Broken Without You

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Broken Without You

Postby Madeira Craven on June 10th, 2018, 5:36 pm

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50th of Summer, 518
The ship rocked gently in the calm sea waters. Which sea it was, Madeira didn't know and wouldn't ask. But at night, when she laid down under thin cotton sheets on a narrow bunk nailed to the floor, she would close her eyes and imagine it was the sea that would take them home.

But she was wide awake, and they were not going home.

Madeira was sitting on the floor of her tiny cabin, an empty jar in her lap and the last of the sunlight sparkling off her stiff, corded neck. The heat of the day still lingered about the ship, beamed down by a jungle sun and lingering in the salt and sweat of the sailors,
but her cramped quarters were always chilled. Emma was sitting on the bed, bare feet tucked under her knees and her soulmist moving in cold, agitated currents.

"Maddy?"

"Mmmm." Madeira hummed distractedly. Her Spiritism tools were littered about her, a small pile of nails, another of arrows, a small collection of jars, her soulbeads, and the three rings she never went anywhere without. The sailors made it clear on day one that they would tolerate the ghosts on the ship on the condition that she did not practice her witchcraft on board. She had agreed easily, and simply made sure they never caught her.

"Are you ok?"

But it was getting harder every day. For some reason even the simple Spiritism tasks she had mastered as a child now took herculean effort.

"Patience, kitten", Madeira ground out through her teeth as she reached for that calm in her soul. She had been making soulmist since she was a child. It was the first magic she had ever learned. Yet now, under the concerned gaze of her ghostly charge, she could barely scratch the surface of the soul she was desperately trying to uproot.

She centred herself with a breath and tried again, reaching deep for the familiar resistance of her soul. With a delicate focus born from years of practice she drew the energy forward into the dough sitting in her throat. But something was in the way. Her soul felt heavier, somehow. Her mental strength was barely enough to lift it. Something was boiling up from beneath, eroding her concentration and filling the hard won space in her bones. It had been there since they left Riverfall, a kind of distant hum in her mind that she could ignore but never get rid of. It was getting bigger lately. Louder. Numbing her Kelvic bond and slipping into her dreams as some impossible red noise.

Madeira scrunched up her eyes and bowed her shoulders as if fighting through a harsh wind. Her mind twisted into uncomfortable shapes as she sought to move around this noise and draw out her soul by force.

"Maddy...?"

"I said patience", she snapped unthinkingly. The ghost jump at the harsh tone and looked to her lap, blinking back tears as she twisted her nightdress between her fingers.

The large room was alive with sleepy sounds as Madeira struggled. On the far edge of her bed Spooks was stretched out like an ink spill, his yellow eyes staring unblinkingly into space as he purred. In a gilded birdcage hanging from the ceiling Bird ruffled his feathers and tucked his head under his brilliantly blue wing. Raj's unmoving snarl was staring at her from under the bed. Yet not everybody was there. Jomi had run off as soon as they had stepped on the boat, and she hadn't seen him since. She wasn't worried, the dead Kelvic could take care of himself.

And Allister. She wasn't sure where the Kelvic hyena was either. She longed to reach for the bond between them and feel her the gentle tide of her partner's thoughts. But somehow she couldn't make herself open that connection.

With a sudden effort that left her gasping, Madeira ripped forward the energy of her soul and condensed it around the dough with sheer force of will. She demanded the change within her body, forced it to bend to her will. After a moment a coolness invaded her throat, and she knew she was successful.

Madeira brought a little jar from her lap to her lips and gave a great, hacking cough. A pitiful twist of soulmist fell from her chapped lips to curl in the bottom of the glass, casting a feeble light.

Madeira looked down on it, tuning out Emma's timid little cheer as a hot, searing frustration twisted in her belly. It was in the shaking of her arms and the burning of her throat, it sat in her chest like burning coals. From deep behind her eyes came the tight telltale prickling of oncoming tears.

She pulled back her arm, holding the little jar snug in her palm, and threw it as hard as she could.

Glass shattered with a musical tinkle, and soulmist splattered across the wall. Emma's cheer was sucked into a hiccup of fright, Bird woke with a startled coo, and a streak of black crossed Madeira's vision as Spooks fled under the bed.

"Maddy!"

Crash

An empty jar followed the first, and the floor was sparkling with glass like drops of rain. Madeira was on her feet now, her eyes dry and her face a mask of stone.

"Maddy, stop!" Emma was crying. Think pearlescent tears were catching in the scabs around her eyes.

Breathing hard, Madeira was already groping for something else to destroy. Her hand closed around a string of beads, and they clattered on the floor as she pulled them off the bed. They were pretty things, round hollow balls of perfect green jade, made heavy by a core of iron ore. She remembered when she received them. They came in a heavy black box tied with a blue ribbon. A gift from Madara as she moved into the family manor to begin her formal training.

The letter came in a black envelope too. Halfway through the worst season of her life, in a city that was slowly driving her mad, it arrived on her doorstep with a wax seal with the family crest.

Madeira's knuckles were white around the beads in her quaking hands. She shut her eyes to the memories and the rising red noise.

"There is a great opportunity for you" it said, in uncle Rune’s careful calligraphy. An agreement had been reached with one of the most prominent families of Lhavit. An agreement for an alliance, and an exchange of knowledge. "You have been chosen to open the dialogue between the families and act as a representative of the Craven name.” Don't bother coming home, your possessions have been shipped to you. Your ship has been chartered. "We are confident you will represent us as befitting our name".

Ssanya, her lover and best friend, walked out the door the week before and never came home. Raj's murderer was still out there. Madeira’s mind was being eroded away by her first time ever outside of Alvadas. She needed her city and her god. She needed to come back to everything she loved. She needed help.

Don't bother coming home.

It was Everard’s doing. It was her cousin who had nearly killed her and Jomi a season before, who sat across Allister at the dining table and ripped him apart with petty words. This was his fault. She turned her back for one season and he was already plotting behind her back, trying to send her away. He was safe in the knowledge that she couldn't usurp his position from the other side of the world. She could imagine his oily, flattering words, insisting she was best for the job. Insisting she had the skill's needed to pull off the exchange, but not so much that they couldn't afford to lose her for the years it would take.

The connecting string through the beads was splintering between her fingers. Little fibres popping as the decades-old artefact was being slowly pulled apart. She was beginning to understand what made Jomi so mean. Anger did feel so much better than despair.

