Completed A Day Outside (Shiress)

Zavya and Shiress meet while Zavya is out doing errands for Ryker.

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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]

A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Zavya on November 12th, 2018, 6:08 am

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21st Day of Fall, 518 AV, 17th Bell

“If you’re not back in a bell’s time, I’ll give you every reason to regret it,” Ryker told Zavya firmly, fastening the golden collar around her neck. Grabbing her shoulders and spinning her around, he adjusted the veil on her face and nodded in satisfaction. Some days, Zavya felt like a living doll, the way he dressed and fussed over her so. Better a doll that a punching bag, she reasoned, her face stoic as he tugged at her veil. “I’d go myself, but this dinner with the Nitrozians requires my attention more.”

“I understand,” Zavya replied as Ryker’s hand dropped, hoarse voice flat and dispassionate. “Straight there and straight back. I know. I haven’t forgotten.”

Her master’s brow raised at her tone, but he declined to comment, fetching a small bag of gold mizas and pressing it into her hands. “There should be a set of steel vambraces ready and waiting for me at The Defiled Blade. This should cover it exactly, so don’t go thinking about trying to spend it on anything else.”

Zavya nodded, tucking the bag into her pocket. “Anything else?”

“That’s it. Remember, you have one bell.” Ryker pointed toward the door, his other hand none too gently pushing her in that direction. “Best get a move on. And don’t even think about trying to go anywhere else. You know the door guard will tell me if you’re late.”

“I know.” No more than that did she say, the tigress heading out the door into the afternoon sunlight. She knew that fact very well, one of the men she’d thought was her friend ratting her out the last time she’d come home late. The Kelvic had quickly learned not to trust any of them after that, keeping her late night excursions brief and secret.

Though she only had a bell, Zavya relished her time spent outside and free of Ryker’s gaze, even if she never went truly unobserved. The Valdinox had eyes and ears everywhere, a fact her master delighted in reminding her of. It was the rare occasion that she was allowed to go to the market (or really anywhere) without him, and she intended to enjoy it in spite of his threats.

The Kelvic made a leisurely pace from the Noble District toward the nearby Merchant’s Ring, crossing a couple different bridges before she arrived outside of The Defiled Blade. Stepping inside, she looked around the forge with interest before stepping up to the counter. Clearing her throat, she announced her presence with a quiet, “Excuse me.”

A bored apprentice looked up from a chair off to the left as she arrived, walking over to the counter to assist her. He looked over her veiled face with interest, but said nothing beyond, “Can I help you?”

“I’m here to pick up an order for Ryker Valdinox,” Zavya explained. “A pair of steel vambraces, he said.”

“Ah, yes, of course. Just a moment, please.”

The tigress leaned on the counter as the apprentice trotted off toward the back, looking on as one of the nearby blacksmiths hammered out the blade of a dagger. It felt like only ticks before the younger man returned, carrying a bundle wrapped in canvas. Laying it out on the counter, he unwrapped his burden to reveal a pair of new, shining steel vambraces.

“One hundred gold mizas,” he told her as she inspected them, making sure they were in good condition. She could only imagine Ryker’s temper if she got back home and they were scuffed or scratched. Satisfied with their condition, she nodded and reached for the bag of mizas in her pocket. Taking it out, she handed it over. The apprentice took a moment to count out the coin with an affirmative grunt. “All right, then. Here you go.” Wrapping them back up, he handed the bundle over.

“Thank you.” Zavya took the proffered armor, sparing the forge one last inquisitive look before heading back outside. That hardly took more than fifteen chimes, she mused to herself, glancing around the bustling market. Surely if I walk around for a little longer, I can make it back in plenty of time.

She decided to do exactly that, tucking the vambraces under her arm and heading further into the Merchant’s Ring. The Kelvic wouldn’t stay long, just long enough to really enjoy her time away from the estate. Just a quick lap around the market, and he’ll never know, she assured herself, though she should have known by then to never use the word never.


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Last edited by Zavya on January 19th, 2019, 1:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
Zavya
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on November 15th, 2018, 8:57 pm

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Shiress wandered past the various storfronts of the Merchant's Ring with no real intention of stopping in at any of them. The Defiled Blade was her destination, or moreso, the vicinity of the forge.

Garbed in a tight-fitting, drab slave's shift, her long chestnut hair pulled back into a loose ponytail, the girl moved quickly through the crowd. The crowd, such as it was, had thinned markedly in the late afternoon as patrons began to meander off in search of dinner, allowing the Slave to reach her destination with time to spare. Pulling a dark cloak from her bag, Shiress slung it around and tightened it across her slim shoulders before continuing on.

If the plumes of thick smoke wafting from a pair of stone chimneys failed to apprise the girl to her arrival at the proper destination, the cacophony of hammers torturing various metal implements did. Glancing up, Shiress noted the sign dangling above the forge's entrance then allowed her eyes to roam around the immediate area, peering closely into the shadows and far off corners surrounding the forge. A slow smiled began to spread across the Slave's lips as she spotted the one awaiting her arrival.

A young, dark-skinned boy leaned casually against a wall opposite the forge's entryway, seemingly out in the open, but Shiress knew the boy wouldn't be noticed easily unless one was looking. Sliding a hand into the cloaks pocket, Shiress sauntered over to the waif, trying and failing to curtail the toothy grin that had erupted across her mouth as the boy noticed her.

