Completed A Day Out [Shade]

Shade and Shiress go foraging at Sapphire Cenote

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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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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shiress on April 8th, 2022, 4:18 pm

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21st Day
Spring 522




Shiress pulled her long, chestnut locks across a shoulder and ran a hairbrush through the tangled strands, frowning across the room at Ian, sitting between the two pillows on their bed, his back against the wall. It wasn't so much her son, she frowned at, but at the stuffed monkey the boy held to his chest. The same monkey that Shiress had thrown into the flames of a bonfire eleven days earlier at the Tenday gathering.

It would be a vast understatement to say the doctor had been startled to find the monkey, Eenie, back in her son's possession within bells of seemingly disposing of it. Once she had recovered herself after seeing the thing again, she had attempted to shred the toy, just for it to, once again, return to the boy's side. After several other attempts, including burning it again, burying it, and impaling it to a wall, all proved useless, Shiress decided that getting rid of Eenie wasn't going to happen. Thankfully, not since the Tenday, Eenie hadn't made any more appearances in flesh and bone, and Shiress shuddered to think how Shade might take seeing the monkey in person again should that happen.

A knock at her door interrupted Shiress's contemplation of the monkey, and setting the brush aside, she started for the door.

"Ian, sweety, put the monkey away in your bag. Mistress Hess is here."

Mistress Hess had agreed to watch over Ian for the day while she and Shade took a trip out to The Sapphire Cenote for the monk to gather some flowers. Shiress was actually surprised the man hadn't outrightly refused to let her come along, although he hadn't really agreed to it either.

Shade, for many reasons, hadn't liked Shiress from the day he had met, her obtuse life choices and foolish decisions being at the top of the reasons he didn't. Shiress couldn't blame the man, honestly, and was somewhat surprised he hadn't boarded the fastest ship out of Syka before now. Shiress hadn't meant to come across the way she had; reckless and idiotic, and thought perhaps the two had just gotten off to a really rotten start. So, Shiress was armed with the desire to prove herself better in the monk's eyes and had promptly invited herself along. Perhaps this, too, would prove a reckless decision, but Shiress wanted to at least try.

Ian brushed past Shiress's leg as she opened the door, grabbed hold of the Mistress's hand, and waved an enthusiastic hand goodbye to Shiress.

"We'll be at the beach." the mistress said, laughing, "We have a full day of picnics and sandcastles planned, and he'll fit right in." she turned to leave, adding over her shoulder, "Come and pick him up when you return."

Shiress called out that she would and closed the door, looking down at herself. She had donned a very small blue top today, a first for a trip out in public, and the sight of it had her chewing her lip, wondering if she should change. The garment resembled a bikini top more than an actual shirt, its sides and neck nothing but tie strings tied at the back of her neck and behind her shoulders, with cups for her chest.

The darker blue britches she wore were little better, strung low on her slender hips, with the pant legs stopping just below her knees. Shiress wouldn't stand out at all wearing the outfit, most Sykans wore similar or nothing at all, but it still took the doctor some getting used to, though, putting the scarred tapestry of abuse that was her body on display for all to see. Just something else for her to get used to and attempt to change about herself. Grabbing her bag, she slung it around a shoulder and left the room.

Shiress was to meet Shade at the beginning of the cobbled pathway that led to the Cenote, and it didn't take long for her to reach her destination. Shiress stood, looking around the area with curious eyes, waiting for Shade to arrive.




Word Count - 715

Last edited by Shiress on June 30th, 2022, 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shade on April 10th, 2022, 11:18 pm

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He had come from a place of desperation to a lush jungle of bounty. That much was clear to Shade as the days in Syka passed. He was from a world of four demigods and their followers who competed heavily with one another. The Celestials – Uphis of the Sharp Blade, Skerr of the Bountiful Wheat, Laat of the Heavy Coffers, and Xannos of the Tempered Anvil all fought constantly for power, position, pull and they groomed their followers to be no different. Nyka was a two-faced city of contradictions. It prided itself on its outward appearance of a devoted religious center while at the root it was a cutthroat dangerous place that was in many ways far worse than Sunberth.

Sunberth was openly unashamed of what it was. Nyka obfuscated its true nature. In Nyka, it was one huge fight for control over the city with the four factions constantly at each other’s throats using the warrior monks to carry out the dirty deeds. One would think the defense, farming, commerce and craft of the monks would have made them work harmoniously. But it was as far from the truth as possible. Half the blood on Shade’s hands was from his own kind. Half the scars on his body were made by other monks.

Shade was known to have friends among the other orders and generally he made them by diverting rage and aggression into other more debase habits like drinking, carousing, and selling food on the black market. Shadekas' logic was simple as to why he made friends in other spheres. If he was fighting something that would more likely kill him than not, he'd rather only have to worry about the thing he was fighting rather than whether the monks at his side would stab him in the back or not when his attention was diverted. Nyka had The Aperture, which was bad enough, without having to watch for knives from other monks.

Being a jeweler helped too.

No one had anything to prove by kicking a jeweler’s ass. It was quite a different story if someone was known for their fighting skills or prowess at weaponsmithing. It wasn’t Shade’s fault he had been adopted by a Xannos Monk that was also a jeweler and had naturally integrated into guarding the Western Quarter of Nyka. The Quarry he fled to when his parents had been killed by Greenwing Fliers had been very close to the jewelers' place.