A whip of her wrist and the soulbeads exploded on the far wall. The string snapped, and the beads rolled away amid sparkles of glass. The ghost blinked away with a gasp of fright, the bird flapped in his cage, and a yowl rolled out from under the bed as they watched their mistress lose control.
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Broken Without You

Postby Allister on June 19th, 2018, 3:53 am

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Allister was lost in a sea of bubbles. His back ached, his shoulders cried and his neck was so stiff that stretching it made little flashes of light appear in his vision. Despite these things, the kelvic persisted in his work. He scrubbed at the deck with both hands on his wide wooden brush and he did so with fervor. The quartermaster’s recent discovery of Allister’s attachment to Madeira had put him in a shadow of disfavor with the entire crew. Men ignored him or whispered behind his back while the man in charge of the night shift did his best to find all of the worst jobs for the hyena. Tonight’s task for the assling, as many had taken to calling the pale man, was to swab the main deck after a rather messy circumstance involving the first mate’s cabin boy and a bottle of staunch rum. Needless to say, the foul smells were pungent and, thankfully, isolated but it was still enough to warrant an entire night of back-breaking work.

Still, the tattooed freak grinned as he worked. Bubbles were funny things and the harder Allister pushed with his arms, the more he flexed and yanked at the stiff bristles, the more bubbles appeared. In a rhythm, the kelvic hummed a tune that would occasionally burst into strings of words but his song was different from his colleagues and so he kept his quiet. The hyena leaned down and extended his arms, the strain caused his abdomen to shiver as it fought to hold his back straight. His triceps bulged and his deltoids hardened for a split second before he reversed the motion. Forearms and biceps tightened as did the muscles in his back as his form recoiled back over his haunches. He repeated this over and over again moving only slightly in a lateral angle each time.

The first time Allister had to clean the wood of the ship, he nearly fell apart at the seams. It’s such a slow and tedious process that requires a great deal of strength for every tiny inch. A little less than halfway through their journey, the former slave was adapting to the hard life of a sailor quite well. His lack of any real sense of self was a gift in handling the harsh criticisms of being a grunt laborer. The very nature of his body allowed him a good deal of potential as well since he was like a full grown man even though he was only a few years old. This allowed him to pour more effort into tasks that seemed to burn the others out even though it often meant he would sleep in the empty quarters of his mistress until the next night’s shift was ready to begin.

Suddenly, a man screamed behind Allister and it caused the kelvic to jump. He turned around to see one of the other sailors falling down to run away from a translucent little girl in her night clothes. Allister turned back to his task, shifted his body over a bit and started to scrub on a new area. In the dark of night, he missed the details of the ghastly face. “Hello Emma!” The hyena said cheerfully. He started to hum his tune again and a few words of the chorus slipped out as he found his rhythm of cleaning once more. “A tidal wa-ave of fear pa-ain carries us away.”

“Alli!!” The shrill cry of Emma caused the hyena to stop working. His skin crinkled into goose flesh much like it did when he had the fever. In a sudden moment of clarity, he knew something had gone wrong. Stifled from his bond mate’s emotions for weeks, he had almost grown accustomed to the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Madeira had been upset when the booked the trip, packed and boarded the vessel but ever since Allister began work, he’d hardly been able to see her. Years of resisting ghosts and troubled souls made it easy for her to shut him out. Emma encouraged him daily and even Spooks had become more pleasant to the pale dogman. Something shattered -just for a moment- but it was enough that the kelvic quickly scampered to his feet and tossed his brush into the bucket of soapy water to his right.

When he started for the ladder to go below decks, his supervisor stepped in front of him, a sneer of disgust on his face. “Where do you think you’re going, assling? Shift ain’t over til Syna gets her shining tits above board.” The quartermaster was a large man but he seemed to be a bit fluffy around the midsection. Still, it didn’t detract from his massive hands or the tree trunks that connected them to his shoulders. His squinty eyes grilled the pale man as he awaited an answer.

“Madeira needs me.” Allister said in a flat tone and he started to walk around the man. This didn’t go so well and the kelvic was caught by the neck by a huge hand and yanked backwards. An instinctive reaction overcame the man and he lashed out with a very crisp cross from his right hand. The blow connected with the quartermaster’s jaw with a pop that reverberated back up to Allister’s shoulder. He winced and the man he hit did not. “Sorry, sir. I- it was an accident.”

The quartermaster just laughed and the crew, each man watched from his post, joined in. “That’s all you got, assling?” The big man guffawed and shoved the pale man back towards his bucket. “Get ta scrubbin’, bitch.” The former slave didn’t have an issue with authority. He understood that some were meant to lead and others to follow but he chose to follow her; not some vagrant like this quartermaster.
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Pain without love is meaningless
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Broken Without You

Postby Allister on June 19th, 2018, 3:54 am

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“Madeira needs me.” Allister repeated. The big man was over the game aspect of this back and forth. Members of the crew with tenure recognized the look and went back to their tasks quickly and quietly. The hyena, once again, made to move past the man who blocked his path. This time, he received an unseen blow to the gut. It felt like being lifted by a massive mallet then getting hurled to the deck. He laid in a heap as heavy boots stomped nearer.

“Do as you’re told, assling. If little miss Madeira needs someone,” he pulled at her name in a most unpleasant way. As Allister struggled to breath, he felt his heckles raise as a part of him longed to tear this man to pieces. Having the fresh blood of a kill still under his nose, he had to restrain the urge to do it again. “Then I’ll go down and give her boney arse some quality time with a real man.” His intentions and idle threats were not lost to the hyena. Naive at a great deal, Allister was no stranger to the baser desires of men. He had heard some of them talk about Madeira like a pig to be stuffed. He never looked at any of them other than to peg them for having said such things. Then, that face and that name made it to a special place in Allister’s heart -the list of people he would one day kill.

The hyena stood up and squared off with the old sailor. The crew stopped working again to watch the inevitable demise of the skinny, pale guy. “I need to go check on her, sir. I’ll give you a week’s pay to let me leave my post tonight.” The kelvic had heard a similar offer some time ago where one man was utterly convinced by a sum of days’ pay from another. Allister didn’t know how to negotiate, however and yet he didn’t care.

“Two weeks.”

“Done.” Allister held out his hand for the man to shake and the quartermaster did just that.

“Get the petch outta my sight, assling.”

Allister took off running at full speed. His arms and legs churned into action almost instantly. When he saw the steps rapidly approaching, he adjusted his gait and planted his foot just before the first step down and sprang from the deck into the air. He tucked his knees up towards his chest and used his arms like wings to balance himself. The kelvic landed and absorbed the fall into his thighs but he didn’t hesitate for a single tick. He wheeled around the stairs and slunk along through the hammocks towards the cabins. When he reached the door, he heard what sounded like something breaking against the wall. He could feel her now, Madeira. Being this close to her in a raw state of emotions was more than she could hold back. It wasn’t fear that overwhelmed her but anger.