The boy was already rolling his eyes.

Zeb was not a very friendly urchin, at least judging the boy by his demeanor, but Shiress had seen another side of Jeb, several seasons ago, one the boy was loathed to admit, and it rankled the little shyke no end. It just made the Slave's grin widen.

"Good to see you again, Zeb" she said, stepping up to the youth.

"Ye', I'm sure." Jeb replied in a banal tone.

Inpatient as always, the boy's hand jutted out awaiting the intended message. Shiress shook her head, amused, and handed over the small folded paper from her pocket. Jeb snatched the paper and pocketed it. "Dat all?" he asked, already turning to leave. Shiress reached out a forestalling hand for him but stopped just short of touching him. "Wait!" she called, causing the boy to pause his exit with an annoyed sigh "How is Elias? Have you seen him?" she asked.

"Elias is Elias." he responded pointedly, attempting to vacate Shiress's company again.

"Zeb!" barked Shiress, annoyance leaking into her voice.

The boy visibly slumped and silently turned and walked toward the awaiting Slave. Shiress wrapped her arms around Zeb's slim shoulders and planted a soft kiss on his dirty cheek. "Stay safe, Zeb" The instant he was released Zeb turned on his heel with an abusive amount of cursing and fled. The grin on the Slaves face never faltered as she watched him disappear around a corner.

Turning to leave, Shiress took several steps before having to curve around a female patron leaving the forge. Shiress smiled demurely in the woman's direction only to catch sight of a man leaning against the wall beside the doorway the woman had just exited. It wasn't the man that had caught her attention, however, but the subtle nod that the stranger gave that sent another man, cloaked and hooded, hurrying toward the young woman.

Frowning, the Slave took several more hesitant steps before turning to see the cloaked figure fall in behind the female. Noting the bundle the woman held beneath an arm, Shiress knew precisely what was about to commence and darted off in her direction, arm raised and waving frantically.

"Hey!" the slave shouted out in a friendly voice, dashing up to the woman's side and grabbing hold of her slender arm. "Its so good to see you! Let's go over here so we can chat." she exclaimed, unceremoniously pulling the woman around to head in the opposite direction and straight for a pair of city guards, their heads together as they chatted amicably. Out of the corner of an eye, Shiress saw the would-be thief fall back and casually turn away, but he didn't go far enough to suit the Slave.

Leaning her head closer to the woman, she whispered "You are being followed by a very big, very dangerous looking man."

How have you been doing?"
she offered in a louder voice, hoping the female would catch on.
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Zavya on November 19th, 2018, 4:40 am

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Zavya hardly got a few steps away from the forge before she felt her arm caught in an unfamiliar grasp. Her mouth opened on a snarl, yanking her limb back as she hissed at the unexpected stranger. She started to protest, but was cut off by the young woman’s words, It’s good to see you! The tigress frowned. She didn’t know this woman. Let’s go over here so we can chat. The Kelvic soon found herself dragged off the pathway, though she ceased her struggles. Clearly, there was something going on here, and it was not something she wished to be involved in.

At the woman’s assertion that she was being followed, Zavya’s spine straightened, suspicious molten gaze cast around her as she sought the culprit. Of course Ryker would send her out on her own, only for her to get caught up in trouble. For all she knew, it could be one of his spies, sent to make sure she wasn’t running off. It wouldn’t be the first time. Then again, it could just be an ordinary thief who’d selected a seemingly easy target. Luckily for her, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Oh, you know. Ups and downs, same as always.” Silently, she cursed the collar locked around her neck. She could fight well enough as a human, a fact she was sure the would-be thief wasn’t expecting, but if she was free to shift… The brigand wouldn’t stand a chance. If he didn’t immediately run in terror at the sight of a tiger on Ravok’s city streets, she’d crush him beneath her jaws soon enough.

“Any chance you know how to pick locks?” she muttered under her breath, though she quickly dismissed the idea. News of a golden tiger appearing in the Merchant’s Ring would surely make its way to Ryker, and that was about the last thing she wanted. Never mind that it would have been in self-defense, she had no wish for him to discover she’d found a way to remove her collar. The punishment for such a transgression would undoubtedly have her limping for weeks. “Actually, never mind.”

Her gaze scanned the surrounding area, looking first toward the guards, then for possible outs. The city guard might zealously protect Ravok’s citizens, but a quick glance over her pretty companion’s drab attire told Zavya she was not a citizen either. Would they really do much for a pair of slaves? Perhaps if she told them she was Valdinox property, they’d aid them out of hope for a reward. It was at least worth a shot, even if she had little faith in the notion.

The Kelvic tried to keep any sense of haste out of her step, not wishing for the thief to realize she was onto him. “Been keeping yourself busy?” she asked aloud for the sake of their cover, nervous gaze darting back and forth as they came closer to their goal. Much quieter, lips barely moving, she asked, “Why are you helping me?” Zavya was not used to the notion of altruism, especially from a woman she’d never met. Paranoia told her this was a trap, some devious trick set up by her master to ensure she never disobeyed his orders again.

Meanwhile, the second man who’d lingered near the doorway of The Defiled Blade had stepped away from the wall, casually making his way in their direction. A cheerful whistle rang through the air as he closed in on their location and within moments, he was bypassing the two chattering women. For a moment, it seemed as if had moved on to a new target before he suddenly stopped, barring their path before they could reach the guards.

