With the knowledge of their pursuers on their minds the love making session was a bit more urgent than the night before. The faster pace, however, did not seem to diminish the effect.
“So is it just you?” She asked her back to him, running her fingers through the tangles in her hair, pulling out a twig, and looking around for where her hat might have gone.
Nyx glanced over at her as he affixed his cloak, momentarily distracted by the way her figure stood out against the soft pale blue sky. “Just me? I’m not sure I follow…”
Her amber eyes ducked back at him over her shoulder. “Don’t you? No one has ever made me feel like this before… but I’ve never been with another elf. So I am just beginning to wonder… is it just you, or was I denying myself unknown pleasures for years by turning down every elven invitation that happened to come my way…” She smirked and bent down to pick up her hat. As she slipped it back onto her head a pair of arms wrapped around her and she was pulled up close to Nyx again, his breath warm on her neck.
“Melamin… you aren’t the only feeling like you haven’t before…” He purred, his hands already moving along her body possessively. “I like to think it’s just me.”
She grinned and turned around in his arms and pressed her lips to his as her fingers crawled through his mane. When she finally pulled away, her teeth tugging on his bottom lip a little as she went, she threw him another lascivious glare. “Well… I was wondering, because… you know, if this whole assassination business goes south. We need a back up. And I know the noble ladies would line up around the block and pay whatever they could to feel like this…and if these skills are unique to you… well, we could make a fortune.”
He laughed at that and swatted her backside; “So it’s to be Madame Shyndyn as opposed to Lady, is it?” Nyx shook his head and pulled her tighter against him. “I would sooner die than lie with anyone who was not you, Cayrimisa,” he purred, his lips brushing the top of her ear, “besides, I have gotten pretty proficient where this whole assassination business is concerned. I believe we’ll manage without you having to whore me out, yes?”
“Yes… but now you’re all distracted…” She wiggled against him a little to drive in the point and grinned. “So, we might need to have you turn tricks just to eat.” She shrugged and giggled. “Or we can get back to work and see if you can still focus properly.” Winking she pulled back again and started toward the horses.
He followed closely behind and helped her into the saddle. “I don’t have any problems focusing, until you begin to peel off my clothes.”
“You don’t seem to complain…” she smiled. “Now get on that horse. You’ve got a contract to catch up with.”
“Yes… Madame…” he chuckled, bowing a little before following her orders.
The smaller rutted road that they had been traveling down finally met its end by colliding with a much larger road. The Imperial Way stretched it’s long finger out from Drasnia toward the Braudian Capitol. Unlike the smaller road that they had been on this road had many other travelers that bustled in both directions. They both pulled their cloaks closed and the hoods up over their heads when they reached the main road. For some time they traveled down this road, intently watching each group that they passed, as of yet they had not seen sign of the caravan that they were looking for.
Cay pulled her horse close to his and leaned over a little, speaking softly. “Are we too early? Perhaps they were waylaid? I don’t see them, and they don’t appear to be ahead of us…” She peered intently down the road. The road ran on a long curve through what was mainly grasslands, although outbreaks of trees dotted the ground and broke up the horizon frequently enough. It was hard packed earth that after two days of sunlight had mostly begun to dry up after the last round of storms, dust and dirt billowed up under the feet of the faster horses as they traveled along.
Beside her Nyx shook his head slowly, his eyes were fixed intently ahead of him and almost seemed glazed over. “No…I have them. They are behind us, a few miles I would guess.”
Cay raised her brow and turned in her saddle to look behind them. She strained her eyes and blinked a few times but could not see what he spoke of.
“I know you see better than I… but are you sure?” She turned back to him.
“Yes…” He nodded, still looking slightly out of it. It took her a moment then she nodded.
“The crow…” Another nod from Nyx. Cay rested her hand on the pommel and watched him as they continued at a slow pace down the road. “Well… share what you’ve got for us.”
“He’s in a carriage, there are two smaller open carts behind him, filled with whatever servants and supplies he apparently needs for this trip. There are at least six guards on horseback around them, might be a seventh trailing at a distance behind them…”
Cay nodded and glanced out at the far horizon and tried to gauge how long it would be before the sun began to dip down behind it.
“It won’t do to ambush them here on the road. We’ll need for them to make camp and get comfortable before we can do anything. It’s still a few hours until nightfall. Shall we continue on a little longer, put a bit more distance between us, then stop for a while? I could use a bit of a rest and some food before we circle back to begin scouting them. They’ll catch up to us a bit while we rest, but then we can perhaps approach whatever camp they set up on foot…”
Nyx rolled his head some and brought his hand up to the back of his neck as he stretched it out, then finally looked over at her. “Seems like a sound plan.” He pointed out toward one of the distant groups of trees. “That looks like a good place to gather ourselves.”
