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Some people run from their problems. Others chase them down.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Rhodri on April 21st, 2017, 1:57 am

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71st of Spring, 517 AV
14th Bell


The Eypharian held his heel up against his bottom while balancing on his other foot. He lifted it as high as he could while enjoying the rather cathartic burn that ran up and down his thigh. After fifteen ticks or so, Rhodri switched and repeated the process for his other leg. He smiled and took off down the road. He’d been running for almost half a bell and needed to give his lungs a break. Ahnetep was hot but relatively flat whereas Riverfall’s hills had set his lungs on fire. Still, the young warrior was not included to give up easily and resumed his run.

As always, he started off slow and kept a rhythmic pace that was not fast or even a run; more of a casual jog. Rhodri kept his back straight and his head still despite how much he wanted to let it hand and bounce from side to side. The strain was felt all along his spine and in his glutes but mostly his legs. The large upper body of his race wasn’t normally offset by huge powerful thighs and rock hard calves. Most of the time spent in perfecting one’s image was to create lean muscle and not something bulky or lumbering like the Akalaks. As he rounded the cobble stones, the desert aristocrat started a descent and leaned back to adjust for the decline of the hill but this didn’t stop him from almost doubling his speed. The leather boots slapped with each stride and the wind caused by this new pace refreshed the Eypharian and filled his lungs with damp, cool air.

After what felt like a dead sprint from the hillside to the water, the road leveled off and wound to the right which Rhodri did a decent job of anticipating and leaned into the road which plied his hips in such a way that the rigid posture gave way to a bit of wobbly knees and a few awkward steps. There was a four-tick span where the Eypharian thought he might lose control and topple over but it passed as he allowed his body to naturally slow back down to his easy trot.

Now his lungs had really been burned. The dark-haired man with golden skin was huffing and puffing as his dark eyes began to wander for something to focus upon that would help him continue. Out in front at the end of the road was a tall, plain grey tower. Then and there, Rhodri decided it would be his next resting point. In an effort to have that blessed break, he picked up his speed and ran as fast as he could. His arms pumped in a sloppy chug that needed some work but the exile didn’t feel like this run was a good time to practice. He really just wanted a drink and a chance to sit down. Several more chimes passed and little flashes of light began to burst around his vision and the Eypharian could hear his breaths wheezing past his mouth which was sticky and covered in spit.

Finally, he had arrived and he slowed to a walk and then stopped for several ticks to fold at his waist and try to recoup some of his breath. This didn’t seem to work and only made his sides ache so Rhodri stood up and interlaced his hands atop his scalp which was wet with perspiration. Very slowly, he paced around but his gaze kept wandering to the plain-looking pillar before him. After fifteen or so chimes, the Eypharian was breathing normally again and began to investigate this new building. When he approached a sign planted near the doors, he saw a symbol and recognized it right away. This was a tower dedicated to the matriarch of his race- the one who gave power to his greatest grandfather. This was Makutsi’s Tower.
Last edited by Rhodri on May 6th, 2017, 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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If you only have two arms, what does that say about your ability to think?
Keep your teeth together and do as your betters command.
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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Claire Lexi'lya on April 21st, 2017, 2:50 pm

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14th Bell | 69th of Spring, 517 A.V.


She smelt of honey. It was what she got for working in the medical center all morning. A rash of sunburns had turned up from the orchards just after the tenth bell, and the time flew by as she applied the simple curative to the skin of many.

But now it seemed to have seeped into her skin, or perhaps it was just a scent that lingered in her nose. Either way no amount of washing had removed the smell—not that it was a terrible thing. There were worse things to smell of, such as her journey from Syliras to Riverfall…

With a sigh the Kelvic flipped her wet hair over her right shoulder so that she could run her fingers through the wet tendrils. There was always the slightest natural curl to them, even wet, and she knew better than to just let them dry without some kind of attention. It was also a habit—a tick she performed whenever her mind wandered. Walking down the path from the medical center towards Nia’s, the bird had little to do but think and walk.

It felt like that was all she did anymore. Between work and sleep her mind did not rest for a moment. There were flashes of heat, and vanilla. Of anger. Of feeling weightless without her wings because of one kiss…

Or two.

It had been quite some time since she had seen the Eypharian, yet he weighed on her mind as if he was always just around the corner. Claire knew exactly why too. All the reasons bottled up in her chest like a knife so very close to cutting something so very dear. She had been the one to run from him, and the choice had bothered her since.

Trust was the issue. And there was no easy answer to fix it. Nothing about this ache that medicine could fix. There was no one to turn to for advice… just her instincts and thus far they had not done her any good. Running had been the worst thing she could have done, and there was no going back to change it.

So the damage was done—at least she was fairly certain there was. The Kelvic knew what she had to do, but every time her stomach turned into knots just thinking of it. Because if he hadn't wanted to listen before—and she was fairly certain he had been willing actually—then he most certainly wouldn't be keen to it now…

Right?

It seemed everything she had done in avoiding the truth just left only two paths for her to take. Either she pulled further away from the man who infuriated her like no other, or she give the six armed man a chance at blind faith. Which if it backfired would undoubtedly be her own fault—mostly anyway.

A pin prick of pain pulled her from her own musing as her fingers twirled a strand or two of hair from her scalp. The pain faded as fast as it was brought on as another sensation took its place. Another familiar feeling, but one that had nothing to do with the gold skinned brute.

Tristan.

She did not have to see him to know he was watching. He had been… all season. Perhaps even further than that—if she could get the broody jerk to tell her anything. A name and so many more questions to go with it. It was exhausting…

The pathway before her split. One that led back to Nia’s, the other leading up the cliff side towards a tower resting on its edge. There was bolt of anger in her stomach, that quickly turned to nerves. She was tired of having a shadow, one that kept eyes on her whenever she dared step outside. And who was he to make her feel as if she had to hide from him?