It was just stubbornness that made him rise among the monks, who were above the law and more street fighters than spiritual guides. Why be at the bottom of the pecking order when you could be on the top? He had nothing to lose if he didn’t succeed. But Shade wasn’t sure Syka was a win in his book. Nyka was relatively cool with short summers and lukewarm springs. It rained constantly in the fall and spring, and winter’s got cold. He had a feeling he was in for just the opposite with Syka. Hot didn’t seem to even cover it, and he’d had to go by the Commons – namely the mercantile – to go shopping before he even remotely felt comfortable going into the woods with Shiresss.

He bought a few fresh sets of clothing at tropical fever, a backpack he could make into a survival pack, a machete, and enough gear to hope to survive overnight. He also threw in a quick first aid kit that Juli had already put together to sell in the Mercantile so that he could feel halfway competent that he could stop anything short of a ruptured artery.

He was meeting Shiress though, and she was supposed to be a doctor. So hopefully she’d come prepared too. He’d woke up speaking Arumenic. Shade wasn’t surprised. The curse he was affected with made him forget all languages but the one he could currently speak, and that changed daily. He wouldn’t have to talk to Shiress or if he did, he doubted she’d be able to understand him. That could be a perk, for sure, though he wanted to try one more time... and make sure the woman wasn’t crazy.

Because he’d started to doubt her sanity in earnest. And if she wasn’t sane, as far as Shade was concerned, the deal was off. He’d met plenty of women who had lost their minds in Nyka. Why would Syka be any different? Certainly, with these curses, there was something going on. He came from a world of Celestials. Yet these people here didn’t seem to be in touch with their Gods at all.

Pondering, Shade dressed carefully in his new gear, put on his heavy boots, shouldered his survival pack, and headed to where Shiress had indicated on his hand-drawn map of Syka where she wanted to meet. He skipped a shirt in favor of a light vest because it was hellishly hot already. It had rained that morning, but it didn’t seem to make a difference in Syka whether it was raining or not. They were going to see something called a cenote. Shade wasn’t sure that was an actual thing or just a foreign word for a lake or pond. He’d understood part of the conversation by gesture and sketch, but that was it. He knew it was water and that she wanted to go.

Fine.

He’d walk along, make sure nothing crazy happened, and that was that. Shadekas arrived where they were supposed to meet when the sun was exactly at the top of the sky. He offered Shiress a nod of greeting and leaned on his quarterstaff gesturing up the Cobblestone Path to see if she was indeed ready to go.

Words: 950
Last edited by Shade on April 15th, 2022, 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shiress on April 13th, 2022, 3:26 am

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Shiress observed several different things about Shade upon his arrival. The first being that he had forgone sleeves and instead had donned a vest, leaving his broad shoulders and muscular arms bare and accessible for Shiress's appreciative perusal.

The next was that he carried a quarterstaff, leaving Shiress to wonder if the man knew how to fight with it. Shiress had been curious about staff fighting ever since her time in Syliras when she had her first foray into the practice yards and watched the Knights and their squire's training with quarterstaffs.

Another was the bulging backpack Shade had slung around his shoulder. This left Shiress to wonder why the monk had seemingly packed for more than just a day trip to the cenote. Shiress had only her medical bag, a change of clothes, a waterskin, and a few other things in her pack. Had she been of a better mind, she would have added some snacks, but a poor appetite and no rest had even the simplest of notions eluding her.

The final and least surprising was that Shadekus did not like Shiress and did not care to be in her company. If the coldness with which the man's cobalt gaze had regarded Shiress the instant before he had nodded was any indicator. Witnessing this, though, caused Shiress's smile to falter, and the weariness of so many restless nights settled over the doctor like a storm cloud.

Seeing Shade's less than patient gesture, Shiress turned, blew out a breath, and started walking. Their destination would take about a bell for them to reach, and despite her nearly insatiable desire for Shade's companionship, Shiress knew their journey would be made in silence. She knew many attempts to entice the monk into conversing with her would only result in him lashing out at her. He'd done it before. Shade wouldn't hit Shiress, not out of anger, but even the man's tongue could cut to the bone.

When they first met, standing on The Veronica's deck, Shiress had seen a gentleness in the Nykan, and the soft, easy way that he had spoken to her on that first day only validated this assessment. However, over the last fortnight, an icy stillness came into Shade's blue eyes anytime he looked at her, and Shiress could see accusation and distrust in that stillness. Even through Shade's curse, She could hear the hardness in how he now spoke to her.

The most heartbreaking of it all was when Shiress would catch glimpses of the gentle, soft-spoken man when Shade would interact with others in the community, but one look her way, and that soft, pliable surface slipped away, and the hard, impenetrable shell took its place. Shiress could see the good in the man, just there, below the surface, but Shade just didn't seem to see any good at all in her. Not even as a mother, not anymore, not since the Tenday.

Shiress sighed, breathing heavily, and blinked heavy, tired eyes. Coming to a stop, she scrubbed a hand down her sweaty, red face and damn near groaned at the heat. Reaching around, she pulled the water skin from her bag, risking a glance at Shade, and had to fight back a scowl at the man's pristine appearance. Was he even sweating? He didn't even appear to be breathing heavy. Not as heavily as Shiress was anyway.

"I need to rest a tick," she said, knowing Shade wouldn't understand her words but hoping he'd get the hint.

Lifting the waterskin, she uncorked it, took a long drink, then licked the salty, sticky moister from her dry lips, inwardly cursing Elijah Jordan and his endless nighttime violence. The ghost's attacks hadn't been as bad as the Tenday, but they were close enough and bad enough that she hadn't got a whole night's rest since they began, but thankfully she had managed to take her beatings and not call out for Shade. The man probably thought she had just stopped hurting herself. If he had noticed the new injuries, he hadn't mentioned them, but then again, Shiress wouldn't have understood him if he had.

