Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Shiress on August 1st, 2018, 9:23 pm

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12th Day
Summer 518

Deep within the bowels of the Lark estate, Shiress lay in her small cot, unable to fall asleep. Several bells earlier, Shiress had taken upon herself the punishment of a young slave girl. Sixteen lashes, she had come to find out, from a type of whip called a cat o' nine tails. The slave shuttered as she recalled Elene's description of the whip and knew it would be sometime before the image of that weapon would vacate her thoughts, though, that was not what troubled the slave, causing sleep to elude her.

Two things swarmed her mind, two thoughts battling for utter domination of her reasoning, understanding, and clarity. One was the whipping itself or, moreover, the lack of the biting, burning, and raw agony that she knew the type of whip used should have elicited upon her. She had known this type of pain before, back in Syliras, dealt by the hands of a drunken and angry husband as Shiress tended his wife's injuries, also inflicted by those same hands. But bells earlier, as the whip tore at her flesh, the pain was not the raw agony she had known before, but a distant, vague, unfamiliar echo of a very familiar torture. As if she had cast herself far away from that moment and turned back to look upon it, recognize it but not feel the pain as she should. Some call it tolerance, but Shiress had never been able to tolerate such overwhelming anguish, but somehow, someway, she had.

Shiress let out a long, hard sigh into the still darkness of the early morning, dispelling the thought, but just as that one washed away the other that plagued her mind rolled up to the forefront, taking its place. Kylar. The ever-present, black clad guard whose very nature baffled the slave like none other the girl had ever come to know. The young soldier was very quiet, reserved, and watchful, but not so watchful of his charge, Shiress had come to notice, as he was of his employer. The Lark family. Shiress had never been appointment a personal slave guard before, seeing as her previous Master could control her with something so simple as a thought, and quite literally, in fact. But, despite the lack of experience in being constantly shadowed and monitored by an armed observer, Shiress was fairly certain they did not attempt to talk to, befriend, or benefit their charge in any way, let-alone care for them. But Kylar -employed, paid, and ultimately owned, in a sense, by the Lark family, the largest slave-trading families in the area- had done that very thing, all of those things, in fact. The most recent occurrence being the current snare that entrapped the leg of the slave's mind.

Deep into the night, long after the healer and young cooking slave had gone, and Elene was fast asleep, Shiress, lying on her belly, the red and tender, newly healed flesh of her back naked and exposed to the coolness of the night, heard the lock click on the door of her tiny room, just before it swung open and quiet footsteps entered the room. Through half closed eyes, Shiress had watched Kylar move silently to her bedside, a small candle held aloft casting a soft, yellow light on the young guard's features. She felt the heat of the small flame move close to her shoulder, as the guard surveyed the remnants of her lashing, then wash down the length of her back. She heard a soft, almost disappointed sigh leave the guard's mouth, then felt a heavy blanket slide across her bare flesh. The soft light flickered as the man moved closer, and she felt the manacles encircling her wrists unlock, then fall away. Kylar then mumbled something Shiress couldn't understand, crossed the floor, and left the room.

Shiress groaned, forcing the befuddled image from her mind, and forced her eyes to stay closed. Chimes passed, and still she lay fighting to close off the invasive musings, and the confusion they left in the wake of their frontal attack of her consciousness. Slowly, finally, her mind cleared, thoughts drifting away like the seeds of a dandelion caught in a swift breeze, as sleep gently began leading her away into a blissful unawareness.

Shiress's green eyes jerked open and she sat bolt upright in the cot

"Rook..."

A feeling, or sensation, emotion, something, had rocked her ebbing awareness to its core, sending a bolt of...urgency? determination? unease? all of the above? slicing through her mind like that of a honed edged blade would the soft, pink flesh of a neck. The sensation was undeniably Rook. Her bondmate was...Shiress's eyes widened..he was close and he was getting closer!

Shiress lifted herself from the cot in a frenzy of long, chestnut hair and bare limbs, pulling a long shift over her head and down around her shoulders, as she padded swiftly across the wooden floor, and out into the dark, shadowy corridor outside her room. Shiress's head swiveled one way, seeing Kylar sitting quietly in a chair by the door, eyes focused on her and looking oddly unalarmed at her sudden appearance, then the other, heart pounding; it was the first time the girl had felt, truly -felt- her Bondmate's approach.

And then she saw him.