With a lull in the heavy flow of traffic, Nyx turned his pony from the road and, Cay following behind, took them a good distance off the road to find a decent clearing far back in the trees. “This seems a likely spot,” he determined, having pranced the perimeter a time or two before slipping from the saddle, letting ‘Devil’ roam free as he moved to help Cay down from her filly, “We’re far enough ahead that Olsta’s cumbersome train shouldn’t pass before we’re rested.”
Her feet settled on the ground and Cay took a moment to look around herself. “Seems sufficient…” she nodded and then turned to the horse, brushing out her mane and patting her down gently after the long day.
Nyx watched her with the horse, for a moment, smiling softly at the almost affectionate attention she paid the piebald filly. “You’ve taken quite well to the horse, melamin,” he grinned, “for one who seemed so skittish of them only days ago.” One hand came to rest at the small of Cay’s back as the other reached to undo the piebald’s bridle. “How much of that is your magic, I cannot say,” he smiled, glancing sidelong at Cay, “and how much is remembrance, I wouldn’t chance to guess, but I do know that she likes you.” He slung the bridle over a shoulder, then, and with a firm pat on the filly’s flanks, sent the horse off to join her brother in grazing. “You may even give her a name, at some point, yes?”
She tilted her head a little to the side and gave a small shrug. “Perhaps. When I was very young I had to help tend the horses, but I wasn’t allowed to ride them…” She looked back over at the lovely creature she had ridden all day. “She’s a good horse. She listens well enough,” a light smile on her lips.
“I don’t choose bad horses,” Nyx grinned faintly, watching as Cay’s horse trotted across the clearing, “My folk rely on them, after all, and we may know them better than we know ourselves.” He heaved an almost wistful sigh before his eyes turned to Cay, again. “I had quite a string before I left the steppes,” he said on the back of that breath, “these two may very well be spawn of theirs.”
He tipped his head and planted a kiss on her lips, then, and, afterwards, brushing a lock of hair over her ear, smiled a bit and asked; “Something more than trail rations for dinner, tonight, my lady?”
“That would be lovely. I’m going to need some energy tonight, I have a feeling. I can get things set up here if you wanted to go out and see what you could wrangle up for us.” In a motion she had removed her hat and her cloak, both of which drifted over toward a tree and settled on a bare branch easily. “Although…” she shrugged a little as she did that. “Perhaps I should do the rest manually, saving up that energy and all… but it is tempting.”
A slight chuckle escaped him as she wielded her magic so casually when, in all the years he had shadowed her, she had seemed to conserve that particular energy. “Perhaps,” he nodded, “you may need all you can spare tomorrow, yes?
You’re sure you can manage the tent and the fire,” he asked, almost offhand, before whistling for Devil and, as the black galavanted across the clearing and came to a nickering halt before the mith’ganni, “Shall I at least unsaddle the horses before I’m off to hunt?” He snatched his bow and the quiver of arrows from where they hung from Devil’s harness; “The less you have to do, the more you might rest, hm?”
She flung him a slight sideways glare, “Can I manage? I was raised by nomads, I think I’m capable of setting up a camp. But if you’d like to play the man and do the heavy lifting… by all means. Grunt a little while you do it, and then go hunt me down some meat.” She winked and began pacing through the little gathering of trees as she began determining the best places to set the fire and tent.
“Far be it from a hwandi such as myself to question a Lady,” Nyx chuckled, shrugging from his cloak and setting the quiver to his back and similarly slinging the bow before reaching out to unbuckle the black’s saddle, “Forgive me for asking, yes?” With an exaggerated grunt, he hauled the tack from the horse’s back and deposited on the ground at his feet.
He whistled for the filly, then, and went through similar exaggerated strains with her gear. When he was finished and the tack and harness were sufficiently set aside, Nyx rested his hands on his knees and feigned exhaustion. “You may have to hunt for us, as well, melamin,” he panted overmuch, “I don’t know that I have the strength after all of that.”
She laughed a little, “Then we’ll starve. I’m not allowed to use my magic for now… and I am awful with a bow. I might be able to find some mushrooms… but probably not worth it.” She shrugged and went to the saddlebags to start removing their contents.
“What,” Nyx chortled as he straightened up, “no quips about just tying my skirts between my legs and I’ll be fine? Tsk… disappointing.”
