even with the warm and peaceful feelings flooding every part of him, Khara could still manage to utter something that would make him blush a little. The Zhol of two seasons ago would have been mortified by the train of thought, but there was something wonderfully enticing about mate for life. Zhol knew what it meant, and he knew the type of sweet sentiment that Khara attached to it, but there was something about it that sounded like a challenge; and if the challenge was to spend the rest of their lives doing what they had just done, Zhol was more than willing.

The added warmth in his cheeks didn't fade quite as quickly as he had expected though, and his eyes glanced away from Khara's as the reason why started to sink in. "Well for starters," he began to explain, not entirely sure which of the things he was about to say was causing more hesitance. A familiar worry formed in him: a concern that the more he explained what was typical for his people, the more Khara might mistakenly believe that typical was what he wanted. This was what he wanted, exactly this, exactly her, but he knew how easy it was for Khara to let herself forget that, or believe otherwise; he knew, because it was just as easy for him to tumble into such worries about her. "In Endrykas, if I had the same sort of status that I do as an Avora, I would likely be a husband to more than one wife. I would not be very good at such a marriage, though, and my other wives would grow jealous, because there will only ever be space in my heart for you."

The smile he offered was tentative, concerned, desperately hoping that Khara understood just how utterly and completely he loved, and lusted, and wanted, and cared for her, and only her. His stomach twisted a little as the next difference readied itself on the tip of his tongue, his mind deciding that he was definitely more reluctant to mention this than the first thing; but Khara had asked, and Zhol had promised her that he would answer anything she asked, no matter how much he might not want to. It was not a promise he had broken yet; nor one that he planned to. "Also, because family is an essential part of who you are in Endrykas, an important part of marriage is children." Zhol's expression faltered. "That is not the case in Wind Reach though, and I am..." A subtle breath of surrender, almost a sigh but far more faint, escaped from him. Thoughts of his father lingered in his mind; of the role model of parenthood that life had seen fit to burden him with. "I do not yet feel old enough to be a father. Nor do I think I would make a very good one."

Next to that, the last difference didn't seem as if it should be difficult to say; and yet it was. While children and other wives were aspects of marriage that Zhol could easily dismiss as things he did not want, the last part was different. It was silly, he knew that. It didn't matter. Shouldn't matter. All that was important was the way that he and Khara felt about each other, and he would be overjoyed if things remained forever the same between them. Still -

Zhol paused long enough to smile again, to ensure that Khara knew that he didn't feel under any duress to answer. "The last difference is not unique to Endrykas. I believe that it is the case in many places. There is a goddess, Cheva, who presides over marriages and unions. No matter what traditions people follow, no matter whether you are Drykas, or Ravokian, or Symenestra, at some point during the marriage ceremony, those who are to be wed ask Cheva for their blessing. They make a promise to each other, and if Cheva believes that their vows are sincere, she marks them with a symbol on the side of their neck... a symbol that is unique to them, that can never be expunged, and that reminds them and everyone else that they are together."

For a moment Zhol let his words linger in the air between them, before he leapt into action, trying to diminish their significance, to obscure how much a sentiment like that would mean to him. It shouldn't have mattered: Zhol had never believed that the gods had any interest in him, and he certainly never dwelt on what they thought about him. Yet, part of him wondered if such a mark might make all the difference: if it might be a reminder to Khara - and to him - that the way they felt about each other was so honest and so real that not even the gods could manage to ignore it.

"It does not matter what the gods think, though," he said quietly, brushing his fingers across her cheek again. "As long as you love me, that is all I need to know."


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