Rook came around the corner, soft lantern light spilling across his auburn hair. Shiress bounded forward in a run and slung herself at Rook, wrapping her arms around the wolf in a fierce embrace.

"How did you know I would need you this night?"
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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Rook on August 9th, 2018, 8:36 pm

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The party in which Rook had been ordered to stand guard over had been a lavish thing, all things considered. There were plates decorated with rich smelling meats and bread, fine aged wine dozens of years older than Rook, and gorgeous women dressed in expertly woven gowns with sweeping necklines. Rook wasn't there to enjoy any of it, of course. He was a set piece; as thoughtfully placed as a vase of beautiful flowers. A kelvic as unusual and rare as him was a sign of wealth, like a diamond broach, or sapphire earrings, and it was his job to stay still in his wolf form and look beautiful and intimidating while the guests fawned over him. Unlike previous parties, however, his master had recently come into knowledge of Rook’s other unique talents and she planned to make full use of them.

“Oh, that Radcliff Lark! Have you gone to see his Floating Garden? Fascinating, isn't it? So many strange and wonderful creatures there!”

Rook ears twitched, but aside of that he continued to look steadfast ahead. The pair of twittering ladies made no sign of having heard him.

“I do wonder how he managed to obtain so much strange and interesting fauna though,” one of the ladies said. Her voice dropped into a conspiriatal whisper, but Rook’s keen ears had no trouble making her voice out among the clamor. “There are rumors you know. That the man has not actually captured any animals at all...but that all of his attractions are actually kelvics. Interesting, no?”

Rook was very interested in what the ladies had to say, but before he could listen further, bright stabs of pain flashed across the kelvic’s back. Rook flinched but suppressed the desire to cry out. He turned to look over his shoulder, but there was of course no one there. Confusion fled, replaced by sudden panic. Shiress!

Jessica was an observant woman. Just when Rook was trying to think up how he could possibly leave this event to see what had happened to his bondmate, his master caught his eye. It was a stern, sharp look. Behave, it said. Stop drawing attention to yourself. Rook shuddered involuntarily as the remains of the pain from another blow flashed over him. Sensing something was wrong, his master nodded towards a nearby empty hallway. Trying not to rush, Rook trotted over to the hallway to wait out the lashes. By the time Jessica came to meet the wolf boy, Rook had counted a total of twenty lashes which had finally halted. Jessica offered Rook his cloak, and he flashed to his human form and covered his naked body.

“I think my bondmate is in trouble,” Rook said after a few shuddering breaths. Granted, Shiress didn't seem panicked but… that sort of pain wasn't normal.

Jessica raised an eyebrow at Rook. “And why should that make a difference to me?” the woman asked, voice cold and indifferent.

Rook was coming to understand new things about his master. She was cold and cruel certainly. Rook had always known these things about her. What Rook had not known or anticipated, however, was the woman’s craftiness. Jessica had first seen Rook as a simple pawn, to be used and thrown away as needed in her designs. The wolf boy’s machinations the past season had changed her opinion somewhat. Rook had been elevated to a bishop in Jessica’s eyes. He could now be played in more dangerous and useful ways, and he was now far more valuable.He was being trained, molded to serve her designs. So when Jessica said 'why should I care’ what she meant was 'convince me’.

Rook thought quickly. “If something were to happen to my bondmate, then the Larks would lose their connection to me. I would have no reason to offer them information and they know that. So, you would lose your link to the Larks as well. Shiress and my safety are both necessary for the information you want.”

Jessica grinned. It was playful, in a cold and cruel way. “Good puppy,” Jessica said, patting Rook’s head with enough force to make him wince. “Go check on your bondmate. And bring me some tasty information in the meantime, hmm?” She tousled Rook’s ginger hair and shoved him in the direction of his room, making him stumble. “Get dressed. No one will miss you.”

Relieved, but also nervous he was missing something important, Rook rushed to the servant quarters and dressed himself as quickly as he could manage. As an afterthought, the wolf strapped his little knife to his thigh, underneath his clothes. It never hurt to go prepared.

By the time Rook had left the estate it was already dark. The slave put up his hood so as to not draw attention to his kelvic features, and weaved himself into the still bustling crowds of people wandering the streets. By the time he was able to hail a ravolsala and make it to the Lark estate, it was already quite late. Rook was reassured by his bondmate’s mood. Although she was in some pain, she was not panicked. She was however, troubled by something. Rook had every intention to find out what it was.