“Where you headin', ladies?” he asked, voice smooth as silk even as the darkness in his eyes promised vile things. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like some company?”

Zavya cursed under her breath, eyes darting around the man to discover the guards were moving in the opposite direction. Shyke. So much for that plan. “Not your company, that’s for sure,” was her growled response, upper lip curling enough to reveal a long fang. “Get out of our way before we make you.”

A hearty laugh erupted from the man’s chest, his gaze quickly moving behind them as the cloaked man fell into place at their backs. “Oh, is that so, darlin’?” Hands fell to weapons as the men pushed in closer, Zavya gripping tightly to the other woman’s arm. “Hand over what you’re carryin’, and we’ll let you go, no fuss.”

The tigress didn’t believe that for a second, the gleeful looks on the brigands’ faces promising so much more. Her own hands itched for a weapon, cursing her golden collar once again. A growl rumbled deep in her throat, rage burning in her molten eyes. “I hope you have a knife hidden under that shift,” Zavya muttered to the woman at her side, her gaze flicking back and forth between the two men as they circled their prey. “This isn’t going to be pretty.”


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Last edited by Zavya on November 27th, 2018, 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Zavya
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on November 23rd, 2018, 7:48 pm

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Pick locks?

Shiress glanced around to the nearby door, briefly wondering why the woman could possibly think they would have time to pick a locked door before her eyes flicked to the collar around the female's neck. Realization dawned on Shiress, her mind instantly seeing her Bondmate and his collar. The woman was a Kelvic, a slave Kelvic, and apparently thought her animal form would be beneficial in their current predicament. Knowing Shiress's luck, however, she would most likely turn out to be a mouse Kelvic. The slave shook her head in reply, but there was no need because the stranger had dismissed her idea almost as fast as she had spoken it.

The Kelvic leaned in with another discreet inquiry that gave the girl pause. This wasn't the first she had been asked that exact question and just like the other times, Shiress had no idea why she had jumped in to help the young woman. Giving her shoulders a slight incline into a shrug Shiress replied just as she had in the past. "I don't know, I just didn't want you to get hurt."

Why did she regularly throw herself into the midst of someone else's unfortunate affairs? Shiress honestly had no words to offer that would fully elucidate her motivation to anyone, even to herself. It just felt right, and she never regretted her decision to intercede and provide aid, even when the Slave's good intentioned impulses turned on her and bit her in the arse. Which they almost always did.

That thought had the Slave's emerald gaze turning up to her taller companion with curiosity on how this one might turn out, but the look in the Kelvic's eyes gave the foreboding answer. Shiress jerked her eyes back to the path before them just in time to see the guards moving away. A figure stepped in the girl's line of sight, causing the yell for help intended toward the guards back to die on her tongue. The two slaves came to an abrupt halt, and Shiress's heart immediately began assaulting the inside of her ribcage.

The man before her looked professional if such could be said of thieves. His dark hair was cut short above a clean-shaven face, his black attire clean and well fitted, but the belt around his somewhat slim hips was what had Shiress's attention, or more so the hand that had just descended to one of two very ugly and sharp looking daggers hanging off each hip. The slave surmised these were propper weapons for close proximity, thieving crimes. The man's voice sent a shiver of cold down the girl's spine, but her Kelvic companion's brave words gave strength to her own courage, but then she spoiled it with her despairing words.

Shiress did infact have a knife beneath her shift.

Thanks to Kylar.

Whom, after a hundred trips to the city with his charge, was not with her on this particular day.

Anger bubbled in Shiress's chest. Why would this happen on the one day her guard was nowhere around? Shiress knew that somehow, someway she had pissed off the god of bad luck, and the goddess of unfortunate events and their ire was fully directed on her. Anger gave the Slave, focus, though, and she placed that focus fully on the man standing before her. The brains she thought, then hearing the man's colleague step up behind them thought, The tool...which would be less smart.

Something began to form in her mind. Too idiotic to be an idea, too insanely foolish to be a plan, Shiress pulled the woman's hand from her arm and entwined her fingers with the Kelvic's, squeezing gentle encouragement. Replying to her hopeful inquiry with a surreptitious guiding of her hand to the sheath currently concealed by her shift, Shiress decided it was time to implement her--- whatever it was. Stupidity?

"Now wait here" she began, her voice dipping into a sybaritic tone "why take what is freely given?" Shiress's tongue slipped out and slid over her bottom lip before it was pulled in and held between her teeth. Gliding over to the cloaked figure, hopefully, the less smart of the criminal duo, she let her gaze linger on the area of his cloak where his crotch should be and held her arms out in an unarming manor. "I like this one" she purred, and unbelievably the idiot let the Slave press herself against him, her mouth whispering warm promises against his neck as her bodyweight drove the man back a few steps. Beneath Shiress's shift, slim fingers slowly slid the dagger from its sheath.

Pulling back slightly the Slave gave the thief a promising grin, her right leg dragging back away from her left as her weight shifted. Then, while offering something of a challenging war cry, Shiress slammed one hand into the man's chest as the other slammed the blade into his stomach, the girl's sudden momentum sending the man over the wooden dock. Spinning around, the leader of the two had drawn a blade of his own and had been saying something that Shiress hadn't heard and was closing the distance to her new friend. Knowing she wouldn't reach the Kelvic in time, Shiress panicked, throwing her dagger at the attacker.