Hesitating no longer, Allister flung open the door and stepped inside, his hand trailed behind to close the wooden panel with a slam. Black eyes found blue orbs ringed in bloodshot fury. Glass was broken on the floor. The coveted green soulbeads were bouncing and rolling everywhere. The kelvic ached from the pain that was now as real as the boat upon which they stood. He reeled in the wake os such tumultuous feelings from his normally stoic other half. The broken man wanted to weep. This was his fault! Questions and thoughts swirled around his mind which tried yet failed to settle the cadre of inquiries. If I had only spent more time… If I had been smarter… better looking… If I had not gotten into trouble that time when…

Allister shivered under the weight of her burden when it suddenly dawned on him what she needed. “Madeira.” He said flatly though he tried to hide the grin growing on his face. He was so proud of his logic that he didn’t waste any time getting set. He got down on his knees and began to move across the deck towards her. Soulbeads made him slide about as they bruised his flesh and glass shards cut him. The worshipping gaze focused upon her radiant face as he drew nearer. “I’m here.” The ship pitched slightly and beads rolled towards the other side of the room. The sound of glass breaking into his skin and against his shin could be heard and blood could be seen coming out behind him but also around his knees. “I’m here, Madeira…” His voice dropped to almost a whisper as tears brought on by her rage and sorrow burned through him like a wick gone dry. “For whatever you need.” Allister made a few more steps towards her over the broken glass and stretched his open hands towards her. “I’m always here for you.”
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Broken Without You

Postby Madeira Craven on June 19th, 2018, 9:45 pm

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Madeira didn't flinch as Allister threw the door open. She knew he was there, could feel him running to her. So she just stood there, amid the chaos, staring into his black eyes as he took in everything she couldn't hide from him anymore. She watched as he absorbed it, comprehended it, and some little piece of her heart broke to see him mirror it. Pain twisted the harsh gash of his mouth and tightened the delicate skin around his eyes, and she knew what he was thinking; that this was all somehow his fault.

A sudden, violent urge to strike him shot down her arm to her empty hand. She snatched her closed fist to her chest, horrified with herself, feeling the ghost of sensation through her palm from another journey not that long ago.

"Madeira", he said, and she looked away.

The flotsam of her destruction rolled around them as he got to his knees. He looked up at her, worship in his eyes and blood on his knees as she dragged himself across the floor like it was the greatest gift to simply be in her presence.

And as she watched she imagined what a beautiful garden his body would make, if she made bruises bloom like black flowers. She imagined what lovely music his heartbeat would make with her hands around his throat. Her fury was looking for an outlet, any outlet, and it made her sick that it was pointing to the one person that actually mattered.

What made it worse was that he would let her. He would smile through it knowing it was what she wanted.

"I'm here. I'm here, Madeira..."

This was not how she wanted him to see her. Since that one night a year ago, when he held her through the fever plague she was sure they wouldn't survive, she promised herself that if he wanted to be her champion, she had to be his god. She had promised he would never see her so weak again. She promised to earn this loyalty he gave her. That's why she had to push him away, so she could fall to pieces in private.

"For whatever you need. I'm always here for you."

He reached out a hand to touch her and her let him. His palm pressed to her thigh over her dress with a solid reassuring touch. She leaned into it, hands still clutched defensively to her chest. If she hurt him now, she would never forgive herself. There was movement on the other side of the bond, and she suspected he was trying to press to her what he was already showing with his words and body; that she owned him, body and soul.

Carefully, mindful of the broken glass, she lowered herself to her knees too. With hands that had to remind themselves to be gentle she cupped his face, pushed her fingers through his hair, traced the harsh lines of his tattoos and simply marveled at this thing that was hers.

This is home now, she told herself. A flare of possessiveness lit behind her anger, and she wrapped her arms around his waist under the jacket. No matter where they went, what they had to do, her soul would find shelter with his. And if someone tried to take him away from her too she would tear them apart.

You are my home now. His bones shifted under her arms as she held him so tight her arms began to shake. Yet somehow it wasn't close enough. The gentleness she was trying so hard to maintain began to burn away as her nails left ten perfect little crescents in his back. With her cheek crushed to his collarbone she could smell the blood and leather on him, and the soap from his hands. She wanted to cradle him, she wanted to crush him. She wanted to press soothing words to his throat, but she wanted to do it with her teeth.

"Hold me down", she whispered into his collarbone. Was she demanding? Begging? probably both. It didn't matter. He asked what she needed, and she needed to not to let herself hurt the one person that meant everything to her.
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Broken Without You

Postby Allister on June 24th, 2018, 1:56 am

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A chill floated along his fingers as he touched the hip of the spiritist. His hand lingered with an uncertainty of how to stay. His body begged the fingers to squeeze- to bite down- against her flesh and draw her close while his heart wanted to caress and extend the life and love she had given to him back to madeira so she would understand just how important she was to the kelvic. The destruction of the room and the rage that spilled over from her into the bond told him all he needed to know. Allister was prepared, even eager, to provide an outlet for the woman. He wasn’t clever enough to lie, especially not to Madeira, though his skills were growing in putting on a show. Such talents could never fool the bond.

The former slave loved her with every ounce of himself. Allister shivered as her arms snaked around him and in their thin embrace, he found that she felt the same security. Here, now, in his arms; the hyena found the only truth that mattered. Slowly, he drew his arms up around her small frame even as she tried to squeeze the life from him. The stress on his ribs was pleasant and it reminded him to take deep breaths which fought against her strength. It also allowed him to consider the pains in his legs and recognize the usefulness of such injury. Part of him wanted to stand to alleviate the pain from the shards of glass and the iron beads but the man in charge of his own actions refused to break this intimate exchange with Madeira. She had lowered herself to his level and engaged him in a way that he’d not encountered before. It was magical and worth every tick of discomfort.

Waves of thoughts brandished their faces in his mind and the kelvic did his best to ignore them; to stay in the present. Nothing in his imagination could compare to the feeling of her body as she tried to melt into his own. When Madeira dug her nails into his back, the performer turned sailor moaned softly and lowered his head so his mouth could rest against the soft, sweaty mat of hair that leaned upon his chest. The frail will of a broken individual was no match for the long, drawn-out desires of a lesser being when faced with the absolute perfection of another. Allister did his best not to force any adjustments on account of his baser reaction. He was unashamed of his feelings for her and continued to wash the bond in a monsoon of praise and adoration.

Madeira gave him an order but it sounded like a request or almost like she had asked permission. Confused at first, the kelvic didn’t respond immediately. He had to process what she meant. If it was literal, he would have to level her onto a filthy deck of dangerous articles like broken glass and soul beads. Could she have wanted him to hurt her? Certainly, she knew he never could. His mind reeled at the far-fetched prospect that Madeira enjoyed pain as much as he did. This was something he only just knew about himself, was still learning, had she known all along? Allister came to a conclusion and his response was a faint “no” that he uttered against her head. He held her for a tick against him before his long arms began to move.

