Closed [The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Kelski said she had some questions. Kynier intends to answer them.

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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on August 7th, 2018, 12:04 am

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Timestamp: 71st of Summer 518 A.V.


It happened infrequently, but it happened. Today was one such occurrence. Kynier was awake before Kelski. He was lying on his back and staring at the ceiling when Syna’s first touch came through the window. Sleep had almost completely avoided him. What little he managed to catch provided little respite. None of his anger or frustration from Kelski’s talk last night had faded which kept his mind active for most of the night. If he hadn’t succumb to the realm of dreams by now he figured he wasn’t going to at all. He gazed down at Kelski. She had rolled around more than usual but had ended up with the side of her head on his bicep.

As he looked at her some of the frustration faded. Something she did, even subconsciously in her sleep, made it difficult to stay upset with her. Tenderly, he extracted his arm from beneath her head in an attempt to let her continue sleeping. He stood up from the bed and went to his wardrobe to put on pants. When his weight shifted it was soundlessly on the balls of his feet. Kynier did not bother with boots or a shirt. The morning was comfortable enough and the day was only going to get warmer. Silently he padded out of the master suite and closed the door behind with a soft click.

Down the stairs he went. The front door was locked and the rest of the house was asleep. Except for perhaps the house itself. It was hard to gage something that surrounded you entirely. The Nightstalker swept through the house like a shadow, through the workshop and out the back. By the patio was the supply of chicken feed and an empty bucket. Kynier used the pump to fill the bucket with water and grabbed the open sack of feed with the other hand. His side flared up from the exertion and he set the bag down to change hands. The ground was cool on his toes as he waded through stretch of land belonging to the Midnight Gem. Part way out was the chicken coup that held more chickens than what seemed necessary for them.

The contents of the bucket were emptied into the small trough. Then the mage laid out the chicken feed for the collection of hens, and the one discolored Laurie, to feast upon. While they were distracted he checked their nests for the morning haul of eggs. Not all of them had been productive, and Laurie had only dispensed a regular egg. Kynier gently placed all the eggs in the water bucket and proceeded to make his way back to the Gem. The bag of feed was returned to its place but he carried the bucket of eggs inside. As silently as he left he traversed back upstairs to the common area to grab the necessities to cook some eggs as well as a pair of plates and glasses.

Six eggs were removed from the stash and the rest he placed in the cupboard with the rest of their food storage. Kynier hoped that an extension with a kitchen would be added soon. Climbing up and down stairs constantly for the sake of a meal was tedious. It gave his mind too much time to think in between tasks. Thoughts of Kelski’s mannerisms and physical state from last night were foremost in his mind. Words of the Reimancer they knew, Farris, also echoed in his head. What was he going to do about all of it? What could he do?

When he stepped back on the patio he set the cooking pot on the metal wire rack that was propped over the fire pit. Kynier cracked the eggs open on the rim and emptied the yokes into the dish. Before lighting a fire he checked for any egg shell fragments. He was in a sour enough mood and didn’t want to deal with an unnecessary crunch in his eggs. After extracting the few fragments that had fallen in he set a few logs of wood in the pit. Kynier took a deep breath and extended his left hand. At the depths of his soul core lay the djed he desired to transmute into a res for fire. As he brought the substance forth pain shot up his spine.

Kynier braced himself up with his over hand on the ground and tried to breathe through the pain. The djed was trying to settle itself back in his soul. With a single deep groan he forced it to his hand. The res came through the skin in a nearly solid state. Ignite! Red and orange fire erupted in his hand and he quickly flung it onto the logs. Some of the flames licked his fingers and his palm. The skin was instantly red and irritated. His head became light and he flopped on his back with his eyes closed. Kynier didn’t think he had overgiven that much a few days ago. Clearly he was wrong. After a chime he heard the eggs sizzling in the pot and he forced himself to his feet.

His back felt stiff with pain and his left hand ached fiercely. Grabbing the spatula he stirred the yokes around. The heat caused them to solidify and crumble as he stirred. Before long they were ready and Kynier turned to grab the two plates he had brought out. He scooped the eggs onto the eggs then left the cooking pot on the side where it could cool down. Next the glasses which he filled with water from the pump. Pressing both glasses against his chest with his arm he grabbed a plate in each hand and went inside. His left hand held on with just the fingertips where it was less painful. Slowly he made his way back up to the common area, trying to not spill on the floor. Kynier set everything down on the table and retrieved a pair of forks.

With one he examined all the eggs. Some of them were burnt from being on the bottom of the pot for too long. Kynier rationed them so all the burnt eggs were on his plate which had a slightly larger pile than its counterpart. After that he set the forks down and returned to the door of the master suite. With his good hand he carefully opened it and padded over to get the cold iron short sword. Grateful he hadn’t done it first thing, he picked it up and spoke the Tukant phrase to activate its healing magic. “I’ll Die Tomorrow,” he said softly in the long drawn language. Pure white light radiated from the weapon as Kynier directed the healing properties towards his hand. The red skin changed back to its normal tone shortly. The remaining energies he spent on his wound. The pain in his spine still lingered, but he had discovered the weapon had no ability to alleviate pain from overgiving.

Kynier checked over his shoulder at the Kelvic. She was still sleeping for now. He suspected that she would be up shortly though. She often couldn’t sleep long in Syna’s direct light. And just over a bell had passed since dawn. So he padded back to the common room and sat down at the table. The seat he chose faced the master suit door, and the chair next to him had been pulled out with the other plate and glass set before it. Kynier rested his elbows on the table, interlaced his fingers, and rested his chin on his thumbs as he watch the door.

His body language was tense, from pain, frustration, and the anxiety of the talk he was about to have with the Kelvic. She had questions that she wanted him to answer. By Akajia, he was going to answer them, before she endeavored another foolish attempt to find them without his help. When the door finally opened he would give her a small smile. It would be genuine. The sight of her always made him smile, even during the troubled times when she was disconnected from her words. “Would you like some breakfast?” he would ask her. If she declined and tried to walk away he would call her name, with a bit urgency. Regardless of which option she chose he would say the words that made many humans anxious when hearing. “We need to talk.”

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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 7th, 2018, 3:07 am

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Just as he had anticipated, Kelski had rose after him, having awoken when she’d sensed he’d gone. Her head hurt just a bit from yesterday’s antics and she once more winced at the stupidity of staying so long with Farris and not leaving earlier than she had. The Kelvic stretched, slipped to her feet, and grabbed the light coverlet off the bed. She dragged it behind her like a child would drag a security blanket and crossed the threshold into the Common Room. Kelski paused there, licking her dried lips, her hair a wild tangle all around her. Keen eyes scanned the room and saw Kynier, reading his body language before she read the smile on his face. She waited for dread to fill her but nothing came…. no, there it was, slowly filling the pit of her stomach. She almost savored the emotion, clinging to it like someone would cling to an old friend that had long stopped visiting.

Her pathway to the outdoors to the spicket abruptly changed when she spotted the glass and the plate of eggs.

The eggs she could do without. Her stomach rolled at the thought of any intrusions other than the water she desperately desired. The Kelvic padded across the room light-footed and just before she sat down she wrapped the coverlet around her, tucking her feet up under her on the chair. Knees poked out where the impromptu wrap encircled her and it parted briefly for a hand to snake out and snatch at the glass. She drank greedily, her eyes on Kynier the whole time, dread growing in her stomach at the tension in his body. When the glass was drained, she sat it down quietly. Then she picked up the plate without looking at it, gently tipped and shook its golden fluffy contents onto his own, and then set the plate back down.

