Completed The Song of Water (Kelski)

Once again, Kelski and Kynier meet by happenstance.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 13th, 2018, 2:26 am

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When she raised her eyes at him he felt a need to steady himself, lest he fall into the embrace of passion again. Though her eyes portrayed confusion and she expressed its source. Kynier thought for a moment on how to explain it to her. “Yes, but as you say, humans make it more complicated than that. We also seek connection and companionship. Me personally, I have been dwelling alone in privacy for a long time. There will be moments, or occasions, when I will need privacy. Just as I imagine there would be times when you do too.” Kynier wasn’t sure if he could phrase it any better than that. Kelski softly retreated from his reach and wandered to one of the wardrobes. Her steps were slow and deliberate, as though carefully treading a path she sought to avoid. In the silence she opened the doors to the empty interior. From the way her muscles tensed he could see that it wasn’t actually empty. It was full. Full of memories that she wanted to keep locked away.

As she spoke of her time with Jaren he felt conflicted. Instinctually he wanted to approach and wrap his arms around her. To become a shield and set himself between the kelvic and the aches of her past. And to somehow assure Kelski that she’d never have to experience that again. Intellectually, he knew she was facing her pain. By sharing it aloud she would somehow be able to take another step past it and leave it behind her. That if he tried to shield her she may never move beyond it and use him as a crutch. Then she closed the wardrobe, sealing the memories back within. Though it was not to him, she nodded as she turned her back on the contents of her past.

Kelski’s words helped him understand the situation better. How all of this was new to her. The space, the privacy… the freedom. All of it at once may have been disorienting and she was probably just trying to emulate a lifestyle she had seen others enjoy. All the while not knowing what it was that made her truly comfortable. At least, so he thought. Then he understood that the only thing that made it better was the companionship. That she relied on Ebon and… Ren? His eyes narrowed in thought as the name struck a memory. Would this be the same Ren he met in Tent City at the beginning of summer? How many people were actually living here? He mentally shook himself back to the prior thought process. Kelski was strong willed and determined. But she was trying to find what space in the world suited her the most.

Blood rushed to his cheeks and other areas when she admitted a willingness to share the room, and the bed. It was short lived as she continued to suggest she return back to a nest in a wardrobe. His brow furrowed in great displeasure at the thought. He waited for her to finish her those words before interjecting. But he brushed it aside to speak plainly about what she said. “If I have to Kelski, I would burn every wardrobe in this city. Just to keep you from ever having to sleep in one ever again.” He took a few steps closer as he spoke. “Everything you have told me of Jaren, says that he treated you as a possession and not another living being. To sleep in a confined space like that is demeaning to your value as a person, as a mortal creature. You may have been able to make it comfortable, but it is less than you deserve.” Kynier paused to take a calming breath. “I don’t want anyone, anyone to treat you the way that Jaren, or Darvin, had treated you.”

When she smiled again, the somber look in her eyes vanished. The complement surprised him for he didn’t realize that that was what he was doing. He too smiled, more because she was than from the actual compliment. He watched Kelski settle herself on the edge of the bed. After only a few ticks he followed suit and sat down beside her. The bed was nicer and higher than his own, but not so much that his feet couldn’t touch the ground like hers. For a moment he didn’t say anything. The thrumming of rain on the roof was pleasing. Almost enough to just sit in silence with her company.

“I can sell off most of my furniture. And I don’t have many minor possessions. There is a chicken, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be an issue since you have your own pen.” Kynier looked down at her hand and slid his own underneath to interlace their fingers together. “I would be happy to show you. If you wanted, we could go when the rain stops. I don’t mind walking in the rain, but my home is in the Sunset Quarter, which will take some time to get to.” Kynier liked the idea. It was an excuse to spend more time with her today, should she be agreeable to it. He had expected today to be unproductive and it was turning out to be quite the opposite. That was fine by him.

His expression changed to quizzical as he looked at her. “When you say ‘entertain’, I don’t know what it is that you…” then the realization hit. “Oh!” he exclaimed as his eyes ran over the large bed. He nearly laughed but stifled it to a bemused snort in his throat as he looked away. He shook his head. “No. I reserve that for more meaningful interactions,” he said in a matter-of-fact way. He turned his head to look at her again. Kelski’s dark lips caught his attention. Still feeling the euphoria of their previous physical interaction Kynier wanted to steal another kiss. However, having just made his last comment, he didn’t want to make an indication that he was seeking something more than that at this time. So he took the hand he held and rested his lips on the back of her hand. He enjoyed the softness of her skin, and the feel of it against his own.

Kynier locked eyes with Kelski again. His will reached deep within himself to draw out his djed. Within the recesses of his life force he found the mystic energies and brought it forth. His eyes widened slightly as his auristics activated his Sight. From here Kelski would see a fresh wet glimmer in his irises as djed coursed through them. A mist emanated from the kelvic’s skin and swirled around her. The aura was not a new sight to Kynier, and that wasn’t what his objective was. The personal trait of his auristics were his focus. How he physically felt the emotions of those he observed with his Sight rather than just getting a vague sense. Words and actions could describe only so much. Kynier wanted to actually feel what it was that Kelski was feeling, to know how close it felt to his own emotions.
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on July 14th, 2018, 1:29 am

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Sitting in the bed, reflecting on his words as he joined her, Kelski felt infused with gratitude. The thing he said about burning every wardrobe in the city touched a part of her, deeply, and she sat watching him with eyes that were wide. It wasn’t fear, it was almost disbelief that humans like him existed. She hadn’t minded sleeping in the wardrobe but he was offended beyond belief FOR her and that was a new experience to Kelski. She was Kelvic. People didn’t expect them to be like everyone else – desiring equality or being less than content with what they were given – and have human traits even though they had them in some quantities.

When he said he would need moments of privacy, she understood, and was also startled he recognized she would need such herself. She’d nodded understandingly to his words. Had he vocalized her problem, her real issue, that being her adjustment to freedoms and all the wide-open space and all the time it gave her to make her own decisions, she would have nodded vigorously. He was absolutely right. But as it was, she was still struggling with what was bothering her in all of it. And rather than dwell on it, she was just facing one problem at a time and working through them methodically… facing the smaller ones first because they piled up faster and were more easily blown through than the larger ones like…. like Kynier and her hunt for him.

When he sat down and took her hand, she watched their entwined fingers as he read off his mental list of what he’d have to do. She nodded, indicating his chicken was welcome and anything at all he wanted to bring along. That he was willing to show her his home meant a lot to her. “I’d really like to see it. I didn’t know you lived alone and that you liked privacy. I only have the experiences of the humans I’ve been around to go by. But I’m slowly learning that not all humans are like them. I don’t mind the rain, but we can wait as well, she answered, glancing up at him. It was important for her to get him here, settled, and in place. It was as if her nest wouldn’t be complete without him in it, collected, and firmly ensconced.

She glanced at him when he started to talk about entertaining and watched understanding dawn and his face suppress mirth. She tilted her head at his term ‘meaningful interactions’. There was a question all over her face at that. But he distracted her from the question by kissing the back of her hand. Her eyes dropped from his because his own filled with a glow that was volatile and luminous, one that she didn’t understand. Instead she dropped her eyes to where he clutched her hand to his lips. “I like it when you touch me. I’ve never liked another person doing that until I felt the touch of the Kelvics here. They are gentle and friendly and together we are not so alone being unbonded. But you aren’t Kelvic. You are human and everything I’ve learned about humans for the most part, especially men, are that they are dangerous, volatile, and not to be trusted. None of that seems to fit you. I often wonder if you are even human or if maybe I just haven’t met the right humans.” She said softly and opened her fingers in his grasp and slipped out of his grip to run her hand across his jawline.