Unfortunately, she hadn't grasped the blade first.

Shiress groaned, watching the pommel of the blade bounce off the man's chest and fall harmlessly to the ground. Cold, wet fingers snaked around her ankle and jerked. Shiress hit the planks with an explosion of air forced from her lungs. Kicking furiously at the petcher, Shiress drew in a ragged breath and turned her head toward the Kelvic.

"Run!"
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Zavya on November 28th, 2018, 6:27 pm

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A frown creased Zavya’s brow at the woman’s reasoning for helping her, the look she cast the other slave bordering on suspicious. No one in her life ever really cared if she got hurt. A series of cruel handlers followed by an even crueler master had taught her that people were not to be trusted. So when this stranger was willing to help her at the risk of her own detriment, the Kelvic had a hard time believing such a notion. It had to be a trick. It always was.

Zavya felt her frown deepen when a hand took her own, the squeeze of her fingers unwontedly gentle. When was the last time anyone had been truly gentle with her? Ryker’s hands were often soft, but it was never in a tender way; even when he was gentle, he did it to threaten her, to disorient and control her. The reason for the other slave entwining their fingers soon became apparent, however, the human subtly guiding the Kelvic’s hand toward the sheath hidden beneath her shift. Relief cooled Zavya’s veins, offering her an imperceptible nod. They could still get out of this intact.

The tigress blinked rapidly at her companion’s unexpected tactic, a soft, disbelieving laugh parting her lips. That’s one way to go about it, I suppose, she thought as she turned to face her own quarry. Not my way, though. Indeed, Zavya took no such approach, shrugging into the thug’s leering face. Did he expect her to do the same? Not likely. “Not getting that shyke out of me,” she growled, cocking her fist back and slamming it toward his jaw.

The shock on the man’s face was laughable, recovering just enough to turn his head at the last minute. Her blow still landed, though it was not as impactful as it might have been. As it was, the would-be thief rubbed at his jaw, his expression promising retribution. His blade was drawn, advancing on Zavya, who backed up with each step. “Think you’re slick, do ya, cunt?” he growled, the sword waving menacingly in front of her. “Where I come from, we don’t suffer such abuse from women, especially not worthless slaves.

His sword feinted in her direction, but Zavya was able to jump out of the way. Her back was practically against the wall of the nearest building by then, golden eyes darting back and forth for an opening to escape. “You’re mine now, bitch,” the thug informed her, ripping the veil from her face with one hand as the other raised his sword. Before he could lower it, however, the pommel of the other woman’s dagger thudding against his back provided just enough distraction for the Kelvic to strike. A sharp kick to the dangling flesh between his legs brought him to his knees, his blade clattering uselessly to the ground. “No, I think this is mine now,” she retorted, scooping up the sword and staring down at him coldly.

Her companion’s cry of Run! interrupted whatever Zavya was about to do, looking over to find the woman sprawled on the ground with the other thug grasping at her ankle. In normal circumstances, she would do just that—run. The Kelvic had no reason to help this woman; now that she was free, she could head back home, and no one would be the wiser. However, looking at the other slave struggling on the ground gave Zavya a pang of conscience, something she didn’t even know she possessed any more. She stopped to help me, for no reason other than she thought I needed it. What kind of monster would I be to abandon her now?

A colorful string of profanity left Zavya’s lips as she wrapped her fingers tighter around the hilt of the pilfered sword. With a snarl, she ran toward the woman and her assailant and kicked firmly toward the man’s face. His attention appropriately caught, she brought the sword down with all her strength on the arm grasping the slave’s ankle. A scream split the air as his hand was severed at the wrist, blood soaking all three of them and the ground below.

“Someone will have heard that!” she shouted over the man’s cries of agony. “We have to go!” Throwing the sword to the side and swiping up her almost forgotten package, she offered her free hand to the woman on the ground. Zavya dreaded to think what the scene would look like to anyone else—two slaves running off relatively unharmed as two full-grown men writhed in pain on the ground. She could only shudder at the possible consequences. The Kelvic didn’t intend to stick around and find out what they might be.


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Last edited by Zavya on December 1st, 2018, 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Zavya
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on November 29th, 2018, 6:28 pm

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It is said that when faced with death ones life flashes before their eyes. Not true for Shiress. When the glint of metal drew her attention, it was the raised sword and not its wielder that she saw. As a bone numbing flood of terror washed over her it wasnt her life that flashed before the eyes of her mind, but the heartwrenching, cavernous regret that she had never tasted, nor would ever taste, chocolate cake.

Shiress flinched away, throwing up her arm in a vain attempt to block the blow that never came. Hearing the piercing cry elicited from the man at her feet had her head swiveling back in time to see the thief slowly sink from sight, leaving behind a disembodied hand that sat lifelessly on top of her foot. Shiress let out a little squeak of disgust, shaking off the bloodied paw, then glanced upward to see the woman discard her sword and retake her package. With a nod of agreement, Shiress took the proffered hand and came to her feet. Swiping her dagger from the ground, Shiress led the two of them from the area in a swift walk-run.