“I’m so hungry I cannot even properly chastise you…”
He flicked her a wink, then, and took a few backwards steps toward the darker edge of the clearing. “Allow me to see what I can do to remedy that. I shall return soon, Cay,” he promised, “Do try not to burn down the wood while I’m away, yes?”
“You may want to get to it before I decide to turn you into a toad, point-ear,” she smirked, unrolling the tent in the spot she had chosen for it.
“I do love it when you talk dirty,” Nyx chuffed, turning for the depths of the forest, “slitch.”
“I love you, too. I’ll be back with dinner, soon.”
“If it’s good enough, you may even get dessert.”
“You are going to be the death of me, Cayrimisa Shyndyn,” he snickered softly, snatching his bow from his shoulder as he faded into the deepening shadows of the wood, “I cannot think of a better way to go.” Then, with his laughter still hanging in the air, he disappeared from sight.
Nyx had no sooner disappeared into the forest, though, than, with the heavy-beating of black-feathered wings, a large raven found a perch on a limb just above where Cay was pitching the tent.
She glanced up at the large bird when she noticed it land and begin to stare at her with it’s dark beady little eyes. Her mouth curled up a little. “Keeping an eye on me, eh? It’s tempting to give him something worthwhile to watch. But I’ll be good… for now.”
Once the tent was pitched she began gathering some firewood and stacking it neatly in a little spot she had cleared out. With the bits of wood stacked up and the kindling tucked neatly in the gaps she threw a glance over her shoulder at the bird. “It’s too much work… don’t judge me. And if you tell, I swear I’ll eat you.” Then she pointed her fingers at the fire and a flame darted up from its depths.
The raven hopped on the branch at her threat, offered a soft ‘quork’ and turned its back, pretending not to notice.
“Quel Korko.” Cay settled onto the blanket near the fire and poked at it with a stick, allowing her mind to wander a bit while she waited for Nyx to return. She looked deep into the spark of embers at the base of the fire and sighed a little.
“Again… this is between the two of us you mangy onna en’dome…” she muttered, above her the bird squawked slightly and ruffled its feathers. “But I might be a bit nervous about tonight. I know this is nothing for Nyx, he’s had experience like this before, moves in like a lumbule and cuts a dozen threads…” She poked at the flames again, a pop coming out from inside the tangle of sticks. “I have never worked that way though.”
The crow took a few steps along his branch and pushed out its beak, but stayed quiet. “We did well together last night.” Her eyes lighted over her fingers, considering the powers they held, “I can help him. Ease the load, make things easier… what if I misjudge what I can handle though? He’s still carrying the wounds from the last few days, and while I could help… I could also distract him.” The wavering air above the fire catches her attention and she pulls her eyes up to that, staring deeply into it. “I’m walking a thin line.” Biting her bottom lip these thoughts continue to drag through her.
The first hints of fading light bring Nyx creeping through the branches and into their little clearing, two rabbits hung over his shoulder. “A very thin line Cayrimsa…” she whispered to herself as he approached.
Stalking into the clearing, Nyx’s gaze, first, fell upon Cay where she sat by the fire she’d built and, then, ticked up into the boughs where the raven peered down. “I had wondered when you might show up, again,” he quipped, “Mae govannen, my friend.” In reply, the bird offered a low caw and a ruffling of feathers as the mith’ganni stowed his bow and quiver and then moved toward the fire.
He unslung the pair of fat conies from his shoulder before leaning down to press his lips to Cay’s head and, then, with a light smile, lifted the rabbits a bit and said; “Dinner.” He sank down beside her on the blanket, then, and, after freeing the rabbits from the thong that tied them together, set about dressing them out. “I spotted a deer that might have made a more substantial supper,” he told her in the midst of preparing the conies for the fire, “but it’s highly doubtful we’d have managed to finish the thing in a week, let alone in the course of a meal. No need to be wasteful, yes?”Soon enough, the rabbits were spitted over the flames and the parts that Nyx and Cay wouldn’t eat had been offered to the raven who seemed happy to scarf the stuff down.
Once the rabbit had been reduced to an oily pile of bones and her stomach felt full and content, the witch readjusted herself on the blanket, she lay on her side, head resting against his thigh as she gazed back into the fire. It’s light now glowed a soft orange in the ever increasing darkness. In the distance a long wailing howl moved across the land, it caused her no fear, the only thing worth fearing was the two of them.
“So… what is it that you are going to need from me tonight to get this job done?”