Her aura was bright, swirling with colors, and not a single one of them dull or angry. She didn’t look like someone would assume an animal would look like with simple needs. There was something complex and wholly alien about her. Bands of color swirled around her like a fractal splitting apart, with a whole section of the colors bound up and repressed though he could see they were trying to reach for him like a grasping prismatic hand. It had to have been her Kelvic bond or the need to solidify it. The rest of her was wholly lit up as well, like every bit of her was aware of him and her thoughts where whirling with complex patterns. They were easy patterns to recognize though, things he’d seen in other humans and other creatures. Happiness, contentedness, satisfaction, infused with a whole lot of love that superimposed itself over everything else. If her aura could translate itself into symphony it would be a joyous exuberant one infused with wonder and in many ways disbelief of the reality of the situation.

Kelski was incredibly happy but wasn’t certain she deserved to be.

Not realizing what he was doing, the Kelvic continued to speak. “It’s going to be very good for me to have you here. I don’t know how to explain it, Kynier, but I need to have you close. I need it. When I don’t see you for long periods of time, I think about you a lot and often wonder what you are doing or if you are well. I know the Night Mother wants us together. She’s made herself clear to me. But I don’t want to pressure you. I don’t want you to feel you HAVE to do something just because I want it. I want you to want it very much too. I… I can’t tell you what it will mean to me to see you every day. It feels a little unreal that you want to share my room and that we can share the bed so I can sleep beside you. I’ve worked very hard for this, and it feels so good to have something of my own that can become our own. I feel… I know how it sounds but it is the truth… I feel very lost and very empty after I have seen you and then you are not around.” She stopped touching his jaw and reached out and tapped her chest. “Here… it feels empty. I feel lonely. I don’t know why, and it is not a sensation I’ve ever experienced before. But it is as if you are somehow in my head and I cannot get you out nor do I want too. I hear the people of this city speak of the evils of wizards and I sometimes wonder if that is part of your magic, but everything about that line of thought feels wrong. It is not what you do. It is not anything about you that defines you. It is just simply you. Just you. I… need you.” She said simply, not sure he could understand her words or what she truly meant. She herself couldn’t exactly define them either.

Kelski gave herself a little shake and laughed. “Do you snore? I am a very quiet sleeper. If you snore we will have to get you that couch… even if it has to be a long one to accommodate your length. And maybe put it out on the deck.” She said, trying to lighten the mood, attempting to make a joke. Her aura, however, was still rich with all those colors and with all those emotions. And those tendrils of her power were still straining to reach for him even though Kelski had them contained in an iron willed grip.
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 14th, 2018, 6:18 pm

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“At first the privacy was more necessity. As the days passed I grew more accustomed to not interacting with other people. Though… I find myself appreciating it less and less now.” Kynier felt anxious at the idea of what her reaction might be in seeing his home. It wasn’t slowly growing full of materials or people the way the Gem was. The lifestyle he lived was one of the necessities with little to no comforts available. It was more than what many had to be sure, but paled to what Kelski offered him. While he referred to it as home it never had the safety that the word was supposed to imply.

When the kelvic’s aura formed in his Sight Kynier’s lips parted ever so slightly in amazement. He shifted on the edge of the bed to face her more as he watched the mist of her aura solidify before him. It was different from before, more alive. And… his eyes traced the air around her form as he took in the prismatic limbs that were tightly folded in close to her. The tendrils twitched and appeared to desire the ability to stretch outward towards him, but something reigned them in each time they tried to move. As the aura of this fascinating woman became his focus eh quickly felt waves of emotion crash down upon him. So intense were they that Kynier may have swayed once as they infused themselves into his senses. The entirety of his body felt warmer and restless as a sensation closely related to joy took hold.

Kynier’s breathing became ragged and shallow. The hand that had been entwined with hers had nearly gone limp before she withdrew hers and traced his jaw. To hear the words she spoke as he felt her emotions was a difficult task. But he clung to her. Like a parasite that at last found nourishment he sought to absorb her words and feelings for himself. All those forms of satisfaction that she was having that were traced with a sense of doubt. Kynier focused on that bitter taste. It wasn’t directed towards him. All those emotions were optimistic, even dreamy. No. This bitter thought was directed more inwardly towards him… her. It was growing difficult to decipher whose emotions were whose. A metallic taste touched his tongue. He acknowledged the first sign of overgiving and immediately cast the warning aside.

Kelski expressed herself and how she wanted him to feel. That somehow this was to be an obligation for him to fill. Oh Kelski. He wouldn’t even realize that a tear leapt out from the corner of his eye as the intensity of her emotion rooted itself deep inside him. They crashed against him and washed out quickly like an impossibly fast tide. The peaks and valleys of happiness and uncertainty struck in that fashion. As the kelvic started on the sense of emptiness she touched herself over her heart. She was unaware that that action had touched him in the same place through his Auristics. The remembrance of that loneliness brought it forth in both of them. An unseen hand reached into his lungs and took all the air leaving him to make an unexpected breathless gasp in its wake. His hand reached out for her shoulder to help steady himself as his watering eyes perceived her soul.

Then she said it again. ‘I need you.’ And the power behind those words nearly stopped his heart.

Djed took the hazel of his irises and made them move. They circled his contracting pupils in an inhuman way as he took in the brightness of her aura. When she made her attempt of humor a single exhale of amusement forced itself from him to mirror Kelski. The words to change the atmosphere were not lost on him though they were quickly buried beneath their emotions. Kynier attempted to relax his grip on her shoulder but felt as though he could collapse from emotional exhaustion at any moment. Still he held fast to his Sight and did his best to regulate himself and his djed. And though tears were actively falling from his eyes he was smiling at her.

“I do understand, Kelski.” As though inebriated by her very being and seeking more he reached with his other hand to rest on the nape of her neck. “Right now, I see your soul. And I don’t want you to misinterpret my words for metaphor. A mage has another sense at their disposal that can be harnessed to interpret the souls of others.” Kynier blinked for the first time in several chimes. He had been unaware that he’d been staring so endlessly. And he smiled more as he continued. “When I use it, I can feel what you feel, and when you feel it. And in this last moment our emotions have been closely woven together inside me. I know that emptiness you speak of. And you don’t need to tell me what it would mean to see me daily. If it is a fraction of what you feel now I don’t see how you’re not bursting with emotion.”

It was growing dangerous, the power of using the Sight for so long. Kelski would see his irises spinning rapidly like whirlpools. Kynier forced himself to let it go before the overstimulation began to tax his head with pain. His eyes suddenly came to a halt as the djed left them. The hazel color seemed to dull as it did. And it all left. The intensity of her being separated itself from him to be carried only on her shoulders again. Kynier’s body felt heavy as though somehow she had been infusing him with strength he relinquished despite desperately needing. He sighed in a surprising high pitch as dizziness took him. He collapsed forward and slid off the bed’s edge. Kynier fell to his knees and rested against the bed. The hands slipped down her form while trying to take hold of Kelski for an anchor with feeble grips.