Like serpents on a conquest, his hands trailed up her back and down her shoulders in a painfully slow procession that traced her arms with a steady pressure that was enough to ball up her skin in small mounds ahead of his fingers. One at a time, Allister peeled the woman’s arms from his sides accompanied by a sigh at the loss of her suffocating hold. He carefully guided her arms behind her back and twisted with a heavy pressure that was deliberate, not spastic, until her arms bent at the elbows. He aligned left wrist to right elbow and vice versa then took hold of each pairing in his long fingers. Allister pulled her against him by driving her own forearms into the small of her back. With more pressure and an even slower walk, his hands crept along the bridge he’d created from her arms until the kelvic was able to completed wraps his arms around her own.

Alister leaned forward to accomplish this feat since she was of such shorter stature but he did not linger in this position of dominance for long. His lips were still pressed to her skull when he spoke in a louder whisper. “I’ll hold you up.” Allister arched his back and maintained his hug upon her midsection which kept her arms pinned back. This vice lifted her from the floor until she was eye level with her bond mate who stared into her face with his black eyes that bled with service and sacrifice. The hyena froze only for a few moments before he lifted one leg and brought his boot flat to the wooden planks. With a grimace and a large breathsucked in through his teeth, the animal forced his will and strength into his legs. The burn of exertion was invigorating but it didn’t stop his gangly limbs from shaking as he drove their bodies up under a controlled explosion.

Once he reached his full height, Allister pivoted towards the wall and took a step then leaned in against the structure. His arms banged against the wood siding which sent a shock through both of their bodies. His shoulders were slightly above her own but her hips were almost to his belly button. The lanky fellow spread his feet to create a wider base and locked out his knees which created constant leverage of his mass against her own as he pinned her to the wall. He casually laid his head against the wall next to her head and pressed his lips to her ear. “You belong in the stars and someday,” with a subtle twist, he was able to work his body between her legs and his bony hips pushed her limbs aside. The electric action now allowed his body from the breath of his lips to the beat of his heart and the pulse of his loins to connect with the only person he cared about in the entire spanse of time. Utterly content, the hyena smiled as he finished his thought. “I’ll be strong enough to lift you that high.”
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Broken Without You

Postby Madeira Craven on June 25th, 2018, 12:19 am

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It was in his softest voice, with his lips pressed to her hair and his arms around her back, that Allister told Madeira ‘no’ for the first time.

And she almost screamed at him, almost cried at the betrayal of it. It wasn’t until that moment that she realized just how much she relied on his obedience, and how much she took it for granted. Her composure was crumbling and she had lost control of him.

But his hands were moving of their own volition now, and they moved up her back and across her shoulders. Grown rough in the weeks of labor, the callouses caught on the thin linen. The tension in her muscles softened under the steady touch and her skin shivered and rose as if to meet his fingertips. Before she understood what he was doing he already had her wrists in his hands, and with a steady, gentle pressure was twisting her arms behind her back.

The angry red noise in her snarled at the idea of being manhandled, and at the helplessness found with her hands behind her back. Especially after he refused her, and with the anger and pain swirling in her mind. Her body stiffened, resisted, but Allister was stronger than she remembered and simply pushed through it. Soon her body was bowed backwards, pushed up against him by the small of her back and held up by his arms around her body.

She was about to demand he let go, that he get away from her, when he spoke again: “I’ll hold you up.”

With a steady, inescapable grip he bowed back and lifted her from the floor. He did not ask her permission or wait for her to decide what she wanted, but simply lifted her until they could look each other in the eye. And from the liquid blackness of his eyes she could see the complete, blinding devotion in him. This was for her, she realized. He was doing this because he thought she needed it.

Had anyone else tried to restrain her, or even touched her without permission, she would have ripped them apart. But this was Allister, and she trusted him. So she let the tension go, let her muscles unspool until there was no resistance left. And it was such a relief to not have to fight, or make the decisions or even think. She was not in control, she was not responsible, and that was ok, because Allister was.

She could feel his new muscles bunch behind her back as he stood with a grunt of effort. Her skirt slid back to her hips and her breath stuttered as he walked them both back against the wall and the collision shocked their alined bodies in interesting ways. And suddenly she could feel the breath on her ear and the heart that was pounding over hers, and the heat of him that was pushed up against her under her skirt. She knew his body, both of his bodies. She knew the shape of them and the movement, knew he favoured his knees when he walked and his back when he danced. She knew his dominant hand was not the same as his dominant foot, knew the hyena’s preferred place to be pet. She knew how his body reacted to her, and knew he was not the least bit ashamed of the biology of it. But she didn’t know this. She had never thought to touch like this, had never been inclined to. Yet now her breath was coming in stifled little pants and there was a burn low in her belly that seemed to radiate through her entire core.

The anger, that dark rage, was still there, still roaring its destruction through her mind. But it was being eclipsed by her body. The primal reaction, so much simpler to hold and understand, was demanding to be met, and the higher parts of her mind were struggling to be heard around it. Allister was showing her a hiding place for her overburdened mind, and she greedily accepted it.

Everything they had wanted and worked for was crumbling around them, the past was out to get them and the future had never looked bleaker, but she crossed her ankles around the small of his back and sighed just the same. She slowly extracted her hands from his grip behind her back and curled them under and around his shoulders, helping him hold the burden of her. The walls of her cabin were paper thin, Jomi or Emma could materialize at any moment, but she cut her worries away like overwound guitar strings and lived in the weight of her bondmate positioned over her and the hips that pinned her to the wall. Her world narrowed down to the sensations of her body and hunger that it inspired.

And that hunger was growing. It was deepening her breath and flushing through her skin. She reached one hand down between them and bit back a curse as she struggled with the buckle of his trousers. Once freed she held the length of him gently in her hand and stroked the blood into him with an impatience she was trying not to show. She turned her face to his where his forehead was braced against the wall and closed her eyes and simply breathed in the space of him. With the red noise retreating and her desire filling the space left behind she allowed herself to open their bond for the first time in weeks. From her side she pushed to him the consuming need he had inspired and the gratitude for giving this to her, and for showing her this space inside herself in which to hide.

Once she judged him ready she guided him up into her, pushing her smallclothes aside and pressing him forward with her heels on his lower back. Madeira sucked in a breath through her teeth that was both pleasure and pain as she adjusted herself to this brand new sensation. She held his hips hard with her thighs, cautioning him not to move until she was ready. The wait was agony, simply holding the pulsing heat of him inside of her as her body flexed and shivered around him. With her nails digging into his shoulders and her eyes closed it was all she could do to remember to breath.