“Hmmm,” Nyx pondered softly, his fingers absently toying with her hair as his gaze, too, lingered on the fire before them, “Tonight, I think, I should simply like to test their camp… get a better eye on their numbers… gauge their awareness… That sort of thing. If Olsta’s death is to appear an accident,” the assassin continued, “I thought we might be better served to sever his thread a bit further along the road; perhaps near where the Imperial Way skirts the cliffs along the coast.” He sighed, stretched, and smiled softly, then. “If you like, melamin, you don’t even have to participate in tonight’s skulking… unless you might like to try your hand at some light sabotage?”“Well, you aren’t leaving me here. You’d probably take more of the profits if I didn’t do my part.” Although she still looked out at the fire he could probably hear the smirk in her tone. “Sabotage sounds fun, a little mayhem is right up my alley.”
“A little?!” Nyx smirked, his eyes dipping to where her head lay on his lap, “For the amount of mayhem you’ve brought into my life of late, elen en cormamin, I would think an alley would be far too narrow for you.”
She shook her head a little bit. “He says… while he sits comfortably by a fire, lounging with the woman he loves under the stars… mayhem indeed.” She stretched out a little bit and then resettled into his lap again comfortably. “Now hush… I need to rest and think of all the ways I can disturb the respectable senator’s camp tonight.” She let her eyes close and tried to do just that.
“Amin na tualle,” he chuckled softly, his fingers drifting from her hair and moving to caress her shoulder and back. “You rest, then, melamin, and I’ll set eyes out to find where they’ve settled.” Nyx’s gaze sought out the raven, then. “Korko,” he called, earning a questioning quark and cant of the head from the bird, “lle desiel?”
A fluttering of wings brought the bird from the branches and down to a perch on the Twilight Elf’s shoulder. Nyx lifted a finger to scritch lightly at the feathers on its chest and whispered; “Go. Find us the senator’s camp, yes?”
The raven bobbed its head once, gave a light caw of acknowledgement, and, with that launched itself from Nyx’s shoulder and into the night sky.
Posted on 2021-02-27 at 12:22:02.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 466/28 8686 Posts
It hadn’t taken the raven long to locate the Olsta encampment; not even a full hour had passed since it had taken wing from Nyx’s shoulder before the bird had sent its vision back to the elf. The senator’s caravan had laid claim to a small meadow that flanked the Imperial Way only a few miles behind where Nyx and Cay had pitched their own tent.
The nobleman’s site was far more elaborate than theirs, of course. An ostentatious pavilion had been erected in the meadow’s center. The carriage and entourage of carts, set at defensibly distant intervals, defined the perimeter between the pavilion and the forested foothills, the flanks and front of that boundary were sketched out by the smaller tents and trappings of the soldiery and servants, and the rest was given over to makeshift outdoor kitchens, laundries, and other accoutrements meant to show status by means of money and station. The senator and his personal attendants had retired to the pavilion some time ago, it seemed. A number of the remaining servants and slaves, too, had disappeared into their own tents for the night; those who had not now busied themselves with tasks such as banking the cook-fires, tending to the horses, and servicing the tented privy. The only movement of concern, at this hour, then, were the patrols and watchposts of Olsta’s guardsmen around the campground.
Crouched at the crest of a tree-dappled hummock some distance from the camp, Nyx watched as a pair of guards, patrolling in opposite directions, passed one another in the lee of the carriage. “...twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine,” he counted quietly, stopping only when the guards had their backs to one another again. There was a faint nod of his head when the count stopped and his yellow eyes ticked skyward for an instant and he rubbed thoughtfully at his chin as he regarded the stars. “They are consistent,” he murmured to the woman standing in the shadows of the oak behind him, “Their routes cross every ten minutes, give or take twenty or thirty seconds. Timed properly, I shouldn’t have any trouble slipping past.
Truly a shame that the contract says it needs to look like an accident,” he smirked, rising out of his crouch and glancing over his shoulder at Cay, “I could kill Olsta and everyone else in that pavilion and be out and away before anyone knew better.
Shall we get closer, melamin?”
Cay tossed the small twig that she had been lazily digging pits into the dirt while she watched Nyx watch the camp and then joined him in rising. “Yes. I’ll fall behind a little, I don’t need to get as close as you.” She pointed down into the grassland on the side of the camp closer to the road, near where the furthest cart was positioned. “I was thinking I could slink down there, create some of that havoc we had discussed. Nothing too big, I promise. Just enough for you to see how quick the camp is on their feet.” Leaning in toward him she placed a soft kiss on his lips. “I’ll meet you back at the camp, we never did get dessert…” she winked. “Tenna’ san’.” Pulling back she pulled her fingers down across the brim of her hat as she pulled it down over her eyes and began to slink toward the field.