Breathless and emotionally drained, he braced himself against the bed. Too tired to even reposition himself he just knelt there performing long deep cycles of breathing. The one did before and after nauseous regurgitation. After a moment had passed Kynier realized how wet his cheeks were. With a hand he wiped it away and blinked out the remnants in his eyes. The colors of the world seemed less vibrant from a chime ago. Perhaps more for himself than for her, he set a hand on her knee in reassurance. Breathlessly he gazed up at her. A smirk forming between intakes of air.

“Normally Auristics aren’t nearly so taxing. Though only once before have I perceived such strong emotions.” He finally adjusted himself to rest his back against the bed. Maybe in a few chimes he’ll have the strength to climb back up. “I know what you mean though. There’s this sense of… longing… with your absence. And it can be distracting to all my other efforts.” He met her gaze, his breathing more under control. “Trust me when I say, this is something that I desire. Her hand maybe guiding it, but this is the path I choose to take.” Kynier rested his head against the soft texture of the bed to rest his eyes. He thought more on his words now that his mind was less overwhelmed by his other senses.

“There is something about this place that brings out the worst of people. So it has also attracted the worst uses of magic as well. But don’t let them sway your opinions Kelski. Magic is something that is infused with life and moves regardless of its surroundings. It is not evil in nature, just as it is also not benevolent. It comes from the wielder. People would rather remember one terrible act of magic than a hundred charitable uses of it. Because they are afraid of something they don’t understand. That is Human. It falls to the mage whether magic is evil or good.”

He opened his eyes and stared out the open door. “I will not be naïve, and say I may never have to use my power in a way that is evil. I would prefer to avoid that outcome.” Slowly his strength was returning to him. Not enough yet to reposition again. The dizziness was fading and his eyes felt less sore. A grin of mirth crossed his face. “Also, I don’t think I snore. If I do, no one’s ever told me.”
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on July 15th, 2018, 2:12 am

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She listened quietly to his explanation. Kynier volunteered very little about his life as of now, though he had spoken of his distant past often. Kelski was eager, almost greedy, to know what it was like. The Kelvic thought of him as secretive, reclusive, and someone who kept to himself. The Sea Eagle wondered if it was because of his magic. She understood about what he meant when he spoke of his isolation. But such a life was not for her. Kelski needed people around her, especially since she was unbonded. She reached out without realizing it and ran a hand across the curve of his shoulder and down his arm, connecting them momentarily as if to say he was no longer alone.

But it scared her when his eyes grew luminous. The hazel orbs almost took on a menacing unworldly quality as something pooled into them and spilled out. His attention was focused on her, completely, and she squirmed under his scrutiny. Kelski could tell he was seeing something with eyes altered and enhanced. He wouldn’t know but she’d read of auristics and knew what it was she was witnessing. She had a book on it, one that had traveled with her from Lhavit … it was water stained and worn, but enough of it had survived the storm and her capture that she had read it quietly in those soft moments when she’d needed to pass time or avoid the horror of her life.

Kelski studied him as he studied her and she noted that he seemed to be somehow hurting himself. He swayed, moved his jaw as if he was tasting something on his tongue, and then his eyes grew even more luminous. When he reached for her Kelski brought her arms up and captured his shoulders. She was far smaller than he was and had no hopes of truly restraining him if something happened, but the Kelvic did try to steady him as he swayed.

Tears gleamed in his eyes and slipped down his cheeks. He touched her and spoke. He tried to describe auristics to her, but there was no need. She already knew about it. Though the book’s explanation was far poorer than this man’s beautiful words. But he kept looking, kept the power up, and slide off the bed despite Kelski’s attempts to steady him. When he hit his knees she followed, going down with him and waiting, her hands on his shoulders until he braced against the bed and began to speak again. It was then she pulled away, stood up, and retreated. She carefully and slowly gave him space, worried he’d ‘look’ again and hurt himself more.

When he said ‘this place’ Kelski instinctively knew he meant Sunberth. The city was cursed in a way she did not understand. It was likely the reason Akajia was placing her Nightstalkers there and making new ones to augment her growing followers. Kelski understood Kynier was trying to assure her that it wasn’t the magic but the person and she immediately thought of her daggers and how they could be used to defend or torture. Nodding that she understood, the Kelvic wondered how to answer him.

“I know what you are saying. I am also glad you are not promising something you may not be able to uphold. But your intent is good. I see that.” She said softly, then laughed when he added the bit about snoring. “We shall see. I’m not taking the couch on the deck option off the list though.” She said with a certainty before she slipped out of the room briefly. Kelski returned shortly, a mug of cool water in a ceramic cup and a damped cloth in her hand. She offered the mug to Kynier and then gently reached out with the cloth and gently swiped it over his eyes. “You hurt yourself with the aursitics. I’ve read about it. It shouldn’t do that to you.” She said quietly, an almost chastising tone in her voice. “You look too deep and use too much of your inner glow in your eyes.” The Kelvic admonished, gently swiping his face with the wet cloth again. She offered it to him as she knelt beside him worriedly.

“Are you okay? The rain stopped… but I don’t want to walk to your place without knowing you are feeling better.” She said gently, reaching out and stroking a hand through his hair, rubbing his scalp lightly. “And you know…. It falls more than just to the mage. It falls to everyone around him too… his family and his friends. We will try not to let you down, Kynier. You don’t have to be alone anymore. You can be here… and have a family. Our family…” She said with a smile, rising and walking to the window to glance out. The weather looked promising with the dark clouds slipping off out over the sea. Would it last? Kelski had no idea, but she hoped it would long enough for them to make the trip across town.

She had to move... to get out of this close space with him. Kelski felt like she'd just given him a big chunk of herself when she'd admitted how much she needed him. It was clear to her that he perhaps didn't need her like she needed him, though earlier he'd said he wanted to know a different life... to live. That was alright and something she could live with. Kynier had said he was afraid. She didn't want him to be but fear wasn't something one could control. But he'd talked of understanding her need and of his magic, revealing nothing at all of his own feelings. It made her feel strange and like she had to move, to fly, or walk or anything other than have these deep talks.

The Kelvic smiled, turned from the window, and gestured. "We should go soon..." She said, knowing if she waited too long he might change his mind. His magic might have changed his mind for him. The Kelvic was afraid and didn't know how to navigate the emotional mindfield she was treading across.
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 15th, 2018, 3:31 pm

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Once he had settled himself she stood and walked away. He wanted to reach out and stop her from doing so but his motions were too slow. Kelski was beyond his reach when she stopped and gazed back at him. Kynier read her body language and could see that he had caused her discomfort. As though the proximity incited something that proved too much to bear. Though he knew it was because of him. Having been the knowing subject of an auristic reading himself he had an idea. However, it had never happened at such an intimate distance to him. Kynier wondered what it looked like to her.

The ring of her laugh made him feel better as well as the not so sarcastic remark about sleeping on the deck. After that she left the room. Kynier sighed heavily as he examined himself. Every muscle was working though they had that air light sort of weariness to them. With some effort he suspected he could stand but for now he found sitting of the floor rather comfortable. When the kelvic returned his eyes brightened. In her hands were a mug and a damp cloth. He thanked her when he took the mug and she knelt down dabbed at his brow before he had the chance to take a drink.