After a moment that felt like years, her body softened against the wall and her legs adjusted their grip to allow him to move. She did not speak but pressed her urgency through their bond, her throat locked tight around the pathetic little whimpers she was too dignified to utter.
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Broken Without You

Postby Allister on June 26th, 2018, 9:09 pm

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Allister was a lot of things. One thing not on that list, however, was being prepared for what came next. He hoisted his mistress up as a way to honor her request but she had fought against him yet he maintained. The casual slip of her skirt and the bite of her nails forced his body into a space where he lacked a great deal of control. His feeble mind often with processing basic requests but it was suddenly a font of fiery screams that called for any and every type of affection he had ever encountered be it heard, seen or performed. The din drown out his own quiet thoughts of joy at being so close and intimate with the only person he cared about in this world.

The kelvic belonged to Madeira. She knew this and regularly exercised her right to dictate his actions. While some might never understand such a relationship, the former slave valued a stronger and wiser counsel over his life and decisions than ignorance and recklessness. This was different. In this moment, a shift had taken place and it wasn’t Allister changing into a wild dog. The spiritist relaxed beneath his machinations and opened their bond so that he could feel her again. The song of her emotions and urges flooded his soul and washed away all of the noise. Rigid from the sheer weight and length of their contact, the young man watched as he was freed from his belt’s restrictive hold. Had the wall not been so close, they pair would’ve ended up on the floor when the blonde’s grip took hold of him. His knees trembled and legs ached but not from the exertion of lifting her tiny frame.

The hormones and emotions that buried him in tidal waves of bliss and agony seemed relentless. Every push, every pull and the environment only made the fog more dense to the kelvic. Allister’s heightened sense of smell savored the heat from her neck; sweat, skin and hair mixed with the familiar lingering traces of starched clothes drew his face down into her neck. His lips brushed against her hot skin as he ran the tip of his nose along the tendon that rested behind her collarbone. The instant she turned and faced him, her breath engulfed his naked ear in a heat that sent chills up his spine which were chased down by the ones created when she dug deep into his shoulders. The light sprinklings of pain only furthered his torment as his passion solidified under her guiding touch.

The first time they connected, his body almost rejected the amazing sensation. His back arched to drive himself further but the woman was ready for such a thing, her legs controlled their fusion. The result was that her back lifted forward from the wall a few inches and then was promptly dropped against it as the hyena’s burst of strength waned and his muscles found their way back to stasis. For Allister, being clutched in such a way made him feel safe and loved. Never before had he felt anything like this and he dropped his shameless rejoicing into the bond for whatever pushed Madeira into his arms. Selfishly, the voices returned and begged him to do as he pleased, to take real control of the situation and handle his every desire. Consolations of her will and desire being parallel to his own filled the spaces in between the chanting, yelling and shrieking that keep his eyes closed tight and his body stiff in fear that any change might cost him this chance to be with the woman who was his world.

Quietly, amidst all of the ruckus, a faint voice -familiar and sweet- whispered to him. Over and over again, without growing louder or joining the parade of demands and desires, the whisper repeated a different message. The pause which felt like days had soaked the man in his own sweat and a small amount of honey from his love. When she let go of her control for a second time, he felt the weight of the situation rest fully upon his heart. The noise went silent and the whisper was clearly heard; it’s message confirmed by Madeira’s desires within the bond. It was Madison’s voice that spoke softly in his mind. She was so gentle and her words were simple. “Savor everything.”

Allister understood that. One at a time, he moved his hands down from her back and crawled along the bunched up skirt until fingertips found flesh so soft that it didn’t seem real. His rough hands gripped at the delicate little cups which formed the bottom of the lady Craven and squeezed her forward ever so slightly, his legs allowed his hips to fall forward which drove them together solidifying the physical bond. The kelvic’s ear was right next to the woman’s mouth and he listened to her breathing. The explosions of love, lust and everything in between riled his core with a fire he had not known existed and he begged for more. Deeper, harder, faster but the grasp in which he found himself demanded a time to adjust. To appease his need for movement, the kelvic gently rotated his hips which kept his pressure at the same place within her though it created more friction on the outside between their bodies.

Suddenly aware of a handicap, the pale man alternated firm shakes of his legs that gradually dropped his pants to the floor. The vibrations they shared from that mundane task educated the kelvic that he didn’t have to make grand gestures like when he sang to feel incredible results. As her body allowed, he used his hips, back, arms and shoulders to bring them closer and closer together giving pause when there was resistance. Allister siphoned Madeira’s level of trust and pleasure from the bond which made knowing when to move forward.

There are few moments in one’s life that truly stand out but when the backs of her thighs touched his skin… Allister thought he would die from ecstacy. He teeth drug against her neck as he tilted his head up to her ear and clamped his lips over the exposed lobe, canines and incisors grating against the cartilage. He hummed a tone that was an audible response to define him as being speechless. His fingertips tightened and drew her tiny arse to either side as if he were parting a set of curtains. From Allister’s side of the bond, all madeira would hear, feel or sense would be reverence. The kelvic did not know the gods but he had finally found his temple and it was time to pray.

Deliberately, he drew his hips back from her; hands and his chest keeping her pinned against the wall. The cold air was like ice and it burned his slick skin. Angry at the absence of her warmth, the man returned to her warm cocoon in a flash, the gap of a few inches closed with a thought. The impact sent out a shockwave from their center which announced itself with a smack echoed by the thud of her back and his wrists hitting the wall. “It’s ok if you need to hurt me.” He whispered in a deep, husky tone against her ear. His tongue curled up along the back of her ear with almost no contact much like a moth dusting its wings against a leaf. He brought his face around, nose and lips trailing down her jaw -stealing nips and dragging lips along the way. He placed his nose alongside her own, his lips brushing the pale petals that he so often used as a point of focus. “I’m going to hurt you, too…”

Allister drew himself back out and exited a little more than the last time and drove back in with another solid thrust that reverberated the frame of their chintzy room. His words fell upon her lips as a grin spread over his face. His hands massaged inward, like they were trying to open her further as he slowly oscillated his hips and length in and out of his only desire. “In all the ways you never knew you needed.”
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Broken Without You

Postby Madeira Craven on June 28th, 2018, 2:11 am

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Did gods know worship like this? They were praised in wine and flowers and blood, but did they know what it felt like to be shown reverence with hands and skin and teeth? Did they know the power to be found even with your back against the wall, being laboured over by a creature who's only goal was to bring you pleasure?

