Through the storm (Tazrae)

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Through the storm (Tazrae)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 29th, 2020, 5:19 am

A pained look flashed across his face. “No. For the longest time I tried to keep the memory of him close, but that was not the way. Better to let him be free, than keep him a prisoner in my heart.” It had been a difficult lesson to learn, how to move on from the passing of a loved one. Everything had been so muddled then with the closeness of the moment though now he could see it crystal clear for what it was. To focus on life and not dwell on death is the Svefra way. It was the only way to live a life so full of peril. He’d seen that when the storm had come, and many of his kin had passed in the blink of an eye. The trials of his life had prepared him for that, though he had not known it at the time. Now that he could look back at it from a safe distance, he could look back and learn from these moments.

On a lighter note, he enjoyed hearing about the things Tazrae loved about Riverfall. It fleshed out the picture of Tazrae he had been forming in his mind. Adding light to the shadows. The things she enjoy he would have never have thought of, but hearing them from her they sounded wonderful all the same. He supposed he appreciated a natural sort of music in his way. The creak of the sails, and the passage of the sea beneath him. Those were the sounds he lived by. An there was no sight more beautiful than the sea stretching out as far as the horizon on a sunny day.

He could feel the sea’s pull now, ever present though his mark. Imagined it’s dark beauty as the storm drew forth powerful waves. Tazrae asked her question.

Kiss you. The thought came unbidden, and dangerously close to being spoken. Marino’s mouth was suddenly dry. Was he sitting too close? “Hmmm” Was all that came to mind for him to hum while he cast about for his waterskin. He fumbled with the stopper before finally downing a cold gulp of water. His mind wasn’t processing that it tasted different from when he filled it, only the fact a question had been asked, and he was making things awkward. Clearing his throat, he seized on the first thing he could bring to mind outside of Tazrae’s lips.

I’d like to learn how to use a weapon, but I haven’t gotten around to approaching anyone about it yet. Coming here has really driven into me the fact that I need to learn how to protect myself out here, not just on the sea. I’ve got a number of choices for that, which is part of the reason for my indecision. I’ve also got that mounted harpoon on the Seasilk that I could practice with on my own, though I..” He was talking too much he realized, and he took another hasty pull from his waterskin then breathed in deep through his nose. “I suppose I should approaching things one at a time, lest I forget all.” Marino smiled hesitantly. After looking down at his feet for a moment, he managed to steel himself before looking at Tazrae again.

Would you like to add to the game?” Marino asked. He was having a hard time thinking of another question at the moment, and had briefly considered a way to change up the game somewhat. It wasn’t a stretch from what he did as a boy with his cousins. Trying to see what they could get the other to do before they refused and the game stopped. He wouldn’t suggest anything dangerous of course, just anything to get his mind off that kiss so he could think of other questions. “I was thinking we could choose between answering a question, challenging each other to do something.

Looking around at the small alcove he was mildly perplexed for a moment before he continued. “Well it would have to be done easily in this alcove to count, and if you don’t want to do it, then you answer a question. Does that sound okay to you?” If she agreed, Marino would shift to face her, giving her a sly grin. “I challenge you to dance like you did when Stu broke in with his drum that night not so long ago on the beach.” He would promptly help make space if she agreed before sitting back to watch. If she didn’t want to take the challenge then he had a question ready that he would ask. “Have you ever been in a relationship?
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Through the storm (Tazrae)

Postby Tazrae on June 30th, 2020, 6:06 am

Marino was poetic. Tazrae rather thought most of the Svefra were. It was how they used language and expressed themselves like life was too short to mince words or fill the world with ugly thoughts. It was something she admired about him and his whole race. It was a different type of life than she was used too... a more honest one. It was more real in so many ways.

The pup shifted beside her, distracting her a moment as she reached down and soothed the sleeping form. A couple of good pets had the pup on his back, legs in the air, and soft snores continuing on. She smiled affectionately at the baby Imperial Watcher, and gave him one more rub under the chin and across the belly before she looked back up at Marino.