A quarter of a bell later, the silent slaves had made it a reasonable distance away and Shiress, chest heaving, paused their flight in an alleyway. Green eyes roved over her and her companions bloodstained appearance.

"We need to get cleaned up" she said "Do you..." Shiress cut off her question and moved closer to the wall, pulling the Kelvic with her as the sound of several running boots resonated down the passageway, stopping just out of sight.

"Sir?" A males voice said, a young male to Shiress's ears. "There's been a report that two slaves attacked their guards and escaped near the Merchants Ring. One guard is dead, the other injured."

Shyke

Looking at the other slave, Shiress's eyes grew wide with disbelief.

"Descriptions?" A deeper voice asked.

"Yes, sir. One is taller with blond hair and golden eyes, and she may have a veil over her face. The other has long, chestnut color hair." the younger guard cleared his throat "They may still be armed, sir."

"Form up a search. You, Reid, Jackson, and Fench take the perimeter, I'll see to the others."

The group of city guards moved away, and an uneasy silence crept down the alleyway toward the pair of slaves.

"This isn't good" Shiress swallowed hard "Those guards will be swarming Merchants Ring and everywhere else in a matter of chimes, and if we are caught they will not believe our story now."

Shiress turned in a little circle, thinking furiously and trying her best not to panic.

"We need to hide until this blows over or they think we've left the area." Shiress was silent a chime, then her eyes lit "I think I know somewhere we can go."

Grabbing the Kelvic's hand she led the way from the alley, skirting buildings, darting past open areas and ducking behind crates, discarded furniture, and tables upon the sounds of voices or footsteps. Only one person saw the pair, and he was a merchant offering his product up for consideration. Shiress vaguely wondered if the man had even noticed the bloodstains covering the two women. With a tight shake of the head, Shiress scurried past the peddler, tugging the woman along by her hand. Half a bell later the wanted slaves stood on the small wooden porch of the Sullin's cottage. Shiress turned to the woman with a sigh, unhappy and unwanted memories of a past that she'd rather not recall seeping into her thoughts.

"This is the home of my former Mistress's consort. No one lives here anymore" Pushing open the unlocked door, Shiress hesitated before crossing the threshold. "We should be safe here until nightfall."
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Zavya on December 1st, 2018, 2:25 am

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The sound of the guards’ chatter made the blood beat in Zavya’s ears, the bottom dropping out of her stomach. Golden-eyed with a veil… if all this gets back to Ryker, he’ll know I had something to do with it. Without a doubt. Both of her hands rose to cover her mouth so she wouldn’t groan aloud until the men were well out of earshot. “Just my petching luck,” she muttered under her breath when they left, raking a nervous hand through her hair. “The day I’m not even trying to get into any trouble…” The brief look she cast the other slave was almost resentful, as if this was all her fault. Not a bit of it was, Zavya knew that, but there was a slow maelstrom of panic building in her core. It needed an outlet. Before she could lash out, however, she felt those fingers entwine once more in her own. Her gentle touch dissolved Zavya’s hostility as quickly as it had formed, though it still left her bewildered. No kind hands ever touched her skin.

Her companion cited the need to hide, to get cleaned up, and the Kelvic couldn’t help but agree—even though such a detour would make her dreadfully late for her single bell deadline. If by some miracle Ryker didn’t manage to catch word of the happenings in the Merchant’s Ring, the punishment for being late alone would be formidable. She was already in a cold sweat thinking about it.

Nonetheless, the tigress followed her companion willingly enough, clammy fingers grasping tightly to the other like an anchor. Her life had always seemed a permanent streak of bad luck, each stroke of misfortune putting the last to shame. This day was no different. Zavya almost laughed at the bitter irony that their self-defense may very well be what got them killed.

In spite of her fear and worry, Zavya’s footsteps were quick and light behind the other slave’s, darting between buildings and carts with smooth feline grace. She hid when her companion hid, ran when she ran. The tense moment walking past the oblivious merchant mercifully passed without incident, releasing a massive sigh of relief upon slipping around the corner. It was true that people saw what they wanted to see. Two women walking around in blood-stained clothes was not what the man expected nor wanted to see, and therefore, he just… didn’t.

Just as Syna began to lower her position in the sky, the Kelvic and the human arrived at a small cottage toward the edge of the city. It was far enough away from the scene of their incident that even if they were somehow spotted, it was doubtful they’d be associated with the thieves in the Merchant’s Ring. Murdered our guards, Zavya thought with a curl of her lip. What a load of bullshyke.

Zavya noticed her companion’s hesitation as she stepped inside, wondering at the woman’s history with this particular residence. She said it belonged to her former Mistress’s consort; one only had to look at her face to see her memories of this place were not kind. The tigress knew there were slaves with gentler relationships with their owners, but somehow she doubted that was the case in this instance. Close on her heels, Zavya stepped inside behind her and shut the door.

She blinked a few times to let her eyes adjust to the lack of light, her tiger’s vision still sharp even in the darkness. The cottage was small and nondescript, and a thick layer of dust coated most nearby surfaces, causing Zavya to wrinkle her nose and sneeze. Only one window rested on the same wall as the front door, lending the building a somewhat claustrophobic feel. The air tasted stale and smelled vaguely of mold. She hoped she didn’t have to stay here long.

