• Mature • Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

An innocently curious excursion takes a dangerous turn and Val finds herself willing to lose herself

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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• Mature • Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:01 pm

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13th Cylus 718
Showers of sleet fell from time to time and the chill wind made everything seem colder but the Burhan had bundled up warmly nonetheless and ventured out. A few score trials ago, she would have been content to remain indoors but since she'd spent time in Senlin where she'd felt trapped, she wasn't inclined to remain cooped up. In fact, since her return to Andaris, she'd rather foolishly spent more time outside than she ought to have done. The young woman had just been so desperate for company, any company at all, that she'd braved the snows even when it had been incredibly stupid to do so. To-trial, it weather situation wasn't quite as dangerous and thus, she'd deemed it almost compulsory that she venture out.

Almost at once, she was glad that she had as she caught whispers of a strange occurrence, something that seemed to beggar belief and of course made her want to check it out for herself. According to the various denizens that she passed, an odd tide had come in, red as blood and carrying death with it for the fish that swam in it. Valeria immediately set off for the docks, intent on seeing it for herself. It required a carriage ride, an escapade that required a number of breaks as the docks were not close to the city but a fair distance beyond the city's walls. She justified her curiosity, which would take a quarter trial's journey to sate, by telling herself that she would pick up some fish for her evening meal, as well as a few pleasant tidbits for the cat.

When she reached the end of her journey, she quickly discovered that that plan wasn't possible for her to execute. The fish markets were full of screaming people, the stock apparently non-existent. The commoners were unruly indeed and the blonde skirted the edge of the gathered crowd, that seemed ready to become a mob. She kept her hood up, clutching her cloak tightly around her body to keep out the sleet and the growing malevolence of those she passed. She simply kept her head down, hurrying to the water's edge so she could witness the disaster that she had come to observe.

Something grew in the water, something that had been carried towards the shore. Valeria had seen algae in water before. She'd found it in a stagnant pond in Rahiko's Wood to the south of her house in Senlin. She'd seen the murky green that fogged the water and seemed to cling to everything. What stained the brine before her was the same, the same clinging quality except instead of the green of life, it was the red of bloody death. It was like many had died in those waters, sliced open and bled, butchered mercilessly in the sea. It was a grim and terrifying sight, the horror of it only heightened by the rust-tinged, bloated bodies of the fish that had once swum in those waters.

The noblewoman had no idea how long she stood there, gazing at the spectacle that had consumed the entirety of Cyrene Bay. There was something mesmerising about it, yet even so she sensed the change in the air. Well, she heard it. The screaming, the smashing and crashing, the shouting. It broke the spell that had held her on the dockside, encouraging her to retrace her steps until she caught sight of the fish market. The crowd had become truly enraged and it appeared that rioting had broken out. Moseke Knights had descended on the scene and in the chaos, a number of people were getting hurt as the Knights struggled to separate innocent bystanders from furious would-be customers. The atmosphere was enough to send her heart pounding madly in her chest, the young woman actually breaking out into a run as she sought a carriage, any carriage that could take her back to the city and away from the chaos.

"Hey you! You! Little rich bitch! Do you have fish? Did you buy the good stuff out from under us?" a man shouted and Valeria was slow to realise that it was directed at her. She turned, catching sight of him as he pointed towards her. He began roaring at the people around him, indicating that the noblewoman had managed to acquire fish. Heads turned towards her, a few people peeling off from the rest of the rioters to scream abuse at her, beginning to hurl things at her. The blonde ran harder, sleet pelting hard against her face as she sprinted blindly away from her pursuers.

A metallic taste developed at the base of the tongue, the young woman trying to swallow down her fear as she glanced back to check where they were. Her feet slipped on something slimy - one of those contaminated fish - and she fell, knees slamming into the ground. A pair of knights had spotted her situation, choosing to intervene. One ran to her, helping her up while his companion headed off her would-be attackers.

"You need to get out of here, milady. You chose a bad trial to wander along here," the knight explained, as he got her to her feet, hurrying her forward and waving down a carriage as the driver rushed past. He bundled her into it and she basically fell into the seat as they started moving again. There were already three people in there with her, all of them looking as rattled as she felt.

They found themselves in each other's nervous company for the next quarter trial. They made awkward conversation but it was clear that none of them were particularly interested in socialising after what they'd just gotten away from. One seemed to be a merchant and the other two seemed to be a poorer commoner couple. They were an odd mix and their experiences hadn't helped them set aside their differences. It was an uncomfortable situation but definitely preferable to having her head smashed open surrounded by rotting seafood.

When she finally got back to Andaris with half the trial gone, she needed a drink. Who would notice her slipping into some bar at this time in the trial and honestly, who'd care? She got out of the carriage on wobbly legs, shivering as she experienced the full brunt of the grim weather again. Wrapping herself up, she moved briskly through the streets, intending to head to a bar that she knew in Mid-town that didn't serve swill. She was even prepared to pay for a stiff drink for herself rather than manipulating someone into doing it for her.