There wasn't a lot of conversation, not before the game. Instead, there was just simple companionship interrupted by questions and answers, which was something Tazrae liked. "I'm glad your life has been such that you haven't needed to learn to use a weapon before now. I grew up in a place where everyone learned a weapon or unarmed combat. You had no rights as a citizen unless you were good at one. It feels better... somehow... that Syka isn't fully safe and that the wilds are so close here. It means more than tradition to carry a weapon, you know? I'm learning a longbow along with my machete. It feels... more justified here. More than ornamental if that makes sense." She added, then listened as he spoke.

He explained how he wanted to expand the game. She laughed and nodded, then started laughing again when he suggested she dance. "Oh no... I think we'll need some hibiscus and mango wine... and a dose or two of your water pipe to get a repeat performance." She said, laughing lightly and shaking her head at the embarrassing memory. She'd felt no pain that day, that was for sure and indeed danced like she hadn't an audience.

"Okay... we'll add an element." She agreed, though the question he asked her to go along with her challenge, was something that was easy for her to answer.

"I think I've told you enough about my life before Syka that you probably understand I was sheltered. My mother raised me with one thing in mind, doing what she herself eventually did. I didn't want that life. I wanted the life my father loved. I love it too. So no... there's been no relationships. But its not that I haven't wanted one... I would have defied them if there had been anyone I wanted to see. But there never was. Not in Riverfall, at least." Tazrae said, grinning mischievously at him. "I know its probably ... well stupid. There are so many things I've never done that a lot of women my age have. I just figured there was always time... even now there's time." She added, then seemed to contemplate him.

She hrmed a moment then looked thoughtful. "A question or a challenge..." The Innkeeper mused, thinking questions were easy but the challenges were going to be more difficult. She studied his face a moment, noting he had some sort of odd look there, one she couldn't read. She looked away, around them, and then returned her gaze to his face.

It wasn't the same question was it? No.... he'd asked about relationships... so she asked it since it was her turn. "Tell me about your first kiss..... who was it with and what was it like." She asked, tilting her head sideways and studying him intently with blue eyes the firelight had washed to green for a moment. "Oh... a challenge... if you don't want to talk about a first kiss... you can give me mine." She added, almost as if in afterthought.

Was she too bold? Probably. Her mother would be scandalized. But the truth was, she really just wanted to shift ever so slightly, slip into his lap, and see what all the fuss was to begin with by tasting him. She shouldn't have said it, but life was too short and who knows what the settlement was going to look like after the storm. If they were trapped here all night together, they might as well have a little fun. Tazrae just hoped she'd find it fun...

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Tazrae
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Through the storm (Tazrae)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 30th, 2020, 6:29 pm

Marino nodded in agreement to Tazrae’s sentiment. “In the pod, I’ve always had someone who could help with what I didn’t know what to do. I have a harpoon gun on the Seasilk but I have never had to fire it because there have been others to protect for me. Same could be said about net mending, fishing, and other necessities of life at sea. Now that I’m here, I can see that it is my time to learn and I embrace that change. To contribute in a way I haven’t tried before so I can become a better part of the whole” He mused. For a society of mostly men, it didn’t surprise him that they might require everyone to learn a weapon. Suppose that was to them like swimming was to the Svefra. Though from the way Tazrae had continued to explain it, he suspected that wasn’t quite the case. Perhaps one day he’d find the heart of it if he ever ventured to Riverfall. It wasn’t that far after all.

As things moved on to his expanding the game, Marino was listening intently to what she thought of his suggestion. He laughed and kind of wished he had brought his waterpipe in from the casinor. Though there still wouldn’t be any wine. Oh well, it still had been a joy to see her dance that night, and he hoped that wouldn’t be the last time. That night had been beyond fun. It reminded him about the song, and so many other fond memories they had created that night.

He settled back to listen to her answer, ears burning at that last part. She looked captivating by the fire, and part of his was relieved to hear that there was no one else. Maybe no one else, that last part had him more than a little intrigued.