Madeira was drunk off of it. Their bond was alight with a feedback loop of love and pleasure and something ravenous until she couldn’t tell which emotions and sensations belonged to who. Breath hot with exertion ghosted across her neck and lips and her head tipped back to meet it. Her fingers twisted up in his hair dragged him down to her level so she could show him with her mouth what her bond was already displaying. Breathy little whispers across his lips spoke of how much she loved him, how much she needed him, peppered with encouragement and sharp, animal moans that moved in time with their bodies.

The room rocked with the force of him. Her back hit the wall hard enough to shake Bird's cage and the pigeon to give a disgruntled squawk. The rattle of them slamming against the wood and her own uncontainable sounds were too loud, and a shuffling from the other side of the door made her suspect that at least one of the deprived sailors was listening, but she was too far gone to care. She was gripping Allister's flesh, marking him as hers with bites marks and bruises that fit perfectly under her lips. Everything inside of her was fire and water that moved with greedy, hungry demand and mounting pressure. She wanted him to feel this too.

Instinct lifted her legs higher behind him and bowed her back off the wall, adjusting herself and how she received him. Lifting her hips she met his collision at a new angle, and with one thrust something inside her lit up white and electric. Her body stiffened against him and her eyes watered as her lungs sucked in air like she was drowning. And suddenly she was clutching him, raking her fingernails down his back hard enough to draw blood and stifling her screams with her teeth latched around his shoulder as a building pressure tightened her body around him. Their bond was chaos of sensation and noise as her body moved against him, desperately searching for just a little more friction, a deeper hold, anything to crest and release the overwhelming tension in her body.
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Broken Without You

Postby Allister on July 1st, 2018, 4:18 am

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There was nothing the man could say. Words fell from his mind as paltry sacrifices to his goddess with the knowledge that the pitiful phrases would never equate to the level of devotion and intimacy that this strange circumstance had charged. Weeks of isolation had made Allister feel as if he was alone in his mind and soul. He hated the feeling of it; resented his bond mate at times for her cruel treatment of him in this way. She had beat his once and he had not been angry but being locked but of her bond and her life had broken that barrier for the former slave. His love never changed but the man did in small ways.

That was lost in this moment. Madeira was everywhere at once and overwhelming him with her love, her desires and her body. The small blonde temptress had hit a breaking point and what had come out of it was a villain of lust and the kelvic was a willing victim to her addictions. The sensations of becoming one, of sharing sweat and saliva, set off fires through his body that the balm her her love quenched through the bond. She guided him to her needs and directed him of her wants. The fingers in his hair made his flesh stand up from top to bottom as her lips met his own. The taste of his beloved filled him and there was a wave of satisfaction that rippled through every fiber of the hyena’s being and left him in a place of determination.

She told him in the bond of her climb ticks before she arched her back and lifted her legs against his back. The next thrust came at an angle that varied from the rest and its path led to a place that was deeper; hotter. The ping of contact which came from inside of her lit the kelvic ablaze with a need to expedite the goal of his spiritist lover. She tore at his flesh with tooth and nail yet these things only seemed to drive him more fervently to please her. The next withdraw of his ips gave him the opportunity to change his hold of the tiny blond so he took it. His right arm slipped from around her waist, the hand letting go of her bottom. He snapped it back against the wooden wall and the crook of her knee landed in his bent elbow just as he pushed himself back to that point where her body told him that he could go no further.

The next slide saw him do the same thing with his other arm and this new stance increased the friction of their angle. He no longer needed to break contact with her warm body to draw himself back if he curled the base of his spine. The motion slowed his rhythm somewhat but it intensified his ability to drive her against the wall with each thrust. Several more times, he repeated this motion and each time he tried to go further still into the core of his every heartfelt thought. He mumbled things to her but nothing coherent as his body trembled but never waivered. Sweat coursed down his pale skin and his head swirled in the heat of the act.

The climb she made brought to mind an end for him. Suddenly, he was aware that this might never happen after today. The kelvic had been pushed from the bond for an entire voyage thus far and now he was being pushed to satisfy a singular urge which felt like closure. His rhythm hiccuped when Allister thought that he could never experience this perfect moment again. He slammed his hips into her, the force was strong enough to bounce his hands from the wall. As a reflex, they jumped from wood to flesh as each palm filled with the soft spheres of flesh that covered the pointed bones of her bottom. The performer pushed his thoughts of abandonment aside as a plan took that place just as Madeira settled into this new hold as if it were made just for her.

Allister ripped her back from the wall and turned around so that she was solely suspended upon her bond mate. He leaned back and flexed his legs while his arms swelled under her weight. The thrusting had been paused for this transition. His fingers dug into her body’s delicate skin and muscle like vipers tearing into a large piece of prey and dug outward. It was so fierce a grasp that if he were to pull his arms away from one another, he might tear her flesh asunder at the loveliest of seams. Without warning, he flexed his arms, a grunt on his lips withheld as he pulled her up against his torso, her body’s flower parting its petals as they dragged against the pale space above his pelvis. His biceps bulged and his forearms burned as he guided her up higher until he had exposed all of himself except the very tip. The process was slow and deliberate as he found his way to this point but it’s also where the caution ceased.

The kelvic dropped his arms and lifted his hips all at once. Their bodies collided violently with a slap that was not allowed to linger. The faintest sensation of hitting that same place as before confirmed what the former slave had surmised so he hesitated not. Arms flexed and dragged Madeira up his lower abdomen only to drop her down once more. The slow pace was gone. This was a beating that perpetuated as he felt each and every impact in a compounding manner that built upon itself and spurred him oneward with harder thrusts, heavier drops and faster lifts. Fingers squeezed tighter even to the point of separating her cheeks at a place where one finger teased a place to hide. Madeira was small and easy to hoist. The rapid fire session rose like fog off of damp soil.

Allister threw his head back and arched his spine while this pummeling drew onward towards the place where fire and water would meet the lightning inside of the woman. The closer she drew to her end, the more rich her aroma became in the nose of the canine. This thick sweetness was laced with salt and earth and it permeated everything he tried to focus upon. Her nails ripped his flesh open with edges of salt that burned but her teeth were made of raw sugar and the cane seemed to leave something behind in each place where her mouth marked his body as her own. The empress claimed him over and over but she was his thrall tonight. Forever, his actions tonight would make her his own and no one else.

The kelvic’s muscles ached from head to toe as he continued his furious assault on the softed place of the woman. Her bottom would bruise from his grasp and the apex of her legs would never be the same as he continued to piston his hips; mind focused on the pain she gave and the scent she provided. Lust was a flavor he enjoyed and hs body trembled again as he neared his own cliff. That cold thought crept forth again that jumping from the side of the mountain would leave him alone once more. Despite his body begging for him to continue, Allister refused to let this be the end.