Rook used the servant's entrance to enter the Lark’s estate. He drew a raised eyebrow from a nearby guard, but he simply flicked his hood back and uttered “Rook to see Radcliff Lark”. The words drew a nod from the man. Rook’s name was known well enough by now.

He was more than close by now to be able to sense the location of his bondmate. Rook knew the location of the servant quarters, but he didn't need to know them to find her. He felt a surge of excitement as she sensed him too, and then he was down the hall and around the corner and then she was leaping into his arms.

Rook felt an intense sigh of satisfaction leave him as Shiress hugged him. This. This was where he was supposed to be. The kelvic returned the gesture fiercely, though he was mindful of the ugly gashes across his bondmate’s back.

“I felt you get hurt and I had to make sure you were okay,” Rook told her, squeezing her arms before pulling away. He circled around the woman’s back to examine her injury and immediately understood. Whips made a very distinct mark against flesh, one that Rook had known himself from time to time. It was one of the many marks of a slave. 'What did you do to earn this?” Rook said, turning to look at Shiress. His voice was stern, and uncharacteristically bossy for the slave. “I thought you weren't going to do anything that would get you punished. We talked about this.”

The wolf boy, whose primary attention had been on his wounded bondmate, was suddenly hyperaware of another set of eyes not belonging to Shiress. He turned to meet the dark and quiet gaze of Shiress’ guard. Ky- something, wasn't it? The name had never been strongly impressed on him. Rook gave the guard a small nod, then turned back to his lady.

“I have many things I need to tell you,” Rook said. He hoped that the unspoken 'without us being watched’ was evident in his words, though he wasn't quite sure how they would be able to manage that. Guards were guards to listen and watch. Rook had to tell his bondmate about the change in loyalties, and they certainly couldn't do that with a spy watching.
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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Shiress on September 22nd, 2018, 6:59 pm

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The slave reluctantly released Rook from her tackle hug with an inward grimace upon the realization that her bondmate had sensed her pain from her earlier whipping. Shiress had completely neglected to think about other, more alien consequences of her actions and had inadvertently caused Rook pain.

Tears stung the foolish slave's eyes as the boy's eyes left their scrutiny of her lash marked back to fix on her with a stern golden gaze. Shiress's lips worked, attempting to force out a reply past the sudden lump that had formed in her throat. Finally, swallowing, she licked her lips and forced out broken words.

"I'm so sorry." she managed through a half sob, hand closing over her mouth to stifle the sudden outburst. "I didn't mean it." she continued, words issuing rapidly with a desperate explanation. "There was a slave girl, she was young, she cooked, trying so hard, but her master didn't like it, and she was taken outside to be whipped, but I couldn't let her be whipped so I took it for her, but the warden went too far and...."

Shiress's explanation broke off as her hand covered her mouth again and from beneath her fingers tearful, muffled words were spoken "I'd never hurt you, Rook. Forgive me, I wasn't thinking properly."

The slave pressed herself into her Bondmate's chest, allowing the closeness of her body to offer a silent apology alongside her words, but feeling Rook's body shift with his attention she stepped back, following his line of sight.

The guard's eyebrows shot up as two sets of slave eyes fixed upon him. With a snorted laugh, Kylar produced an apple, stood, and began to stroll down the hall away from them. "Time for a quick patrol" he said, just before the sound of his teeth sinking into the crisp apple reverberated back down the passageway.

Shiress shook her head in wonder at the guard's retreating form. What kind of slave guard leaves his slave in privacy? Scrubbing one hand across her wet cheeks, Shiress grabbed Rook's with the other and began pulling her bondmate toward the room she had vacated moments earlier.

"Come on, we can talk in here." she said, "there's only one other in here and she sleeps like the dead."



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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Rook on September 25th, 2018, 9:46 pm

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Rook was startled at the sudden tears and the rush of guilt that followed his bondmate’s words. “Don’t cry!” he said, momentarily mortified that he had prompted that reaction out of her. He moved in front of her and embraced her a second time, sending loving reassurances to her through their link. His bondmate’s explanation along with her tears softened the wolf’s expression. Yes, of course. That sounded exactly like something Shiress would do, and it was one of many reasons why he loved her.