So it was a split moment before she acted. Her body shifted quickly, gathering her dark blue dress into her hands as she turned to flee up the pathway away from her ‘home’. Claire had never bothered to take this path before, but as she glanced over her shoulder to spot a patch of dark chocolate hair a good distance behind her, it didn't matter.

He had seen her turn, the Kelvic was positive. But she had the headway and she wasn't going to lose it. Her lungs began to burn as she pushed her legs under her as fast as she could up the hill. Not quite a run, but the action wasn't something she considered herself built for.

And that meant he could gain on her. The girl knew she needed to lose his eyesight… though honestly she had no idea if that would be enough. As the tower came into sight Claire tried to pick out a spot to hide. There were several trees, but no decent rocks or even building to hide behind. It would take too long to reach the tower…

So she veered off towards the largest tree, wincing as her legs protested the final push that turned into a run. The Kelvic rounded the tree as fast as she could before slamming her back into the bark, as if the mere motion would cause her to fade from view further.

It was difficult to catch her breath as if this workout was much worse than flying. Perhaps it was because her legs were just not used to the strain, but she remained pressed to the tree regardless, counting chimes as they dragged on just waiting for the dark eyed man to find her.

But it was quiet.

Slowly Claire peeked her head around the trunk, eyes scanning quickly with sharp precision that she rarely used beyond hunting or medicine. The area was still, save for the breeze moving across the cliff. Something told her that she wasn't alone—not yet. So letting the bark dig into her hands, the Kelvic pushed off and made her way to the tower.

It was a fairly simple tower if she ever did see one. If she was correct then this was the tower she had spotted from above that had water resting at the top, though she could see no purpose why. It was rounded and wide, and Claire let her fingertips press into the cool stone as she began to make her way around it.

But she couldn't keep her eyes in front of herself. It was still there, the nagging of being watched. He was nowhere in sight, not even when her head craned over her shoulder in an attempt to see someone behind her and her pace picked up again to a near jog.

She really should have been watching in front of her.

There was movement out of the corner of her eye, and Claire’s head snapped forward in time to see a chest. Much too close. With a soft squeal the Kelvic nearly stumbled over her own feet in an attempt to halt and backpedal away from the sudden intrusion of space. Or rather her inability to watch where she was going...again. Her nose just nearly grazed the chest in front of her before she managed to avoid a direct hit, pitching backwards at the last moment.

“Petch!” The word tumbled out of her mouth softly, more over herself than whoever she had nearly plowed into. She wasn't going to be able to catch herself. Her arms instinctively flung out behind her and she pressed her eyes close so tight it almost hurt.


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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Rhodri on April 22nd, 2017, 4:36 am

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The Eypharian lifted his chin and pushed his broad shoulders back a bit more than normal just to display the pride he felt. Sweat rolled down his exposed chest and torso. The tiny beads seemed to make his golden skin glisten even more and to further illustrate this point Rhodri extended his arms and began a series of movements that looked well-rehearsed. Each arm seemed to move independently of the rest and struck a pose where various muscles were flexed. Some bent at the elbow which allowed him to curl his biceps and apply the strain which would release that familiar tingle of power. Other arms went straight and held their tension at the shoulder and triceps to reflect the graceful structure of a descendent of the gods. His hands would make fists or flatten out then bend in to work the inner forearms or back to tighten the tops of his arms. No two arms struck the same pose in the same direction at once and every few ticks, Rhodri would move in unison to change positions.

This elegant display of strength and control continued for several chimes until the sound of someone running caught the ear of the desert brat. He relaxed slowly and felt the wonderful burning sensation in his arms and torso. It was only after he had stopped that the Eypharian realized that he had been squeezing his abdomen to maintain a straight posture. His head swiveled like that of a hawk to find the echoing slaps that rang against the cobbled stones. At the very last moment, he caught a glimpse of someone short disappearing behind the tower. The figure was clad in blue and had curly brown hair which reminded him

…of her.

Claire had been on his mind and whether or not the running figure was the kelvic didn’t seem to matter. Memories washed over him like the waves along the beach and each one took a bit of stature from his height. The glands in Rhodri’s neck began to produce a light amount of his scent while his body tingled as it recalled touching her and holding her; kissing her made his lips go numb for a moment and forced him to bite down on the bottom part.

It had only been part of a season and this woman, who would be a slave here and a slave in his homeland, had infiltrated his very being. In sweats of desire, he would cling to his blankets at night while visions would visit him in the waking hours and cause him to lose track of conversations or his present state of affairs. Rhodri growled at the confusion and pain she had caused him. The insolent woman had left him –HIM!- standing twice and the last time had ripped a piece of soul away with her. There was no telling what sort of madness one can expect but the exile remembered waking up and cursing the tiny female for her deception. He vowed to seek closure; justice.

Without any more deliberation or consideration, Rhodri bolted off after the mysterious figure. His long legs pumped rapidly until they could not be tracked with a simple glance. The ground shifted quickly beneath him as he sprinted around the grey walls. His legs ached and his lungs burned but the Eypharian was fueled by so much more than a desire for strength and stamina. Whether or not he chose to admit it, he missed Claire. He longed for her the way a flower aches for the sun after its seen days of rain. She drenched his spirit with her fiery attitude and small curves but also with her eyes. There was something piercing about the deep pools that haunted him and it was this fearful wonder that drove his legs to churn and his arms to maintain balance.