The fresh cool water against his skin felt good. So good he closed his eyes and made soft assuring sounds of pleasure with his throat. When she spoke he opened the eye that was closer to her. Surprise in the expression. Kynier knew there where books and journals documenting the study of magic and its various practices, yet he wouldn’t have expected Kelski to have read any of them. It was a twofold pleasant surprise. She could read and had an understanding. Each new thing he learned about her kept making him want to learn the next fact even sooner. No one and nothing had ever taken his fascination the way she had. Perhaps magic, but that was becoming a close comparison.

A memory from their first meeting came to mind. When he spoke to her of reimancy. Kelski had shown an interest in learning it. Even now he didn’t feel he had the control required to safely initiate her. Yet now she mentioned reading about auristics. Did she really want to learn? Many would say it but more as a fantastical wish rather than a serious commitment. His thought process was interrupted when she offered him the cloth and asked of his well-being. The tenderness in her voice made his heart want to fly.

“I’m okay,” he said taking the cloth from her, “the auristics take their toll on my emotions more than my body or mind.” Kynier managed to take a sip of water before fingers brushed through his scalp. Kelski’s eyes were a trap, one that always ensnared him thoroughly. Kynier thought his emotions would be spent after experiencing her feelings but we was quite wrong. Kynier blinked several times to keep the tears at bay. The very idea that his burdens weren’t just his own anymore was a concept foreign to him. And yet it was happening. This woman whose beauty extended well beyond her appearance was accepting him, beckoning him to be at her side.

Again she stood and walked away from him. It was a cruel series of peaks and valleys on his emotions to watch her walk to the window and gaze out at the sea. Kynier could see she was growing restless. Being here in the thick of all this sentiment was beginning to smother her as much as it exhausted him to bask in it. Taking a long draught of cool water helped him to feel better, stronger even. When she suggest they head out he felt himself in agreement. Kynier gave his brow a last dab with the wet cloth before standing up with a groan. His muscles were working despite protesting for rest.

“Let’s go then,” he said before finishing the water. Kynier took a few steps towards the door before waiting for Kelski to join him. When exiting the master suite he asked for direction on where to return the mug and the cloth. One thing he did not appreciate was senseless clutter and didn’t wish to contribute that to her place. After placing the mug and cloth down where she’d prefer them Kynier took the stairs to the showroom and its sparkling marvels. His Nightstalker senses felt something on the other side of the door leading to the basement. No shadows emerged in greeting so he pressed on through the door to Kelski’s workshop.

When he was walking through it he stopped at the sight of the masks again. It seemed like it was all a game that the Night Mistress was playing. That his fellow Nightstalker held a piece of the puzzle he was trying to solve. Kynier wondered what Kelski’s intentions were surrounding the Daggerhand. Was this merely a job for her to build the Gem’s reputation, or was she using it for something more? Now wasn’t the time to ask these questions. They were concerns for later. Kynier broke himself away from his professional tendencies and stepped out the double doors. His vest still lay sprawled across the arm of a chair. He slipped it on and stepped on something as he did.

Lifting his foot he saw the locket. Somehow it had fallen out of its place when he didn’t realize it. Kynier smiled as he bent down to pick it up. Often he had felt the texture of its contents and smelled the aroma when he needed comfort. Now that he would see Kelski every day it didn’t seem necessary to keep. Kynier would though. For those times when he wasn’t here and wished she would be next to him. The lock of ombre hair was still valuable to him. Kynier opened the locket so that he could…

It was gone.

With body language shifting from one extreme to the other in an instant he took two quick steps off the patio. Eyes with a glare sharper than daggers did a panoramic scan of the area. Not a person was to be seen. Then his gaze dropped as he examined the ground all around the deck. Sopping wet grass squelched with each footstep. Kynier could see the tracks he had laid earlier in the rain but no others. An uneasy sensation ran up his spine. Kynier knew he hadn’t lost it. He was certain of it. At least, he felt certain. He walked back onto the deck and gazed around the ground in case it had fallen out when the locket did. But it wasn’t here.

Kynier shrugged the tension from his shoulders. At a loss for what could have happened to it. It must have fallen out. And the wind may have blown it way. However, even as he thought that he felt a weight in his stomach. Kynier looked up at Kelski and forced a smile to his face. “Ready to go? It will take some time to get there.” He already knew what path to take for the least risk. It would take them east through Baroque Bay before heading south just before reaching the Quay. They would weave through several alleys to avoid places he often witnessed violence occurring. With her daggers and his blades it would seem foolish to challenge the two of them together. Though desperation was a stronger trait than foolishness.

For a little he appreciated the moan of the sea before he spoke to end the silence between them. “To give you fair warning, there will be days where I don’t return until very late into the night. Sometimes not until the next morning.” He raised a hand and rested it over her mark, feeling the power of their goddess within it. “I suppose that we may never have a regular sleep routine like some people.” Kynier trailed his hand down her back and to the nearer hip before reaching for her hand again. Before meeting her he had never been a tactile person. It may be the very reason why he would crave her touch, he couldn’t say.

As they entered the Sunset Quarters district a series of young voiced were calling out. At first Kynier ignored them, thinking it was part of the general racket of the city. Those voices drew near and caused him to turn and look. Three urchins were coming up to him, two of them, a boy and a girl, were quite young. He would guess six or seven years. The third was a few years older and a girl. Kynier recognized each of their faces though he didn’t know their names.

“Silverman! Silverman!” the younger ones called during their approach. Kynier stopped and faced them, one hand still holding Kelski’s and the other rested on his hip.

“Hush,” he said loud enough to be heard but soft enough to not seem scolding. “Why do you call me Silverman?” The younger two clutched to the sides of the third as the older girl spoke.

“That’s wha’ some o’ the younger ones been callin’ you, because o’ your silvers.” The young boy took his face out from behind the cover of the older girl’s arm.

“We… we have rumors. Rumors for silver!” He said excitedly. The three of the each held out an expecting hand.

“Hey,” he said with a harder tone, “if you’ve been talking with the other urchins and beggars then you know the rules. News first. And if it’s news I like you get a silver.” Each of them pouted in turn. The younger girl was the quickest to get over it.

“Dagga han’ got someting call ‘Night o’ Masks’ they getting’ ready fa’.” She held out her hand again.

“That’s what I’ve been hearing since the beginning of summer. I need something better than that,” he said to all three rather than just her. “Come on. It doesn’t have to be about the Daggerhands.” Kynier looked at the little boy. His gaze had been distracted by Kelski and her long ombre hair. The boy was trying to hide a smile but failing spectacularly.

“There was a fight couple days ago,” said the older girl. “Vigilante and Vino.” Kynier’s gaze fixated on the girl. He heard of the Vigilantes but never about a conflict with the Vino.

“Tell me more about that.”

“Well… there was five o’ them fightin’. No one died, but several got hurt. Was outside the wall o’ the Quay.” Kynier thought hard on that. The wall surrounding the Quay was well outside where he heard the Vigilantes operated. He didn’t doubt the fight happened, but he was skeptical of who was involved.

“Did they use any weapons? Or did they just fight with their fists?”

“Daggas,” the young girl exclaimed, “and swords.” The swords were probably the Vino. They were well equipped and well-funded. But the daggers could be anybody. Kynier reached into his pocket and took out two silvers. He gave one to each girl and the boy started a tantrum that he didn’t get one.