It was as she approached the establishment that she saw a familiar face slip out of it and her mood brightened almost instantly, her errand delayed for the time being as she risked on jog on the slushy ground.

"Darcy! Hey, Darcy! Fancy seeing you here," she greeted, approaching the woman with a genuine smile. She knew that the woman was spoken for but that didn't mean that she couldn't be viewed as a pleasantly welcome distraction. "Were you heading home?I've had a pretty awful trial and I could use some pleasant company and a drink or two to collect my spirits. If you're free, of course."
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Darcyanna Venora » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:40 am

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More...

The voice whispered in her mind, like a demon nestled just on her shoulder, urging the blonde to walk toward the pull that dragged deep within her. In the dark bitter cold morning of the Cylus ever-night, where no shadow should really exist, a black on black shape stretched out before the secret Gawyne. It crawled along the cobblestone streets, or danced on the buildings like some sort of curious living thing. Darcy let her fingertips trail along the walls of the stone buildings as she glided through the slush covered streets of mid-town. In her other hand burned the short and blunted end of Euphoria, glowing bright pink as she took another deep drag, sparks flickering to light up her pale face in the dark.

She knew, somewhere behind her, somewhere further back Caius’ companion followed her with eyes more watchful than Darcy’s could ever be. Pythera was still out there, fates she had reminded them all of that only a handful of trials ago, but the musician couldn’t stop. Couldn’t come down. She should have taken Caius with her, but the thought of him seeing her like this made the young woman want to die.

More...

Darcy flicked the stub away, breathing out the magenta smoke along with a plume of steamy breath and a slight whine as the high settled into her system. Ahead of her she could feel the diri turning, slinking it’s way under the door of somewhere full of what she needed. What she despised and yet craved.

Intoxication. Carnal desires. Wicked addictions.

Take them, taste their vices...

Dressed in boots, stockings, black lace dress and thick black cloak with hood drawn, the once Ivory Rose breathed in the smells of desperation and need as she pushed open the door to the small dingy bar. Sweeping her gold and magenta eyes across the room, the pale creature followed her diri as it lured her towards a man slumped in the far corner of the miserable place, stopping at the bar to collect two shots of Krome White Rum. Her stomach churned, wanting nothing more than to flee back to her home and her husband. This was unfair. Cruel.

Necessary.

“You drinking alone?” She asked softly as she slipped into the seat beside him. The drunk, a man in his later years, glanced up with bleary grey eyes and blinked in surprise.

“Hey...wassat? Yes’m sorry am I in s’msort offtrouble?” He slurred, trying to look more respectable in the presence of what could only be a noble woman. Darcyanna smiled softly, reaching out to push one of the glasses towards the man and placing a hand on his own. The diri, appearing as her shadow, seeped over the man as though tasting him. Lifting her own glass, the woman downed her drink fast and hard, wincing and almost gagging at the burning that tore down her throat. Shaking slightly, she put the empty container down, reaching deep in the haze of her narcotic intoxication to focus on the sensation of the alcohol. The scent, the taste, the touch.

“No, no trouble. I just thought you could use a drink.” The word slipped from her tongue like the caress of a lover, and her fingers curled his hand around the glass. The man, already far into his drink, made a sound of surprise and his eyes widened.

“By t’Seven, I do. I really do.” He gripped the rum, knocking it back like it was water. Darcy felt sick to her stomach as she watched the man’s desire to drink flare like hot flames, her mark throbbing painfully on her thigh. He grinned at her, putting the glass on the table and rubbing his face.

Mine...

“Y’want anotherm’...m’....Miss?” The poor drunk asked eagerly, even as he was waving for the waitress. The Kasyni shook her head, suddenly horrified at what she’d done.

“N-no...no...I’m sorry I...” Pulling back from the stranger, she stood suddenly, stepping away and bumping into another patron. Muttering another apology, Darcy pushed her way through the people and out the door, taking a deep icy breath of air as she did so.

More...

Pushing her hood away from her face, platinum locks catching the moonlight, the young woman closed her eyes and simply breathed as she tried to escape the vile act she’d just performed. A drunk, already deep in the throes of his vice, and she’d just forced him to continue. To feed Mastes and his endless need.

She was a monster.

Darcy! Hey, Darcy!

The blonde Rose opened her eyes suddenly at the sound of a familiar voice, blinking and looking around to see Valeria approaching with a broad smile. Without missing a beat, Darcyanna smiled in return and reached her hands out to the woman in welcome, desperate for anything to take her away from her sin.

“Valeria! What in all the sarding fates names are you doing out in this weather? What’s happened to you?!” She gasped, suddenly noticing the state of her friend. It was clear the Burhan was not having a good trial at all.
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:59 pm

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For perhaps a moment, she saw something dark and troubled on Darcy's face, particularly in the eyes but then it was abruptly gone. She must have imagined it because the sunny smile couldn't possibly occupy one who had so recently worn such a look of torment. What mattered was that her acquaintance seemed bright now, evidently glad to see her as she stretched out her hands. Valeria took her hands lightly at the wrist, squeezing gently before she embraced her, a kiss whispered against her cheek before she withdrew.