Rhodri burst around a corner to witness a collision. His eyes only went to the brunette in the blue dress. She smelled of honey and had wet curls. There was a chance it might not have been Claire but there was also a chance that it was. The warrior adjusted his body and dropped his center of gravity by sinking to his knees and allowing the black pants to slide over the grass. As her body sank to the ground, his arms stretched forth like a net to catch her; the tiny woman was easily hoisted up to his chest with half a dozen powerful limbs that bound her against his body. She was close enough that she could feel his heart beating under his ribs but the diving save cost him. Rhodri was bent backwards over his knees and as long as she remained on top of him, he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

He huffed and puffed while his top hands tried to remove hair from her face so he could see her. The feel of this woman told him all he needed to know; it was definitely Claire. The pheromones began to steadily leak down his neck an despite resting, his heart rate increased. He whispered her name and felt the jolt that it ripped through his spine. It was the first time he had said it since the last time they had been together. Just as he was about to make eye contact, a deep voice and a shadow feel over them.

“I’m so sorry, Claire. Let me help you up.”

Rhodri squinted as the shadow drew nearer and felt the burden of the kelvic being lifted. Instinctively, he clung to her. It left him open –vulnerable- and was outright foolish not to mention it went against his upbringing and prideful nature but he couldn’t help it. This was Claire! His Claire. A rough hand peeled his arm away and there was little the Eypharian could do. The way he was folded over was sapping his strength not to mention how tired he was from the sprint. He allowed a deep rumble to emanate from his chest and the instant the weight from lifted from him, he stood to his full height and stared daggers at the shadow. It was a large Akalak with massive arms and an even bigger chest. Rhodri was taller and broader but would be hard pressed to best this brute in any kind of outright physical challenge.

Anger consumed him as he peeled away layer after layer of the blue ogre’s body with his eyes but when Rhodri’s earthen gaze fell upon Claire, he softened and felt the wind break from his sails. He was spinning and flying yet he had never left his feet. The Akalak didn’t seem to pay Rhodri any mind and moved so that he stood between Claire and the man with gold skin. His deep baritone boomed out like thunder from the skies but he was gentle and articulate. “Are you alright? I hope I didn’t hurt you.” A big blue hand pushed the hair back from her face to reveal the mark of her goddess; the healer. “I’m so excited to see you. Have you considered my offer?”

Rhodri’s chest exploded. The pain, disgust, torment and emptiness ran down the insides of his ribs like rain against a stained glass window and his face was red with embarrassment. All this time he had pined for her and here he stood witnessing a betrayal- worse still, it was one he could not overcome. Rhodri had no offer with which to counter. The city belonged to the blues and they had stacked the deck in their favor. Without a word and a sour ache that trembled in his guts and threatened to glass over his eyes, the Eypharian turned and walked away with his head pointed up to the sky. His shoulders sagged a bit and the pleasant aroma that often followed him had stopped. The Eypharian focused upon the top window of the tower. He wasn’t sure why but he did find comfort in its stationary position; so he marched.
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I have six arms and one brain.
If you only have two arms, what does that say about your ability to think?
Keep your teeth together and do as your betters command.
- Eypharian Logic-
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Rhodri
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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Claire Lexi'lya on April 22nd, 2017, 11:58 am

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The collision the Kelvic had been preparing for did not happen the way she expected. Moments before her body should have hit the ground hands appeared around her… and not just two. Claire was suddenly very aware of the multiple sets of arms that snagged her, and instinctively it caused her to twist her body towards the ground to see just brace herself. Not that she needed to see him. He could have had only one set of hands and she would have known exactly who had ended up below her.

And if the raptor didn’t know any better she would have sworn time slowed—even just a fraction. There was a heartbeat in her ear, the smoothness of a chest that held a slight dampness across hard muscles. Almost instantly her nose could smell the telltale sign of his pheromones and the girl let out a puff of breath against his skin as she let her body relax from its rigid state, to a much more comfortable one to the body below her.

Rhodri…

For all her thinking since she had last seen him, the Kelvic had refused to truly accept that she had missed him. Every memory she clung to had the expectation of an end—so her mind tried to logically tell her there was no point in letting herself miss someone that wouldn’t miss her. The guilt had been an easy thing to be consumed by but apparently even without her consciously thinking of it, the feeling had welled up inside. The simple whisper of her name—fingers in her hair—made an ache fill her that had nothing to do with past desire from heated kisses. Just a need to remain where she was.

Unfortunately the Kelvic wasn’t lucky. She was only half aware of a familiar voice from above them, intent on ignoring everything but the man beneath her, but an arm slid between their bodies around her abdomen and swiftly lifted her from the Eypharian. Her hands scrambled for a moment, trying to find a grip to Rhodri, but his skin was too slick and her fingers were forced to find purchase in the arm around her waist instead; afraid if she let go the arm it would cause her to lose her balance and send her tumbling back to the ground.

But her feet made it safely and Claire immediately let her eyes follow Rhodri’s stature as he stood to his full height—and fully take in that he had no shirt on. It wasn’t an uncommon thing to witness in Riverfall, much less her profession, but the last time she had such a view the Eypharian had a myriad of bruises—and probably a broken rib or two.

There was no such damage this time.

If she had half the mind she would have whined. He was handsome to begin with, but this… the gold skin was slick with sweat and for some reason it only made the image more attractive rather than deter from it. There was a sudden and sharp heat that exploded low her in her abdomen and the Kelvic found her mouth suddenly very dry. The Eypharian stood there looking all the while like some unattainable dream and Claire couldn’t help but replay the memory lodged in her brain from the winery. Why exactly had she run away from him again?