You’ve got your whole life ahead of you know, its fine that you are taking things as they come.” He said when she had finished. Beautiful Syka was a wonderful place for that in his mind. After all, he had learned so much during his brief stay here, and expected to learn even more. While that wasn’t the same thing as to what she was referring it could be applied. Syka seemed to be much more relaxed about those matters than what he knew of Riverfall so far.

Sitting up a little straighter, he looked at her as she asked her next question. Hazy memories of his childhood came to mind, fading when the challenge came, and the question was forgotten. His eyes fell to her lips before going back to her eyes. He hesitated for a moment, not knowing what to say. So he leaned towards her slowly, and reached out to wrap an arm around her. His heart hammered in his chest as his lips closed around hers. They were warm and soft. This close, he could could also smell Tazrae clearly, and enjoyed the clean scent of her mixed in with a myriad of other familiar smells. It was intoxicating being this close to her and he hesitated to part, though eventually he did come around. Slowly, he broke the kiss if she hadn’t already. Marino opened his eyes to look into hers. They were still that beautiful shade of blue they always were.

Immediately he wanted to go in for another kiss, though he restrained himself. The moment was sweet, and he wanted it to linger as he looked into her eyes.

How was it?” He asked, grinning warmly at her. His mind had been far from the game when he asked it though now he had spoken the words aloud, he realized he’d continued it in a way. That made him smile wider as he went to play off that question. “Or for a challenge, you could kiss me back.” Marino could still feel her on his lips, and she was so close. Whichever she went with, he’d go to give her hand a gentle squeeze. His other arm was still around her.
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Through the storm (Tazrae)

Postby Tazrae on Yesterday, 5:27 am

Later, she’d probably look back and realize that though she was putting on a good face, deep down she was scared. It was easy to forget they were in an alcove of a shelter cave waiting out a storm by a crackling fire. But deep down, she knew that’s exactly what it was. Marino was reassurance. He was comfort. He was a steady presence that had been in far more dangerous places and circumstances which reassured her that everything was okay. The game covered that fear, passed the time, and drove a conversation that otherwise might have been awkward. And it was natural, she supposed, that the game turned a bit intimate.

What she wasn’t prepared for was how intimate.

She listened to his wisdom about how the pod was setup. He’d had people to rely on. He’d never had to lift a sword or shoot a harpoon. People had known how to mend nets, fish, and he’d been all the freer for that upbringing. She nodded, understanding what he was saying. This was his time to shine, to build up his toolbox of things he knew how to do, but he was admitting he was still not that man he wanted to be. Tazrae could understand that. She wanted to do and learn a whole lot more herself. She was far from the woman she wanted to be as well.

They were quite the pair.

And in a way it was important to her, more than she wanted to admit, when he reassured her with his words on her having time. There was more than one meaning there… both in what she said and what he responded with. And she was grateful yet again that Marino seemed to understand.

The game moved on.

She made him laugh with her words then he turned serious, his gaze strangely intent not unlike a predator staring at prey… only she didn’t feel like she imagined game must feel. She felt, instead, desirable and beautiful as he stared intently at her and then leaned over towards her. The only clue she had as to what he was going to do was that his gaze dropped to her lips. She resisted the urge to lick them and felt a shiver pass over her as he gently kissed her. It was a sweet tentative thing, gentle and determined. It was an invitation and a welcome, and the action filled her with excitement and reassurance. He took his time, his arm partially around her, drawing her close as he kissed her. She reached out to him as well, as if touching him could steady her.

A smart woman would have watched him kiss her, but Tazrae’s eyes drifted closed, lost in the sweet emotion of the first gentle touch she’d ever had from a man. And when he broke it off, she smiled and reached up with a hand to lay her fingers on her lips tentatively as if she could hold the feel of him against her lips for just a split second longer.

His words broke her out of the spell. He was grinning, like a cat that had just swallowed a fat mouse. She didn’t realize immediately that he’d asked her his question, but the follow up challenge violated the rules of the game in her mind. If one couldn’t ask the same question back, certainly one couldn’t ask the same challenge back.