“Thank you, but my stomach says no. My head doesn’t feel very well this morning.” She whispered with a raspy morning voice that dropped her rich alto to a whole new level of awkward. Silver eyes scanned his body language again, and though she did note he’d smiled, she knew he hadn’t slept. He looked tired, frustrated, and …. angry. She met his hazel eyes, held his gaze, then looked away at all she saw in them.

She deserved this reaction.

Talk? No… she owed him an apology. A huge one. And she knew it down to her core. There were still big parts of her that were broken, and sometimes it took a real effort to smile, but this she was certain of. Yesterday had scared her deeply. Kelski took a deep breath, brought her eyes back up this, and met his gaze. “I owe you an apology. I was stupid and I didn’t listen. You warned me. But I didn’t understand. I really didn’t understand at all until I saw it firsthand. Firsthand it is unsettling.” She wanted to explain further, but it felt like an excuse… all of it. When seeing what she saw yesterday educated her on how stupid she had been.

There was something different about this morning than last night. Last night she’d been distraught, emotional, and strung out… like she’d been doing some of Dar…. the name shut down before she could even say it in her mind… like she had taken drugs.

Kelski kept clinging to the emotion she saw in Kynier’s gaze. She read the ones crossing Kynier’s face and wanted them for herself. But it was so hard to muster even sorrow. She wanted to stand up, put on those clothes again, and go back to the Bolt Hole and loose herself dancing. Even if she couldn’t feel the joy of dancing, not yet not now, the drums would pound enough of a rhythm inside her that she’d feel that at least.

“You hold your knowledge tight and I respect that. I did not want to pry or pester you with my questions because you are drawn in and stronger for holding your secrets tight.” Only a Nightstalker would understand this… and Kelski knew Kynier did. “This is not an excuse and I was completely wrong. But Farris is easy with his words, talkative and willing to tell someone what he knows. I thought it would be easier to ask him questions because he does not mind telling things as he sees them. I do not think he knows things as you know things or at least sees things in the same way you see them, because there is a reckless self-destructiveness about what he does. He hurt himself until he could not stand but it was not enough. It was like a drunk falling down who does not wish anything but more drink. There was no control, but worse than that, there was no thought of needing control.” She said, her voice breaking. Kelski had already drained her glass and she reached out to a pitcher of water on the table and refilled it to drink again.

How could she tell him that Farris told her the how of things but not the caution of going slowly? How could she tell Kynier that what he’d said of magic was true and that the dangers he’d claimed were there were in fact there and very real. “You were right about the things you’ve told me before. I trust you and I trust your judgement, but I did not trust the rightness of those words. It is a betrayal of a sorts.” She stated, her voice clearer now and the water helping flush the last of her sleep and headache away.

The truth is that Kelski deserved none of his smiles or his understanding. Kelski deserved his anger. Kelski just wished she could remember what true anger felt like.
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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on August 7th, 2018, 3:31 pm

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The wait was very brief. When she came out the door she was a sight to behold. Had Kynier not been so upset he would’ve actually chuckled at the way she appeared. Dark and silver ombre hair in a tangled mess around her hair, all her skin on display with nothing to conceal her narrow frame, and the coverlet dragging behind as a what may have been a literal afterthought. Kynier could see the fog in her mind. It was as though she had been out late a tavern and deep in her cups. Overgiving from Auristics had a similar appearance on a person.

As she came to take the seat he had prepared for her Kynier lifted his chin from his thumbs so he could pivot his head to watch. The rest of his posture remained the same. While Kelski had a similar trait of appearing closed off when she wanted to that wasn’t what was happening now. Silver eyes that, looked less molten since her disappearance, were wide and twinkled with dread. Kynier did not take his eyes from hers as she situated herself. Some type of hungry despair radiated from those silver irises, pleading for something that he didn’t understand, and couldn’t provide even if he did. They had latched onto his eyes and refused to waiver. That was uncharacteristic. Kelski was a predatory and scanned for things, only locking her vision when there was prey to swoop in on. Kynier did not feel she was going to be doing that right now.

Even as the hand took the glass and she drank the contents, her eyes failed to waver. The eggs were still a little warm as she tipped the plate to pile her portion onto his. A small puff of steam rose up at the disturbance of the pile. Headaches that led to nausea was a typical sign of overgiving in a newly formed mage. A mage. That’s what she was now. Kynier tussled with the reality for moment in his mind. Things that he had tried to conceal from her, mostly so that she wouldn’t need to be concerned for him, were now going to be common place for the kelvic in the foreseeable future. Entry into magic was painful and frustrating as one tried to learn how to interact with the unseen forced of the world that they had been basking in their whole lives. But by the gods, magic was also beautiful.

When she finally broke eye contact Kynier felt a pang of sorrow. He wanted to reach out to her and comfort her. Wrap his arms around and be the shield she seemed to need while she licked wounds that only she knew of. But he stamped down the desire. Magic and its consequences were not things you can ever really protect yourself from. Kelski had tried to fly before flapping her wings enough to develop the muscles required to do so. Here they were… after the crash.

Kelski started off with an apology. About how she had ignored his warnings and caution about magic. How she didn’t understand until she was in the thick of it. Kynier was appreciative and upset by the apology. He didn’t know how he could have iterated it better before today. The kelvic continued on with her words. She spoke briefly on the matter that he was the most upset on. Not that she was practicing. Not that she was overgiving. But that she had not come to him first. She attributed it to being Nightstalkers. At that he sighed heavily and picked up the fork to stab at the eggs on his plate. Not raising his eyes again to hers but staring at plate before him.

Knowledge was power. The less known it was the more valuable it became. That was the essence of being a Nightstalker for the goddess. Kelski had followed Akajia her whole life. So she took that to heart and down to her soul core. It was going to require a delicate touch to shape her view on that. A touch that he might not be capable of.

At the mention of Farris he began eating. His body needed to do something as he listened to her reasoning and recanting of what happened. The Reimancer had been showing the signs almost every day since Kynier had first met him. It did not surprise the young Nightstalker that Farris would be in such a condition when exploring new magic. But when she mentioned how the man didn’t seem to desire a need of control. Kynier swallowed his mouthful. And Spoke as Kelski took to more water. “For a mage it is all about control Kelski,” his voice was neutral like an instructors. “What you are really trying to say, is that he’s showing no restraint. And he’s not.”

Kynier loaded his fork again and continued to eat as Kelski elaborated more. Without actually saying it she acknowledged why she thought he should be mad. There was some truth behind that, but it was not all encompassing. When she finished he sighed while chewing a mouthful. What was he going to elaborate on first? One option was to just start explaining what all of it really was in regards to magic. Or he could reinforce the folly of Farris actions further. No, those were not the things foremost on his mind. And he would not be able to calm down if he kept it to himself.

Kynier impaled the pile of eggs with the fork with a small clink, and left it sticking up as he finally brought his eyes back to Kelski’s silvers. He spoke in Makath to punctuate his point. “There are things more valuable in life than knowledge and secrets.” He took a drink from his own glass. As he continued he reverted back to the common tongue. “Each warning was not meant to deter you but to educate you. To help you understand that magic isn’t just… a substance that makes things happen. That it’s no less risky than using a hammer. It serves a purpose and a function but you can still hit your own finger if you’re not careful.”

He looked away and a hand wiped his face from the brow to the chin. “I have been practicing for over ten years Kelksi,” he said looking back to her. “And you have seen me overgive. I have seen that concern in your eyes when you watch what the effects do to me. I’m not perfect but I stop quickly when the signs begin to show, with only a few exceptions. So you can understand how I must feel when you showed up last night.” Kynier raised a hand and held up a finger, “Your eyes were dilated.” A second finger rose, “Your speech was swift and nearly incomprehensible.” A third. “You have a headache severe enough to ruin your appetite.”