It was only when the Akalak stepped in between them that Claire remembered they weren’t alone. His appearance jolted Claire rather rudely from her memories and Kelvic frowned as she took in the man determined to interrupt them. It took a few ticks, but the man was indeed familiar. She had treated him not but a week ago for taking injuries on the job… and he was asking her a question.

“What?” The Kelvic blinked before the words settled into her mind. Shaking her head to try and rid herself of the fog Rhodri had created, she gave the Akalak a weak smile with the slightest turn of her shoulders. “Oh I’m fine. Never better…” Her eyes moved to look to the gold skinned man behind him, but the Akalak opened his mouth—and hand—once more.

The touch to her face wasn’t expected, nor did it bring about the same comfort Rhodri’s had not even a chime before. It was his words however that caused the Kelvic’s blood to run cold—her body to freeze in place because the question was said aloud and there was no doubt the Eypharian would hear it; and no doubt take the question in a very wrong way. Rhodri had already expressed some views of the Nakivak situation in Riverfall… and now it most certainly sounded as if she had considered this particular Akalak’s request.

Which in all honesty she hadn’t.

Her time had been spent fretting over him, not the possibility of bearing a stranger a child. But given how their last encounter ended—with her claiming she couldn’t trust the Eypharian—there was no doubt how this appeared. And the very thought made her stomach rise to her throat and threaten to choke her.

Rhodri moved, and Claire felt as though she could do nothing but watch him walk away. It was only when the Akalak rested his hand on her upper arm that the raptor pulled out of her daze, eyes jumping to the gentle giant’s face with a small sigh. “I’m sorry. I haven’t… I can’t.” The words were quiet, almost the tone of a whisper. It was the most she could force out of her throat as her heartbeat raged against her ribs. The Akalak removed his hand almost as if he had been burned, standing straight with a slight frown to his face.

“Why?”

There were a million reasons really, and she might have listed some of them if she could have gotten past the biggest one currently walking away. His eyes followed hers, to the retreating back, before looking back to her. He frowned and shook his head. “That’s a bad idea Claire.”

The Kelvic couldn’t help but let out a weak laugh. It really was a bad idea. If she was smart she would have never bothered to interact with the Eypharian after their second encounter. “You’re probably right.” The words didn’t stop her however. She reached out for just a moment, gripping the forearm of the Akalak in a silent thank you before she darted off around him.

“Rhodri!”

It was almost amazing how clear his name came out. There was no telling how mad he might be, or even if he was actually bothered by the request at all. Claire had no idea what was going through the man’s head—ever. She felt the burning need to explain… not just about the Akalak, but about her fleeing from the winery. He deserved that much in the very least.

“Rhodri stop!” The girl sprinted after the bare back, noting the tilt in his head as he looked upwards at the plain tower. Or was there something particularly important about it? Claire passed the Eypharian just enough to come to a stop directly in front of his path, holding her hands out in front of her as if the very motion would be enough to halt him.

“It’s not what you think… or maybe it is? I never know what goes on in your head, but I need to talk to you.” She stressed the words, so very near the edge of begging. He had to listen to her. There was no way the Kelvic would let this be the last thought of herself to him...

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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Rhodri on April 22nd, 2017, 1:29 pm

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Proud strides carried the tall young man away from the couple and towards the tower. He felt too much and was chiding himself for the foolish response to the fleeting glimpse of the brunette. Then the moment came and he was grateful; relieved to know the truth and thus could no move forward. The past few weeks had been a stalemate of motivation, creativity and progress. How could the Eypharian expect to attain his goals or redemption –of revenge- if he sat in his apartment feeling sorry for himself? A chuckle rolled past his dry lips. His ancestry; his upbringing had been betrayed by his decision to pursue Claire. It was a decision that proved to not only be futile but painful. Rhodri understood why his people arranged relationships –the damned things were just too messy.

“Never again.” He told himself. He repeated it in his head one more time for good measure as the resolve swelled his posture back to his full stature. Never again.

It was cruel how quickly the gods decided to test the exile on this matter. The next few moments carried the sweetest sound Rhodri had ever heard into his ears. The way she said his name was different than the last time but it still sent shivers up and down his spine. The Eypharian clenched his teeth and tried to ignore her. He refocused upon the tower doors which were rapidly approaching and completely disregarded her second plea. When the lithe body presented itself in front of him, Rhodri’s body walked right through her. “There’s nothing to say.” His voice was almost nonchalant but it hinted nothing of the turmoil that his soul felt; the feeling of being ripping in half.

The tiny, outstretched hands were caught and pulled against him by his upper hands. His lower and middle sets engulfed her form with gentle tugs and hungry grabs that pressed every inch of their bodies together. The man with gilded skin did not lift her off the ground in this encounter but curled around her like a fist around the thumb until his face was next to hers. Fire rippled over his skin as the connection solidified itself as being the only truth worth knowing. His heart fluttered and the vanilla droplets ran down his neck. His muscle hardened as internal struggles waged wars over whether to cast her aside or make her a permanent fixture which left his body in a rigid stasis of longing and fear. He avoided any contact with her face and shut his eyes. His lips lingered dangerously close to her temple as brunette hair made pinprick collisions with his beard and nose. A thousand voices screamed at him but none so loud as his own that echoed back to him ‘Never again’.

“Gods, I’ve missed you.” The response was weak and it made his insides turn over at the truth behind the statement. The arrogant prick continued to pour himself over her and refused to let the embrace dissipate. His form was racked with a series of waves that transferred heat to the points of contact. His fingers pushed and plied the soft fabric and soft skin beneath them which sent shocks to his brain. “Never have I known such desire as when I’m with you, Claire.” He created a tiny bit of separation so that he could open his eyes and see her face. “I know that I’ll never feel anything like it with someone else.” His hands steadied her with a simultaneous effort aimed to make her stand on her own; no longer against him. “But I won’t be your fool.” A single tear lingered on the bottom lid of his right eye but it never fell.