“You don't have to worry about it for my sake. It didn't hurt really. I’m tough. I was just worried about you. I don't like it when you get hurt.”

Rook blinked as Shiress pulled away. He was surprised at the guard’s hasty departure. That wasn't the usual sort of behavior for such a person, was it? Why would he allow himself to depart from the company of the woman he was supposed to be watching. How strange.

Rook allowed himself to be guided into Shiress’ room, and looked around the area cautiously, his body tuned for the possibility of danger or prying eyes and ears. Rook’s nose could only detect the familiar comfortable scent of Shiress along with the less familiar scent of the slave snoring in the corner and the guard’s lingering scent. Rook moved over to the hard sleeping slave and prodded her back several times with an outstretched finger to reassure himself of her unconscious, then moved back over to his bondmate’s side.

“A great many things have happened since I saw you last,” Rook told his bondmate on a hushed whisper. “Jessica...knows. About everything. She let me live if I report on the Larks for her. I guess that’s called being a double agent.” Rook reached out and squeezed his bondmate’s hands. “But I think it's a good thing! I think the Lazarins are very dangerous. And it's good to be with them instead of against them. But we have to be very careful now.”
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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Shiress on October 7th, 2018, 12:20 am

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Shiress's initial reaction to her Bondmate's revelation was alarm. The words 'let me live' didn't do anything to help either. Despite the knowledge that Rook was a slave, just as she was, it had never occurred to her that Rook's life would ever be in danger -he was Rook, he was her bondmate, he would always be present because he had to be. Shiress couldn't imagine a life that he wasn't in.

The cold finger of a ghost slid down her spine at the very thought of ever losing Rook. With effort, the slave clamped down on her emotion and focused on what the wolf was actually saying. It took a moment, but his words finally registered.

"You are going to spy for Jessica, too?" Shiress chewed her lip, trying to dispel the worry that began to trickle in, "on Radcliffe?" she added after a brief pause. "If you get caught..." she let that thought trail off with a concerned look for her bondmate.

Glancing down to the hand that covered her own, Shiress smiled, knowing she would do anything for this Kelvic. "I can help." she said, looking up. "I can find out things, information, and tell you. If you get caught, Rook, Radcliffe won't be as kind as Jessica, but he may never suspect I would be the one spying."

"In fact," she said, leaning forward, warming to the subject, "I know a good way to start."

The next few chimes, Shiress told her bondmate of her suspicions of loyalty, and odd anti-slave behavior of her curious guard, Kylar, and why she thought he may end up being a valuable ally, her gaze constantly moving to the door to ensure they remained alone.

"It's not us being careful, but I really believe we will find something if we look for it. He's spying for someone, Rook, I just know it!" Shiress continued, "and if there's something to find it will be in his room." Shiress locked eyes with Rook "Will you help me?"


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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Rook on October 14th, 2018, 8:40 pm

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Rook could feel his bondmate’s worry over what he had told her, and the wolf boy sent even more reassurances through their link. Although Rook was uneasy about the new arrangement, he supposed it couldn't be any worse than the situation he had been in before, and he had to hold onto whatever tendrils of hope he could grasp. Not just for himself anymore, but also for her.

Rook was slightly startled by his bondmate’s offer of help. “I don't want to drag you into this too,” the wolf boy said, eyebrows knitting together with worry. But as she continued to speak, Rook found himself nodding in agreement. The truth of the matter was that he needed all the help he could get in this endeavor, and no one made more sense to ask for help than his dear Shiress.

As Shiress told Rook her suspicions, the kelvic curled up next to her, head resting against her shoulder and fingers interlocked with her own, enjoying the warmth that came with the casual and relaxed intimacy that came naturally between the pair. Shiress’ story brought a pensive look across the wolf boy’s face and he chewed his lower lip in thought.

“I will help you of course,” Rook said. There was no thought that was needed for that particular course of action at least. “What do you plan? We find that information, and then we present him with it?” The wolf boy’s voice lowered very slightly
“Are we going to try to blackmail him with this information? Or...will we be kind about it?”

Rook sighed. “I don't really like the idea of blackmailing him if we want him as an ally. I think we should make him a friend. Friends aren't as likely to stab you in the back.”

With his piece stated, Rook would stand although his fingers were still interlocked with that of Shiress. “Let’s go. Will you show me to his room? We must be quiet.”
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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Shiress on October 15th, 2018, 2:02 am

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As Shiress fell silent, her body became aware of her bondmate's closeness and the security and comfort that the boy gave her. It warmed her heart to have him so close.