Kynier made an emphasizing little shake of his hand with the three fingers raised. “These are minor signs. Minor.” His voice crossed half the distance between a civil tone and yelling. He lowered his fingers and cupped one hand in the other. “Had you done any more you would most likely begin to bleed profusely, or hallucinate, or even suffer unexplained extreme pain in random places of your body. And then… permanent damage begins to occur.” He shook his head. Kynier forced himself to lower his voice instead of letting his emotions determine the volume. “You did not know these things and Farris most likely never mentioned them. And it hurts me Kelksi,” Kynier felt tears forming at the bottom of his eyes, “it hurts me… that you would go to the man who’s words are easily spoken without mention of danger, rather than the one who’s reserved and points out the danger.”

Kynier sniffed and aggressively took the fork and another mouthful of eggs. These eggs are petching terrible. Kynier struggled to chew through it and swallow. He let the fork clatter on the plate and rested his head in his hands. He refused to let himself show tears, especially now when he need to be stable for her. After a moment of biting them back Kynier removed his head from his hands and rubbed his palms together. A sharp exhale escaped his nostrils. “Farris has studied magic longer than I have. But he only has… had… three disciplines to choose from. I have knowledge of six disciplines, which include the same three he knew. While he might be bett… have more understanding of those disciplines, it came with a cost.”

Hazel eyes still wet from a close emotional outburst locked hard onto Kelski’s silver eyes. “You are a mage now Kelski. And it is up to you to decide what cost you want to pay for the knowledge and power of magic. Farris pays a lot and very quickly. I pay it slower for a more gradual benefit and much lower risk. Every mage has their own pace.” During the following pause Kynier scooted his chair closer to hers, not breaking eye contact. His body leaned forward, resting an elbow on a knee, as his other hand reached out and set itself on the closer of Kelski’s exposed knees. He gave it a gentle squeeze.

“Do you not remember what I said that day one the river? The day you asked me to come here with you. I promised you, to answer any and every question that you ever have of me with honesty. Magic has never been an exception to that promise. Ask it of me, and I will give you guidance. To lead you around the dangers I fumbled upon when I learned.”

“Magic can be terrifying and dangerous to learn.” The memory of Kelski’s aura thirty days ago came to mind. The beauty it possessed and the emotion it evoked within him. He smiled a bright genuine smile. “But it is also beautiful to behold. And the world seems more wondrous when you understand it.”

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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 7th, 2018, 9:54 pm

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During her time as a slave, Kelski had repeatedly been subjected to physical abuse. And sitting there perched on her chair watching Kynier work through his anger and admit what he was feeling was ten times more torturous than taking a blow from a callous insensitive hand. She wanted to sooth his rigid frame and reassure him things were going to be okay. When he’d told her magic was dangerous, she had thought it was dangerous like saying a blade was sharp and could cut her. She hadn’t truly understood until she’d witnessed first hand how dangerous magic actually was why he was so angry.

And Kelski understood that his anger wasn’t actually anger. It was fear.

Kynier was like that. He held himself firm and his emotions on a tight leash. He could be giving and generous, protective and sheltering, but when she’d returned last night, he’d been truly afraid. He knew the signs where she did not.., not until now, and had recognized them from his own experiences. The Kelvic tried to put herself in his place, looking through his eyes at someone he could not control… dare not control… yet didn’t want to get hurt. She would feel the same way and be terrified too.

She watched him eat as she apologized and when he clarified her statements, Kelski nodded her agreement. Kynier was right. Farris showed no restraint. But she interrupted him after his thought. “Yes, no restraint. But Kynier, this is not about Farris. This is about me, and you… and I was at fault for not listening and lingering.” She said, wanting him to fully understand that she wasn’t going to blame Farris for her actions. Farris’ life was his own, so too were his choices, even if they were self-destructive.

He stabbed his eggs in a punishing way, eating though there was no true pleasure on his face at the consumption. When he’d eaten enough, leaving the fork upright like a pike in his fallen enemy’s chest, Kynier finally looked at her. Kelski’s skin rippled with displeasure, and she squirmed in her chair though it made the sharp stabbing pain of her cracked ribs worse. There was nothing she could do about it or Kynier’s anger and fear except ride it out.

“There are things more valuable in life than knowledge and secrets.”

That he used Makath chilled her. She froze, the words tumbling over and over again in her mind, even as the shadows in The Midnight Gem seemed to sigh in agreement. Among them, Kynier was drawing an audience so thick that even a layman unmarked by Akajia would notice the darkening of the room. Kelski ignored them. They’d been privy to her stupidity more than once. They would be witness to it again.

Though her alabaster cheeks flushed a deep red of shame.

Kynier’s rage rose to the surface and Kelski could hear it clearly. She could see it in the lines on his face and in the way he clenched his hands and jaw. It almost physically hurt something inside of her to know she was the cause of all this. And she was… her stupid carelessness was.

He listed some minor signs to Overgiving. Minor signs. He wouldn’t know she really didn’t understand what overgiving meant to begin with. Oh she could tell from the meaning that it meant to give to much, but the Sea Eagle had no idea what was given too much of and what the actual limits were. There didn’t seem to be any set parameters. Kelski had walked into the situation with Farris worse than blind, she’d been ignorant of many many things. In a lot of ways she still was. Her book on the shelf that spoke of auristics had terms in it like djed she hadn’t understood. They were everyday things to Kynier, but to her they were like little gems of knowledge, hints to a bigger mystery that was out there. Indeed, something a Nightstalker could not resist.

She knew Kynier had been a mage a long time, but longer than her lifespan? Longer than she’d been alive? She studied him and wondered if he were old for a human, though she’d thought he was still young with many years ahead of him. Was she mistaken? The Kelvic blinked, looked for wrinkles and greyness, and instead just found lines of worry and fatigue etched across his face.

“I did bleed.” She said so incredibly softly that he might not have heard her. She admitted this because there was no way this situation between them could get worse. He was angry, so angry, and his words were tumbling out at a rumble and she didn’t know how to stop them.

He stabbed at his eggs as if he were punishing them, revealing the barely reined in emotion within him. She stopped listening for a while, trying to prevent the shaking that was quickly overtaking her. It wasn’t a reaction that she was used to, but it sent shooting pains through her ribs far worse than the dull ache that had been with her since her return. For something to do with her hands, she gripped the coverlet harder, flexing her fingers to try and control the reaction. Kynier spoke of things she didn’t have a clue the meaning too… numbers of disciplines, years of study, more or less understanding… and costs. The Kelvic Sea Eagle bit down on her lip hard, almost drawing blood to keep her body from revealing its distress.

Then he called her a mage and it was ludicrous that he thought that. Her? A mage? Kelski gripped her coverlet tighter and almost flinched away as his hand settled on her knee to squeeze it. There was no way he could miss the trembling the blanket was hiding. She nodded when he asked her if she remembered his promise. She did. And she tried to smile at him through the sharp stabbing her breathing and trembling was causing. “I remember…” She said, taking a breath to say more when Ebon appeared at the top of the stairs, his face a bit ashen.

He had a long roll of stretchy bandage in his hand. “You didn’t get this before bed. You cant walk around without this on, Kelski.” He said sternly. “You’re tripping five kinds of my compulsion like this. Stop it. Wrap your damn ribs.” He said with a snarl and slapped the bandage down beside her. Then he got a look at Kynier’s face, gave another look at Kelski’s and turned and all but fled downstairs and back to the retail store. Kelski simply stared at the bandage and then shrugged off the coverlet, draping it over the back of the chair. Her heels came off the seat of the chair and she leaned forward, extending her legs until the balls of her feet touched the ground. She arched her back, took the roll, and carefully held it to her stomach. Pins were slipped out of the stretchy material and carefully laid aside.