All at once, his hands dropped and he stepped around her. Rhodri moved towards the tower with sure strides but faltered when the tidal wave of hollow emptiness slammed against him in the void of the kelvic’s touch. The Eypharian had to stop with his hands supporting him against the cool stone next to the door. He felt sick and drained of strength but he knew it was the right thing to do. It was harder than he had expected –pretending not to care but the wine had been spilled. The young warrior reset his jaw and opened the door.
Last edited by Rhodri on April 23rd, 2017, 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I have six arms and one brain.
If you only have two arms, what does that say about your ability to think?
Keep your teeth together and do as your betters command.
- Eypharian Logic-
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Rhodri
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Posts: 75
Words: 111966
Joined roleplay: March 4th, 2017, 4:37 am
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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Claire Lexi'lya on April 22nd, 2017, 2:52 pm

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Claire had to wonder how twisted she was. That she would have preferred his wrath rather than his heart. It was easier to deal with she supposed—because yet again the Eypharian showed a side to him that she had never seen. It shouldn't have been a surprise, because she didn't actually know the man. It was the pull of a hanging bond and an indescribable desire between the two of that kept them clinging together.

When he had folded himself over her, pulled her up against him and refused to let go, Claire knew they were only getting in their own way. If he—no, they—would just stop fighting it so hard, the bond would fall into place without so much of a breath. And for the longest chime to ever exist the Kelvic swore it was going to.

Because he missed her. The simple idea of it caused both joy and guilt. He felt the same… and she had been the one to put it there. He hovered over her—against her—and muttered something so simple but so heavy it made her shudder. Her fingers clenched against his in a fight she was rapidly losing; there was a whisper in the back of her mind. It sounded so much like home...

If the Eypharian hadn't been holding her up she was positive her legs would have given out. He uttered words of desire that made her breathless—and she would have to be hard pressed to admit a little jealous at the mere mention of him finding it with someone else. Because he wasn't even hers and thinking of him with someone else made her feel entirely sick to her stomach.

And in the same breath, or at least it felt like it, he uttered he wouldn't be her fool. Her eyes shot straight to his face, catching a staggering breath in her teeth as she saw the look on his face. He pushed away from her and the lack of heat felt like she had been dropped into the dead of winter.

Actually snow might have been warmer.

The raptor didn't try to chase him. She couldn't. He had rooted her to the ground like the tower next to them. The sharp pull that dangled between them suddenly felt as if there was slack against them. His choice to pull away felt as if it was more than just physical. The very thing her entire being craved—that had dangled so closely just ticks before—now seemed a sea away.

The girl tried to swallow around the lump in her throat before her body finally moved. The closest thing to her was the tower and her body instantly collapsed against it, sliding down the stone until she was crouched over her knees, damp hair dangling across her face.

Maybe it was better this way? It was a difficult idea to digest. Everything between them from their first meeting and onward was so complicated. They never seemed to be on the same page, one or the other pushing or pulling. If she let him go, the pull would diminish, and then fade entirely and she could go on looking for another to bond with. It wasn't as if the Eypharian would be her only possible choice.

They would go on living their lives with the brief interlude of their meetings.

But that thought also threatened to make her sick. Claire had never given up something she wanted. For the first time in her life she had found something beyond medicine, someone she wanted to call her own. For some reason it came in an entirely too complicated man with six arms and very well readily admitted he was racist. And full of himself. And entirely to stubborn for his own good. The unattainable dream for certain.

So the Kelvic shoved away the painful feeling that threatened to crush her chest—the very one that wanted to pull tears from her eyes. Pressing her hands into the soil, she used them to push herself back to standing, taking several deep breaths to ensure her own backbone was in place before she took off after him.

Yanking the door open, she stepped into the tower, eyes squinting for several ticks as her eyes adjusted to the new lighting of the building. The inside was simple, and because she had been so direct in coming into the tower she had missed the sign outside.

There was nothing that gave her an idea of who the tower was dedicated to, though she did note the sparkle of water reflecting light on the ceiling of the building. Instead she focused on the man in front of her.

“No.” The Kelvic was mildly impressed by how strong the word came out. Firm, with no room to budge. Just how she wanted it. He would need to understand that she wasn't going to fly away this time. She wasn't going to make it easy.

“You don't understand. And that's my fault, but I won't just let you push me away. There are things you don't understand here, and things I need to tell you.” The girl blew out a breath that caused her hair to float around her face for a moment before pulling her eyes away from his back to the shimmering ceiling above her.

“And it's your own fault you know! If I hadn't been so caught up in thinking about you I would have turned down his offer a long time ago. But no, you just had to kiss me. Muddy up my mind so I couldn't think straight without something making me think about you!” Her hands flailed almost wildly as the confession tore out of her. He was capable of making her feel things with very few words.

Which seemed to have the opposite effect on her when it was her turn to speak.

The frustration of the very situation was irritating her, and it was beginning to show. Like all the frayed ends of her were about to come undone at once. But she held her ground, crossing her arms across her chest in an attempt to both protect herself, and give the impression that she wasn't going to go anywhere because he said so.

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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Rhodri on April 23rd, 2017, 3:21 am

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Rhodri entered the tower slowly. The threshold was something that he lingered over while hopes of her running after him played through his mind. He would turn and catch her as she leapt upon him in the throes of love and passion. They would become one under the waters of the Eypharians’ sacred goddess and she would come to be the one who would help him fulfill his destiny of greatness and complete his mission of retribution. The visions were magnificent but the more sunlight gave way to shadowed reflections, the more those images faded away. When the heavy wooden door fell shut against its frame, Rhodri lowered his head and shut his eyes. The ensuing exhale went on for longer than it seemed. Dreams dashed upon the stone like waves crashing against the jetties.