Shoving the skin back into her bag, Shiress started walking again, and this time didn't stop until she was peering down through the vines into the cenote, grinning.

Stepping carefully, Shiress made her way over to the stairs and took them slowly down into the cavern, eyes wide and lips slightly parted as the inside came into view. The moss gave the space an eerie greenish-blue illuminance, but Syna's rays falling through the opening of the cenote through the vines irradiated the crystalline waters beautifully, and Shiress had never seen anything like it.

Stopping halfway down the stairs, Shiress held her breath, gaze drinking in the beauty of the Sapphire Cenote.

"Oh, wow-" she began, but her words cut off with a gasp when the crystal-like clusters around her lit up, and the echo of her own voice played back at her.

Glancing over her shoulder, Shiress gave Shade a smile wide enough to reveal a row of white teeth, not caring if the man scowled at it or returned it, before she climbed down the rest of the steps, a chorus of "hello's" coming from her lips as her smile grew even wider at the sing-song return.

When she had crossed the deck to the water's edge, Shiress knelt, letting the tips of her fingers skip along the surface a tick, then twisted around enough to see Shade and for Shade to see her press the pads of both her thumbs and the tips of both forefingers together to form a heart.

"I love it."



Word Count - 970
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shade on April 16th, 2022, 4:30 am

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Truthfully, Shadekus wasn’t sure this was such a good idea. He was told it was fairly safe to walk all the way to the cenote. He didn’t know what in the Ukalas a cenote was, but he was decidedly given the impression that one must see one before one’s life was over. Fair enough. He’d traveled quite the way to get to Syka and thus he’d make sure he saw some of the sights while he was here. Lurking around the settlement watching a woman mother her child – smother it in his estimation – wasn’t his idea of a good time.

Ian was lucky though. Shade barely remembered his own mother, but he hoped… in a small place in the back of his mind that she’d loved him as much as Shiress loved her own child.

Shiress. Shyte. She was a contradiction in terms.

She should have been an ignorant slave, oppressed and cowed, but instead she was headstrong, pigheaded, and calculating. And more surprisingly than that, she was educated. That coy little over the shoulder look she gave everyone was supposed to make folks melt into her pretty eyes and let her get her way, right? Wrong.

And for The Gods Sake… what was she staring at now? She arrived, finally, and studied him pensively for a few moments before they got under way. Her eyes missed nothing and he suddenly felt like he was under one of his old Master’s jewelry loupes being studied for inclusions and flaws. He glanced down at his attire, then at his quarterstaff, and frowned back at Shiress. He was tempted to do a little twirl for her, just to see if she’d react, but he opted for the safer version of stepping out smartly and seeing if he could wear her out so this was one of the only excursions she’d planned.

He swore, the more he saw her around, the uglier she got. When she’d first stepped off the boat, he’d thought she was one of the loveliest women he’d ever seen with her cautious determination and all those scars visible. But now, she looked little better than skin stretched across bone. She’d lost weight and her pretty shining hair looked dull. Even her eyes looked sunken slightly and overly big. In fact, the more he returned her gaze, the more he frowned. She looked like one of the half-starved street rats in Nyka. They were lucky if they got a decent meal once very three days. Nyka didn’t have a lot of trash to go through, and the only way excess food was given out was if it was for animal feed after it was spoiled too far for humans.

The Monk had half a mind to ask Shiress if she’d eaten recently. He had fresh fruit with him for just that purpose. And before long in their hike, he found himself pulling out a big orange from his backpack, drawing his dagger, and beginning to peel it while they hiked. He balanced his quarterstaff purposefully under his arm, so it hooked behind his back, and freed up that limb to help manipulate the fruit. He peeled it neatly, broke it open, and took out the center bitter flesh. Then he ran his hands over the two halves, gently pulling the bitter pith off the orange as well. Then, reaching over, he tapped Shiress with half the fruit, offering it to her. “Eat that. You look like you haven’t had a decent meal in a fortnight.” He muttered in Arumenic. No, there wasn’t going to be any Common for him today, unfortunately. He kept waiting and hoping, each day he woke, to see if he could sit down with the Founders and make more of a long-term plan in Syka.

This curse needed to be broken. All their curses did. But Shade didn’t have a clue as to where to start looking for information or how to actually fight the curses. He felt a little like they were all laying down on the job. Even Shiress didn’t look like she was doing well from her curse. He’d heard things at night, in the Inn, that had woken him from a dead sleep. He honestly kept expecting her to call out, to come into his room, to do something like bang on his door but she never did. He didn’t know if she simply dreamed, or if the whimpers and sounds of fear that often came from her room were spawned by something more sinister.

He halted patiently when Shiress took a break and frowned at her dry cracked lips. He unslung his pack, rested his Quarterstaff on a nearbye branch, and cursed the woman for being a fool. He dug into a side pocket and pulled out a small tin that he uncapped. “Shiress.” He said her name, luckily… it was the same word in Arumenic as it was in Common. He deliberately showed her the tin which was smaller than his palm, then dipped a finger into it and ran that finger across his lips, slicking on some sort of balm that smelled faintly of vanilla and mint. Then he offered her the tin and gestured up at her lips.