It was easier, so much easier to have something to do with herself while she told Kynier what she needed to say. One hand pinned the bandage to her stomach, while the other grasped the roll and pulled it snug around her ribs just under her small full breasts. Kelski wrapped it around her torso multiple times tightly before pinning it. The restrained chest cavity arched with the newly added support and Kelski made a soft sound of relief. The wrapping made her already small waist smaller… and it gave her courage to speak because she had to watch what she was doing and not meet Kynier’s eyes as she worked.

“My headache is from the fact that I have a cracked jaw and the bone… Ebon calls it the orbital ridge.. above my left eyebrow is also damaged. It is not from the magic. I’ve had it for days.” She said suddenly, defensively, though she had no denial for the other things he said. “I would like to explain to you…. what happened. I would like to be given the chance to tell you why it happened.” She said, then went on when he said nothing else.

“You think I know about things… but I do not. I have one book on Auristics that speaks of the magic, but it is as full of mystery to me as perhaps a manual on advanced jewelcrafting would be to you. Djed? The book spoke of it a lot, all over, but never once did it tell me what djed was. I lived in Lhavit but never had time to understand what the mages there understood. Its all bits and pieces of wisdom that I coveted like the secrets our Night Mistress does. You think I know so much… you give me too much credit. Overgiving? Giving too much of what? I invited Farris to look at the shields because I wanted to ask him the things I was too ashamed of my ignorance to ask you. I didn’t want you to know how much I didn’t know. I figured I could ask him some terms and to explain a few things and that would help me put the pieces together so I would be wiser, smarter, and not show you that side of me.” She said, taking a deep breath and continuing on as she wrapped her ribs.

“There was a shadow there that knew a lot though. And he talked a lot about the shields… and I translated for Farris… and I understood some of it, but not all of it, and when I finally came to understand what djed was, I instinctively pushed it all out of myself thinking that’s how magic worked. Then when I realized it was all leaving and it felt wrong, I panicked and tried to gather it back to me, and it came rushing back all at once when I called. It hurt, Kynier…. It hurt so badly it threw me back and my nose bled and bled. Farris… didn’t seem surprised. He explained I had to manage it at a trickle, but by then I couldn’t manage even that. It was an accident due to my foolishness. I thought…. I thought I could ask Farris these things and then I would know more and then I could put all the pieces together enough so that I could talk to you about magic and understand what you meant when you answered. And that you’d be impressed with my knowledge.” She said quietly, her voice toneless.


“You called me a mage. I am no such thing. I am just a foolish ignorant little bird that’s been made stupid by my pride.” She managed, her words emotionless and factual. She wanted to muster shame, hate, or rage, but there was just none left in her. Kelski had no reason hide her stupidity, not now. Kynier wouldn’t want to be partners with someone that wasn’t a mage or at least mage savvy… someone that didn’t know what he was talking about when he wanted to tell her about his day. It was probably for reasons like this they hadn’t bonded and weren’t going too. She was content with being at his side nonetheless… but this humiliation was all but unbearable and so she didn’t bear it, instead retreating into herself… there in front of him yet not there, not really. Voices echoed in her own mind. Memories surfacing. Had all that ugliness been the actual truth? She suspected it had been.

The Sea Eagle reached back after she’d fastened the bandage in place and grasped the coverlet. She wrapped it back around herself like a shield and drew her heels back up on the seat of the chair. Her ribs hurt far less now so Ebon had been right. Was everyone in this damned place smarter than she was? Kelski stared out in front of her, not meeting Kynier’s gaze, wanting to hate herself in that moment and realizing how stupid her thinking had been. It was bad enough she’d been thinking that way, but then saying it out loud?

But she just couldn't pull the hate forward... nor the shame for that matter. So she went for broke, laying it all out there for him.

“It was a lie. I was lying to you by not saying a word, because I didn’t want you to know.” She admitted, wanting it all out, like a festering wound needing to be lanced.
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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on August 8th, 2018, 3:50 am

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How she trembled beneath the coverlet did not escape his notice. Nor how she flinched at his touch. Everything he had been saying was upsetting the kelvic even more. Though it pained him to admit it, he’d rather she be upset now and hear his words as opposed to not taking their full meaning. This woman, this sea eagle, this kelvic, this jeweler, this Nightstalker… this mage… was the most important person in the world to him. Kynier felt he had failed her once on the day of the sixtieth. And now it felt as though he had somehow failed her again. Everything that he had come to understand about magic and the prices he had paid to do it felt, what was it all for if she was to suffer this way?

Kelski was in pain, he could see it, and she still tried to smile for him. But her words were cut short as Ebon climbed the stairs. Kynier took his hand from Kelski’s knee and looked past her, deliberately ignoring the night lion. The sting from the young kelvic’s words three days ago had not yet left his heart. Kynier imagined that Ebon’s thoughts towards the mage would take even longer to change. The night lion provided bandage wraps for Kelski with words that seemed harsher and filled with more annoyance than Kynier’s. That wasn’t going to assist matters, if it seemed everyone at the Midnight Gem was going to be angry with her.

The younger Nightstalker took long inhales and exhales as he sat up straight in the chair, hands braced against both knees. He needed to calm himself and speak more gently now. With his the source of his frustration expressed there was no more need for the anger, so he worked to bury it back inside. Kelski changed her posture and began to wrap her ribs to help set them in place. Kynier would’ve stood up and assisted her, but how she had flinched at his last touch came to mind. No. Kelski fought hard to be independent and not rely on other people for simple things. With both he and Ebon reprimanding her she needed small things like this to assure herself. His assistance may only make her feel belittled.

His eyes fell on the side of her face when she explained the source of her headache. The two of them had not spoken about what had happened during those days. No one told Kynier the extent of her injuries and she had not questioned why he had bloody wraps at his side. It made him feel the fool to claim it was a result of overgiving. And when she asked for the opportunity to explain her actions and reasons for them he answered with the silence necessary for her to speak.

It worried him how neutral her tone was when she confessed how little she knew of magic. Kynier remembered that she had once lived in Lhavit which was a city of mages. While he had never expected her to actually know much about magic, Kynier had thought she understood what overgiving was. Again, he was the fool for expecting too much and assuming. His breath froze when she admitted the real truth to why she approached Farris and not him. Shame in not knowing. And wanting to conceal that shame by learning without his aid. At the description of pushing out all her djed then trying to reclaim it he audibly winced, but held his tongue from lecturing to why that was a terrible thing to do. Then how Farris had not really helped her the way she had expected him to. And at last how she had done all of this, for him. For his approval.

Then Kelski denied his claim that she was a mage. That she was a “little bird” being ignorant, foolish, stupid, and prideful. For a long moment there was silence as she finished securing her bandage. The coverlet wrapped itself around her again and she avoided eye contact. The silence was broken when she stated that it was a lie. A lie by omission because she wanted that part kept hidden from him. For a moment he stared at the side of her head. Those words rolled around inside him mind. Kynier found that he wasn’t angry at her for it. Even if he wanted to be, he wasn’t and he couldn’t. There was a piece of him that Kynier shared with no one, not even her. To be mad at her for this would be hypocritical at best.