“Tenna’ san’, a’maelamin,” he smiled against her lips before she pulled away, “Tira ten’ rashwe.” He watched her steal down the hill and into the shadows of the field where the light of senator’s camp fires could not reach. When he determined he’d given her enough lead time, Nyx skulked along his own path toward the encampment’s rear. He moved swiftly and silently, the shadows clinging to him as he crept ever closer to his goal. Once he had gotten close enough, he secreted himself behind a patch of scrub that the light of a passing patrol’s torch scarcely kissed and let his gaze scan the complex camp as he awaited Cay’s distraction.
Mayhem he’d said. She felt rather confident that she could manage a little mayhem, and with little risk of a repeat from the other night, small spells could easily produce the desired effects. Quietly she slunk through the tall grass of the meadow, letting her shadow meld into the other hues of black and grey as the gentle breeze ran through the weeds. The nightly sounds and smells of the large camp came to her first, then as she crawled closer she began to see the finer details of the camp itself.
Just as she had suggested to Nyx she approached the far cart. Nearby it a cluster of horses had been tied up. A handful of plain colored tents had been erected on the other side of the cart. Elven voices drifted over the breeze to her and she knew that what she was looking on where Olsta’s slaves, tending to whatever tasks he had assigned long before they could tend to their own needs for the evening. A familiar twang of disgust welled up inside of her, but she pushed it away, she would need to focus on the task, not on her personal feelings.
Her first target, she had decided, would be the cart itself. Carefully she glanced around in the darkness that surrounded her, pausing to really take in her surroundings and make sure that she was indeed alone. Once she felt that she was not being observed she rose up onto her knees so she could see over the tops of the grass. The palms of her hands rubbed together swiftly for a few moments, warming her cool fingertips. Then she pressed out with her hand, a soft whisper falling from her lips as she focused on the canvas tarp that had been pulled tightly over the arching ribs of the cart. As she dropped her hand the rope tying it on had snapped and began to quickly unravel itself, the tarp began slipping off its moorings and flapping about.
“A good start I believe…” she muttered to herself and then began the hunt for her next target.
A campfire with two figures huddled around it caught her attention. Another push and a whisper and the fire blew out suddenly, the flames reaching up toward the sky for a brief moment before quieting back down to their more manageable size. A cry rang out as the flames crawled higher, one of the figures danced backward clutching at an arm. A little smile lingered on her lips.
Her amber eyes danced about searching gleefully for yet another target. The tents seemed like a likely possibility, upon careful consideration, though they seemed too easy. She was finding that she enjoyed this. Already the undressing of the cart had been noticed and a few figures moved around it trying to discern what had happened.
Fingertips lighted over her lips, tapping slightly as she considered. “What next to do?”
It was then that she noted the laundry line drawn between two of the tents. Grinning she flicked her fingers in it’s direction and suppressed a chortle as the clothing rippled on the line and then flew off of it. One piece landed on the fire that she had flamed only minutes ago, while others flitted down into the dirt. “I do hope that was one of Olsta’s finer garments…”
They were largely childish pranks, she admitted, but tonight was more about seeing what was the state of the camp than it was to actually impose difficulties on the train, the difficulties would come later. Glancing over at the horses, though, she found she could not help herself one final act of mayhem. Her hands rose up once again and she pushed forward, the already unbalanced looking log that the horses had been tied to split up the center. The horses reared up from the noise and then noticed that they were suddenly freed of their restraints and began to bolt off from their stations.
“Run free while you can… it won’t last long…” she whispered into the darkness.
Behind her a sound stopped all thoughts of what she might do next. There was a rustling in the grass there, then a sound that had to be the clearing of someone’s throat. Feeling suddenly exposed, she turned quickly, rising up onto her feet with the twisting motion. Her hands drew defensively to her chest.
A few feet behind her an elven man gawked at her, one hand clutching at his pants. The moment hung between them, eyes locked, each taking the moment to appraise the other. His mouth opened, but the noise that he wished to utter never came about. Cayrmisa was faster, her hand shooting out and twisting unmercifully in the air. His neck following its course, an audible snap issuing in the night, as the head fell to lay unnaturally on the shoulders. She trembled a bit and stared at the body that was still suspended in an upright position by her will.
She took a breath and relaxed her hand, the body falling to the ground with a muffled thud. “No… no… no…” frantic mutterings were spilling out of her mouth. Her eyes moved back over her shoulder toward the camp, where it seemed her pranks were keeping most of the campers occupied, at least on this side.