“Oh no… that’s a violation… asking the same challenge back. Just like asking the same question back isn’t allowed.” She said, moving then, giving in to the urge that had caught her earlier. She shifted slightly, trying not to disturb Creature as he stretched out beside her. The pup whined but otherwise remained asleep, shifting and stretching out to far longer than a pup his size should stretch. Tazrae slide into Marino’s lap lightly, her legs wrapping around his waist so she was facing him. “That means I get to pick my own challenge….” She said, shifting slightly until their hips fitted together nicely, and their stomachs touched up to their rib cages, where their bodies parted at the arch of their backs.

He smelled so clean, freshly washed, with his hair still wet from his bath. She would have more kisses from him, for sure, but like he’d said, she had time. So she made her intentions clear, glad her head was clear and free of both liquor or that relaxing smoke Marino often enjoyed. “The challenge I get to do is to enjoy how you feel… nothing more. I want nothing more, not now… at least not tonight.” She added, reaching up with her chin and running the length of her jaw along his. Her hands gently slid under his arms and trailed up his muscled back, stroking him gently, exploring. Her body fit against his carefully, quietly… a sweet mix of curiosity and discovery. She rolled her hips against his, ran her hands back down his back, and across his rear. She was petting him, slowly, curiously, learning his form as she trailed her nose across his ear and gently nibbled the hollow of his throat with light lips.

It was sexual and yet it wasn’t. Tazrae’s actions were more of a conversation between two bodies…hello… this is who I am…. this is what I am… who are you? Her hands were gentle as they explored him, trailing around his waist and tracing back up his chest to slide over his shoulders. As she did so, her head came back up and she nuzzled his nose with her own, a soft smile on her lips. He was so comfortable and she felt so safe, partially wrapped around him sitting directly in his lap.

“I thought Syka felt like home… a home I haven’t had for a long time… since before my father died. But you, Marino… you feel a lot like home too.” She said in a soft whisper of wonder. Tazrae had no sophistication like other women might have. She had no experience in seduction or the games men and women played at. She was a creature of honest open intent, unsoiled by the world or by bitterness and it showed in her actions. Even now, her hands were trailing down his arms, her fingers encircling his wrists lightly before they traveled up then back down his ribs to reached around to rub at his back. It was as if she were cataloging all of him, her hands learning his essence. “That’s how your kiss was….” She added, knowing she was probably breaking all kinds of rules now too. Her back arched, inviting his touch, and she’d stopped any semblance of not pressing herself into his chest. He could tell that she was utterly open to reciprocation and that she was asking for nothing more than just being with him, being together in a new way… but one she seemed to really enjoy.

She needed to ask him a question though…. and issue a challenge. Hands trailed up his spine, tracing the line of bone to the nape of his neck where she gently began to rub. A question….. a question.. it was eluding her now as was the challenge. “Am I being too bold in this?” She asked suddenly, not exactly his challenge question, but it was something… a whispered something. Maybe she hadn’t even said it out loud. So, she pulled back from him slightly, hands moving to his clavicles, and she looked him in the eye.

Finally, she asked her challenge question.

“Are you scared of this storm? Are you just pretending its no big deal… or is it a big deal?” She whispered, suddenly wanting to know if it was true or not that he was unaffected. “I am… far more scared than I care to admit. Doing this is making me forget to be…” She added, then closed her eyes and brought her hands around under his armpits and up to his shoulders to gently rest there. “A challenge…. Learn me like I’m learning you. I really want…. really want you to touch me.” She added, reopening her eyes wide, the darkness of her pupils wide in the dim light. The dilation made the blue of her gaze a narrow pale strip that encircled her irises and almost made her look blind. It didn’t matter though. She wasn’t studying him with her eyes. She was studying him with her hands and they both knew it.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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Through the storm (Tazrae)

Postby Marino Oceangem on Yesterday, 10:54 pm

If there was one thing Marino was good at, it was living in the moment. So his mind was far away from the world outside their little alcove when he kissed Tazrae. An when she touched his arms he wanted to smile against her lips. Such was his joy. Were it possible to trade his first kiss for this one, he’d have done it without sparring a thought. He could have lingered there forever, though his eyes hungered to see her now. His eyes got what they wanted a few moments later.