“Nightfall,” she repeated, finally breaking her silence. She glanced out the singular window toward the sky’s fading light. A despairing laugh escaped her lips, turning back to face her companion. “I was supposed to be back in a bell’s time. At least I’ll have time to come up with a good excuse. Hopefully.”

Crossing her arms, she regarded the woman with an unblinking golden gaze, letting another few ticks of silence go by. “I believe I should thank you,” Zavya finally said. “For stopping to help me. No one ever helps me. Not without a reason.” The Kelvic’s unspoken question of what her reason was hung in the air, unable to help her suspicion. “Though seems to me was more trouble than it was worth.”

With a sigh, Zavya let the gruff tone of her voice go, attempting a smile. “Really, I am grateful. I hope you won’t be in as big of a mess as I will.” Her look went from suspicious to thoughtful, curious as she introduced herself, “I’m Zavya. Who are you, anyway?”


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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on December 4th, 2018, 12:46 am

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Quiet, slippered footsteps crossed through the door, into the small cottage and with them Shiress was in inundated with a surfeit of memory. Emerald eyes roamed the room bereft of everyday life. A thick coating of dust lay on every surface; the counter, hearth, floor, everything that the Slave was once charged to clean. The sight gave the girl an odd feeling, one of defeat and shame at seeing the little cottage empty and quiet. What had it all been for? Why had Sayana ripped her from her home and brought her here? To clean, only for it to end up looking like this. It was senseless. It was slavery.

Shiress's finger drew a clean line through the dust on the counter as she moved past it, stopping at the one painting that remained - an eclipsed sun. Tears sprung to Shiress's eyes at bitter memories of relentless abuse by a craft She knew little about, a mind turned to another's whim, love turned to hate for a home missed. Shiress lifted her hand to the painting and skimmed a fingertip along the edge of the eclipsed shadow, just where the barest hint of sunlight shown through the black veil. It had been the harbinger of hope that had sustained a tortured mind, holding it together, unbroken. There is light beyond the dark, there is good beyond the evil, and there is sanity beyond the insane.

"Nightfall"

The sudden intrusion of the woman's voice cut through Shiress's introspection like a foghorn through a snow-covered winter morning. The slave spun around, having completely forgotten about her companion, a swift apology forming on her tongue. But the words died there as Shiress nearly wilted beneath the woman's golden scrutiny and, what Shiress took as, a rather severe unvoiced suspicion. Shiress stiffened, offended.

"You should thank me." she said, eyes narrowing "I assure you that you would be in far worse," leaning forward she emphasized the word, "trouble had I not helped you."

Offended as she was, Shiress couldn't help but reluctantly agree with the Kelvic's assessment, though. It had been an innocent enough deed, but it had ended up a lot different than just alerting the guards and going on about her day. Relenting, Shiress's tone softened.

"I'm sorry." she offered "You're right, maybe you would have fared better had I not played the hero. I just..." the girl side, brushing back tangled locks of hair from her face and securing them behind an ear. "I guess when I see something wrong, I want to try and make it better?" she laughed "I once jumped in the middle of an assassination attempt on an Ebonstryfe soldier and now we are.." she cleared her throat growing uncomfortable "good friends. she finished lamely. Shiress would never figure out how to refer to that man.

"But I do hope you won't get in too much trouble." she continued "if I can get past the warden I should be fine."

Shiress moved to the door, opened it, and disappeared a tick, before reappearing with a bucket in hand.

"Rainwater." she explained "It will at least get us cleaned up."

Sitting down the bucket Shiress opened and closed several cabinet doors and finally turned with two towels in hand, offering one to Zavya. Emerald eyes climbed up and down the woman, noting the stains from the night's event. Now that she got a good look at the female Kelvic, the woman was beautiful even without her golden orbs, but encluding them, she was stunning. Shiress smiled at her.

"I think if you can get the blood off your skin, your dress can survive. Me on the other hand." Shiress's eyes fell to scrutinize her own attire. From the hips down it was soaked crimson. "I'm going to have to find something to change into."

Plucking a wooden bowl of some kind off the floor, (and desperately hoping it wasn't used as a chamber pot) Shiress filled it with her share of the water and disappeared into a darkened room that was once her's. Having been used to navigating the room in darkness (slaves weren't allowed candles) It didn't take her long to find what she was after.

The thin bedroll once so graciously given to her remained in place and from beneath it, Shiress pulled a light blue cotton dress. It was a simple thing; short sleeved and ankle length, slightly tapering at the waist, and would be perfect for an inconspicuous treck through the city later on. Shiress undressed and as best she could scrubbed the sticky, dried blood from her legs. By the time she had finished, the clear water in the bowl nearly glowed red. Shiress shuttered pushing the thought of the severed hand from her head.

Tugging uncomfortably at the dress -Shiress had apparently gained some weight- the Slave reentered the room and greeted her companion with another smile.

"Well, I look better, at any rate, not covered in blood." she chuckled self-consciously "been a while since I wore this. My name is Shiress." She said, then regarded the woman curiously "May I ask what your animal form is?" She shook her head, realizing Zavya hadn't told her she was a Kelvic. "My Bondmate has very similar eyes like yours and was just curious." she explained, attempting to unarm any offense she may have caused "I'm sorry, I dont mean to be rude. It's just that we are going to be here a while and we might as well get to know one another."
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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Zavya on December 4th, 2018, 4:05 am

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Zavya did not appear overly troubled by offending the other slave, the woman’s tone somewhat harsh as she reprimanded her. Long experience had taught her that humans were not to be trusted—how could she know this woman was any different? When she apologized for that very harshness, it confused the Kelvic. Perhaps this woman really was as kind as she seemed. No one is what they seem, the tigress reminded herself firmly. Especially the sweet ones. Nonetheless, she seemed to relax, at least a fraction. If she’d helped this far, surely that wouldn’t just change?