At their last meeting, any sexual tension or discomfort seemed to have been forgotten, the almost kiss between them early in Zi'da hardly on their minds between Valeria's fainting spell and Darcy's displeasure and anxiety regarding Caius. Still, the kiss was almost automatic, a gesture carried out without thought of consequences until the moment her lips touched the soft skin of her cheek.

Caius.

Darcy was her friend's partner, effectively off limits, no matter what potential might exist between them. She tried not to think about the fact that the two nobles had been together in some sense when she and the Venora had almost kissed, which meant that nothing was beyond the realm of possibility. Nonetheless, she couldn't do that to her friend and no doubt, the other woman could become her friend soon as well. Besides, she was supposed to have other things to focus on, matters of marriage that had been settled with her mother. Words had been exchanged, promises made but then they had been after her 18th birthtrial as well. Now as then, she was inclined to let such things slide from her mind, ignored in favour of the freedom that Andaris brought. Senlin seemed a continent away and her mother's words no longer held the same power as they had when she'd felt trapped at their estate in Faerain.

"Well, my Lady, I could ask you the very same question. You're out in this weather as well after all," she shot back, her smile crooked as she teased the other. The half-Biqaj glanced down at herself, seeing herself properly in the light of the doorway and grimacing at the sight. She'd successfully splattered herself with mud, almost encrusting her knees with it and there were some mysterious stains that she felt would have an unpleasant stench if she cared to sniff them; she'd probably landed herself in the same rotten fish that she'd slipped on back at the dockside market. Her expression became a little sheepish.

"Oh yes, I'm a state, aren't I? By all rights, I should go home and change but I didn't think about it, I just thought that a drink-" the Burhan cut herself off suddenly, waving her hand in a dismissal of her own words. "I don't suppose that you've heard about this odd red tide that's come in? I went to see it for myself and it's less that the water's red and more that something is growing in it that's very red indeed. Killed all the fish - they all looked gross - and a riot started in the fish market. I chose a bad time to be curious it seems and someone decided that I must have gotten healthy fish because I looked rich enough for it. Some Moseke Knights came to my rescue and sent me back to the city," the blonde explained, running a hand over her hair, fingers dancing to catch loose strands and drag them down into some semblance of submission.

"I should probably try to look on the bright side. I could say that I've had an exciting adventure although a little more exciting than I can rightly handle. A trying trial indeed and so something to distract my mind is necessary. I suppose that alcohol will do but I'm amenable. Nothing wrong with good company either if you'd like to join me," she explained softly, voice almost a purr at the end. "Although if I decide to stay out, I definitely have to go home and sort myself; just look at me! You can come with me, keep me on the straight and narrow so that I don't just collapse in the house and decide to stay there instead of moving another inch." A soft laugh escaped her, the Elithem still smiling brightly as she very carefully avoided any allusion to tea.

"I'm sure Alena would be all too happy to see you; she does love a visitor. My attention isn't enough for her it seems or maybe my ear scratches become monotonous, who knows?" she giggled, eyes warm brown and wavering on the edge of honey. "So what do you say? Come see the cat while I clean up a bit and then we can find ourselves some entertainments in this, our fair capital!"
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Darcyanna Venora » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:01 am

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The whisper of lips against her cheek was a faint reminder of the strange situation she had found herself in with Valeria in Zi’da, a million lifetimes ago it seemed now, and as the euphoria danced in her veins and the alcohol warmed her face Darcy found herself holding the blonde Burhan a trill longer than necessary. The Spirit of Vice curled closer to the scent of the other woman, looking for that which could be fed up on.

“Yes well, I needed...the fresh air.” The secret Gawyne said softly, drawing back to look over the state of the singer with swirling gold and pink hue’d iris’, taking in the muck and mess that she’d fallen into.

“Red tide? I had heard some murmurs but, I’m afraid I’m not as close to the state of affairs as I should be presently.” Her eyes widened suddenly.

“Riot? Oh Valeria, are you alright?” Darcy said with a frown, reaching out to hug the woman again with sympathy, listening as she continued. The bold Burhan was clearly shaken by her ordeal, but true to form Valeria bounced back with a giggle and an almost suggestive tone of voice. The Kasyni glanced at the door of the tavern at the mention of a drink, her skin crawling at the thought of the drunk she’d left behind. She couldn’t bare to step in there again, it would just make her want—

More.

The intoxicated creature breathed deeply as a suddenly familiar vice surged from the Burhan, her gaze dragging back to Valeria as her shade twisted around the woman’s legs, testing the waters. It was irresistible, the taste of sin, temptation to ply the blonde with her vices almost overwhelming. The desire to feed Him. The words spilt from her lips almost without thought.