The voice of his father crept into his mind as he explained the evils of the lesser races. ‘When you’re the greatest, the world will seek to drive you to your knees. Never forget that.’ The powerful politician was always ending his conversations with the same three words. His son had always felt this was just hubris but Rhodri now understood that much of what he had been taught was truth which he was not ready to hear. Maybe that’s how all parents felt-or all children. The wiser generation tries its best to teach the energetic youths who ignore the advice then after enough time goes by, the stubborn and now broken young minds realize the wisdoms they had overlooked. The dark eyes opened and lifted to the ceiling where the reflections of the collected water and Syna’s rays danced in elegant patterns. The simple design of the tower, the lack of fanfare and reverence made sense now as nature’s own artwork was shown all the more beautiful by the plain surroundings. So, too, Rhodri found his life taking shape for a greater good having felt the pain that still clutched at his chest.

“Thank you, father.” He whispered to the dancing lights high above him. The Eypharian was firmer than ever in his resolve to focus and better himself. He began to make plans and organized schedules of how to train and things to learn. He pivoted on his boot heel and made his way for the stairs but was forced to pause when the door opened and a flash of daylight immobilized him. A tiny shadow entered and when the dim interior was restored, Rhodri had to take a moment to adjust. His heart dropped and wailed at the sight but his logic trumped all and hardened his mind and will. The kelvic had exclaimed her disagreement but that only made his eyes narrow. The stubborn aristocrat was good at arguing and it seemed that is why she came. It was hard for him to focus when her body and facial features were in his view so he took a step to the right which put a beam of light from a higher window between them. This shrouded the girl in a glare of yellow that robbed Claire of her beautiful curves, sharp eyes and inviting albeit pouting lips. So far, so good. He thought to himself.

Rhodri shook his head and started towards the stairs again. At least she blamed herself and not him –that was something that they both could agree on, certainly. When his lower left hand touched the post at the bottom of the banister, the tall man paused. He wasn’t really interested in what she had to say. The Eypharian had made up his mind and Rhodri was now fighting with himself over whether or not to turn around. Don’t do it. Just walk. The voice sounded like his father and his mother. They urged him forward and to not look back; never look back. Yet his own voice, the voice of his heart begged for him to stop denying the truth. You refuse to turn around because you know you can’t walk away from this. The last word was emphasized with a flutter in his chest. His middle right hand crossed his body to clutch at his skin which had cooled to a paler shade. Just when he had decided to trust his parents, she broke through the argument and tipped the scales.

Rhodri spun around in a flash and stalked towards the small woman. “My fault?!” His turbulent emotions and built up pain from the past few weeks since the winery seemed to fit all of their weight and energy into those two words. “How is any of this my fault?” The exile knew what would happen if he touched her or got too close so he got within five or so feet and began to circle her as he fired back against her ridiculous statement. “Yes, I kissed you but you asked me what I wanted. Remember?” He used his hands well to illustrate and strengthen his rebuttles. “So, if we hadn’t met that day in the vines, you would have told that blue ogre that you weren't interested sooner? That doesn’t even make sense! Uughh!” He growled in frustration but never stopped moving nor did his expression soften. He had spent so many bells arguing and discussing things in the mirror with his imagination that he had walked through this argument and a dozen others hundreds of times. “You asked me what I wanted and, despite my disgust for mbene shure, I told you the truth.” The edge in his voice was so clear yet the next few words almost choked him. “I said you!” For just a lingering tick, his eyes bled longing and his rage was overcome by the anxiety the space between them created in the big man.

Then, it vanished. “I picked you and you ran away –flew away! You were gone and I was left with a pain I’ll never forget and I suppose I should thank you for it.” He snapped and went back to marching only this time it was in the opposite direction. “I’d cut my heart out and give it to you if meant that the petching thing would stop stealing my breath whenever a brown-haired harlot walks by...” He hissed the word as if it hurt him to say it but the anger that now darkened his features seemed to be settling in like the ominous front of an approaching storm. “There seem to be a lot of you in the city so maybe you should patch things up with the behemoth outside.” A careless hand motioned towards the door. He spun on his heel and started for the stairs again but he had to walk past her to do so. In his haste, he brushed an arm against her which caused sparks to shoot through his body then caught her scent in his nostrils and the glands in his neck went right to work. Rhodri was about to address the issue as he hung midstride but looked up to the reflections and started up the stairs. To his deepest agitation, he found his feet would not move very quickly. The Eypharian chalked it up to seeking more of an argument though his body seemed to indicate it was something much easier to explain.
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I have six arms and one brain.
If you only have two arms, what does that say about your ability to think?
Keep your teeth together and do as your betters command.
- Eypharian Logic-
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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Claire Lexi'lya on April 23rd, 2017, 2:28 pm

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His anger flared at her blame. In some ways it was a relief. For a moment she had thought she was going to have to charge up the stairs, make some sort of ridiculous gesture—like cling to his body—in an attempt to get him to speak to her.

But he made sure to keep distance between them. Claire found it to be a wise idea. The two of them were volatile as ever it seemed. One touch could either crush them together, or break them entirely. But she refused to circle around with him. The Kelvic planted her feet firmly to the ground and simple cocked her head to the side, glaring sharply at the wall across from her as the Eypharian refused to take any of the weight of their actions.