When she either used it or refused it, he caught her arm to keep her from moving on momentarily. He pulled one other thing from his pack. It was a bottle which he uncapped and poured a bit into his hand. Then he recapped it, set it down beside his pack, and rubbed his hands together. Then he reached for Shiress, crowding into her space and ran his hands up her neck, across her forehead, and across her nose, cheeks and over her ears. He turned around, grabbed the bottle, and got more liquid out of it. Then repeating the gesture where he rubbed his hands together, he reached out and grabbed one of her arms and rubbed the bare skin showing with the liquid until her arm hand and were coated. Pausing, he held his finger and thumb up in the air and mimicked the buzzing of a mosquito. He pantomimed the blood sucking bug happily buzzing through the air and landing on her arm he hadn’t touched. He grinned, made a chomping and sucking sound, then pantomimed the insect flying off and veering for her other arm… but when his hand – turned bug – got close, he made his form begin to twitch and then made barfing sounds and a big production of buzzing off quickly.

Then he turned away, picked up the bottle, and offered it to her. He gestured at the arm he hadn’t coated, and the skin he could see showing on her legs. He leaned closer, and as she took the bottle, he pantomimed himself rubbing it all over himself. And she could see now that he had an oily sheen to his body, but there were no bugs on him.

He hoped she’d understood and cover herself with the insect repellent. Then when she was done, he’d quickly repack his pack and shoulder the backpack. He’d pick up his quarterstaff and continue along with her. It wasn’t along walk, but it was a nice one. He paused along the way, admiring blooms and exotic looking foliage. He even plucked a few blooms, their leaves, and kept tucking them into his pack inside a large parchment book that barely fit into its confines.

Once they were at the right place - he couldn’t read the sign showing the small path leading off the cobbles - but he could tell Shiress could. They followed the path to a stone arch that lead them into a cavern. Shade was awestruck as well, and stood momentarily stunned as Shiress’ voice lit up the inside of the cavern. A rainbow of light lit up all the crystals nearby and echoed through the chamber causing lights to flare briefly then fade as the sound carried away.

He followed her in, trying to look everywhere, as he sat his pack down by the deck and just breathed in the sight of the beautiful cave. He’d have to learn more about cenotes, because this didn’t look anything like the cave he was expecting. When Shiress turned to him and made the heart with her hands he offered her the first genuine smile he’d given her all season. Then he nodded in agreement, slipped off his vest, and began stripping off the rest of his clothing… including his boots. When he was very naked, he moved forward, just past Shiress, and walked down the dock steps into the water where he experimentally kicked out with a smile. It was deep here… oh so deep… but the water was dark and cool and absolutely perfectly refreshing. And every time he made a hand gesture or inhaled deeply, the crystals in the cavern reacted.

They had reacted the same way when Shiress had said she loved it.

He beckoned the woman to join him. The water, he decided, was indeed paradise. And he could suddenly understand why they called it the Sapphire Cenote.

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Shade
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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shiress on April 20th, 2022, 1:18 am

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Shiress frowned down at the fruit Shade offered and started to refuse by shaking her head, but thought better of it and accepted instead. Peeling one slice away from the bigger piece, Shiress shoved it into her mouth with a grimace but managed to give the monk a thankful smile and nodded, swallowing on a gag as she turned away with not nearly enough chewing.

A few chimes later, when Shade called Shiress's name, it was so unexpected that it startled the doctor so thoroughly that the waterskin nearly flew from her hand, and the remaining orange slices that she hadn't managed to eat yet did fall, accidentally on purpose. No one wants to eat bloody toes.

Turning around, she shot the monk a hateful look that was quickly subdued when her attention fell on the hand pointing to her mouth, her own going to her dry lips as she eyed the tin curiously. After a short hesitation, she dipped a fingertip into the sticky paste and spread it across her lips, smiled at the taste, then had to dip the finger back in for a refill when she accidentally licked the first coating off.

Nodding her thanks because she knew he wouldn't understand her words, she turned away only for the man to pull her back around to face him, his hand plunging back into his back and producing another substance. This one, Shiress arched a dubious eyebrow at but watched on bemusedly as Shade poured some out in his hands, placed the bottle aside, and rubbed his hands together.

What she hadn't expected was for Shade to suddenly step so close. Shiress flinched at the unexpected loss of distance and was in the process of lifting a hand reflexively when both of Shade's hands cupped her neck and started spreading whatever was in the bottle across her skin.

Shiress's jaw came unhinged.

She stared dumbly at the man as his gentle fingers so effortlessly spread the curious tincture across her neck and face, blinked when he turned away to add more of the stuff to his hands, and blinked again when he reached for her arm.

Realizing she was still gaping open-mouthed at the man, Shiress snapped her mouth shut, eyes squinting as she watched his little act, then grinned with a bark of laughter when she caught on. Taking the bottle out of Shade's hand, Shiress nodded her understanding, then paused, appreciating the free invitation to thoroughly inspect his hard and now glistening body.

Shiress licked her vanilla-flavored lips before catching the bottom between her teeth, her green gaze slowly perusing the gorgeous man's body. Then she realized what she was doing, blushed hotly, and quickly commenced coating the rest of her skin with the repellant, all but throwing the bottle back at Shade when she had finished.

A little while later, once they both had entered the cenote, both surprised and astonished by its beauty, Shiress saw something that she hoped she would see often. Shade's smile. That smile had lit up the monk's face, had transformed it right before the doctor's eyes, and little of the rough edges smoothed in Shiress's mind, where the monk was concerned.

Then, the damned man stripped down as naked as the day he was born, like it was nothing, as if he stripped every day in front of women. Maybe he did.