Kynier took his eyes away and stared out the open door of the balcony. Shame of his own crept inside his chest. All these things that Kelski had done and tried to accomplish were always done with him in mind. Her independence was something that he valued and respected. It had made him offer little in return and that had led to this dilemma. For some reason she had put so much importance on that one aspect, and while he was surprised by how little she knew when being around mages so much, he estimated the importance of that to him. Was it something worth diminished how much he cherished her? Cared for her?

Did it diminish his love for Kelski?

No. It didn’t.

Over a chime of silence had passed between them as they sat there unmoving. Kelski was ashamed to ask him about the fundamentals of magic so that she could understand him better. In retrospect Kynier had a similar shame of his own. The kelvic bond. Now he wanted to without a doubt in his mind. Yet he didn’t know what it was that he was supposed to do for the process. For a long while he thought Kelski would be the one to mention it, and ask him. That wasn’t ever the case. But this was not the time for that. And the only opportunities he may ever receive may have already passed.

One issue at a time. And he would make an effort to settle the most immediate issue first. That’s the best that he could do right now.

“Djed,” he said in his natural tone, “is a fundamental of life. The word itself comes from the ancient tongue. It means ‘backbone’. If djed didn’t exist there would be no life. It resides inside of everything in this world. The grass, the water in the rivers and oceans, the trees,” Kynier turned to look at the table and ran a hand along its surface, “even this table has djed in it. The most potent sources come from the souls of living creatures.” Kynier looked up at Kelski to stare at her eyes even if she didn’t look back at him. “Aurists and Shielding, as well as many other practices, are powered by the mage’s very soul. Because of that, everyone in this world is capable of being a mage. The most powerful mages in the world, probably never learn a thing about magic and live mundane lives.”

“The danger of magic,” his voice was a touch softer, “is using too much of your soul at once. To take too much before your soul can replenish itself. To Overgive is to spend too much of your soul or to use it inefficiently. But as soon as that power leaves your body you cannot take it back. The world itself changes it into something else. So when you tried to reclaim your djed it had already been tainted by things you can’t have in your soul. That was why it had hurt so much. There is a method of magic devoted to understanding how to take djed from the things in this world to use for your power. It is called Leeching. But to do so poisons your body, even if you spend years on the study. It is one of the magic arts I have sworn to never touch.”

Kynier looked at her for a moment. The stoic expression made her seem like a sculpture. Lifeless and uncaring of what happened around her. The younger Nightstalker shifted his chair even closer and reached out with a hand. Kynier wanted to cup her chin to turn her head towards him. But with the new knowledge about her jaw his hand instead wrapped around the other side of her neck and pulled gently to convince her to look at him. Kynier wanted to look into her eyes for his next words so she could see the truth in his.

“If this is all you want to know now, I understand. Should you still want to know more, I will tell you more. But this… this is all I need you to know. I don’t need you to know everything. I’ve always been happy that you accepted me. Since the first time we met at the Temple of the Unknown when I showed you, a stranger who I thought may slit my throat, the part of me I must hide, I’ve cherished you.” Kynier shook his head sadly. “I don’t consider you stupid or ignorant Kelski. I’ve always respected your independence and have tried to not take that away from you. You do so much while keeping me in your considerations. You have given me a home. A life. And for a while I’ve wanted to do something for you to show my appreciation. But I don’t know how to help when you don’t talk to me.”

Kynier’s last statement was meant for multiple things of importance. He did not know if Kelski would realize that. He wanted to talk about what happened between the sixtieth and sixty forth, and hear the missing pieces from her rather than anyone else. To discuss what she wanted to know and how much she wanted to learn about magic.

To know what he was supposed to do to become a bond-mate.

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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 10th, 2018, 4:09 am

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This was killing her, this conversation where it felt like her soul was being filleted open and the ugliness in it laid bare to him, he whom she cherished above all others. He was a human, of the race that had never done Kelski any favors, and yet here she was desperately trying to hang on by a thread to any sort of pride. And the truth was she had none. Not in this… not now. Kynier’s anger was justified. And yet he was tempering it with other things, namely patience and even now trying to somehow right an inbalance between them.

Kelski listened as he explained what Djed was and then what Overgiving was. And while the explanation was simple, it was finely detailed to the point she truthfully understood what he was saying. So much would have been solved if she had simply asked him first. Kelski wondered truly why she hadn’t. Was it really that she was afraid of him finding out she didn’t know? Was it that she didn’t want to ask him because she didn’t want him to know how dependent she was on him for some sort of interpretation of his world… the human world? His resonant voice cleared up so much she’d read in the book on auristics. Kynier’s words made the broken sensation Kelski was feeling somehow better… like a plate that had snapped in two being fitted back together in such a way as the break was invisible and seamless. He hadn’t commented on her ignorance. He didn’t make it seem like a big deal, other than in the context she was doing things without being fully aware of what she was doing.

He didn’t look down at her either, with those warm hazel eyes having somehow suddenly realized she was just a beast… a slave… good for nothi…..

Kelski broke off the thought. Disgust filled her. Self-pity? She felt so drained of emotion, so concerned by her lack of concern and this… this was the first thing her body… no her mind… could muster? Feeling sorry for herself? A tiny spark of anger flared abruptly, allowed to burst into being by the wall of stress the confessions to Kynier having released within her. She hid the internal dialog, the slowly lit fuse behind the stoic expression he might have read as indifference. But she was far from indifferent.

His hand on her neck, the scuff of his chair closer, the capturing of her eyes with his all brought her attention sharply into focus on him. The fire in her died immediately as her focus turned outwards, onto him, and she absorbed his words. He said so much in that short time. It was a lot to take in and a lot to pick through, but she quietly did it, still reading more in his eyes than he’d actually said. Gods…

With his hand still on her neck, she reached up and ran her long fingers with their long black nails through her ombre hair, pulling it out of her face. It had fallen forward, half concealing her features, acting as a shield for her to hide behind.

“I only want to know everything and it is hard to pick what to ask.” Kelski’s mind was always full of questions. Her head was busy with her thoughts because inherently Kelvics were made to desire to learn and grow, especially those that went unbonded for so long. “You say I have given you so much, Kynier, but you are like a lifeline to me.” Her words were soft spoken, barely a whisper, her throat still raspy from it being morning and the events of the day before. “You gave me a reason to survive and thrive, even if you don’t realize or can’t acknowledge it, before when I was enslaved, and after when I was free. From that first day I met you, you have been in my thoughts. I could not get you out of my head. And we had such beautiful times together, even if they were short or stolen. And now, that obsession hasn’t waned even though I see you every day. Randomly I stop and wonder where you are, what you are doing, or if you are happy… and then think of something to make you happy later in case you weren’t in that moment I thought of you. Every day, even now, you give me more reasons. You bridge the gap between what I am and what humans are, making them a whole lot less scary and mysterious. Even in the worst of times, I survive… I get home… because there isn’t anything I want to do besides be by your side.” She said with a quiet pause, her hand snaking out to take the water again. She drank deeply and set her glass aside.

It all sounded crazy to her. “I feel like something is wrong with me that I think of you so often. You walk out of the room and I miss you immediately. I leave and its hard to go and leave you behind. I feel… crazy for saying this. But it is so true. Your happiness makes me happy. You are so important to me, Kynier… I don’t even know how to put it in words. I think maybe Kelvics need a reason to be… and you are my reason. It makes me sick to my stomach that I might disappoint or fail you. But I have. And I will again. And I cannot say I am sorry enough because I am. I will keep trying and do better. But I am not perfect, though for you, I would be if I could.” She said simply, hoping that was what he meant by her not talking to him. But in case it wasn’t, she swallowed and added one last thing.