“You can still get a silver, if you have some news and stop staring at my friend,” he said. But the boy didn’t say anything coherently and just stamped his feet. The younger girl was ignoring the boy while the older started trying to calm him down. “Good work you two. Keep watching and listening for anything else.” With that he turned south and continued towards home.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on July 24th, 2018, 12:44 am

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The Kelvic felt raw, exposed, and tried to make light of it… to move, to set forth, to leave the large bedroom that had been feeling more and more confined to the Kelvic. She was a creature of action, not always one of deep discussion and she certainly had no magic to use on him in return. What would she see if she did? Would there be a depth there that was unexpected or would there be nothing at all and the glow in his eyes was just a ruse? She knew what the books said but seeing was believing and the Kelvic hadn’t been brave enough to try anything she’d read for herself. It had been enough to be armed with a larger vocabulary than she’d had before… words like djed and aura and the greater concepts mages lived with in their day to day lives that others were ignorant about.

And so, she made jokes, gave him care, and urged him to move. He had studied her again with that strange gaze of his, as if she surprised him or had said something unexpected. It had caused the Kelvic to drop her gaze because she was never sure if such things were good things or things he disapproved of. She wouldn’t know he was surprised she was literate. He rarely gave her clues, not in his facial expression or in what he said. And when he didn’t speak of it at all, the Kelvic assumed the worst and promised herself to not be so forthcoming because she felt it was pushing at him.

Instead he spoke of what the magic did to him. It had a price. It wasn’t the first time he’d said such things to her. His warnings shied her away from her own studies, both independent reading and questioning of him about magic. He might have otherwise have inspired her to explore something like auristics if he hadn’t been a living demonstration of how hurtful the magic could be. Kelski wasn’t one to emulate someone else. She wanted to understand what he did, but they’d spoken on magic before and he’d always warned her about its dangers or cautioned her with his actions. There were too many things to worry about, the debt in her name too high at the moment, to take any risks with magic and hurt herself or her capacity to pay off the huge sum just due to her curiosity. Too many people depended on her keeping The Gem now to merit real investigation. It saddened her too because she would have liked to know what he knew to understand him better and not just hold cloths to his forehead and care for him when his own actions had hurt him.

It was a relief to get going. She took the mug and cloth from him, putting one in the dirty laundry and setting one on the counter by the fire to wash up later. She took a moment to grab a backpack, load up on some weapons, and put her boots on. Kelski preferred to roam around her home barefoot. It was just easier, but such action wouldn’t be welcome outside on the street. Then she followed him down through the shop and out into the deck – making sure to give Ebon a nod as they left. Kynier picked something up on her deck, and Kelski lifted an eyebrow curious. “What are you looking for?” She asked, curious… and then followed him off the deck, around the side through the gate, and onto the street.

They walked in silence a while then he seemed to find the need to fill that silence with words. She nodded at his warnings on his habits and that he would be absent some nights. She longed to ask him more about his job, but something stopped her. Kynier held his secrets close to him… like where he lived and what he did for a living… and Kelski didn’t want to pry from him what most people would have readily volunteered. There was something secretive and mysterious about what he did that caused her desire to question him to halt on her tongue rather than slide off and be set free out into the world.

The Kelvic paced beside him, lightfooted with her weight shifted to the balls of her feet. She gripped his hand when he took it, glancing down at the linked digits and smiling slightly. The Sea Eagle loved it when he touched her and she cherished the moments that he did. They passed through Baroque Bay and into The Sunset Quarters where children caught Kelski’s attention. When they approached, Kelski slipped her hand out of Kyniers and lightly rested her fingers on the daggers at her hips. The Kelvic had almost no experience with children and saw them as a threat just as she would have seen adults, for their qualities were unknown. She carefully watched Kynier interact with them. One of the children stared at her and she narrowed her gaze and hissed at him – birdlike – giving her head a shake like she would if she were in eagle form to fluff her head crest and make herself look bigger. Was he going to attack? She took a step forward, already calculating what it would take to cut the short human down.

At her expression the boy backed up, a look of alarm on his face. Kelski relaxed a bit, sensing there would be no fight from the little man, and turned her attention back to the children. Night of the Masks? The Kelvic could have snorted. She could have told Kynier it was on the 55th. All the Daggerhands had been bringing her their masks to have them decorated. It was the single biggest reason she was going to be able to make her loan payment early this season.

Kelski turned her attention back to the children. She caught the term Vino and frowned. She didn’t try to hide her curiosity. The young female kept talking and Kelski glanced at Kynier and back to the girl wondering how he was getting her to give him so much information. Not more than six days ago, Kelski had tried to talk to Kynier about the Vino in Kreig’s presence. She knew they were slavers and it was how they made their money. Kreig had seemed to listen, but Kynier had ….

The Kelvic tamped down her anger. Her words and those of Kreig had not been important to him during that conversation and that meeting. He’d been too busy conducting some sort of business in the tavern to hear what she had to say and really listen. Kelski had tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it was hard to not see what was before her face. Kynier bought information. Did he sell it too? It was one of Akajia’ s most firm rules… that they didn’t profit from the secrets Nightstalkers learned. And yet… she’d marked Kynier. It was confusing. But in the end, Kelski trusted Akajia. She had trusted Kynier with her first mark. There was a reason behind everything. Kelski needed to trust that The Night Mother knew what she was doing. And Kelski needed to trust Kynier.

She surveyed the departing children, their pockets heavier now with a coin, and glanced at Kynier, uncertain how to process what she was seeing. Was he helping the short humans? Bribing them? What did he do with the information? Kelski released her light caress of her daggers and ran her cooling palms up the leather of her pants. She didn’t exactly know where they were, where they were going, and she certainly didn’t know much about the man she was with. Questions burned in her gaze but she didn’t know which to ask or if any at all would be welcome.

So in the end, she said nothing, deciding to do what Nightstalkers did best… to watch and learn. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know Kynier’s secrets. But it was becoming more and more obvious that he did have a few. Nervously, she ran her hand up through her loose hair, pulling it out of her eyes, and shifted, glancing at Kynier again finally as the children disappeared out of sight. She started to ask him at least one of her questions, but instead something completely unrelated tumbled out.

Kynier took the moment from her when he started walking south.

“Are we close? Do you live near?” She said, glancing around, internally yelling at herself for taking the cowards way out and not asking. Knowing was far better than not knowing, but in that moment the Kelvic wanted to not know. Part of her choice was obvious, at least to her. Being with Kynier made her happy. There was an inherent joy in his presence that she’d never found anywhere else. It wasn’t a feeling she could describe, much like knowing they belonged together was a certainty. She didn’t want to throw off that chance of the joy she felt being with him by questioning him. For Kelski, joy in her life had been so fleeting. She’d been so mad at the tavern that she’d left, robbing herself of more moments with him… more joy. She didn’t want to do this here, by asking him things he might not appreciate it, and since she had a choice she chose to remain silent and follow him… to learn more about him.