Shiress's eyes went south almost immediately, widened, and flew back up to Shade's face before trailing back down to a very impressive....Shiress jerked her eyes away and turned her back, which did absolutely no good whatsoever because as soon as she had turned her back, Shade strolled past her, and then she was ogling the man's muscular ass until it disappeared into the water. Then again, the water was so clear that it hid absolutely nothing.

Groaning inwardly, Shiress reminded herself that she was a doctor and had seen a lot of naked men. None quite so well endowed and built like a brick shyke house, though. Gods, did Syka have a brothel...with men?

Shade motioned for Shiress to join him in the water -in the very deep water- and Shiress nearly broke her neck backing up so quickly. Hands raised, she did her best to mimic Shade's earlier antics by moving her arms like she was swimming, then shaking her head no, and running a finger across her throat, sticking out her tongue to bring home the fact that she could not swim and would die.

Plus, she'd have to get naked, and that was just....well, Shade had already seen her completely naked, so that wasn't a valid excuse. But it was daylight, and Syna's rays lit up that water like a lighthouse. Ugh...the water did look so good. Just the water, too, not Shade and his massive...ego.

Petch it

Shiress pulled off her top, draped it delicately over her bag, then stepped out of her pants, tossed them over the same bag, and shimmied out of her underwear, doing the same to them. Hands instinctively covering her chest, Shiress padded over to the stars, taking them down one at a time. Until the last one, this one she sat on before slowly slipping into the water with a gasp.

"It's cold!" she squealed, then began to wrap her arms around herself with a feigned shudder to show Shade, but the instant she let go of the side of the deck, she sank like a rock and had to make a quick grab for it again.

Shiress scowled, thinking she heard a rumble of laughter from the monk, and shot out a leg, intending on kicking the man in the leg. She kicked him, alright, but it wasn't his leg her blow landed.

Shiress reached out through the water, and a tide of bubbles, to grab Shade by the hair before he started to sink to the bottom and pulled him toward the deck until his fingers could reach. She scooched over, making room for him, babbling apologies that she knew he wouldn't understand. Shiress had no idea if the monk could swim or not, but she imagined there wasn't a man alive that could swim after taking a blow between his legs.

Tapping him on his shoulder until he met her gaze, Shiress gave Shade a profoundly apologetic look, sticking out her bottom lip for more emphasis on the sorry part, and patted his soaked head, tilted her head, and gave the wounded man her best 'are you ok' look.

Shiress spotted something glinting off to the side, left Shade to his groin pain, worked herself hand over hand along the dock until she could reach a small piece of crystal, turned back toward Shade, and placed it on her chest, just above the notch where her collarbones converge where the gem of a necklace might hang, and popped an inquisitive brow. She plucked up a smaller, more rounded piece from the larger crystal bed and did the same, except this one she held to her ear like an earring and sank down to her chin in the water before catching herself. Coughing and spluttering, she grinned over at Shade and shrugged a shoulder.

It was just an idea.


Word Count - 1228
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
Posts: 973
Words: 887377
Joined roleplay: January 25th, 2013, 7:01 pm
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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shade on May 1st, 2022, 9:55 pm

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Shade didn’t pretend to understand women. Shiress was acting like a virgin yet she’d plainly told him she was a slave and medical doctor? Why all the shyness about enjoying some water in the Cenote? Shade wasn’t a good swimmer. Nyka was normally too cold for such things, but he could easily see it becoming one of his favorite past times in Syka. He didn’t let his grip falter on the steps, but he sure did enjoy the way the water felt against the hot humid day. It was actually cool in here, impressively so, and he could almost forget about the jungle. The reactive crystals were pretty intense too, something he’d never seen nor heard about.

He could really get behind an outing like this. Shade experimented a bit in the water, treading it carefully and waving his arms back and forth. He found out he could hold himself up out of the water fairly well if he kept the motion steady. He tried to ignore Shiress, if that was even possible, as she stripped down and made to join him. He was raised to be polite and not stare… so he didn’t. He gave her privacy from his gaze while she joined him in the water and had to smile a bit.

So far, it was the perfect date.

She wasn’t making idle conversation with him, which he truthfully loathed, and he got to spend a bit of quality time out in the settlement with someone who’s company he was starting to enjoy. Ian wasn’t so bad to have around, but Shade didn’t like the monkey and did not approve of it being in the child’s life.

But treading water in the Cenote made him forget about things… forget about what he was going to do with his future here. It made him forget about how in the world he was going to protect Shiress and what she needed protection from. Shade had a lot on his mind, and he had no ability to talk any of it out with Shiress, which he would have happily done had they a language in common.

Shiress joined him in the water and promptly kneed him in the nuts. The man hissed, covered his jewels, and bobbed down into the water before he gasped, swearing, and grabbing towards the dock. The blasted woman grabbed him by the hair, hauled him over, and he grabbed onto the dock still swearing.

He treaded water while the ache in his maleness subsided slowly giving her an angry look without saying anything. That had to be on purpose! Her apologetic look did nothing to calm his anger. The woman was daft and deadly, it seemed, in no need of his protection. Then she went off, swimming here and there, exploring and picking up what he could only assume were babbles.

She wanted a set of earrings and a necklace, he thought, as she held them up to her throat and ears, showing him what she wanted without words. He nodded, deciding he’d have a look around, though he had no forge and no way to really make jewelry until he had one. He nodded again, once, sharply to note he understood, and turned, getting a better look around.