“I’ve got a better idea Valeria. Our home is closer, and if I can be honest with you I’m not really in the right...state...to walk too far.” Curling her delicate fingers around the other woman’s forearm, the Kasyni trawled through that which she could find there. She brushed the warm lingering lust that simmered within herself, bleeding the vice into the other noble with a smile that was anything but innocent.

“I’ve got some clothes I can lend you, and Caius would be thrilled to see you again. It’s been too long.”

Feed...

“No!” Darcy snapped at herself. With a frown, the pianist withdrew her hand, twisting it through her platinum locks before pulling her hood up and taking a stumbling step back. Disgust flared again within her, frightened of the urges that drove her without care or thought. Her diri seemed to twitch in disappointment as she reeled back, eager to feed off the wicked sins that it’s Kasyni collected, straining like a dog at its leash.

“Sorry, I’m just a bit...I’ve had a bit to drink already. I’m a little...unbalanced.” Darcy lied with another deep breath, releasing it slowly before looking at Valeria with an embarrassed cringe.

“Caius probably would be ever so grateful if I had an escort. Plus, you can be my alibi.” The blonde said with a wink, curling her arm in Valeria’s to encourage her to walk, forcefully ignoring the shadow licking at their feet.

Mine.

“We’ve got a place, away from the University. Scandalous I know but...certain circumstances required us to move. I should warn you, there’s a man following us. A friend of Caius’, a bodyguard. I have this sister you see...” The blonde glanced back, looking for the Biqaj with another frown, before leaning conspirically close to Valeria and speaking in a horse whisper.

“Nevermind. Story for another time. Let’s just say she’s a good reason to...drink.”
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Caius Gawyne » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:30 pm

Caius had slipped away early in the darkness to make his way to the Crown. He'd lit the hearths in his wake, leaving Darcyanna to sleep as their modest shared home warmed slowly in the cold Cylus morning. There'd been another arrest, blatantly in town, and while he hadn't been involved in the tracking or the capture far to the north near the border of Krome, his presence had been requested for the trial none the less. It had been a difficult, tumultuous morning of dealing with the accused, discovering the older man's sparks and containing him safely, and the young Gawyne was still so wary of his role as Lord Arbiter, of the methodology of dealing with mages in the Kingdom under the Lord Inquisitor.

The amorality of his supposed judgements was excruciating, infuriating, and Caius stalked the dark, maze-like streets home in a delirious sort of anger, ignoring the force of the wind now that the chill meant nothing.

By the time he made his way through midtown and home, the morning had faded into late afternoon. Caius simmered in the frigid air, his too-warm self fueled by a helpless rage, a frustration at what he felt as his lack of conviction, for his doubt, for his fear as well as a unexpressed fury at the twisting of justice he felt unable to explain or even oppose. Something was wrong, but at the same time, everything seemed so right when mages were the kind of men he'd judged as guilty to-trial. Lowlifes, murderers, actual criminals who didn't care about anyone else long before they had a spark twisting their souls into something inhuman and wrong—these people were easy to convict, easy to send to the pyre, easy to make examples of before the fearful public. It was when they had families, when they were professors, or when they seemed to be genuinely interested in the edification of humanity that Caius worried a mage may not be so evil after all, no matter the dangerous spark that changed their existence unseen.

He didn't feel as though he knew enough to make the right decision, no matter who let him know their opinion, their experience. DuKette and the Lord Inquisitor could speak on magic from their own perspectives and Caius listened with a twinge of both curiosity and anger, but ultimately he was just too Gawyne. He had to know himself. He was desperate to study and read and understand and analyze and take apart and put back together again, and it was sarding exhausting.

The northern noble was already so fucking tired. Haunted by nightmares, hounded by the memories of undeath and dying, Caius slept less now than he ever had, regardless of his gratitude for the second life he'd been handed on the 1st of Cylus. Sharing his burdens with Darcyanna hadn't made them lighter, for she had her own, and now he carried them, unable to entirely comprehend the depths of need Mastes had created within his wife. Not that he always minded attempting to keep up with those needs—he craved the escapism that carnal satisfaction provided and was more than willing to surrender the weight of thinking too much to the lightness of lustful indulgences. A personal weakness, Caius wasn't unaware of how he chose to deal with problems his too-busy, too-tired mind couldn't seem to solve.

Smudge greeted him eagerly at the door, but the young Gawyne quickly realized he'd come home to an otherwise empty house with a sigh. He had no idea where his delicate pianist would have had to go to-trial, having memorized her class schedule already. Shoulders slumping as he shrugged off the ash colored cloak of his uniform, tugged off his muddied boots, and began to undo the buttons of his shirt, freeing himself from the tightness of the collar, it was clear that Darcy had been gone for more than a few breaks judging by how unattended the hearth was.

Ink-stained fingers digging through wind-blown, eternally unkempt hair, Caius stared at the expectant eyes of his dog for a few trill, scowling,

"Bogs. Where'd she go without me?"

Smudge only whined and wagged his tail.

Useless.