The hands pulled her bottom down until the air was choked out from between them and he found that special place in her depth where flesh met flesh. Madeira’s body bit him with a warm beacon that pulsed just above where they shared a space together. The flower of her form held a bud which seared itself to him. Rather than continue the same motion, he used his dominating hold to rhythmically grind and rub this button while he slowly turned towards their bed. The rotation of her body against his twisted him slightly as he remained within and the cliff drew closer but before he allowed himself to fall, he leaned forward and dropped them both onto the bed.

Madeira’s back would hit first but the whole weight of the kelvic would crash down the instant later in one final, powerful thrust that drove him in at angle deeper than before. Committed to his selfish plan, the pale man slipped up her body so that he could see her face and took the woman’s jaw in his right hand. He pressed them into a kiss that hurt his mouth because of the pressure then broke it after a few ticks. “I’m not done with you, lady.” the look in his black eyes was sheer madness. Her love and her lust had broken a cage he had held in his mind for as long as he could remember. The flood of ideas and needs that bubbled within the magma of his soul were now unleashed upon the bond. She would burn for him tonight. Allister would spend the rest of his life on fire for her, immolation of the spirit for a woman much greater than himself but not tonight. This was the gift he’d been given and he’d not squander it in snivelling servitude. A slave gives his master what she wants. An avatar gives his master what she needs.

The man was slick with their combined sweat and he dove down upon her with both hands and tore her shirt open. Buttons flew and pinged against the walls and floor but she would not be able to stop his rage of love. Her bodice was not fully exposed since she wore small clothes so he grabbed her wrists in his hands and flattened them against the mat. Slowly, he arced them up above her head then took both dainty wrists underneath one hand and locked it into his vice-like grip. His face came down near ears and he nipped her jaw, her earlobe and then traced the tip of his nose down her tense neck where he pulled his lips against her pale skin. The saturated flavor simmered on his tongue while hie free hand found the collar of her undershirt. He took a second to inhale through his nostrils and they flared with the symphony of her body and its hormones then ripped the thin fabric from her like a leaf from a tree.

Now that she was open and bared, he flattened himself against her. Allister’s body was on fire but to feel her naked flesh against him and the soft mounds that barely protruded from her chest without anything between them erupted wave after wave of pure love, admiration and obsession into the bond. The kelvic couldn’t use words even if he knew every word that ever existed. Singer, he was, but not a poet. He had no way to tell her what this meant to him. The emotions in the bond felt insignificant to him so he did the only thing he could trust- action. With arms trailing over her own to keep them relatively still, he began to side down her form leaving behind nothing as he used his tongue, his lips, teeth, the tip of his nose and even faint brushings of his eyelashes to touch every inch of her flawless skin. He intentionally avoided the small hatching of lines on her body but he moved painfully slow down her chest. His body weight was left to relax on top of Madeira as a way to hold her down. Allister had said he was not done. The truth is- he was just getting started.

The dutiful servant found his way to the woman’s skirt and dove beneath it. He found the source of her urges and attacked it with fervor born of true love. His focus let him savor her liquor and it made him drunk, easily pliable in her bond. He had run her over an edge once but now she wanted him to do it again. It was easy for him to whip her into a frenzy with his face and fingers as he played under her cover until neither one could stand any more delays. Allister rose and reconnected that sacred tether -a physical representation of their bond. Back and forth, they pulled and smothered one another until the former slave happily leapt from the edge of his cliff. Madeira jumped from her waterfall at the same time. Eruptions and explosions led them to a wild freefall where they landed in one another’s arms.

Tangled in limbs, sweat, shreds of cloth and the smell of a violent love, Allister and his love laid upon her bed covered by a blanket. He had helped her strip to nothing so that there was no hindrance to fingertips that walked lazily against tacky skin or the wayward lips of a worn out servant. The kelvic wrapped her in himself because he could, because he loved her but most of all because he wanted her to feel safe. The act of trading a piece of themselves to the other had been so deep and so passionate that he worried what too fast of a separation might do to the woman. She was always so strong but recent events had taught him that her heart was vulnerable. The former slave needed her to know that the trust she gave him to lord over her body was not ill-spent. The black eyes stared at the messy blond hair that was matted to his shoulder, an arm wrapped around her thin body. His other hand traced a leg that was thrown over his torso with fingers that drew his own crude pictures of her magnificent form and the things they had done.

Allister smiled and his tattoo gurgled with hunger. He reached up and under the mat where he had stashed a very special thing that he wanted to share with his lover. He produced a strange brass tin and brought it to his other hand without releasing her from his hold. He opened the metal container and within it was a muffin, warm as if freshly baked. It was golden and flaky with a peppered look as dark blueberries hid beneath the surface of the treat. “Would you like a muffin, love?”

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Broken Without You

Postby Madeira Craven on July 2nd, 2018, 3:11 am

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Madeira was in a slow spiral. Dizzy with exertion, fuzzy with spent emotion and sore in the most pleasant way, she was sagging into the thin mattress. Down, down, down, breathing slow with her cheek on her bondmates chest and her leg thrown around his waist. It was safe and warm in this space they had dug for themselves.

But suddenly the Kelvic was moving, reaching behind her and under the mattress with one hand. She mumbled grumpily at being jostled, and blinked sleepily when she was presented with a strange, beaten little tin. Allister flicked it open, and the real, unmistakable smell of baked goods washed over her.

Madeira blinked. Frowned. Blinked again. It was a real, fresh and warm muffin, on a ship, a million kilometers from the nearest bakery. This was not too much of a leap off the logic train for an Avalad, but the woman who had lived off of nothing but pickled, salted and tinned everything for the an entire season, she nearly wept for joy.

"Would you like a muffin, love?"

"Praise Ionu. Yes, I want a muffin."

The bunk was entirely too narrow to facilitate sharing a meal side by side. She prompted him to lie back against the headboard and she shifted her weight over to the leg over his waist, so she ended up sitting up and straddling his hips with the blanket pooled behind her.

"Where did you find this?" she mumbled, stuffing an indecent mouthful of muffin into her mouth. Her eyes fluttered closed and she almost groaned for pleasure as the hot, buttery pastry hit her tongue. She fed him bites between, and too soon the muffin was gone. When she sadly opened the tin again to mourn the loss of the most magnificent
breakfast she had ever experienced, she was overjoyed to see another in its place. This one was a spicy molasses-ladened concoction that made her mouth water. She happy attacked this new pastry, and made sure Allister had his fill as well.

Soon the first sign of daybreak was timidly poking through the tiny porthole with a dull greenish light. It reflected off the destruction from the night before, glass shards and beads and forgotten tools, the lingering trace of soulmist she could see in the walls. As they ate their fill and the novelty of the breakfast began to dim, Madeira's eyes kept sliding back to the room. The violence of the scene shot a prickle of shame up her spine. That was not how a leader behaved. That was not how a Craven should act.