Emotions boiled over inside of her. Another spell, rather more reckless then the ones she had been spitting out earlier, fell from her lips and a glimmering shadow passed over her masking her presence in the field to all but the most trained eye. Within that shadow her hand reached out as if to clutch at something, the body in the weeds shuddered. Her heavy feet began to carry her through the field back in the direction of the road, a few paces behind her the body dragged, leaving a deep rut in the grass in its wake.
“Mane caele lle umien?” she hissed, her eyes staying fixed on the line of the road ahead of her. At this time of night few travelers were on it, and indeed as she stepped out of the grasses and onto the hard packed earth there was naught but moonlight traveling along it. The glimmer of shadows that spread over her and the carrion behind her continued to flicker as she stalked back toward their camp.
The walk was long but should have been an easy traverse. For Cay, though, it was torture, her feet ached with every hard step she put down, her clenched hand was threatening to spasm after being held in tension for so long, her shoulders throbbed and her head was starting to scream as she kept her eyes and ears on high alert for anything else that warranted her attention. She refused to be caught unawares again.
In the distance the line of trees that were her destination had just come into view when she first heard the familiar clips of a horse galloping down the road. She froze and spied the rider down near the trees coming toward her. Heart pounding in her chest she concentrated on maintaining the cloak she had spun around herself, hoping that it would be enough to keep her from being noticed. Another spell sat on the tip of her tongue, though, ready to be released if the rider should happen to see through her ruse. Eternity passed before the rider approached and then sped by, never even slowing as he passed. Cay watched the rider continue down the road, the horse’s tail catching the light of the moon in its sways. When a good distance was again between them she let the spell drop off her tongue and then continued toward the upcoming trees.
Once she was back in the relative safety of the tree’s shadows she let the shadow spell fall away. As she did she moaned slightly, with the release of the spell the first wave of exhaustion spilled over her. Shaking her head she waved it off and refocused her attention on getting to her destination.
Moments later she crashed into the small clearing. The campfire she had started earlier in the day had died down to mere embers but as she approached it popped and crackled back to life its flames taking on unearthly colors of violet and blue. She flung her clenched hand forward and let the strained fingers to relax. What remained of the misfortuned corpse tumbled through the air before crashing into a tree and then crumpling at the base.
“Stupid! It would be a paching di’thang adanedhel!” Her voice rang out high and clear. “It was all going so well, and then you… mane caele lle umien!? Not that it matters… lle mereth en draugrien!” She paced about furiously, stopping when she neared the body and spat at it, “N’uma, all that matters now is that you’ve gone and botched it all.”
Around the witch uncontrolled hera swirled, shooting off sparks of static electricity. A noise in the woods gathered her attention and brought focus to the energy. Defensively her hands rose again, although this time she did not wait to start the spell and a glowing ball of blue flame popped up near where she had heard the noise.
“Tampa!” she called out loudly.
“Melamin…” the familiar voice called out, edged with concern. It was followed by Nyx stepping out of the shadows and into the glow of her blue flame.
Shuddering now she shook her head and did not lower her hands or her spell. Instead she raised her voice and cut off whatever else he had wanted to say to her.
“N’uma! You daren’t start that… another adanenhel botching everything up. You said I should stay here… pach! Mayhem, a little mayhem… observing… I apparently wasn’t ready, and you… you… and look at what I’ve managed to do this time! And again… again… I’m left at your mercy to clean it up… I paching hate this! So don’t go melamin-ing after me… I don’t want your sympathy or… or....” She ranted on, the words barely containing much sense at this point as her thoughts jumbled.
The flame began to sputter some before him. At the same moment the anger twisting her features eased and the bright points in her eyes dulled. Her hands uncurled and dropped to her sides, leaving the flame to quickly fade to a wisp of blue smoke. The look that replaced the anger was one of resigned dismay. There was a single second before the wave of exhaustion overtook her, and in that moment she locked her eyes on his, “Amin hiraetha…” she muttered then screamed, “Pach!” as her eyes closed and she collapsed to the ground much like the man she had slain earlier.
Posted on 2021-02-28 at 19:19:12.
Edited on 2021-02-28 at 19:22:02 by Eol Fefalas
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 466/28 8686 Posts
Sabotage, Stealing Away, and Standing in the Face of the Gale
Crouched behind the scrub, Nyx watched as little things in the sprawl of the senator’s camp began to show signs of Cayrimisa’s meddling. First, a canvas that served as a roof for one of the lesser wagons broke loose of its moorings and flapped madly in the wind. Next a fire flared wildly, coaxing shouts of surprise and, maybe, even pain to lift into the night air…
Well done, Nyx chuckled to himself, imagining what other bits of mischief Cay might be visiting on Olsta’s entourage, Very well done.