Not that she should have waited for him for anything, though there was a momentary rush of panic about where she could have been or what she could be doing without him. Their secret agreement about keeping their Immortal-wrought troubles at home was a challenge, he knew, and a brief flare of worry spread like wildfire down his neck and between his shoulder blades before he shook his head to dismiss such darkness. He'd been gone far longer than he wanted, but he'd not been in the presence of such a resistant accused since Vhalar, and even then, the situation had been intellectually and emotionally different. This mage was just an asshole who deserved everything that was coming to him, Caius feeling justified for once in two whole seasons. He shuddered there in the dark living room, faces drifting through his thoughts, bodies in the shadows.

He grumbled, slinking to reawaken the hearth in the living room as a dutiful Gawyne should, staring distractedly at the smoldering embers, the smoke, the ashes. He sighed, awakening the flames and letting the heat rush over his exposed skin and crawl into the light fabric of his unseasonable choice of clothing. He hovered far longer than he usually tolerated, the heat stinging his hands and cheeks, dark irises fixated on the bright oranges of fire, the angry glow reminding him of eyes he still scanned the crowd for, of the Woman who'd made him choose the blood of innocents for a name.

Hissing, he tossed another log on for good measure, almost not bothering to move away from the spray of sparks and embers, almost waiting to be burned. A few frustrated curses left his lips and he stood, now far too hot to think, hands still stinging but in a way that Caius welcomed. He made his way to the kitchen and wandered aimlessly in it for a few bits, not motivated enough to make himself something to eat, not interested enough to rummage for wine. Drinking alone didn't appeal to him much, anyway. At his heels, the little grey bulldog followed, and the northern noble meandered next to his study, leaning in the door frame instead of crossing the threshold into the room that held his desk—piled with research—and Darcy's piano.

No.

Studying wouldn't do, either. Not really.

Sard it all.

Caius dug ink-stained nails into his palms as he made fists and bit his lip, needing someone other than his fucking dog to talk to, needing to distract himself from the ozone smell that clung to his nostrils from the spark of the Rupturer, some kind of mutation it was called, and needing to unwind from the tension of carrying his responsibilities like they didn't actually bother him. Helpless and frustrated, the young Gawyne reluctantly snatched whatever tome was on top of the pile on his desk and made his way back to the couch with a groan of defeat, the hearth fire crackling and popping, the warmth dancing through the air as it spread through the whole house.

Fluffing a pillow roughly, the northern noble settled in to force himself read, knees tucked up against his narrow chest and toes curled into the cushion, desperate to find something particularly interesting or distracting on the pages.

He didn't.

Instead, the words blurred and his thoughts drifted after only a handful of bits, the heat of the flames lulling him into a comfortable, quiet state between waking and sleeping. His imagination wandered and he startled himself more than once, the orange glow a threat, the shadows memories. Still, despite his best efforts, it wasn't long before the exhausted Lord was simply asleep, fitful and restless, haunted and alone.

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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:01 pm

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There was something odd about the other blonde. She appeared off in some way, distracted and Valeria found herself scanning her face closely as she looked on curiously. She was somewhat concerned, wondering if there was something wrong with the other and if there was some way that she could help. However, as soon as the Burhan mentioned the riot, a more typical alertness jumped to her gaze and thus, she relaxed a little. Darcy had probably been drinking, maybe dwelling on her own concerns when Valeria had approached and so it was understandable that she be distracted. Her pupils seemed quite large, which might have been a result of the lighting or a sign that she'd been indulging in some interesting recreation. The young woman knew about drugs and the people who liked to indulge in them but she'd never partaken of them herself. Valeria had other vices to occupy her: attention, sex, shopping; there were many ways to wallow in addiction. If the pianist had indulged, it was her business but she could understand the attraction, the need to fall into something.

She looked good though, Darcyanna. It was difficult not to admire her features in the half-light, the way shadows accentuated some of them in profile while light from the tavern made others glow. She was trying to behave, really she was, but her companion's huge eyes drew her gaze and held it, the pupils speaking of potential narcotic use, yes, but also potential desire. It was certainly... distracting. Lust stirred within her and she felt heat begin creeping up from her chest, the woman feeling guilty even as her mind tried to wander down certain carnal routes.

However, all hope of self-control was blown apart and scattered as the Venora took her arm, her touch delicate and oddly sensual. Her smile communicated many things: a promise of a good time, reciprocated lust and a more carnal nature than she'd guessed at before. The Elithem was suddenly finding it difficult to swallow, her pulse racing with such enthusiasm in her throat that she was convinced that she was struggling to swallow around her very heart, lodged in her gullet and ready to pop out into her mouth at any moment. She needed control, she needed to keep her head, even if the woman's words were extremely suggestive. Women had a higher tendency of making her go to pieces before she could get them to bed than men; they seemed to know how to unravel her, her inability to control the seduction likely to send her running.