Even the walk was telling…

So she filled her mind with other things to distract it from her questions. What route was this? Could she remember these buildings? Had she ever been this way before? It was an age old trick. Kelski replaced one set of questions with others, ones she could answer herself rather than grill Kynier and used it to get her mind off the things she really wanted to ask him.
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 25th, 2018, 12:46 am

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Kynier’s mind worked over the new information the urchins had just told him. Tracking the expansion and contraction of territory was a constant effort and sometimes difficult to keep remember which events occurred and when. As he turned south Kelski’s questions plucked his attention from his own thoughts. He gave her a smile while she looked at the surroundings. The buildings themselves were of newer design by the city’s standards. Yet several were just abandoned while others had been hollowed out by tragedy.

“We’re getting close. When I first moved here I managed to lay claim to one of the newer buildings that had been built. From what I’ve gathered, there was a truly terrible fire seven years ago that consumed a large section of the Sunset Quarter. Many of the buildings were rebuilt shortly afterwards.” Kynier led the way through the maze like alleys. The district had no main road and people would often get lost. From the corners of his eyes he noted the stares that the two of them were getting. His left hand repositioned itself on the hilt of his short sword, draping itself over at the wrist as though he were relaxed.

“Be on guard,” he whispered softly. His expression was gentle with a smile but his eyes did not reflect it. “None of the gangs hold claim here so some residents are extra bold,” he warned. The two of them had more attention than Kynier would’ve preferred. Though he was a regular sight in the area Kynier wasn’t immune to the wanton gaze of the desperate. He had been working on improving his attire which made him stand out. Kelski wore better quality than he did, making them apparently better off. The assortment of weapons they carried were the only things keeping them from being ‘gold on legs’. Residents of the slums had done unbelievable things to each other. Once Kynier heard that they killed a horse in the street for its meat, and that some didn’t even wait to cook it.

After taking a final left turn his home was within view. A two story structure that had no qualities to stand out among its peers. Window to both the upstairs and downstairs were covered from the inside, allowing no view. “This is it,” he said approaching the door. Though newer in construction the door was a pathetic sight. The timbers hastily bound together with leather straps and nailed into a few boards for reinforcement stood crooked in the frame. Kynier took out his key and unlocked the door. Creaking as scrapping loudly he opened it and allowed Kelski in first.

The whole apartment was two rooms, one stacked on top of the other. The main room was sparsely furnished and had no decorations to speak of. A corner had been converted into a chicken coup for one odd colored chicken what wasn’t present. A table and single average chair sat off center with a desk not far off. A small fireplace that doubled as his kitchen for the rare times he actually got to cook something had a cupboard for his food supplies and dishes next to it. Against the far wall was the wash basin with a bucket next to it. Against the same wall was a bookshelf with only one leather bound book, painted silver with a few drops of blood staining the cover. The staircase upstairs rested in the back left corner and curved up and around to the bedroom.

Kynier closed and locked the door again behind him. Shadows began to crawl out from their nooks to peer at the Nightstalkers, chittering excitedly that a second one had arrived. “So…” he gestured at his home with sweeping motion of the arm, “this is my home.” Kynier looked over at the table briefly where a map of the city lay sprawled out. “Excuse me Kelski, I need to write down this thought I have before I forget,” he said moving to the desk. He retrieved several things from different places. The Mighty Quill from his vest pocket, a vial of ink from the desk drawer, and a leather bound journal that sat on top of the desk. With all three in hand he hunched over the table and flipped through the pages. Certain page corners were folded to in to separate the pages into sections.

At the last page of the last section he stopped. Dipping the magic quill in the ink he started recording the information the urchins had said onto the pages. It took less than two chimes to document the battle mentioned. When he was done he looked up to Kelski and beckoned her to join him. Kynier wished to bridge the gap between them but could only do that by opening up. The questions she had posed were difficult and wretched emotion from places so deep Kynier didn’t know he had them. This was something he never spoke of because there had been no one to speak with before. Now he could answer a question burning in the kelvic’s mind and do so voluntarily.

“This Kelski,” he said indicating the map as well as the journal, “holds the knowledge of what I do.” He looked down at the map. Handwritten notes were scribbled in letters as small as possible for his hand before becoming illegible. Those words surrounded The Quay, Stumble Alley, Riverside The Sun’s Refuge, Riverside Isle Park, and The Den disctricts. Circles and crosses had been applied to several buildings as well all over the city. “Over two years of work was required just to get this much.” If Kelski were to read even some of the writings she would see they indicated the claims to each gang. “The things I see, hear, and discover I record here,” he said tapping the cover of the journal with his fingertips.

“I want to make changes to the city. But before I can I must have extensive knowledge on those that can control or influence those changes. While I still don’t have many names or faces of those individuals I nearly have a firm understanding of all the places involved. There are many secrets to still discover. And I feel close to finding at least a few of them.” When next his eyes met hers his demeanor changed. His back straightened and his eyes lowered to her hips. “And uh… I owe you an apology as well.” Hazel eyes returned to her molten silver.

Kynier wanted the say the words but still didn’t know what exactly they were for. He just knew that the words were due to her. “For that day at the Pig’s Foot when you introduced me to Kreig.” Anxiety caused his chest to tighten and his tongue wanted to retreat to the back of his throat. Somehow he forced both of them to keep operating in order to talk about something he didn’t understand fully which caused his nervousness. “I…” his breath froze. “I had learned something on that exact day before I saw you. An answer to a question that had taken me over a season to find. And that was why I was at the Pig’s Foot.” Kynier paused and took a deep breath while breaking his gaze away to wonder over nothing in particular.

Unless she asked he wouldn’t go into further specifics. Kynier suspected she probably had no interest at this particular moment. “I… I tried to do two important things at once. Which caused me to do both badly. You said you wanted to move against slavery, and better the city. That’s something I’ve been working towards for a long while and am willing to help however I can. Maybe I presumed that you would know I was with you. And to show it I tried telling you as much as I knew at the time about the Quay.” Kynier brought his eyes back. They were breathtaking on their own without the anxiety of the apology adding to it.

“When you left, Kreig said that you were angry with me. While I can suspect, I don’t claim to know exactly why that was. So,” he paused feeling the need to refill his lungs. They wouldn’t oblige and the paused lingered for a few ticks. “I’m sorry.”

Kynier stood there rooted in apprehension. Kelski hadn’t said or asked anything for some time. He knew that there must have been questions clawing inside of her to be released. The apology could very well hold no worth to her. There had been strain between them, and he was constantly at the source of it. The effort to change was uncomfortable and difficult, yet he was trying to go through with it to remain close to his fellow Nightstalker. To remain close to her.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 1st, 2018, 11:28 pm

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Fire was always a scary thing, especially with buildings so close together and wooden. Kelski wondered who had rebuilt the ruined buildings and then abandoned them in the Sunset Quarters. There were no officials in the city and she couldn’t imagine that the poor who lived here actually had any skill with building. She herself certainly couldn’t have done it so how had the others? The Kelvic always questioned things, wanting to understand the world she lived in. And to her The Sunset Quarters were somewhat of a mystery. Kelski’s mind wandered as she followed Kynier, eyes traveling about them, watching those lurking and lingering without concern but with complete caution. Kynier didn’t have to remind Kelski to be careful.

The Kelvic had seen a lot in her existence in Sunberth, and knew the best way to keep even more from happening was to be vigilant. Still, she nodded at his words and kept pace with him. Instead of curious and approachable, Kelski’s face grew hard and stoic, her eyes glittering like the predator she was. It was a deliberate ruse, one adopted when traveling alone throughout the rest of the city. She’d often flown over the Sunset Quarters and knew its aerial layout well. But these woven streets that were more alleys than streets confused her. Sunberth wasn’t that big, but this waste of space, this chaotic sprawl made so very little sense.