...The guards’ patrols had already begun to stutter and stagger in reaction to the witch’s initial meddling. When the horses broke free and galloped from the camp, though, the circuits broke from the established routine altogether as Olsta’s retainers abandoned their routes in order to investigate. This was the opening Nyx had been waiting for.
He slithered from his blind and made quickly and quietly for the edge of the camp. As the shouts and scurrying of the senator’s entourage increased, the assassin rolled beneath Olsta’s own carriage, hauled himself up onto the frame between the axles and, then, slid himself forward, nestling between the leafed springs that held the front of the things body aloft. His fingers dipped into a pouch on his belt and came back out with a generous handful of coarse metal shavings and rough bits of gravel. Stretching himself across the fore-axle, Nyx liberally packed the abradants into the grease where the axle extended into the hub of a wheel. That done, he slid back to his original position, and worked at worrying a bolt loose from the bodyspring and, finally, bent an axle-clip into a wider arc than was entirely secure.
He was satisfied that his sabotage would produce the desired effects at some point on the morrow, of course, but, for good measure, still considered slipping toward the rear axle in order to mirror some of the actions there, as well. The flurry of flustered activity in the camp had begun to die down, though, and, if he tarried any longer, he might have a more difficult time exiting the camp than he did slipping in. This will have to do, he decided, wriggling his way from between the support springs and preparing to roll off of the bit of framing that stretched between the axles, I’m sure it shall be plenty. If not, an arrow or two should help things along. He lowered himself to the ground, then, and, just as he was about to roll himself from beneath the carriage, a clatter and thud from the camp-side of the thing begged his attention and sent a hand to a weapon hilt.
“Pach,” an elven flavored voice hissed as Nyx’s gaze fell on the scattering of dropped utensils and earthenware which had prompted the curse. Holding his breath, the mith’ganni watched as Rinril, the very slave he had visited to secure this contract, dropped to his knees and began to gather up the spillage.
When the dur’manni cook-elf’s eyes chanced in Nyx’s direction and went wide in recognition, Nyx simply gave a slow shake of his head and pressed a finger to his lips in a shushing gesture. Rinril managed a vague nod in answer before quickly turning his attention back to gathering up the items he had dropped and, even before the guard who was returning to his patrol route could chastise the clumsy Wood Elf cook, the assassin had been reclaimed by the night and was gone.
A while later, a suitably satisfied Nyx strolled rather casually through the wood that fringed the meager camp Cay had set up for them earlier in the afternoon. The closer he got, though, the more he sensed the tension that emanated from that tiny clearing. He was in earshot, now, and though the ranting was still indistinct, he had enough experience to know that the irate ramblings were most certainly Cay’s and, as his searching gaze swept the brush and undergrowth ahead, the sparks of wild magic that flashed before him left him with little doubt that the witch was absolutely furious over something.
Concern over what might have upset her bade him hurry but, at the same time, practiced caution in the face of her fury slowed his steps a fraction...
“Stupid! It would be a paching di’thang adanedhel!” Her voice rang out high and clear. “It was all going so well, and then you… mane caele lle umien!? Not that it matters… lle mereth en draugrien!” Her stomping steps veritable crackled through the night air. “N’uma, all that matters now is that you’ve gone and botched it all.”
What is she on about? Nyx wondered, his fingers toying at the hilt of the khukri sheathed at his hip as he crept nearer to the edge of their camp. His worry had apparently caused a misstep that had caught Cay’s raging attention as, when he stepped tentatively into the clearing, it wasn’t just the whirling wild-magic that confronted him but, also, a (scarcely) controlled blue ball of fire.
“Tampa!” She snarled, glaring at him from the other side of that threatening orb. “Melamin…” he started softly, his voice tinged with concern and his hands drifting away from his weapons as they spread, unthreatening, out to either side.
“N’uma! You daren’t start that… another adanenhel botching everything up. You said I should stay here… pach! Mayhem, a little mayhem… observing… I apparently wasn’t ready, and you… you… and look at what I’ve managed to do this time! And again… again… I’m left at your mercy to clean it up… I paching hate this! So don’t go melamin-ing after me… I don’t want your sympathy or… or....”
Nyx stopped in his tracks at that and, even though he was loath to take his eyes from her, he let his gaze make a quick sweep of the clearing even as he raised his hands a bit higher in an attempt to stave off her ire. The nervous nickering of their horses snatched at his attentions, first, but immediately thereafter, his eyes framed the scourged and shattered eleven body heaped at the base of a tree… Pach! What happened, here, he didn’t dare ask aloud, What have you done, Cay? I thought it had all gone well and… now… this?