When Darcy reeled back, Valeria was shocked but she also tried to make use of the moment to gather her wits. More often than not, she turned to her preferred Immortal for his aid in her seductive or musical endeavours, rarely seeking strength from him but now she did. Her abilities stirred, the soft golden aura rising seemingly from her skin as she dug within herself, calling on any sort of strength that Zanik could give her. Nothing seemed to come although she continued to seek it somewhere. There was nothing to bolster her, nothing to provide her with inner strength it seemed but she needed to assure herself that she was in control.

I've got this, she repeated over and over in her head, the words becoming a mantra that didn't gain potency as she repeated it. It wasn't a spell that could reinforce an wavering sentiment, or conjure the right feelings from nowhere. It did nothing.

Darcyanna admitted to having been drinking - she'd guessed as much - and explained her unsteadiness. As Valeria took her arm anew, she found her mantra spilling from her mouth, intending to instil the other with confidence in her, even if she couldn't manage it in herself. "I've got this. You can count on me," the Elithem assured her, all of that strength that she'd been trying to muster attaching itself to those syllables instead. She heard it, felt it, a weight added to them that made them almost tangible. She didn't feel the effect of them directly but she could sense that they were charged with some Zanik-given ability. Was it the strength thing? Had she bolstered Darcy when she'd failed to do it for herself?
Perhaps.

"I'll look after you," she added, intending to inspire confidence but also letting honey seep into her words, something mirrored in her irises. Indirectly, she'd strengthened her own flagging confidence, feeling that she was back in control of matters. She let the power recede, careful not to continue charging her sentences with such potency.

"Show me these accommodations of yours. I'm sure it's charming although it'll probably still be better than mine," Valeria pointed out, almost kindly. "I'm not picky either way. I'll just be happy to get out of these clothes." She laughed, unable to stop herself from letting the sounds drip with suggestion, making no effort to point out that of course, she intended to slip into something fresh. Surely there was no need to explain every little detail. Darcy would know what it meant or rather... would take whatever meaning she wished from it, the innocent or the sexually suggestive.

"I'm sure we can still have fun at your house," the blonde found herself adding, giggling at the idea, even as her desires stirred with greater fire. Oh she liked this game of seemingly innocent words with alternate meanings hidden slyly underneath.
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Valeria Burhan
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Darcyanna Venora » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:15 pm

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I've got this. You can count on me…I'll look after you.

Darcyanna shot Valeria a broad grin as the woman took her arm, feeling a sense of warmth and empowerment in the honey’d iris’ that looked back at her. It could have been a trick of the light, but the once Venora was sure the blonde was positively glowing.

As they walked, the pianist chuckled at the Burhan’s words, holding onto her arm tightly and leaning against the woman slightly. The familiar vice flowed from Valeria like so much water off a ducks back, oozing through the pale creatures veins like the drugs she craved so much. Against the cobbled street, her anak followed along behind the two blondes like some ominous creature, stretching shadowy fingers to stroke the hair of the Burhan almost revenantly.

Mine…

“Well, I am sure we can help you with that. I mean, I’ve removed your corset before so we are already half way there.” Darcy said with a purr, breathing in the excitement of the vices that swam in her. It was tempting, so tempting to feed Valeria just a touch of the need for her dark addictions, the sparkling toke of Euphoria or the pink curling spoke of reevi. Taking a deep breath, the Kasyni looked up to see where they were at, her smile fading to a worried frown.

“We need to hurry up and get inside…” She muttered, relieved to see the familiar sign of the Ink and Prophet. Walking past the storefront, she guided Valeria to the set of stairs that led up and onto the second level. Behind them, the biqaj stopped following, staying at the foot of the stairs and lighting up a cigarette. At the door, the pale Gawyne released the Burhan’s arm and withdrew a key from her coinpurse, glancing back at the blonde with another small smile.

“Watch your step.” She said softly, before turning the handle. As the door opened, Smudge was already there, little stumpy tail wagging and fussing over the two women as they entered. Darcyanna reached down to pick up the grey creature and planted a kiss on his wrinkled head, allowing Valeria to enter before closing the door gently. Turning around the room, she noted signs that Caius was home, namely his slumbering form on the couch before the fire.

“Welcome to our home Valeria. I believe you’ve met Smudge before?” She said with a smile, handing the dog over without hesitation, before holding a finger up as though to say ‘just a moment’.

Moving over to the couch, Darcy stood before the prone form of her husband for a moment, admiring the way the firelight caught his features with a golden glow. She frowned a little, seeing the stress etched in his face like an engraving of a horror story. He wore so much on his shoulders, and it showed. Kneeling down before the man, the blonde reached up to stroke a lock of roguish hair from his forehead, guilt eating at her.

She should have been here when he came home.

“Caius, wake up love.” The secret Gawyne said softly, hoping to rouse him gently from slumber, forcefully pushing back the pull of her anak around her feet.