Looking at her expression, he was inclined to think the kiss had been similar for her. There was a warm feeling in his stomach now as his senses sharpened towards his inclinations. It was natural for him to try bending the rules of their game when his blood was up. Of course, Tazrae was too sharp for that and Marino laughed lightly at being caught out. That wasn’t to say he would try again. He would just have to be more clever about it. A game within a game that already was blurring its definitions when Tazrae slipped into his lap.

Her body was against his, and that was all he could think about.

The way it felt with just the fabric of her clothes between them. Her warmth. The way they smelled from the baking she’d done earlier. There was also the softness of her skin brushing up against his. Then she issued her challenge, drawing a smile from him.

Now that she was doing more than sitting in his lap, he was suddenly hyper aware of the ways their bodies connected. His eyes closed as she ran her chin across his stubble. This was much more sensual than the kiss had been. The touch blanked his mind till the touch was all there was. Marino’s breathing was slow and tentative, as if breathing in to deep would break the spell. He was completely beholden to her touch, pressing back where she did to maximize the contact between them. If the kiss had been intoxicating, this stretched far beyond that. He was drunk on her touch. Anything she asked would be his command. She had no commands for him though, just more of this enchanting contact by the fire.

As her nose brushed against his, and their eyes met, Marino listened to her speak of home. That was a good word for it, this feeling right now. Like a piece of him he hadn’t realized he needed till now. “I like that” He said softly, his eye flicking down to her lip briefly before focusing around her eyes once more. It was tempting to kiss her again, but in speaking he remembered their game. An feeling her touch against his skin, he realized their were other ways he could show how he felt.

His hands trailed up her calves, exploring up from the bare skin of her ankles. It felt just as good to touch as it did to be touched, and he felt her body press against his. Then she pulled back from him slightly as her quiet words registered. “Not at all” Marino said, almost as quietly. He changed the course of his hands, starting at her hips and working his way up her lower back. His eyes were on hers though, and he was listening intently even as his body ached to have hers close again. In a blink he’d almost forgotten their game again. It left him torn between wanting to do both.

He pulled her close, running his hands up the length of her back while he lightly kissed the side of her neck. “There is nothing to fear.” Marino whispered calmly as his fingertips traced back down the arch of her back. They went down and across till he was stroking the outside of legs. “Whatever happens on the morrow, it can be conquered. Whats broken can be fixed. What is lost can be found. So long as you are here with me.” He continued down her calves and then up her shins, pausing a moment to run the ball of his thumb against her knee. Slowly he planted light kisses all the way up her neck till he reached her ear.

You’re the one that is irreplaceable, and in this cave we’re as safe as can be.” His fingers traced the lines of her arms before they came to her body. Then he felt along her sides with the flat of his palms. He wanted to kiss her now, and this time he didn’t resist. One hand came up to the back of her neck as he did, gently caressing it while his other hand rested on the top of her thigh. Marino was feeling her lips with his, and enjoying every tick of it. The way they locked together when he pulled her close. It felt as natural as the sea.

After several ticks he broke the kiss, running his hands down her sides as he lingered close to her face. “I didn’t imagine when I came here I’d one day be waiting out a storm in a cave. Living on the sea, you get used to keeping an open mind about how the day will go, but still its surprising when a storm catches you out on the calm. Now though I regret the necessity of us all having to shelter here, I’m glad I get to spend it with you.” Extending his arms around her back, he held her tight for a few breaths. Truly that had been his major worry on his way to the shelter. Anything else he could stomach. Just not something happening to her. “This won’t be the last storm we face, but so long as we’ve got your keen mind here at Syka, I’ve got no doubt we’ll weather the others as well.
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