His building seemed a lot like the rest, though its windows weren’t clear and shining, but rather blocked from within. Kelski wondered how Kynier got light into his home… or if he lived in the dark perpetually. The man unlocked the door, letting Kelski in, and she wandered around the space, looking over the his things and where he lived. She greeted the shadows warmly, looking over the map on the city where it was unrolled. She moved on, orbiting the room, as Kynier made his notes until he wanted her at his side. She strolled over, most of the shadows in tow, and joined him to peer down at his work. She remained quiet as he talked, just soaking in what he was telling her.

He tried to explain about the day at The Pigsfoot and she only nodded at his apology. “You have no need to apologize.” She said softly, glancing back at the book, then roaming her eyes over the map. “I was angry at myself more than anything else. It’s not something I think of in terms of more than a lesson learned that I had been stubbornly refusing to learn for seasons.” She meant her words, not saying them to placate him or reassure him or even try to dismiss something he thought was important. Kelski had just wanted something different from him that day than she had gotten and she’d since adjusted her expectations accordingly.

Humans valued Kelvics far less than Kelvics tended to value Humans. It was a lesson that had come hard to her the whole of her life. But it was one that Sunberth had taught her well. From the moment that Svefra had taken coin for her and Jaren had dragged her off to use her, to all the times Darvin had reinforced how little worth Kelvics had in the world. And even Kynier had not put her first or the importance she had wanted him to feel meeting Kreig. She had been second to his original task there, even though fate had put them together again in that time and place. Kelski had read too much into it and had been too hopeful in those days. She knew better now. She understood that there was no way she could make a difference in the way Sunberth was. She understood that her very nature meant she was not equal to those who ruled the city and because of it Kelvics like her could not institute change unless it was something the humans like Kynier wanted. Kelski would no more give up her wings because she loved flight. If it made her a creature of no importance in the eyes of the humans, then so be it. They didn’t realize what they didn’t have and she was not going to enlighten them. Even Kynier for all his nobility and just causes, truly didn’t see her as someone equal to his worth. If he did, things would be different between them. But that was the way of humans. She supposed, in the long run, it was because humans had created Kelvics and parents often never saw their children as people that could surpass them.

“Truly Kynier. It is fine and you don’t have to apologize. I understand so much more now than I did then. I am sorry I was viewing things other than they really were. Like I said, my anger was directed at myself, not at either you or Krieg.” She answered him, not exactly sure why he was apologizing to begin with. The Kelvic hadn’t felt the same strain he’d felt. She’d been busy with her business and knew he had a job and life far away from that which lead him to see her only but rarely. She knew that they had a connection, a bond, and she’d thought he was supposed to be her bondmate, but again she hadn’t understood that those decisions were his and his alone and not hers. He wouldn’t understand she’d taken the loan and built up The Gem and gathered the family that lived under its roof all for the sake of making it look appealing, to luring in someone she wanted and almost hunted in a ridiculously narrow-focused manner. She cared about him and though he may not want to accept deepening their relationship, if he agreed to move in and join her under her roof, taking care of him and watching over him would give her a great deal of happiness.

How could she ask or demand more?

Someday he might even accept her into his life in a deeper way. But if that day never came, she’d understand because she’d come to accept the way things were and appreciated the chunks of happiness and security she could acquire when and where they became available.

“Is there more upstairs?” She asked, wanting to let him off the hook because he looked tense and unhappy and she didn’t like those emotions on his face.
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The Song of Water (Kelski) post #15

Postby Kynier on August 3rd, 2018, 7:26 pm

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As was her way, Kelski listened to what he said without interruption. A quality not common with most people, especially when talking about events that made someone angry or upset. When Kynier finished he felt like a hand was gripping his insides and ready to pull hard in every which way. She nodded and spoke softly. As he listened his brow drew together in thought. Kelski blamed herself for not realizing something earlier? Stating that it was something she should’ve learned seasons ago sent his mind racing. Six days past she had been angry enough to leave when he wasn’t looking. It didn’t seem like a self-centered mentality to presume it was something that he had done.

Or was he being self-centered again? During his crisis of faith he had suggested… no, demanded, that they do what he had thought best. Kynier did what he thought was best to rectify the mistake. He could analyze the dynamics between people so objectively and critique what would’ve been the best approach to a desired outcome. Yet the few social interactions he ever had mostly felt like blunders in the moment. At the Gem they had shared a moment he would always cherish, and wanted to experience more of those with Kelski. But each time he thought he was beginning to understand her she changed somehow. Even now she stated that she had learned a lesson from that encounter. Kynier felt uncertain if making his own change would drive her further away, or not.

So deep he had retreated in his own thoughts he nearly missed the question. “Oh, yes,” he said snapping out of his current temperament. A different form of nervousness settled inside. One of mild embarrassment. Though he had admitted to existing instead of living, showing her the truth of it made him feel… smaller. “It’s this way,” he said guiding her to the staircase in the corner. At the base he heard the clucking of a chicken from upstairs. “Laurie, you better not have nested on the bed again!” he called up the stairs as he climbed. They curved gradually back to the other corner to the bedroom landing. A chicken of rusty brown with blue fringed coloring stood at the top. It turned its head to look down at the pair of the approaching.

“I don’t care what sort of eggs you lay,” he said to the chicken, “if I find that you’ve been on the bed again I’ll have an appetite for chicken.” Unintimidated, the chicken started descending the stairs around their legs. Kynier shook his head at the unusually intelligent creature and stepped into the bedroom. Even to a Nightstalker it was dark inside. Kynier brushed past the Haut Bois next to the doorway to draw open the window curtain. Light spilled into the room and over the average bed and a high quality chest that lay next to it. Next to the Haut Bois was a wardrobe. That consisted of the furniture in the room.

Kynier raised his gaze as he felt the familiar presence stir on the ceiling. “Hello Nurxan,” he said in Makath. The large shadow trailed down the ceiling to a wall.

“Young one,” it said in acknowledgement to the mage. “Nightstalker,” it was now addressing the kelvic. “Welcome to the abode of a bumbling mage,” it said in a snarky fashion. “I’m Nurxan.” Kynier scoffed at the shadow with mild amusement. Kynier gave the two of them some time to converse. He unfastened the dagger from his waist and removed the one from his boot. He set both of them on the ground next to the large chest that was locked. Next he detached the short sword from his hip but didn’t set it down immediately. Kynier held it with both hands and spoke a phrase in Tukant. The words were long drawn and challenging to annunciate but he muddled through them. As he did, his thoughts were centered on the cut across his right cheek. “I’ll Die Tomorrow.”

The cold iron metal glowed a pure white color as the healing magic activated. Kynier felt a cold burning sensation along the edges of the injury he was focused on. It wasn’t stationary but moved under the skin as it bridged the tissue back together. After a chime the glowing stopped, and the injury from his right cheek was gone without a scar. Kynier set the weapon down with the others and went through his pockets for the key to the chest. Before he undid the lock he looked at the rolled up parchment that lay on top. It wasn’t done, but he felt like showing her.