“We have an unexpected guest.”
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Caius Gawyne » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:20 pm

Sound asleep were two words Caius could never really use together in the same sentence to describe himself. Sometimes, he was safe and sound. Sometimes, he was asleep. But never, not in arcs, was he ever sound asleep. Vhalar had changed him, had dragged the insomniac printmaker even further into a restless place of darkness when he wasn't awake, nightmares of his childhood losing of his sister consumed completely by the reanimated corpses of bears and fire. Rare were his moments of peaceful rest, and his body was greedy for every bit of those moments. Deep in nothingness, the young Gawyne had found dreamless sleep there on the couch and didn't hear Smudge's excitement when the door opened and his wife let Valeria into his home.

He didn't hear their hushed voices, either, but quietly Darcy's voice filtered into his thoughtlessness and he stirred, groggy and somewhat annoyed that his peace had been stolen again,

"No—I'm not really ready—oh." Eyes fluttered open and he ran an ink-stained hand over his face, blurry vision focusing on the face of his delicate, lovely wife, "Guest?" Looking past her, he saw Valeria, momentarily tortured by the awkwardness of holding his dog. He sat up reluctantly, shoving away the frustration that threatened to warm the coals in his narrow chest, offering a half-hearted smile to the Lady Burhan who was thankfully not a stranger,

"Hello, V." Blue eyes taking in that she was not as impeccably dressed as usual, "Are you okay? Did something happen?" Caius was attempting to pull his tired thoughts together, setting the book he'd collapsed under on the table and curling fingers into his eloquently unkept hair, "Where have you been?"

The question could have been for his wife as much as it was for Valeria, for after Oliver's charity gala, he found it difficult to believe he'd see the two women in the same room as himself at the same time probably ever. Though, this was a new life, after all, and stranger things had since happened in it.

He finally smiled, though it was a sleepy, confused expression that would have been much more attractive the morning after some form of questionable behavior instead of in the middle of the trial after an interrupted nap, "Here, sit. Let me get up. Do we need the first aid kit or something to drink? Or both? Ah, Fates." Caius stood with a groan and waved his hands at the couch as if he was giving orders to Purifiers on the street, taking his dog so long as Valeria hadn't dropped the poor thing and setting him down. Smudge was a smart enough creature that he waddled off to his own secret places, aware that not every guest enjoyed his presence.

The northern noble caught up with himself in a trill or two, pausing to brush fingers with Darcyanna's hand on his way toward the kitchen with a broader smile,

"The Seven and Valeria all know I'm not a sarding good host, so thank goodness you're here, wi-woman. Tell me how to be useful, ladies, as something seems a bit out of sorts." How had the two run into each other and how had the delicate pianist convinced his friend to come home with her, Caius could only guess, but it didn't matter. At least she'd brought a familiar unexpected guest.

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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Valeria Burhan » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:13 pm

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Flirtation and seduction weren't the same thing but they were tied up in similar matters, tied into the same sensibilities that were a vice for the blonde. It was too easy for her to allow honeyed words to slide off her tongue or to dance her fingers along the arm of another, light, suggestive, tantalising. It was something that she'd had to contend with for a number of arcs, even dealing with it in a weaker form prior to her marking by Zanik. She simply had that streak - some people did - but it wasn't a streak that she'd imagined being present in Darcy. The other woman had come across as quite innocent in many ways, despite who her partner was. Caius Gawyne was far from innocent and naive when it came to the world of sexual attraction and flirtatious jousting, but the Venora had consistently given off vibes of just that during their encounters: innocence, naivety, and inexperience. Thus, when she made the remark about her corset, the Burhan couldn't stop her brows from scaling her forehead, a disbelieving laugh escaping her.

"Oh well, a corset's a tricky thing, you know? It's really the most difficult thing to remove and I'm not wearing one at present. Far easier for me to get out of my clothes," Valeria encountered with a light laugh, sliding fingers from the other's shoulder down almost to her elbow before she withdrew her touch. She took the opportunity to shift her hair back, fluffing the blonde waves to greater heights.

She'd liked the purr in her companion's voice, the soft sultry sound enough to send shivers of pleasure dancing along her spine. If she'd doubted the other noblewoman's sexuality before, it had become rather clearer that her inclinations were closer to Valeria's own; she couldn't forget how Darcy had almost kissed her when they'd had tea, even if it had been Elithem-influenced. Caius or no Caius, she couldn't deny that if the opportunity presented itself that she wouldn't have her fill of his partner. The man knew that she had a greater weakness for other women so really, how could he blame her? Perhaps, she could even convince him that such a thing was beneficial to him; she doubted that it would take a great deal of doing.

There seemed to be a greater urgency in the Venora now, the woman evidently anxious to get indoors. Was she frightened of remaining out in the open or eager to have the Burhan somewhere more private? Judging by the frown on her face, she thought the former was probably true.

She was led up a set of stairs, which carried them up to an apartments over a store. Humble indeed although more private than accommodation at the University, potentially a little more spacious than her own. However, she wasn't really interested in what her companion's abode was like, she simply needed a way to keep her mind occupied so that she could remain in control of herself. If she didn't want it then it was quite likely that she'd fling herself at the woman as soon as they crossed the threshold. Although, there turned out to be a different distraction in the form of one excitable little dog.