The slave smiled when the Kelvic assured his willingness to help her and buried her nose in the mess of his red hair. So quick to help, no hesitation whatsoever. How had she lived this long without this wolf in her life?

Lifting their entwined fingers to her lips, Shiress gently kissed the top of Rook's hand. "Thank you so much for trusting me, Rook." she said "And you're right, I hadn't thought that far ahead. I'm sure we'll find something, but what we do with what we may find hadn't occurred to me. She paused, listening as Rook spoke again, a smile sliding across the girl's lips "You're right, I think he would make a good friend, indeed, but," the smile slid away beneath knitted brow's as a thought rolled through her mind, but it was quickly dispelled when Rook stood.

Shiress stood, also, facing her bondmate and had to lean back to look at him in the eyes. Had he always been so much taller than her? Rook's golden eyes caught the glint of faint torchlight spilling in through the crack in the door from the hall. Shiress's breath caught in her throat. Even though her heart pounded with excitement and enthusiasm at finally, possibly, finding out what Kylar was about, the slave couldn't help but think they were also stepping into danger and the thought of something happening to Rook...to her bondmate...

Shiress placed a hand on Rook's chest "Wait" she said, then stepped closer, placing her head where her hand had been resting and wrapped her arms around his waist. "If anything ever happened to you, I will be lost, Rook. I love you so much and..." she squeezed him tighter, "let's just be careful, okay."

Releasing the boy, Shiress grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the doorway, peeked around, then pulled him through and out into the passageway. "His room is this way." she said and led him away. "He'll be on duty until the 24th bell so I think we'll have time."

The slave pulled her bondmate down one hallway, then another, peering around corners, and only once having to shove Rook back against a wall as a fellow slave passed by, arms full of clean linen. A short flight of stairs down and they were standing in the barracks, outside Kylar's room. Shiress listened at the door for a tick, then tried the doorknob. The wooden door slid open, silently. Shiress stepped aside, letting Rook enter first, then slipped in behind him, pulling the door closed with a soft click.

"Shyke, I should have brought a candle" the slave observed, belatedly, eyes blinking as she tried and failed to see anything in the pitch black room. Pulling back open the door, Shiress hurriedly stepped out into the hallway and snatched a torch from its sconce beside an adjacent room. Stepping back into the room, she calmly handed the trembling light to Rook.

"Now what?"

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Postby Rook on October 26th, 2018, 4:30 pm

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Warmed and encouraged by his bondmate’s kiss atop his head, Rook felt himself filled with bravado. This couldn't be any more difficult than breaking into the floating garden right? Well, maybe that wasn't a good example. It hadn't ended very well after all, although Rook couldn't completely discount it seeing that it had earned him his bond.

The gentle stare that Shiress gave him, her pale face framed by her dark hair, gave Rook a moment of pause. Her feelings were conflicted; concern and worry mixed with excitement and an eagerness to do something, anything. Rook understood that feeling well. It was so easy to feel helpless as a slave, as if all your actions were pointless and ultimately futile. The opportunity to actually be effective was addicting. Perhaps it was why spy work appealed to him so much. He could actually do something useful.

At Shiress’ hug and confession of worries, Rook wrapped his bondmate in his arms tightly and snuggled his nose against her neck, breathing in her scent. “I love you too. You don't have to worry about me,” Rook said sending reassurances and love through their bond. “We can protect each other,” he said after a moment’s thought. He nuzzled the top of her head, feeling her soft dark hair press against his nose. “Together we can do anything.”

The pair’s walk through the hallways, stepping out of lines of sight and slipping from shadow to shadow reminded Rook so much of his first tentative explorations as a spy. The wolf boy’s keen ears made him especially good at this kind of work. It was lucky that this late night had few comings and goings of slaves, but just as Shiress kept Rook from stumbling into a slave, Rook also blocked Shiress a time or two to prevent her from stumbling across a guard’s weary, half-serious patrol.

Rook felt much better once they were actually inside of the room. The shadows inside comforted and relaxed him, plus it was unlikely for anyone to disturb them here. Once Shiress had grabbed a torch from outside, Rook pulled a blanket from off of the end of Kylar’s bed and stuffed it in the cracks of the door.