A golden gleam caught his eye under the dock, and he dunked his head and saw a bracelet trapped in the water dangling. He caught up the gold, tugged, and found it stuck. He climbed out of the water, walked over to his stuff, and retrieved a knife. Then he hopped back into the water and chipped away at the wood of the dock until the thick man’s bracelet came free and he held it up. It was a thick man’s bracelet with a snake charm dangling off it. He examined it closely and then slipped it on his wrist.

He couldn’t get it off. Tugging irritably at it, the Monk turned and showed it to Shiress. Where the latch had been, the bracelet was now solid links with no sign of a latch in sight. The snake charm was stylized and had gemstone eyes the color of the green of the jungle. Shade decided he’d worry about it later, and set his eating knife back on the dock and turned back to Shiress. He grinned suddenly, realizing she was naked in the water and wasn’t acting like a prude.

He might have been in the mood to do something about that if she hadn’t just kneed him in the groin and took all thoughts of some interesting ways to pass along the afternoon straight out of his head. He gestured again to her ears and made a motion circling her neck and nodded. He’d make her something pretty to wear out of the crystals in the cavern. In fact, they might sell nicely in the city. It was something he’d gather before they left for the settlement.

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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shiress on May 8th, 2022, 7:13 pm

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Shiress had to remind herself to stop trying so hard to gain any sort of relationship with Shade, be it friendly or otherwise. If Shade wanted to befriend Shiress, then he would. It would be by his own choice, in his own way, and in his own time. The more Shiress seemed to try and persuade the monk to like and accept her, the more awkward she acted and the more catastrophic their encounters were.

Case and point number sixty-eight -kneeing Shade in the most sensitive area possible and watching the ire light up his blue eyes.

Shiress gave the man a distracted nod, acknowledging that he understood what she was suggesting with the crystals and when Shade turned away to look around the cenote, Shiress replaced the small crystal back where she had found them with a long sigh. As she began to move away, something caught her eye off to the side from where she had found the colorful pieces of rock.

Pulling herself closer again, Shiress stretched out a hand and brushed a couple of pieces of larger chunks of broken crystal away. Two pieces of jewelry, charms for a necklace or bracelet, Shiress thought they looked like, lay beneath, shining in the sunlight cutting through the thin curtain of grass hanging down through the roof of the cenote. Plucking them out of the soft wet dirt, Shiress turned her hand over and inspected them.

Two charms, one silver, and one gold lay against her palm, and both were identical in shape, a silhouette of a human's head with what looked like a spiral at its crown. Shiress turned back toward Shade, hand raised to show the monk her find, but stopped short when she saw that the monk was also holding up his arm, showing her a...gold charm bracelet around his wrist.

Shiress sucked in a surprised breath and glanced down at the gold charm in her hand, then back at Shade, eyebrows shooting up when she noticed that the two golden pieces of jewelry seemed to be the same exact tint of gold.

"I think I may have found the charms that went with that," she said, forgetting that Shade wouldn't understand her words.

Closing her fingers tightly around the two charms, Shiress pulled herself clumsily out of the water and padded over near to where Shade was in the water and lowered herself down to sit in front of him, legs dangling over the edge, and motioned for him to come closer. When Shade was within reach, Shiress pulled the arm with the gold bracelet closer and held up the charm for Shade to see, then slid the top loop of the charm into a link on his chain, smiling when she noticed that the golden charm did perfectly match the gold of the bracelet.

Holding up the identical silver charm, Shiress shrugged as if to say she didn't know what the other charm was for because the silver charm had no loop to clasp into a link.

When Shade's attention shifted from her to studying his bracelet, Shiress swallowed hard as the familiar feeling of her curse settled into the air around her. She shivered, knowing that her master's ghost was near. Suddenly, Shiress didn't want to be anywhere near Shade. Not when the spirit manifesting the last time had resulted in Shade being convinced Shiress was crazy and strip-searching her to prove it.

Shiress pulled her legs from the water and stood so quickly that when she went to turn around, her bare feet slipped on the wet planks of the deck. The healer crashed down onto her back, her head making a loud thudding noise as it struck against the wood.

Stars erupted and danced in Shiress's vision. She slowly sat up and rubbed the back of her head, blinking rapidly, and met Shade's gaze with a sheepish half-smile.

"Slipped," she explained, gliding her hand in an arch in front of her to mimic a slide, then chuckled half heartily at herself and shook her head, cheeks crimson. With her ears still ringing, Shiress wasn't in such a hurry to leave anymore.

The ghostly body of Elijah Jordan pulsed several times as it straightened from kicking the slave's legs out from under her. A sly grin stretched its pale lips as Jordan's colorless eyes shifted from Shiress to meet Shade's gaze and lingered until recognition flashed in the monk's eyes.

The apparition's blue lips slowly spread into a sinister smile as a pale hand raised to the translucent dagger embedded into its chest. Wrapping fingers around the protruding hilt, the ghost ripped out the phantom blade, splayed its arms wide, threw its head back in silent peals of laughter, then vanished.

All before Shiress had even fully sat up.





Word Count - 821
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shade on May 26th, 2022, 4:17 pm

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Shadekas caught her looking at his junk and offered her a smile, then a raised eyebrow with his face full of questions. Shiress was always full of surprises. The woman would rant at him like a lunatic one moment, flirt the next, and be the kindest most caring of doctors the third. He was starting to feel like she was a sort of rough-hewn gemstone and that whatever small section you looked at, it looked completely different from all the other sections but was just too big or too beautiful to grasp the whole of. And for some reason, he felt that if she was a rough-hewn gemstone, she was slowly working herself into something that was cut and holding her own spirit to the lap wheel and shaving off the undesirable pieces herself rather than letting a jeweler do it for her.