“Yes I would have refused him sooner!” The words were low but full of spark. “He wanted me to come find him and give him an answer. I was too busy trying to figure out how to speak to you, yet alone try and bother with his request.”

That word surfaced again—mbene shure. She had heard it enough times from his mouth to know that it was no affectionate term, despite her lack of knowledge of what it meant. Her back stiffened at it, and her eyes finally fell to the Eypharian each time he passed back. Her fingers clutched at her arms so tightly she knew there would be bruises later on.

He accused her of the truth, that she had been a coward and flew away. But it still hurt to have him rehash the entire episode. She flinched as if he moved to hit her, while he claimed it would be easier for him to remove his heart than deal with whatever was going on between them. The voice in the back of her head claimed he wasn't ready, and this time she was inclined to believe it.

The man whirled from her, brushing past her arm. It brought another flinch, this time the ache of longing to reach out and grab his arm—to stop him. Her hands remained firmly attached to her arms however, until the very moment he told her to find the Akalak outside. To apparently take the offer made to her...

“Yes you said you want me!” Claire couldn't help but explode. The words echoed around the room so loud it almost hurt her own ears. “And you stupid boy have no idea what that even means!” Her arms flailed out once again as her chest pulled tight, between pain and need to get everything off her chest.

“I am not human Rhodri. Or Eypharian or any other race. You have no idea what you're offering to me. It's not simple or easy, and it most certainly comes with a price!” The girl stalked towards him, eyes narrowed as she pointed one finger at him. It was the first time she had considered the bond to such a thing—a price.

Because the Eypharian could hardly handle is own feelings. She couldn't even begin to imagine how he would handle hers on top of everything else. He wasn't ready for such a commitment despite his words.

At least it was what she told herself in anger.

Before she reached him, the Kelvic came to a sharp halt, closer than he had dared to get but still keeping distance between them. A laugh escaped her, one that was hollow and bitter as she shook her head at him.

“Do you even know how old I am? You are what… early twenties at best?” Her hand made a vague gesture at him as she scrunched her nose slightly and didn't even bother to let him answer. “I'm four Rhodri. Four!” The age difference sounded harsh as it echoed around the room.

She'd be lucky to live at least half his life from this point. It didn't matter however, not in the long run. The Kelvic began to back up from him, as if he were a dangerous animal—without the fear gracing her features.

“You are mad because I left. Well I won't be your fool either Rhodri. Mbene shure—whatever it means—it certainly doesn't sound like something you'd call someone you want.” She hissed at him through her teeth before shaking her head again.

“I didn't stick around at the winery because I won't be used. You want me, then it goes further than trying to get me out of your system in the vines!” It was an accusation she couldn't entirely back up, though it was easier than admitting she was scared that was all he would have wanted from her.

“You have no idea what you want Rhodri. You can't even handle your own emotions, just how would fair with mine on top of it hm? When that pull you feel towards me is deeper than just looking to find me?” Claire gestured mildly between them before turning her face from his to focus on a window. The light hurt her eyes, but it was so much easier than staring at him.

This was not how she wanted to tell him about the bond. Anger she had expected, but it stung deeply to have him shove her off. Belatedly she figured it might have been how he felt, when she had left him in the winery. To make matters worse she hadn't actually been specific about the bond. It was all vague insinuations that barely made sense to her.

“At least I know what the Akalak want out of me.” The statement was flat, like accepting her status was all she had left. “If that's all I'm worth than I might as well make use of that right?” The Kelvic didn't bother to look at him as the bitter words fell from her lips.

She wasn't one to wallow in such things, but as the fire that had been burning her chest went out she was left feeling cold and hurt. She refused to look at him as her arms crossed back over her chest, eyes glued to the visions outside in an attempt to ignore everything around her. Even him. An attempt to get herself back under control before she did something stupid.

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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Rhodri on April 24th, 2017, 3:22 am

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No one screamed at Rhodri.

Even his uncle who had banished him did not lift his voice in such a way. The older and wiser Eypharians believed it to be a sign of weakness so they spent years perfecting the art of remaining calm during an argument; something Rhodri had not mastered. He was almost free and had even ignored her ridiculous passing of the torch over the blue brute’s proposal. That was water under the bridge since she would have answered no regardless. It was obvious her feelings –if she had any to begin with- for the handsome young man did not weight enough in her mind to even factor into the equation. That was almost the final brick that suck his corpse into the sea. Wounded in several places, his body oozed emotion and empathy as if he’d been torn asunder by vultures. All of this nearly came to pass…but then she screamed at him.

A broken vessel holds no water and the same is true for an Eypharian with anger issues.

Rhodri spun around and moved with a single bound to lose the distance between them to little more than a foot. He flexed his arms around him like a hulking spider with gold skin and a rigid jawline. His earthen gaze stole into her as he stomped forward. I’m the stupid child? I’ll show you a child. Go get your mirror, kelvic. The Arumenic in his head mused. “Don’t tell me what it means! I was ready to throw away all of my plans just to be with you!” He scoffed. “There is no higher price than giving up one’s destiny…” He quieted for just a second but long enough for her to interrupt. As she droned on about some crazy comparison of races, he unloaded more knowledge on her. At least –in his mind, he was drowning her in facts while the sultry girl with brown curls just fired off random bits of vague taunts.