"Smudge! It's been so long since I've seen you! You were barely past being a pup when I saw you last! Yes, you were! You were only a little dog then but now you're a pudgy dog! Yes, you are! Yes, you are!" she gushed, her former motives temporarily forgotten as the canine was deposited in her arms. The blonde contented herself with scratching his ears and rubbing at his belly as she half-cradled him. Belatedly, she spotted his sleeping master on the couch and realised that she should have been quiet. She'd mouthed 'oops' to the dog, padding quietly nearer as Darcy tried to rouse Caius. The young woman bit her lip, fighting the urge to tell Darcy to leave him be; she knew how the man struggled with sleep. However, it wasn't her place and thus, she remained silent.

When he awoke bleary-eyed and bewildered, she gave an awkward little wave around the dog. "I'm fine, just ended up in the midst of a riot. You know how I get myself into the middle of things that I shouldn't," she informed him, unable to stop her gaze from flitting between the pair, all too aware that she was in the middle of their thing. Unfortunately, it appeared that the Gawyne was inclined to take her words or her appearance as ill indeed, evidently becoming a bit flustered. She waved off his talk of first aid kits as she passed his pet to him.

"No, Caius, I'm fine. Really. I was lucky. I might have a few little bruises but I'm mainly just dirty. And I stink a bit of bad fish," she explained, nose wrinkling as for the first time, she realised just how disgusting the fishy smell had grown over the breaks; she hadn't noticed it earlier but she'd been out in fresh (ish) air since then. "Darcy just brought me back to get me out of these clothes. Although to be honest, I should probably just go home and bathe."

The Elithem chewed her lip, letting her gaze dance between them again, an unmistakable soft brown hue beginning to mingle with honey. She couldn't deny that she was tempted to stay, tempted to bathe here - if they'd let her - and impose herself onto their company for a number of breaks to come. Darcy was the true attraction for her, her partner merely comfortable at this stage although it was likely that he'd be able to read her desires.

"I can't say no to a drink but I do hate to be stinking up your furniture."
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Red Tide in the Morning, Fisherman's Warning (Darcy)

Postby Darcyanna Venora » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:10 am

[quote="Darcyanna Venora"]
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Darcyanna smiled gently as the Gawyne stirred, feeling guilty for waking him but knowing the man would be better off being woken. It beat him coming awake in the cold of the early morning (or later night) and wondering where she was. Besides, couch’s were not beds.

“I...I couldn’t wait. I went for a walk.” She said plainly, searching his groggy face with swirling magenta and gold. She could go into the details, but what was the point? He knew, she knew. It had been a moment of weakness. She should have stayed, should have taken his rage and frustration for her own to feed Mastes need, but she’d been tempted by the anak. Pulled along almost against her will.

“Luck would have it, I ran into Valeria on the way back.” Standing in a smooth, fluid motion, the pianist made a sound in the back of her throat and shook her head.

“You are most certainly not fine, Lady Burhan. A riot, of all things! Poor woman! She standing there in the street all covered in muck and such.” As Caius passed, he brushed her fingers, and Darcy took a deep breath as his vices hummed under her touch. Fates, she could scarcely stop the shadow at her feet clawing after him. Moving herself, the Kasyni came to stand beside the Burhan now that she was Smudge-free, reaching up with a delicate finger to sweep a curl of blonde hair from the woman’s face.

Mine...

“I couldn’t just leave you out there, not like that. It’s late, and could even be dangerous with how things are out there.” She breathed another deep breath, looking deeply into Valeria’s honeyed mahogany gaze and tasting the woman’s curious vices even as her hand drifted to rest on the collar of the blonde’s outfit. Quite suddenly, she drew her hand away sharply and busied herself with removing her own cloak, hanging it on the stand near the door, before crossing the room quickly and standing in the threshold of the kitchen.

“Drinks, yes. Drinks would be good.” The once Venora said with a nod, watching her husband move around the small alcove. Cursing softly, she surged into the room, turning the taller northerner to steal a lingering kiss. Catching her breath, Darcyanna looked up at him with a frown.

“I’m so sorry qua’ma. I should have waited for you. I should have. I just....I can hear him...and I couldn’t...” Glancing back at the lounge room, the Kasyni felt a small shudder roll through her body and she whined softly.

Feed me...

“I can taste her narcissism, her lust. I...it’s so hard Caius. I could just...” Swallowing the taste that lingered on her tongue, she turned back to the Gawyne.

“I couldn’t let her go home alone, not after what she’s been through. But I didn’t want to be alone in her home. At least here I have you. It’s...safer.” Taking another deep breath, she took whatever drink he’d make for herself and took a long deep drink, before moving to lean against the doorway, smiling at the blonde.

“I promised you we’d take care of you Valeria, and we will. There’s a bath here, a heated bath. Why don’t you hang up your coat, and I’ll find you something to change into?” There, that was safe. Leave her with Caius in the lounge whilst she went to find clothing.

That was much safer.
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