I guess when I see something wrong, I want to try and make it better? It was not a quality Zavya was very familiar with—those in her life were cruel at worst and indifferent at best. No one had ever tried to make anything in her life better. No one human, anyway. As Shiress went on to describe when she’d saved an Ebonstryfe soldier from assassination, Zavya’s eyes widened in surprise. This woman had more depth than she expected. Friends with a Stryfer? she mused, golden gaze veiled by thick lashes as she considered that particular tidbit. She’s got friends in high places.

The Kelvic kept silent until the woman returned with the bucket of water. She looked down at her own blood-splashed attire, a few flecks of crimson staining the gold silk of her shirt and a long streak marring the dark fabric of her pants. The other was right; she had more on her exposed skin than her clothing, luckily for her. At first glance, it likely wouldn’t be noticed, so if she could get back to her room as soon as she arrived back at the estate, she could probably avoid it being seen entirely. She’d have to take her chances.

Zavya accepted the towel handed to her, very hesitantly and very slowly returning the other’s smile to reveal teeth much sharper than any human’s. “Thank you,” she said again, this time sounding a bit more sincere than before. “Really, I mean it. I… No one has ever done anything like this for me before. Forgive me for my… suspicion.” Her raspy voice was hesitant as she offered her own apology, dipping the towel in the remaining water in the bucket.

When Shiress left to clean herself off, Zavya worked on scrubbing the blood from her hands and arms. She carefully removed and set her shirt to the side, sluicing the blood from her chest and neck without soaking the fabric. The tigress then splashed water on her face to remove any blood that might have splashed her cheeks. She dabbed futilely at the blood soaked into the fabric of her clothing before shaking her head. At this rate, she’d only make it worse.

Nimble fingers were retying the laces of her blouse as her companion re-entered the room and introduced herself as Shiress. Shiress. What an interesting name, Zavya thought idly to herself before the woman’s next question caught her utterly off-guard. May I ask what your animal form is? She wasn’t sure why she was so surprised—the collar at her throat and the unusual hue of her eyes were both pretty clear indicators of what she truly was. But Shiress soon revealed she had even more reason to recognize her as Kelvic, Zavya’s mouth dropping open in shock. She was bonded?

“I am a tiger,” the Kelvic answered after recovering from her initial surprise, demeanor noticeably softer than it had been before. “A very large, predatory, striped cat,” she explained, just in case Shiress didn’t know what a tiger was. “I would show you, but, you know.” She pointed at the collar encircling her neck.

Her head cocked to the side as she regarded Shiress in a new light, reassessing her entire perception of the woman. She had a bondmate. Was she good to him? Surely, she had to be, or the bond would have broken. Perhaps her kindness is not faked… Zavya moved in a little closer, her questions lingering on the tip of her tongue. She said they should get to know each other better, but the tigress wasn’t exactly the talkative type. Most didn’t care what she had to say, so why bother?

“What… what is your bondmate?” she finally asked, voice curious and halting alike. “Who are they? How did you… how did you meet?”

Zavya had never bonded in her life, and had always wondered what it was she was missing out on. None of her handlers in the KRI stayed at the Institute long enough to form such a connection, even if she had been so inclined, and once she’d been bought, her master hadn’t turned out to be the type of man she would willingly chain her life to. She longed for that bond as much as she despised the thought of it. The urge was ingrained in her very core, though her mind actively—and vehemently—rejected it. Even if she had the desire, it would mean a death sentence to her and any potential bondmate alike. Having hoped (and failed) to bond her himself, Ryker would never stand for her life to be so firmly in the hands of another.

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A Day Outside (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on December 5th, 2018, 12:24 am

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"Rook"

Shiress smiled as the name left her lips.

"He is a wolf." she continued "A maned wolf and the story of how we met," she smiled again at the memory, "is a long and odd one."

Shiress, paused, eyeing two wooden chairs behind the remnants of a dust-covered table. Pulling them out, she brushed her hand over the rough surface of each, cleaning them as best she could, before indicating the cleaner one to Zavya to sit if she so wished. The Slave, looking pensive, crossed the floor to a lower set of cabinets, knelt, and rummage near shoulder deep in one before drawing back a large bottle of wine. Shiress grinned.

"It was a gift from a shipwright friend of mine." Shiress said, returning to Zavya "Seems as if I hid it an age of seasons ago." Shiress went silent, stilling herself to test the vintage. Tipping the bottle against her lips, she grimaced, throwing a worried look at the Kelvic, and allowed a small bit of the once sweet liquid past her lips. Shiress's eyebrows shot skyward, but her cheeks sunk inward. After a long tick of forcing herself to swallow she finally spoke "It's a bit tart" she rasped, lowering herself down in the chair and placing the bottle on the table between her and Zavya, nodding her head for the Kelvic to have some "but its good and I don't mind sharing the bottle, if you don't."