He wasn’t having a bad time, at least not until she kneed him in the balls. But even then, he thought it was an accident. Maybe she just wanted to reassure herself that his junk was as she thought it was when she stared at it earlier. Heh. Had she been in Nyka, he’d have had ever right to arrest her and claim her food allotment for the day. He thought on that a moment. Food here wasn’t… a big deal. He was still coming to grasp with that. In Nyka, everyone who controlled the food had the power. Here, with food everywhere, power wasn’t centralized like that.

Shade hadn’t quite figured out the power structure here nor how the Sykan’s centralized it. The Founders were hands-on but not dominating. It was so alien to what he was used too. If anything, they were advisors, not dictators. There was no ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ which seemed utterly strange to him. Everyone was always sharing and everything was a community effort. They were even bringing in more mouths to feed, which in Nyka would have been insane. Deep down, he knew the Sykans were doing things a better way, but he was also deeply afraid… afraid this wasn’t real. He was afraid this new life was a lie and they just hadn’t seen the real truth yet. And he was afraid those real truths would be horrific. The curses were bad enough.

He wished he could talk to Shiress about this, but the language barrier was proving to be terrible.

As she seemingly searched for crystals, Shade took a closer look at the dock. Sure enough, there was another bracelet hanging from the wood, lodged in it. He used his knife to pry it free. It had a spiderweb charm on it much like his golden bracelet with the snake charm. He held it aloft to Shiress the same moment she held the charms aloft and he laughed. There wasn’t anything to say in a common language, so when she approached and settled on the steps, he traded her the silver bracelet for the golden charm of a brain with a spiral.

“Shiress…” Shade said, trying to get her attention.

When she slipped the charm on his arm, he got a good look at her from the waist down and almost groaned. He placed the silver charm bracelet with its spiderweb charm in her hand and indicated a spare loop hanging off of it that would fit the charm that had no loop that matched the silver. He indicated she should put it on her wrist after hanging the charm from it. Then he reached out with both hands when she was done messing with his wrist and grabbed her by the hips, pulling her closer.

He started to splay her knees open where they rested on the dock, fully deciding he was going to take a taste of what she was hiding between them. He was so focused on her that he didn’t understand why she froze a moment and pulled her legs from the water, getting out of his grasp. He looked surprised as she pulled her legs from the water and stood up, backing away and slipping on the planks. She crashed down on her back, hitting her head as he watched her wide-eyed.

He heard her words, though he didn’t understand her. He wasn’t paying attention anyhow. He was staring at the ghost standing beside and over her… the one that had just kicked Shiress’ legs out from under her. He was out of the water in an instant, muscles bulging as his forearms gripped the steps and hauled his body out. Water sluiced off of him as he charged forward naked, his eyes never leaving the ghost as Shade moved to stand over Shiress.

He took a swing or two at the ghost, a punch designed to fell a man cold, and his fists passed right through the ghost. The creature was laughing, even as it de-materialized. Shade hissed in fury, standing over Shiress, protectively, as he slowly circled. Nothing. No-one. The thing had vanished. Shadekas took a step back, then reached down, grasping Shiress gently by the forearm and hauling her to her feet. He turned her around, checking her back and gently touching the back of her head to make sure there was no blood or wound. Then he gently turned her back around, and studied her eyes, making sure the pupils were functional and not dilated. He’d taken his fair share of headshots over the years and seen many many more monks go down with bad head injuries. He knew what to look for and make sure Shiress was okay.

He patted her shoulder carefully… his eyebrow raised in question.

“Who the hell was that?” He demanded in Auramatic, though he was certain she wouldn’t understand.

The charm on his wrist ignited in power and he could feel it activate giving him a wrinkle. Shiress’ charm did likewise at the same moment. Shade’s surface thoughts slid over her mind, fully opening his feelings and thinking to her. Who in the Ukalas was that son-of-a-bitch and why was he hurting you? Shade wasn’t just mad, he was furious… and there wasn’t an ounce of fear in him. He’d been a monk too long to be terrified of anything short of starvation. Death didn’t even hold fear for him. The monks thoughts cascaded over her mind clear as day, as if he’d spoken them aloud as he asked though he didn’t. The charm bracelets for both of them were gently warmed because they were activated. And they had five chimes to think at each other and actually be understood.

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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shiress on June 2nd, 2022, 10:51 pm

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Shade came up out of the water so quickly that Shiress was momentarily caught off guard and failed to see what the monk was doing as he stood over her. She thought he was angry at her, at first, until the man pulled her up gently from the deck and began checking her for injuries. She nearly smiled at Shade when he turned her around to study her eyes, but the look on the man's face had her lips turning down in a concerned frown instead.

When he spoke, Shiress began to shake her head to indicate she didn't understand, but then...she did. Emerald colored eyes flared wide before falling to the bracelet that she had slipped over her hand earlier. Shiress had nearly forgotten about the thing, but now it was doing something, and her attention was drawn to the silver charm she had found along with its golden twin amongst the smaller pieces of crystal. Suddenly, Shiress understood, and, strangely, she knew Shade would also.

"You saw it," Shiress asked, glancing up and tensed at the visceral look of rage on Shade's face.

It took Shiress longer than it should for her to realize Shade's ire wasn't directed at her, but when she did, Shiress couldn't help but give the man a soft smile before continuing.

The ghost. It's my curse. He attacks me.

Raising her arm, Shiress nodded down at the still healing scar that Shade had stitched closed only eleven days earlier.