“Kynier, I would talk to you if you too would ask me. Questions can go both ways and I don’t always know what you don’t know or what you want to know either. I have lived very much of my life alone or in a situation where open speech is not encouraged or welcome. It has made me very quiet. Voicing my thoughts have often brought about very bad results. This… this thing between us is new. But it is not perfect either. You give me so much space and so much freedom because I think you fear your actions will somehow be a leash and I will lash out. But such things, when they come from inside and a place of good, do no damage or at least shouldn’t do any damage.” She whispered, tucking a strand of hair that was more white than black behind her ear.

Kelski watched him quietly then, giving her words time to sink in. She wasn’t exactly emotionless… there were lingering fleeting things in her gaze that were hard to read. But she couldn’t know what he was actually thinking…. that he had no clue where she’d been. The Kelvic had assumed the others had filled him in on what Little Rhaus had said, and she had no reason to bring them up…. especially not to him. He would blame himself, beat himself up, and in the end in her mind such things would only hurt him worse in the long run. In so many ways she was protecting him, even as she was still trying to work through what had actually happened and how she’d been so easily taken.

And she certainly wouldn’t know he was receptive to being her bondmate. As far as Kelski knew, that part of her was broken. With Kelvics, there were no talks of bonding, no negotiations, and certainly no requests. It just happened with the right person, or if the Kelvic was young... any person. She’d felt herself trying to bond so many times to him and an equal number of times she’d pulled back those energetic wanderings, leashing them so tight that they never sprang free anymore. She told herself that she already had a deep bond with Kynier. It was one that was special and solid, based on trust and affection and all the things humans made bonds with each other with. They never talked about it because it had once been only her need, not his, and she put his needs first.
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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on August 11th, 2018, 1:14 am

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If the mood had been less tense Kynier may have shown his amusement to what Kelski said when she pulled the ombre shield away from her face. To “only” know everything. As though that were so simple and not a daunting task to accomplish. But he didn’t so much as twist his lips at it. She was speaking. Really speaking for the first time since then. As strained and as quiet as her voice was, it rang through him and shook his bones. Unable to remain still but not daring to move, the hand on her neck shifted so his thumb could caress the side of her neck.

She thought so much of him and did so very frequently. In truth he felt ashamed to be the focus of her affection and care. Kynier was a broken mage seeking to right something the world didn’t even consider wrong in hopes that somehow it would heal him. Many days he knew that he was an idealistic fool. Then there were days he remembered his search through the slave market, and seeing how a sentient being could be treated more poorly than a beast of burden. Why, by all that Akajia knows, was it him that this lovely sea eagle cared for? The goddess had warned that they would need each other in the coming times. What wouldn’t Kynier have given for the goddess to have meant support and aid, rather than this?

“There is nothing wrong with you for acting and thinking that way, my Feather. There’s a term for it. Infatuation. I remember…” A tear escaped its prison as he dug deep for a memory that had been buried. “My father once described similar thoughts he had towards my mother.” Kynier’ lip began to quiver. “He told me…” His voice broke and he let out a deep exhale to regain himself and his voice. “He said, ‘that’s when you know you’re in love, son’.” Kynier hated seeking the memory of his parents before the raid. Each time he did it felt as though the pieces of himself he was trying to put back together just broke apart all over again. For that reason he rarely mentioned memories before the death of his sire.

“You...” Kynier sniffed back another tear, “You already are perfect, Kelski.” He followed with a few silent nods. “You will change, but you’ll still be perfect.” Kynier swallowed a deep breath. Willing his heart to rattle his ribs more gently as he tried to calm himself. The hand on her neck came back to join the other and his gaze lowered itself to her sternum as she told him he could ask her questions as well. Kynier nodded that he understood. “I’ve tried to respect what you said during our… disagreement… when we were blessed. That you wouldn’t accept anyone, even and especially me, setting a leash upon your actions. And I’ve no right to demand anything of you.” He brought his gaze back to the silver veils of her soul. They were less impassive, but still he couldn’t see what lay behind them.

“But with magic, I feel that I must for your own safety. You now know what Djed is, and the consequences of it. And I will teach you how to safely draw the amount you need for the purposes you desire. But before then I insist that you don’t attempt magic. Even with a guiding hand, the beginning is full of painful lessons.” Kynier tried to not sound discouraging. There was beauty in magic that he knew she would love. Yet it would take time for her to be able to enjoy it without self-harm.

Then he mulled over what it was he would want to ask now. Unlike Kelski he never had a million questions forming at once. Kynier tended to be more single-minded with his thoughts and was torn now between two of equal importance. Kelski was right. She couldn’t know what it was he didn’t know. Kynier had pieces of the portrait and he was sure he already knew what the portrait displayed. But the possibility of not being correct itched his Nightstalker senses. To not have completely solved the puzzle before him and being too timid to pursue the finally pieces, because he didn’t want to bring further distress to her. Kynier wanted to ask. But was afraid it would force Kelski to withdraw deeper into herself and undo the progress she had already done.

There was one piece. One that the mage did not expect to set his love back down the depressive gyro. Kynier felt his anger swell in his chest. His arms and hands tensed at the thought. A thumb banished the tears and their trails from his eyes. Eyes that had adopted a murderous glare that wasn’t directed at her gaze. “There are questions I want to ask,” his voice had turned neutral once again. “Yet I feel now is not the time to ask them. There are several things I do not know about what happened to you, Kelski.”

Kynier’s hard gaze met her impassive stare as he braced his weight on his knees with his elbows. “I do know, that you were taken from the markets on the day of the sixtieth. Everything else I can only suspect. No one else will tell me. And I don’t want to hear it from them anyway. But there is only one question I have to ask right now.” Without meditation, Kynier could feel his djed toiling inside of him. It feed off his rage and felt ready to summon once he felt inclined. “Is he alive? Is Darvin still alive?” Though the man was actually dead, Kynier had not been on the streets to have heard the word. That some of the most interesting but expensive drugs were no longer being circulated because the poison maker was dead.

Darvin had been the last piece of the puzzle he collected before needing to return to the Midnight Gem that night. Kynier never had, nor would he ever, have the displeasure of conversing with the Dragoon. But he had seen him. So he knew who to look for. Kynier knew the face that he would bring an inferno upon had the man still have breath to draw.

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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 11th, 2018, 9:17 pm

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She studied Kynier as he stated she was infatuated. Kelski knew what the word meant. She was infatuated with the perfect jewelry design for each situation. She was not infatuated with him, was she? And love? Kelski had seen very little of it in her life… and certainly not any of the non-materialistic type. She loved being a sea eagle. She loved being a jewelcrafter. Of course she loved him. She loved Ren and Aer’wyn and Ebon and everyone else she was friends here with in Lhavit. Kelski was a caring person. But it must be different… being in love rather than just loving someone. He didn’t claim she was in love with him. Kelski barely knew what that meant. But she suspected Kynier’s father was wise.

This was something she’d normally run home and ask Kynier about subtly, but the thought brought a half twist to her lips. Irony was not lost to her, not after this situation. This conversation was about opening up, talking to each other more, asking when she had questions… would he accept this one as well?

But the moment moved past itself as Kynier looked on the verge of tears for some reason and called her perfect. She missed his touch on her neck immediately, as it had been as soothing as it had been supportive. He was still here though, not going anywhere, and he had more to say. Perfect? How could he not know how flawed she was? The Kelvic drew in a deep painful breath, and watched him, wondering what was causing the hints of grief across his face. Kynier had told her small bits about his parents, and about his mother’s slavery… but there had been no detail. Was he remembering his family and missing them.