He had to admit –much to his chagrin- that she was absolutely gorgeous when she was mad. His pheromones would take care of telling her as much and so there was no need to pass the compliment verbally. Rhodri took every breath she made as an opportunity to fire back. “I. Don’t. Care. What race you are! You’re not Eypharian! You have two arms… that’s mbene shure! It means those who worsip!” He pointed at various symbols on the wall which represented Makutsi and a few that stood for Royet. The arms of the river clearly painted and resembled the six arms of the angry man who stood before the small woman. “My people come from the blood of the gods! To take to one who is half animal is a disgrace!” His eyes shook from the rage that hid there. “But I was willing to give all of that up for you!” He growled and had to walk away. Her rosy cheeks and explosive eyes were too much. With his back turned he could think more clearly. A tick or two more and he would have snatched her up and made her his own just like at the vineyard.

By this time, the halls above and the stairway had filled with worshippers and members of the priesthood who were wanting to witness the spectacle taking place on the tower floor. Rhodri saw them and felt ashamed but he also realized that as she continued to talk that she was looking for a way out. No one argued this much unless she was trying to justify it in her own mind. The Eypharian had been there. He had witnessed some of the most epic debates of anyone his age and knew the signs. He heart beat became a cathartic sound in his ears that gradually slowed and with it, his anger. He placed his lower hands on his hips and his middle hands folded across his abdomen –the right hand coming up to cover his face. He shielded himself from the world as the pain of his choice passed over his features. The moment of solitude lingered as she continued to belittle his intentions and asked him questions that, to her, were rhetorical but would be impossible for him to comprehend.

When Rhodri was finally able to blink without a tear touching the corner of his eyes, he removed his hands and took a deep breath that swelled his broad shoulders. Anyone on the stairs might have seen the relief on his face but those behind would only see pride; arrogance. In a calm voice, he sought to give her what she needed. “You’re right, you know. I’m just a fool and thought to make you mine to ease my shame.” He cleared his throat and forced more edge into his voice even as it waivered through his fictional excuse. “I knew when you healed me that you would always be receptive to my advances. I tried to make the most of my opportunity and it’s brought us here.”

Rhodri turned around to face her with a face as emotionless as the cold floor on which they stood. “You mean nothing to me- and you never will.” He lingered for several ticks while his insides deflated to the point that he thought he might vomit but the stubborn aristocrat held out long enough to casually turn and start towards the tower doors. He had mere ticks to get away from her before it all came tumbling down around him. The Eypharian placed this moment above being exiled from his homeland as the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.
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I have six arms and one brain.
If you only have two arms, what does that say about your ability to think?
Keep your teeth together and do as your betters command.
- Eypharian Logic-
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Rhodri
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Tell Me the Truth

Postby Claire Lexi'lya on April 26th, 2017, 1:18 am

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The Kelvic remained fairly unaware of the building spectacle they seemed to be making. Especially since the Eypharian wasn't just paying attention anymore, but seemed rather intent on firing back to every last word she'd make. To some extent she wasn't even sure if he was hearing what she was saying anymore, just reacting in his usual superior way that told her she might have hit a rather sensitive part of him like she had been aiming for.

It most certainly did not make her feel better for succeeding.

It was in their moment of silence and refusal to look at each other that Claire fully came back to herself. It was probably the first time in her life that her rage ended so quickly—but then not many engaged her so thoroughly right back. She was known to carry emotions for weeks after an event, and she had no doubt this one would actually leave scars so strong they might as well have been visible.

The only indication that she had heard his words—his shame and stone faced claim of having no heart for her—was the the quickening rise of her shoulders as her breathing sped up. It was a twist of her own words coming from his mouth. It sounded convincing…

But she didn't believe it.

It made no sense to her however. Ever since the winery she has been insisting that he didn’t care for her. That he had no idea what he wanted and the moment he confirmed the very fear—it did not settle into her mind like she expected. No sense of finality, or acceptance. That and even with the very words that should have pushed them too far apart, her world hung by a thread. Perhaps further away than ever, but it clung constantly at the back of her mind; the bond.

But that didn't mean the words did not hurt to hear.

The Kelvic pressed her lips together in a form line to the point of pain to keep herself from falling apart. The entire encounter had gone sideways and now it was a bigger mess than the last time she had seen him. Except he was the one willing to run away from her… it seemed fitting really. It was becoming exhausting—running circles until one of them caved. Her fingers tightened into fists, before her head whipped into the direction the Eypharian had gone.

The raptor moved before she even knew what she was doing. Her feet made the slightest sound against the stone as she nearly jogged just to catch up to the brute. Once again the girl came to a stop just before the Eypharian, much closer than she had dared before. Her hands rose, only this time she did not try to brace the man from moving—but shove him backwards.

The Kelvic was tiny compared to him. Not just in size, but in strength—at least in her human form. But it was the hopes that she caught him off guard with her assault that led her to continue pushing at his bare chest. All the while words she had been playing with since the winery came bubbling up from her chest as if they had never been caught at all.

“I chose you!” Frustration welled up in her throat and the Kelvic had to swallow just to get past the emotions. “I chose you to bond with. You!”

It had been another part of her that she denied for so long. Until this point Claire had insisted on the thought that her subconscious had chosen a bondmate for her. But only part of that was true… she had been swayed by his charm despite how worn down he had been when they first met. The very fact that he could have left her behind after she healed him meant something to her. They had taken care of each other…

“It doesn’t just go away because you tell it to Rhodri. It’s there for a reason. And you feel it, because I still feel it.” Claire pressed her right palm across the expanse of his chest, over his heart. She could feel the pounding of the muscle beneath her fingers, the heat from his skin through hers. “I ran away because I was scared. What’s your excuse? Or do you even have one? Would you prefer to be the coward this time?”

The Kelvic narrowed her eyes, craning her neck back just so she could see his own. It came naturally for her, staring down the things she wanted most. It didn’t matter if it was prey or the handsome man against her hand. She wasn’t going to let him off the hook so easily—not yet.

“You are supposed to be my bondmate, and that means something.”

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