Remember? It's the ghost of my slavemaster. It attacked and cut me the first night on the deck of the Protea Inn. Ian was running towards something just after we arrived. It was the ghost of my master he ran to. There's nothing you can do, no more than I can help you with your curse.

Shiress smiled then, though sadly, and dropped her face. Only then she realized she and Shade were still completely naked. Standing close. Very close. Then remembered what Shade was about to do to her, or, rather, what she thought he was about to do, before she felt the presence of the ghost.

Shiress let her gaze wander over the muscled bare flesh before her and couldn't help but lick her lips. Should she?

NO.

Yes?

Petch it.

Lifting her eyes, Shiress caught Shade's gaze, hoping the charm was still activated.

I'm okay, though. Are you?

Capturing her bottom lip between her teeth, Shiress lowered her hand and slowly wrapped slender fingers around Shade's flaccid shaft, a question in her eyes.

I owe you this much, yes?
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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A Day Out [Shade]

Postby Shade on June 19th, 2022, 1:55 pm

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Her explanation did a lot to sooth Shade and more importantly reaffirm his slowly changing mindset on her sanity. Shiress, initially, had shown all the signs of being mentally unstable. But as the situation in Syka progressed, Shade had come to realize nothing was normal about how anyone had been acting. His curse, somewhat milder than most, just involved language. His brand of crazy had manifested in a lack of patience, especially for not waking up speaking Common more. He’d hit on Svefra more than once, and since he already had a basic working knowledge of it, having a full knowledge of the language had kept sticking in his head each time he awoke speaking it. It lingered long after the other languages had changed. Today, he was in no-man’s language land in a foreign tongue that caused his head to pound. But it didn’t make him crazy. It just altered his behavior. Shiress’ curse was a whole lot more frightening than his was and he could see how what she was dealing with made her act in a way that caused others to doubt her sanity.

I remember you saying this. And I’ve seen a lot now, enough to understand what you’re dealing with. It doesn’t make it any easier watching what it’s doing to you and knowing nothing about Spiritism. I want to do more, but I can’t… and I understand that. I was just hoping we’d have a fun relaxing day away.

The charms were five chimes worth of surface thought. Five chimes. It seemed like an eternity but its reality was just the blink of an eye.

Someday this will all be over and we can establish a more normal … normal. He thought at her, hoping she picked up on what he was saying. Shade wasn’t a man that was utterly at ease with most women. He had grown to his prime among men, and had been taught women were lesser in many ways. It wasn’t that he still believed that. But he saw the truth in the fact that Shiress couldn’t defend herself and did nothing to actually try to defend herself. She played the victim fairly easily and often and seemed to find comfort in that space. If her curse had been his, he’d be learning all he could about ghosts, how to defeat them, and more importantly how to wipe them from the face of Mizahar. She just…. took it. Time and time again.

And then she was staring at him like he was a piece of prime rib. Gods she even licked her lips, a debate with herself clearly all over her face.

He heard her last thought and just nodded as the woman had the audacity to step forward and wrap herself around his length. Then she told him she owed him? Gods…
Rage flooded him immediately. He’d never paid for sex in his life nor had sex been given to him as a reward. Sex was sex and while he felt the urge to bury himself into a woman often enough, Shiress definitely currently wasn’t his type. And he certainly wasn’t interested in some ‘reward’ or ‘pity’ session from her. The man growled, knocked her hand away from his junk, and narrowed his eyes at her.

With the last use of his charm… the last precious chime… he let her know loud and clear.

Shiress, No. Petch it woman. Do you think you are remotely attractive to a man with your bones showing through your skin and not an ounce of weight on you? Do you think those bruises and wounds on you make you look sexy? What kind of monster do you think I am that you assume that’s attractive? Believe me… it’s not. And I don’t even know you. Sex complicates everything. Stop chasing me like a prostitute out for her last coin desperate for a crust of bread. I’m your protector… or that was the deal I struck. I’m not your stud whenever your lady bits get to burning. Besides, you told me you have feelings for Ian’s dad. So where does that put me? A stand-in. No thanks. I’m not Ian’s substitute Daddy or babysitter either. The man that left you knocked up should have stood up. That’s what real men do.

He snarled at her in his mind. Could she see how unattractive she was with her flesh all but gone and nothing healthy about her? How could anyone actually consider her a doctor the way she ate and how she treated herself? She should be packing on the food, exercising to get her muscle back, and for her age she acted immature… throwing herself against strangers just because she wanted dick. There was plenty of dick back at the settlement and he suspected she could get it anywhere.

But not from him…. no not that.

Shade whirled, gathered his things, and dressed. He made sure his sturdy boots were on before he took a prospectors pick from his backpack and hiked up into the crystals. There he gathered several dozen of them, his pick’s strike making them sing against where his pick carved them out of the soil. He’d told Shiress he’d make her some jewelry, and he would. But he wasn’t going to expand his duties to satisfying her lust as well. He was a healthy vibrant male and liked to get laid just as much as the next guy. But he simply didn’t find half-starved abused women attractive, especially when they were doing nothing to solve their problems. Shade was half convinced Shiress liked being a victim. It gave her all kinds of excuses as to why she couldn’t do something and got her out of actual 24/7 responsibility with her son. If Ian was his child, the man would take him everywhere. He wouldn’t leave him with babysitters and go off. If Shade could go somewhere, the boy could go as well, and all he’d need was just a little looking after.

Done… Shade tossed the harvested crystals into his backpack, shouldered it, and made a ‘come on’ gesture to Shiress. He was taking her home where she could potentially find what she needed well away from him.

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