“Earlier we spoke of creativity,” he said turning to fully face her, rolled up parchment in hand. Kynier set it down on the bed and rolled it open so that Syna’s light would reveal it better. “I’ve never felt I was given a naturally born gift. Yet recently, when I stop thinking and my body is idle I begin to feel this urge.” On the parchment’s surface were etchings made with charcoal. It was a view from the outside patio of the Simpering Seacow. It consisted of the tables, chairs, and background buildings with some detail. There was single person, a woman, sitting at a table facing the viewer. She was resting her chin on the palm of a hand with eyes only half open. A large volume of wild curly hair surrounded her face and her lips were parted slightly. Apart from her face, hair, hands, and arms the rest of her body was an unfinished silhouette. Kynier recalled the day rather well. It was one of the few where he hadn’t been concerned with the daily threat of living as a mage. And the peaceful conversation he had with the woman in the drawing. A woman by the name of Tove.

Kynier watched to see what Kelski’s reaction would be. It wasn’t jewel crafting but he felt a little pride in the work as well as some peace. “I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about trying to capture an image that I enjoy. This wasn’t something I noticed until some recent work with my magic disciplines. Since then I sometimes see something and wish to stop and draw.” Kynier’s eyes ran down the length of her hair and down her arms to her hands. Right then he felt the desire to draw her. It was one of a couple desires he felt towards her at the moment. The desire that conquered the others was to reach for her hand with his and interlace their fingers once more.

Kelski’s skin was smooth to the touch which he greatly enjoyed. He would squeeze the sides of her knuckles gently. Then his eyes got lost at the brilliant silver sheen of her own. Whether she turned to look at him or not, he watched those eyes. It seemed her own aura failed to match the beauty he saw in them.



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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 4th, 2018, 3:03 pm

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The Sea Eagle watched the human weigh her words and focus inward as if he were having a mental dialog with himself. She thought back to Farris and his words about mages and their vast internal lands where they walked among magic and took its council for themselves. Had Kynier gone there seeking solace after something she’d said? He was thinking hard, for certain, and she could almost feel his mental wheels turning. He stayed there for a good amount of time while she stood quietly and speculated on what it was he was thinking and feeling. Other than the keen analytical look in his eye, his expression gave nothing else away. And it was only after several long breaths and a deep inhalation of air that Kelski saw him return to her.

He seemed to realize she’d asked about upstairs and lead her to the small stairway. Kelski looked quietly at the chicken as they climbed the stairs and she suddenly froze that Kynier had a pet. She sensed no Kelvic in the other form, but that didn’t keep her from staring at the chicken and wondering why Kynier had it. He had already admitted that sometimes it nested in his bed. Did that mean it slept beside him at night watching over him? Kelski suddenly wanted to stalk the little hen, wrap her hands around its neck and snap it just after she patiently explained to the little feathered creature that Kynier was hers. Instead she said calmly, almost proud of herself for not letting her emotions color her words… “You have a pet….” She said, wondering how the chicken had been so easily accepted and how it had been so much harder for her to get close to the man.

Even a chicken was more appealing…. a chicken….

Kelski bit down hard on her inner lip until she tasted blood and stood silently as Kynier because to tease the chicken. She continued to follow him up saying nothing. Stepping in to the near darkness, Kelski wasn’t uncomfortable. There were shadows there she could sense and she greeted them silently, trying to take her mind off the chicken and wanting to kill Kynier’s pet. She paused at the instrument and reached out to run her fingers down its length. “You play?” She asked, curious. Kelski loved music, loved it so much she’d almost decided to learn the violin from Mosa. The woman had offered to teach her at any time and Kelski had once delighted in the idea. However, the shop had been keeping her so busy that Mosa’s generosity had to be placed on hold until her store got off the ground.

Kynier opened the curtains, greeted what was obviously the leader of the shadows here, and Kelski bowed her head to him as well. Her glance flickered around the room, taking in the furniture and the details. She stepped closer and asked after the shadows, how they faired and if all were well with them today. Then as Kynier disrobed his weapons, she told them about herself, making more proper introductions and thanked them for letting her visit their mage for a bit.

Then Kynier unrolled a piece of paper and unrolled it on the bed. Kelski studied the charcoal sketch and almost reached out to touch it as was her habit. At the last moment she realized she’d smear it if she did and drew her hand back. She leaned closer, saw the woman, and half smiled. “Tove.” Kelski said, recognizing the woman. The sketch was quite good and Kelski was both pleased and surprised that Kynier had drawn it. She started to touch it again, drew her hand back a second time, and finally tried to put them behind her back. “It’s really good work. I recognized her immediately. I like your perspective on the sketch too, its very nice. It doesn’t look flat at all, even though its on parchment. But it has a dimensional quality to it that’s very lovely.” Kelski said, studying Tove and wondering suddenly how Kynier knew her. “Are you friends with Tove? I like her very much.” Kelski both asked and commented, curious suddenly.

She was surprised to feel Kynier take her hand. Warm fingers interlaced with her cooler digits and she glanced up at him through the screen of her loose hair. Kynier’s touch always warmed her and that warmth spread up her arm, down her back, and pooled in her belly and lower. Studying his eyes, she wondered what he was thinking. She glanced down at their interlaced hand, and suddenly didn’t know what to do with her other hand. She reached out abruptly with it, turning to face him fully, and kept his gaze even though most of her expression was hidden by the fall of hair across her face.

“I’m jealous of your chicken and of Tove… they both get to spend time with you.” She said abruptly, the words tumbling out of her awkwardly. “I want to spend time with you. And I know about all the things that prevent that from happening. I know about the inner magic landscape that you like better than here because Farris told me all mages have one and that their magic is first and foremost to them. And I’ve seen you go there with your eyes as your body grows still.” Here it was, the nervous talk, the babbling because Kynier was making her feel reckless and needy and full of things she didn’t feel when he wasn’t around. “I know you are human and I am Kelvic and that means so much is complicated, even our friendship. I know I can be friends with Kelvics because I want to be, but things like being your friend and spending time with you and even having you is all your choice. But it doesn’t change the fact that I want those things.” She said, almost desperately, as she reached out and touched his face. She wanted other things but she had to distract herself from saying them because the mortification would be too much if he laughed or somehow dismissed her. “The truth is I want your scent in my nose every day. I wanted your touch and to know the taste of your lips. I love the sound of your voice and hearing your stories. And if it makes you happy I’d even willingly lie under you so you’d have no need to go anywhere else for those sorts of pleasures. I can’t stomach the thought of you being a male with anyone else, even someone as sweet as Tove.” Kelski said aloud, not realizing she’d just said aloud what she’d been thinking. She was too busy touching his face to distract herself and in doing so she hadn’t been aware she’d vocalized her inner dialog.

Kelski took liberties she shouldn’t have, drawing her hand up his jaw and touching the roughness of the skin there. She deliberately shut her mouth because other things would flow out, things she was thinking and feeling and nothing he was probably interested in knowing. She didn’t want to ruin the fact that he had agreed to come to the Gem and move in. To her, that was everything… there she could care for him. But was he still willing too? After seeing his place and how much it suited him, Kelski wasn’t sure he wouldn’t change his mind so worry and doubt flooded her.

“You have so much space here.” She said instead, glancing around at the bedroom and all of his stuff. He had a lot of things downstairs as well, privacy, and privilege to do what he wanted when he wanted that he would be giving up to move in with her. “Are you sure that is what you want to do?


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