Shiress fell silent, contemplating on just how much she wanted to tell. Not being one to share her life openly, this was a difficult decision for the Slave. It wouldn't be the first time an open conversation about her past had ended up hurting her in some way if Zavya decided to use something against her. But it was Rook and their bonding. Their story. And Zavya was a Kelvic, and if there were anyone who could or would appreciate her and Rook's union, it would be her, but what of the scheme leading to that day. Could she share that with the Kelvic? No, that story would be shared in its turn, if ever.

Decided, Shiress grabbed the bottle and took a pull off the bitter tasting wine, a small smile already forming at the corners of her mouth, and began her tale.

"The day I met Rook was the last day I ever saw, Sayana, my Mistress." she began, replacing the bottle on the table, and leaning back in her chair. "Sayana had sent me to the city that morning for some herbs with strict orders to meet her at the ninth bell. The Spicey Lass is where I went and Rosy, the shop owner, was Rook's Mistress," she glanced away from Zavya for an instant, looking to her lap as sorrow touched her heart "Rook is a slave, too. she said, wishing that he wasn't.

Clearing her throat, she continued, the gloominess lifting as she spoke. "Rook worked there as a sort of guard for Rosy. The first I saw of him was his half-veiled face as he watched the store from behind a curtain." Shiress grinned "The instant I had gotten my herbs I heard the ninth bell and, well, I guess I panicked because I was going to be late meeting up with my Mistress. So, instead of handing the coin purse to Rosy for my purchase, I ran out and forgot to pay." The Slave caught the other slave's eyes with a thorough look of embarrassment. "They thought I had stolen the herbs on purpose."

Shiress shook her head at the memory "Rosy ordered Rook to give chase and chase he did! In his wolf form! Imagine turning around to see this huge wolf pounding down the dock after you!" she laughed "Rook rammed into me, sending both of us into the canal. I was helped out of the lake, and a moment later a naked Rook emerged and thought I would bolt, and shifted again to his wolf."

The Slave's mood visibly changed, descending into sadness and regret. Grabbing the bottle once more, the girl gulped large mouthfuls several times before replacing it on the table. Shiress's emerald gaze fell to her lap. The story worsened from this point and recalling it made her heart ache for her bondmate. "The city guard arrived, and nothing good came of it." she took a breath "They threw some sort of liquid on Rook, and it forced him back into his human form. It was horrible and painful for him. Afterward, the guard's made me disrobe in front of everyone there and searched me. Humiliated me. Rook disobeyed his mistress and left her side and wrapped his cloak around me" she smiled sadly "For his kindness Rook was also taken by the guard's and disowned by his Mistress. Rook was devastated.

Shiress fell silent for a long chime, idly watching the fingers of one hand pick and pull at the fingernails of the other in her lap. Telling the story out loud for the first time was disheartening. The girl felt an immense amount of guilt for what had happened to her bondmate that day, and even though their ordeal had ended with a beautiful bonding, Shiress knew that that guilt would never leave her. Taking up the wine bottle again, the Slave drank deeply, before setting it back down. Shiress could feel the warmth of the alcohol begin to course through her body, easing her tense muscles; she hadn't realized how stressful the recollection of that day would be. With a breath, Shiress tucked a loose strand of hair behind an ear and continued.

"We were taken to a building and placed in a locked room for bells. Rook never spoke again. I was so worried for him. Rosy was all he knew" Shiress's voice grew suddenly stern "having been born at that horrid Kelvic institute Rook knew nothing of love, or kindness, or even of freedom." the Slave girl shook her head with disgust "For the bells, we were together I talked to him even though he never once responded. I spoke of being free and of kindness. I told him that there was always hope. That no one should ever own another, and that not all humans think and act like those he knew." Shiress smiled weakly "I told him that love and freedom are real, that they were attainable. Before I left him that night, I swore I would find him again, rescue him, and prove my words as truth."

Shiress reached for the bottle, sipping again from its contents, before glancing up, finding the woman's golden gaze with a broad smile.

"But it was Rook who rescued me." she announced proudly.

"Elias was supposed to come for me that..." she paused then explained "Elias Caldera was the Ebonstryfe soldier whose assassination attempt I thwarted." she threw up a dismissive hand " but that's another story. Elias was supposed to come for me but was deceived, and I was taken by my Master, Radcliffe Lark, instead. He was an evil and torturous man." she shuttered " is an evil and torturous man. One night my Master beat me over and over. He would have me healed just to beat me again. Rook came to me that night." Shiress chuckled "I still don't know how, but he found me. I was nearly broken and had all but given up."

Unable to contain them no more, tears, at last, flooded the Slave's eyes.""He gave me his cloak. Again. And he very sternly reminded me of my own words of hope and faith and never giving up" she smiled through the river of tears "We bonded later on that night and that night Rook changed me forever. I love him deeply and completely in a way I thought impossible. It's not romantic or intimate" Shiress sighed, struggling for the right words "Rook completes a part of me I never knew existed. It's like.." She slumped back, the intoxicating drink loosening not only her muscles but her tongue as well "I love Elias with my body and my heart, and I love Rook with my mind and my soul." she frowned at Zavya.

"Does that make sense?"



OOCSorry for all the dialog. I didnt mean to ramble, but I got carried away in the telling :D
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