“We have to be quiet,” Rook told Shiress in a whisper as he took the torch from her. “The blanket will block out the light and will muffle the noise a little, but people will still come to investigate if things are too loud.” Once he had confirmed Shiress’ understanding, the wolf boy turned with torch in hand to observe what the light had revealed.

The room was a simple affair, which was understanding considering Kylar’s ranking. Shiress might be worthy of a guard and Kylar might be skilled, but as far as the Larks were concerned Shiress was still only a mere slave. Her guard hardly required fancy accommodations. That said the room’s furnishings were quite simple. A bed, a desk, a small bedside table, and a simple wardrobe. There were no fancy decorations, which was good. “There won't be many places to check here,” Rook explained to his bondmate in a whisper. “Try looking in places where things might be hidden.”

Rook started with all the obvious places. He opened up the drawers to the desk and parsed through the handful of documents there. They were uninteresting. Mostly receipts of payment for Kylar's service to the Larks, and records regarding things Kylar had bought in service as a guard; things like weapon and armor repair, tickets for food he bought while on the job and other mundane matters. Rook returned the documents where he found them and continued his search. He looked through the clothes in the wardrobe, turning out pockets, and searching around seams for hidden things. He lightly tapped Kylar's armor in a search for hidden compartments that might leave an echo he could pick up with his keen ears. He even turned up the bed’s mattresses, checking to see if their might be hidden pockets somewhere within the folds of fabric or underneath. Rook turned up nothing. Trying not to show his disappointment, after each careful examination the wolf boy replaced everything back exactly the way it was before he had started his search.

Frowning, Rook turned his eyes on the last object in the room, the small bedside table. “If there’s nothing here I suppose we might search the floorboards,” Rook muttered. The pup thoroughly searched the contents of each of the two drawers. They were filled with mundane things; quills and ink, sheets of paper. A small bottle of some sort of alcoholic beverage that had no label but made Rook’s nose twitch with it’s strength. Finding nothing, Rook closed the drawer perhaps a little too hard. And he paused a moment before opening the drawer once more.

“That noise it made was strange,” Rook murmured to Shiress. Carefully, the wolf boy put his ear to the top of the beside table and tenatively tapped on the top of it, eyes closed in concentration. A moment later, his eyes flew open. “There’s a secret compartment here!” he said, unable to keep excitement from his voice. “I can hear it’s echo! The sound is wrong!”

He tapped a couple more times to confirm before nodding. “I’m sure of it! We just have to figure out how to get it open!”
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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Shiress on November 2nd, 2018, 5:41 pm

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Shiress watched with curiosity as her bondmate explored the guard's room. Seeing Rook move with purpose impressed the Slave and his willingness to risk such a venture just for her was more than comforting. The boy was obviously comfortable with this sort of thing, but a slave with spying skill was a valuable slave. Shiress grimaced, pushing that thought aside as Rook's excited voice brought her from her musings.

Circling the boy, she listened carefully as the drawer was pulled out again and heard the telltale click. Brow's lifting, Shiress knelt beside the table "Do it again." she said, then ran her hand along the edge of the drawer, but didn't feel anything. Motioning for Rook to bring the light closer, Shiress peered around the opening, still not seeing anything. Placing her hand inside the opening of the table, she felt along the surface, just below where the secret compartment was. Sighing, the slave was nearly ready to give up when her fingers brushed over something hard.

"There's a keyhole!" she said, eyes going wide with realization. "which means there's a key." she added in a mumble, coming to her feet and glancing around the room.

Near the foot of the bed, a pair of soft-toed slippers sat seemingly unobtrusive. Picking up one of them, the girl gave it a shake, then the other and smiled. "My Father used to hide stuff in his shoe all the time" Shiress said, upending the slipper to let the small silver key fall into the palm of her hand. Moving back to her position by the table, she slipped the key in the hole and twisted.

The top, front end of the table popped open half an inch, and Shiress pulled it open the rest of the way until it rested neatly in a backward tilt on its hinges. The hidden space was no more than two inches deep and took up the top span of the bedside table. Inside was a book, several rolled scrolls, a clump of hardened red wax, and a large metal ring with an odd design on top. Shiress gave her bondmate a long, contemplating look before picking the ring up and examining it.

"It's a signet ring, I think" she said, tilting the ring toward the light to give Rook a better look "It has red wax stuck in it."