All Kelski could say was… “I wish I had known them, your lovely family.” The Sea Eagle murmured, reaching out to him then and covering his hands where they were folded together. But otherwise she didn’t interrupt him. She sensed something else as equally important was coming. But she didn’t let it go. Kelski made it a point to remember to ask him about his family, to get him to start talking about them, because maybe it would help him not to hurt so much if he could speak of them and make their memories a part of their current lives here.

Ah. Leashes. Kelski understood what he said and why he said it and why he put his foot down. She didn’t argue, didn’t get upset, and simply nodded when he said she needed to stop it. The Kelvic hated to make promises because things happened all the time. And such things made her nervous because her word had always mattered to her, it was her integrity. “Thank you for offering to teach me. I am grateful. And I won’t do anything careless or reckless, like using djed, until you can show me properly how to do so. I might keep reading about it, because I’m curious and I know I can come to you with questions now, but I won’t touch it if it involves djed and has the risks you’ve talked about.” Kelski said, knowing she wouldn’t even be comfortable trying to manipulate her djed until Kynier had more time to educate her. It was a very fair thing for him to ask of her and she realized it.

What he said next surprised her. He had questions but it wasn’t a good time. She wondered what questions couldn’t possibly be appropriate? Worry nagged her…. And left her wondering why he wouldn’t ask a question if he had one. But what he said next completely distracted her.

No one told him.

Kelski was completely shocked since Little Rhaus had outright told everyone in the room what had happened to her the moment she had appeared and collapsed. She vaguely remembered Ebon’s healing, and then coming more fully into herself in the tub. She glanced away from Kynier’s gaze and withdrew her hand when what he said fully sank in. He didn’t know. Oh Gods… he didn’t know!

Kelski physically flinched when Kynier used Darvin’s name. No one had used it around her since Little Rhaus had spoken, explained, and in many ways she was grateful to it, but she was also grateful to the little magical statue that he’d saved her from having to tell all of them. But he hadn’t saved her from having to tell Kynier.

This whole time Kelski thought she was sitting across from someone who knew what Darvin had done. She thought he knew and accepted it. But this… Kelski froze then spoke utterly tonelessly. “None of them told you? I though they did?” She said softly, almost voicelessly, as she stared straight ahead and tried to think. If no one told him, he didn’t know anything, not for sure. She turned and looked at him again, her brow furrowing in confusion at his question. He only wanted to know if Darvin was alive? What? That was it? She started to answer then shook her head.

“He’d been experimenting on Kelvics with different drugs…..” She started out slowly, her words staggering out, her voice shaky. Kelski broke her gaze off and stared at his hands, tucked under one of hers. She gently pull her hand off his and gripped the table. Her other hand joined it, the blanket slipping partially off her shoulder. When she was upset, the Kelvic moved very deliberately. She was doing that now, her hair slipping free of where she’d tucked it behind her head and concealing her full features from him. That security, that mask, gave her courage to keep speaking. She wanted to tell him, in that moment, but she didn’t know if she could.

“He was stealing and buying them in the markets. He learned how to get them to bond with him, even if they didn’t like him, then he’d sever the bonds and kill them. With each one he learned more, got better at it, until a combination of drugs and actions got them to bond with him immediately. He’d found out… that I owe so much money on The Gem and how much profit I was making from it… and he wanted it from himself. One of Goldfinger’s people mentioned that I would be able to pay off early and that I was a good investment for Goldfinger. He even know how much I was in debt for… ten thousand mizas. He… was so greedy for it. Little Rhaus told me all this during my captivity. ” Kelski said, beginning to shake. Then she started over at the beginning.

“I was shopping early. We needed things for breakfast. It was quiet and there weren’t’ many people. I felt like something bit me hard in the neck but it wasn’t an insect or creature. It was a dart. Even before I could pull it out, I was dizzy and falling. I don’t remember hitting the ground.” She said softly, glancing over at him.

“I woke up in his chambers in The Barracks. He’d taken my clothing and I couldn’t move well, still muddy from his drugs. He poured something else down my throat. Then he said he’d wait, because it would do something to me… but it was like he couldn’t wait. He began touching me, telling me how much he missed me, even as something happened. He put his fingers within me, where only you belong, and it hurt. He was so amused. He wanted me to bond, Kynier. But he wouldn’t wait for whatever his drug was supposed to do to make me. He took himself out of his pants and …. it was horrible. It hurt and I felt only terror… he pulled me to the edge of the bed and forced himself inside me, over and over. I could tell it gave him great pleasure, but for me there was only pain. He hit me, hard, when I refused to bond. He kept asking me to, demanding me too, but he doesn’t know I can’t bond… that its broken. And even when the drug started working, I understood what had happened with the other Kelvics… he became you at times… looking exactly like you. But he doesn’t know that I can more feel you than go by how you look. He doesn’t know about your mark, or that I know its you before you even speak or before I even see you.” She broke off, not going into any more details. Kynier knew enough.

Kelski was speaking slowly…. ever so slowly… as if she were trying to remember the details and it was already sliding from her memory and hard to recapture.

“Four days he did this, over and over, trying to get me to bond. He never fed me. He never gave me water… only this little statue did, one I thought I was making up in my mind. I knew I wouldn’t last. And I knew I wouldn’t bond. I would not do it. I could not. But he was loosing his patience and Little Rhaus thought he would kill me like he had the other Kelvics. Little Rhaus gave me a wire… something called a Garotte to use on him. I knew when he came in this was the only chance I’d get… and I did it. I hid it beneath me and waited, and when he was taking he was rutting over me like a mindless pig I got it around his neck and pulled. It cut him deeply, to the bone front and back, and he spilled his blood all over me. He died of his own stupidity. That’s why I was so bloody. Little Rhaus got me loose, saved me, and I took him with me. I slipped from shadow to shadow and made it home. I thought they told you what he told them… which was everything.” Kelski said softly, not sure what else to say.

She reached up and ran her hands into her hair, leaning her forehead into her palms… hiding her expression.

Her voice was soft next, uncertain, but clearly heard. “I didn’t know you didn’t know. I would have told you right away. I would never want something to happen to you and have to guess about it. I would want to know….” She said softly, rubbing her face more, then rubbing a hand down her jaw and across her neck. She looked adjitated, angry, and then seemed to remember his question.

“He’s dead. I stomped on his cock, shattered his balls with my heel, then cut out his eyes to make sure he couldn’t see in the afterlife.” She murmured so incredibly softly, still not meeting Kynier’s eyes.
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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on August 11th, 2018, 11:59 pm

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The application of her hand on his was a simple thing that somehow had a profound effect on him. It helped to ease his tension so that his body was less rigid. But its comfort was short lived when Kynier delivered his preface to his question. Kelski withdrew her hand and averted her gaze. The action alone told him a lot. That the trail he failed to follow through on was the correct one. Through the stoicism he caught the smallest hint of something in her eyes before she turned away. Surprise. Why would she be surprised by the question? And at the brute’s name she reacted as though something had crashed through the roof during a prolonged silence.

She stared at nothing as opposed to looking at him. The explanation to her shock came. Kelski thought he knew. Kynier wasn’t aware that everyone else knew the entire story. The mage suspected each of them had a piece that they were too scared to share. That wasn’t the case. Kynier had been left in ignorance, only because Kelski thought she didn’t need to tell him. With a shake of her head she began to recount what had happened.

Kynier had wanted to know, but he didn’t want to hear it now. Yet as she spoke, so softly, and so detached from her own words, Kynier could not evoke his voice to stop her. Her hair tumbled down to shield her face from his gaze as her hands took hold of the table’s edge. The tale of the man’s drugs on kelvics was appalling. The manipulation into something sacred, only to destroy it and grant the poor creatures the release of death. About how Darvin had heard about Kelski’s success with the Midnight Gem, and his insatiable greed to have it for his own.