Halfway around the world and she still cared about what they would think. She chuckled darkly.

The perfect little bubble he had built for her was growing thin. Nothing was solved, just distracted. She kept these dark thoughts to herself, pushed them down, and smiled.
She tried to focus on the man underneath her. Yet her eyes traced the endless lines of tattoos and scars from the people who had abused him, she wondered if she could be counted among them. The bites and scratches from his shoulders were red and inflamed, but they would heal. Yet it was undeniable that she had used him. She had her suspicions that he had been prostituted before, and yet here she was, wringing him for physical satisfaction because she couldn’t control herself.

No, that wasn’t right. He initiated, didn’t he?

Because that’s how he knows to tame anger.

But he enjoyed himself!

Because it’s better to be stroked than hit.

She shook her head, as if that was enough to banish the red noise that was creeping back up her throat and settling in the lining of her brain. It was muffled, weaker than before, but she doubted it would ever really leave. Leaning over she placed the tin back on the floor, then sat back and traced the muscles of his chest. They were much more defined than she remembered.

“Thank you”, she said, her voice clear and steady. “For what you did. It was…” Nothing could quite sum up the experience, so her voice trailed off unfinished. Her nail carved around the laugher etched into his skin in harsh black lines as the silence sat undisturbed.

Her thoughts moved to Ssanya, who’s arms treated her so differently. Was this betrayal? Her mind said yes, but her heart couldn’t decide. It didn’t feel like betrayal. It felt as necessary as eating when hungry, and sleeping when tired. A physical need. But guilt burned in her core anyway at the thought. Gods, what did her Dhani care? She was gone. Missing or dead or worse. What would she care of the fidelity of a woman she would never see again?

Reality came creeping in quietly, pooling in the corners and lurking in the dark places of her mind. Madeira traced away the ink on Allister’s chest and belly, doing her best to ignore it, and salvage the last of the sanctuary Allister had given her. She wasn’t ready to let it go yet.

Her fingers turned from passively tracing to exploring, palms connecting with skin and kneading the muscles under her hands.

"If you don't work again until tonight, and you've gotten your strength back..." she began, a glint in her eye. She tightened her thighs and ground down against him, looking for a stir of interest. ”Want to go again?"

With her hands on either side of him on the headboard, she was leaning down to kiss him. Her body was eager to get back to that sensory space, and was already moving against him of its own accord when a certain Spiritist sense roared to frantic life.

"Maddy?"

A breath of cold air on their tacky skin was all that announced her presence. Emma was standing in the centre of the room, fidgeting nervously with her dress and looking at the two adults with wide, innocent eyes.

Madeira nearly rolled off the bed in her effort to put as much space between her and Allister as possible. She scrambled back, dragging the blanket around her hips with her, until the small of her back hit the board at the foot of the bed. Everything between her hairline to her collarbone was an alarming shade of red.

"Emma!" she gasped, embarrassment prompting her to throw the thin sheet over Allister, though this left her completely bare. This didn’t seem to bother the little ghost though. She'd had her own male bondmate since she was a baby, and had seen Allister shift enough that the taboo of male nudity was completely lost on her. And she was too young and had seen Madeira getting dress enough not to be embarrassed by the nakedness of other women. Yet she was looking between them, and Madeira could see the child struggling to make sense of what she was seeing. Madeira swallowed visibly and crossed her legs over her thighs and her arms over her chest. "W-what is it, sweetheart?”

“What are you doing?”

A thousand tiny deaths rained down on the Spiritist. Was this it? Was this the moment she would have to explain the concept of sex to a dead child? Half of her was grudgingly telling her this was a topic every child eventually stumbled upon, and as Emma’s older… something… it was her duty to enlighten her. The other, louder half was screaming that the child would be a child forever and thus annulled that certain social milestone.

“We were…” she looked at Allister, decided he would be no help, and stuttered out the only answer she could possibly think of. “Exercising?”

“Exorcising?!” Emma’s big brown eyes grew even wider, and her scabbed little hands clapped over her mouth in horror.

“No! No. No. That’s not…” Gods help me, she cried into the abyss. They did not design to answer. “We were doing… things. Adult things! For the love of the gods, baby, what are you doing here?”

“I came to check if you were okay.” The girls eyes slid over to Allister, decided no exorcism was going to crash down on her, and self consciously began to pick at the scabs in the corners of her lips.

“I’m okay, sweetheart. I’m so sorry you saw that.” Her heart cracked to realize she had scared the fragile little girl. “Were you the one who got Ally?”

“Yah.”

“Then thank you. You did very well to get him for me. I’ll make you and Raj a big bowl of soulmist as a reward, okay? Does that sound good?”

Soulmist was the magic word, and Emma smiled wide and proud. Fresh fluid weeped from her crusted lips.

“Yay! Did Ally give you something to help?”

Images of last night flooded back, how she was on her back begging him to give it to her, and how her enthusiastically held her down and did exactly that. Her legs crushed together tighter around the ache in the apex of her legs and a little piece of her soul died as she answered.

“Yes.”

“I’m happy you feel better”, she smiled, shuffling closer and bending to speak to Raj under the bed. “Did you hear that? We get mist for breakfast because we’re good!” Her head popped back up to speak with a happy little smile, and her eyes were caught by the low bunk. “Ew, did you wet the bed?”

“Out. Out out out. Ally and I need to have a grown up talk.”

“But what about my mist!”

“As soon as I’m dressed, baby. Out.”

“Can I take Ra-“

“Out! I’ll call you back in a moment. Please, baby, five chimes.”

The ghost reluctantly, throwing confused glances over her shoulder as she passed through the solid wall. For a moment there was quiet.

“I’m ghost-proofing this room first thing today”, she stated firmly, the blush refusing to fade from her burning cheeks. She glanced at Allister, caught his eye, and the tension left her shoulders. She uncurled her bloodless arms and legs, and the release made her chuckle. Then the chuckle turned to a giggle, and before she could understand why she was laughing. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she laughed and laughed as the hilarity of the situation washed over her. The red noise was forced back as she delighted in the awkward and completely stupid situation they had built for themselves. She laughed until her belly hurt and her cheeks hurt from smiling.

It was the first genuine laugh she had had in a very long time. She savoured it even as the ripples flowed down her arms and legs and she was able to master herself. She crawled back to Allister and kissed him chastely on the forehead.

“I have to go. Get some sleep. I’ll come back.” Her eyes flicked to the door, and she smiled ruefully. “Think the quartermaster will let me have some nails?”

WC: 1814
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
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