Shiress had never seen the symbol carved into the ring's surface before. To her it looked like a pitchfork linked by a chain to two E's, one forward facing, the other turned backward. Shrugging, she replaced the ring and drew out the book, moving to place it in the light before flipping several pages.

"It has names listed beneath the letters KRI and beside them are different types of animals" she said frowning, "and some are marked through"

Handing the book to Rook, Shiress took a scroll from the compartment and unrolled it. "Slave wagon headed for slave auction several nights past never arrived" she read allowed, brows inching downward as the words made no sense to the slave. "Fourteen bodies found buried near the NO were unrecognizable. Five Lark slaves unaccounted for so far this season."

Shiress placed the scroll back in its place and retrieved another, unrolling it. "This one is signed S.N." she said, turning to Rook "Who do you think --" The rest of Shiress's words cut off as Rook was suddenly shoved backward away from her as the sharp end of a sword suddenly appeared before Shiress's face.

Between Rook and Shiress stood a seething Kylar, one black-gloved hand pressed hard around Rooks' throat, pinning him to the wall, the other holding his sword toward Shiress. For a long moment, it looked as if the guard was too furious to speak and just glared at the Slave. Shiress could only glare back, too shocked and scared to do anything else. Guiltily realizing she still held a scroll she let it tumble from her fingers back into the secret space in the table.

"Kylar.."

"How dare you..."Kylar growled


The guard cut her off with such a furious growl to his voice that Shiress instantly forgot how to speak.




Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Overturned Secrets Spill Truth (Rook)

Postby Rook on November 8th, 2018, 8:43 pm

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The kelvic boy all but shook with excitement as Shiress discovered the keyhole hidden within the nightstand. “I knew it!” Rook said eagerly. The prospect of discovery sent a surge of adrenaline shooting through his veins. When Shiress found the key hidden in the slippers, Rook gave his bondmate the proudest, most delighted look, before moving over beside her to see over her shouldrr what treasures she discovered within the hidden depths of the drawer.

The contents of the drawer made Rook furrow his brow in puzzlement. Rook took the ring as Shiress commented on it, turning it in his hands slowly and lightly touching the red was embedded in its surface. “It must be one of Ravok’s wealthy families.” Rook said. “It's not the Lark family or the Lazarin family. I would recognize them.” Shiress took the ring back from him, and Rook followed her gaze to the other items.

Rook's face took on an expression of alarm as Shiress read out the contents of the book. Anything involving the KRI put Rook on edge. He scanned the names with an air of caution as Shiress handed the book over to him. He disliked the names that were crossed through. “Kelvic slaves who had disappeared? Or died?” Rook ventured cautiously. Shiress’ further readings of the scrolls moved Rook's thoughts further in that direction and his expression turned grave. “Fourteen bodies. Shyke.” he mumbled. “Why does Kylar have this?”

As Rook was told the initials, he felt like he must know it from somewhere. Before he had a chance to contemplate it, he was shoved backwards with a hand on his throat and fury blazing in Kylar's eyes.

Rook tried to speak through the hand around his throat, and felt it tighten more intensely around him. When Rook coughed, Kylar lowered him, only slightly, just enough that Rook was able to get a good breath, enough to speak.

“Give us a chance to explain!” Rook cried out hoarsely.

“You better have a petching good reason for going through my things!” Kylar snarled.

Rook cast a desperate look at Shiress. His first instinct was to protect her, but he had the sense that if he made any attempts to move from where Kylar had him that he would find himself without air again. The pup took a steading breath, and readied himself for one of his daring ploys, born of desperation.

“We thought you could help us!” Rook said. A shadow of confusion crossed Kylar's features. “We wanted to know if we could trust you...Shiress thought we might be able to, but we weren't sure. So we looked through your things to see. We aren't working for the Larks or the Lazarins here, I swear! This is our own thing. Do you really think the Larks would ask Shiress to spy? Me maybe, but not her.”

Rook could see Kylar quietly processing the information and the grip around Rook's throat loosened very slightly. The guard then turned to look at Shiress, sword arm still extended even as he held tight to Rook's neck.

“It's petching stupid of you to go through my things,” he growled, still angry. “Even if I believe you.”

“It's not like we could ask you!” Rook replied. “What if we were wrong? We had no choice!” The information continued to process through Kylar, and his jaw slowly worked in thought.
Rook
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