When she began to shake his heart pleaded that he reach out and touch her. To give her relief from some of the pain with the presence of his hand. But his mind was locked on her words and his body would not move. He feared to breathe too loud lest he miss something, even if it was just a word. Kelski mentioned the dart. That would explain why the merchant thought she had been drunk. The one fact made the story all the clearer. Kelski could be many things, most of them were wonderful traits, but indulgent in alcohol was not among them.

The kelvic’s head turned towards him. Ombre hair still hung like a closed drapes to conceal her features from him. But a slit in the strands gave a glimpse of silver. Kynier locked onto that narrow passage in dread of what was to be said. He didn’t know when he had sat up straight again but now he leaned in slightly to listen more closely. Hatred. Wrath. Sorrow. Agony. Each of these battled behind his eyes yet none claimed hold of the mage’s expression. His body had grown completely impassive and only moved between shallow breaths with long pauses in between. Kynier had suspected, and now he knew. The bit marks on her breasts that night had alluded to it. As near death as he had been that night, Kynier had not missed those details. But there was no relief in knowing.

What do you mean you can’t bond? That the bond’s broken?

What followed was the description of her escape. Kynier listened and heard the words, but they were being stored straight to memory for later. Wrath had won. It caused his body to begin to quake and his eyes lowered to stare at something he wasn’t actually looking at. Wrath set fire to his veins which spread further with each beat of his heart. It was not directed at Darvin. The man was dead, his loins defiled and his eyes stripped from his spirit. The wrath burned the mage on the inside, because it was directed inward. Ebon had lied to him. Kelski said the rest of them knew. If the night lion truly knew about everything that transpired, how could he blame Kynier and not also hate him completely?

After a moment’s pause it was clear that Kelski had no more to add. Kynier stood up from his seat at an extremely slow pace. Hands were clenched and his breath was a quiet, shallow tremble in the following silence. The mage paced in a semi-circle with lethargic steps. He searched for his explanation to why they hadn’t bonded and felt that there wasn’t one available. The path of his thoughts ran darker than the shadows that shifted out of his way. They were just as silent as the Nightstalkers. His… hesitation had cost Kelski greater pain. Was she broken now because of that? Had Lhex formed a cruel twist of fate to anger Akajia?

Was it…


“See the words I marked, Kynier. You failed her.”

He snapped. In a quick motion, Kynier grasped the chair he had been sitting in with both hands by the backrest. Twisting his body he hurled it across the room, screaming a primal cry of hatred and agony. It crashed against the wall loudly. Kynier stood there breathing wild and heavily as he stared after the chair. The muscles of his face contorted in a snarl and were twitching as tear ducts purged themselves. More fire burned within and demanded to be released, but his body was too weak still to accommodate. Fresh blood began to well up from his side and slowly soak the bandage wrapped around his torso.

Swift footsteps came up the stairs. Ebon stood at the top and quickly analyze the scene. Eyes going from Kelski, to the chair on the floor, to Kynier. “Kynier! What’re you…?”

The mage rounded on the night lion. Fury prevalent above all other emotions as he bellowed. “Get out!” The mage’s lower set baritone voice echoed throughout the Gem. Ebon took a step back but did not retreat. The night lion opened his mouth again to speak, but Kynier robbed him of his chance. “OUT!” Kynier’s voice adopted a bass quality for the word as the inner fire found a way to purge itself. As though faced against a more dangerous predator, Ebon looked helplessly to Kelski as he ran back down stairs.

In the ticks that followed fatigue washed over him. His lungs worked hard to cure his breathlessness as a hand set itself on the temple of his head. Hazel eyes traced over the room. When they settled on Kelski a sob escaped him at the sight of the distress she must have worn at his outburst. Kynier shook his head, “No.” The word was a pathetic denial and barely more than a whisper. It did not stop him from continuing to shake his head and repeating the denial. “No… no… no…”

Kynier moved over to stand by Kelski’s seat and knelt down beside her. His arms carefully wrapped around her shoulders as his face buried itself into her exposed collarbone. Violently he began to weep as he held her close.

Let it not be true. Please, Akajia. Let my thoughts not be true.

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[The Midnight Gem] Issues to Settle (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 12th, 2018, 2:49 am

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She witnessed the storm that erupted in Kynier and rode it out as furniture was flung and his rage was expelled. It was frightening and violent and so sudden it shocked her. But in a way, Kelski was grateful beyond belief that he was releasing the emotion, and not keeping it inside like he did so many other things. The Sea Eagle understood… she really did. Kynier was a pillar of strength, but not everything could be endured. Had he been the one hurt, she couldn’t have stood it either… She would rather take the abuse, the pain, the absolute humiliation than be the one to stand by and witness someone else being in that position without being able to do anything about it.

There were many words for it… powerless, helpless… an ex-slave understood.

She watched him reject Ebon, and though not sure why, and winced knowing the Night Lion had been through so much and recognized rage because he himself had felt it at the loss of his bondmate. They’d gone through many nights of Ebon’s grief and while she wanted to think it would get better, it didn’t and hadn’t, at least not yet. It was the price all Kelvics paid when they outlived those they bonded too. But Ebon had told her time and time again he’d pay it gladly, repeatedly, because knowing her and being one with her had been the best part of his life and he would not miss it for anything.

And she took his words to heart, cherishing Kynier even though they weren’t bonded. They had other bonds… one he’d revealed to her not even ten chimes ago through the course of their conversation.

She kept watch on him and when he knelt down beside her, she opened the coverlet to him and enfolded it around both of them because Kelski loved nothing more than to be skin to skin with this man. Kelski faced his grief, holding him as he cried, one hand holding the blanket around him, the other hand buried in his beautiful hair, stroking his scalp lightly with her nails.

“It’s okay… Kynier. It’s okay… he’s dead. He can’t hurt anyone anymore. He couldn’t really hurt me either, Kynier. I had you. I knew you and how a man should be… you taught me that. And even though he tried to be you… tried to fool me… he never could. When you are with me, I light up… there’s so much warmth in my heart… so much love for you. He couldn’t take that. I was weak to get caught, but I was strong to survive. I got home… I made it home to you and to everyone else. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. Please stop crying… I love you.” Kelski said softly, holding the mage close, hoping he’d feel the sincerity of her emotion all around her.

“I didn’t mean to keep it from you, Kynier. I just didn’t want to talk about it. Why would I? He’s dead, it’s the past. I just didn’t know you didn’t know or I would have told you sooner. It hurts to hear his name… it hurts to think about it. But he has nothing to do with you. You have nothing to do with him. I’m sorry … so sorry you didn’t know... I can only imagine how much you’ve worried… wondered. The truth is never as bad as what we imagine. I’ve been a slave, Kynier. But with you, I’ve tasted freedom. I’m not so easy to kill. And I won’t so easily leave you alone. We need each other. And its hard learning to be for two people when there’s only been one for so long… only ourselves. Now there is us. But we are doing it, slowly, surely… and I am stronger with you than alone. I hope you are stronger with me.” Kelski said softly, still stroking his scalp through his hair.

“I’m sorry I’ve been like this. I just need time. I’ll try to be better. I’ll try to talk to you. I won’t be reckless… but this is not your fault. None of this was. Its this city… it won’t get better unless we make it better. Without Darvin, its better, so I’m not sorry about it. I’m just sorry you are feeling this way, hurting this badly… don’t Kynier… please don’t…. you are stronger than a dead man’s destructive nature.” She whispered, leaving it at that, and simply holding him, rocking gently against him.
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