“Cayrimisa,” he said as softly as he could, his hands stretching even further from his sides as he slowly bowed his head in acknowledgement of her raging, “This… all of this… is manageable… please…”
The ball of blue fire sputtered, then, and while the light seemed to leave her eyes, recognition seemed to take its place. The fire dissipated into a puff of similarly-hued smoke as her hands fell weakly to her side and, as he took his first hesitant step toward her, the angered expression playing on her features melted to one of submissive disappointment. “Amin hiraetha,” she veritably whispered.
“No, melamin,” he reassured her, taking another tentative step or two toward her, “it’s alright… I am here… It will…”
“Pach!!!” Her scream shattered the night along with whatever words Nyx might have planned to say next, and she crumpled to the forest floor.
He wasn’t able to reach her quickly enough to keep her from thudding into the dirt but he was only a second of so short. Now, as he knelt beside her, brushing her hair from her face, he sighed heavily, almost ruefully. “Amin hiraetha, Cayrimisa,” he murmured, his lips brushing her cheek as he scooped her into his arms, “I should have insisted you stay here…” His gaze flitted to the broken body beneath the tree, again, “...You are not a killer. You’ve told me as much before. This was... too much…”
He carried her to the tent, lay her down on the bedrolls, and freed her from the confinement of her clothes before swaddling her in the various blankets and furs. “Quel kaima, Lady Shyndyn,” he whispered in the wake of a tender kiss to the scarred tip of one of her ears, “and do not let this follow you into the light of day, yes?” On his knees at her side, Nyx spent the next few moments simply watching worriedly over her and, then, once assured she’d not be waking soon, kissed her again, and slipped from the tent to tend to the mess she’d made.
A couple of hours later, Nyx whispered through the tent’s flap, again, and, as he stripped himself from his own clothes, muttered into the air. “Fear not, Cay. It has been made to appear that the elf fled in the wake of your mischief and was trampled in the road as he tried to escape. The tracks left by your dragging the body have been erased as best as I could manage. We should be safe until morning.”
He slipped himself beneath her blankets, then, and curled himself against her back as his arm slipped around her to cradle her against him. “Rest now, lirimaer. Tomorrow is another day, yes?”
He slipped himself beneath her blankets, then, and curled himself against her back as his arm slipped around her to cradle her against him. “Rest now, lirimaer. Tomorrow is another day, yes?”
There was a soft sigh that came from her then. Her hand reached up from her side and curled up around his and very gently her head nodded, just enough that he thought she might have actually heard him. However, her eyes never opened and the next moment she was perfectly still once again. It would prove to be another two hours before she finally began to actually stir.
The first hints of dawn were painting their pale pink hues on the world when her fingers began to gently caress over his.
“Amin hiraetha…” a feathery whisper escaped from her as she pulled his arms a bit tighter around herself.
“Nothing to be sorry for, Cay,” his voice sounded sleepy… comfortable… as his reply whispered over her ear, “I’m just happy that you’re okay… I was… worried.”
“I don’t even recall all of what I said to you… but… I feel I should apologize at least a little for trying to attack you. And… that wasn’t in the plan, the elf…” she sighed. “I didn’t mean to… to screw things up.” she huffed a little.
“Mmm. I did tell you to be careful,” he half-snickered, his fingertips playing teasingly at her belly, “Maybe one day you might listen to a point-eared hwandi, yes?”
She shifted a little so she could bring her bright amber eyes to his, they narrowed and she brought her hand up to his neck. Her fingers graced across his skin lightly, but there was a static tingling emanating from them all the same. “Be careful… you saw what I did to the last point-ear who displeased me. And he was several feet away when I did it. Think what I could do to you from this distance…”
At the electric prickle that shot through him at her touch, Nyx’s eyes came wide open and he blinked at her in (mock?) admonition. After a moment, the look softened, and he smiled softly; “I prefer what you do to me up close, elen en cormamin.”
The tingling sensation stopped and she nodded, offering a small smile, before laying back against the blankets. “It was too easy…” she frowned a little and looked up at the roof of the tent. “He just… came up from behind me… and then…” she shrugged a little.
A soft sigh whispered from him at that and he scootched closer, gathering her in his arms again. “I understand,” he whispered, “some of my first kills were just as accidental… just as unplanned… Would that I could tell you that those become easier, a’maelamin...” He turned his head and pressed his lips to her forehead as his fingers tangled themselves languidly in her hair; “...They do not. Even after all these years.” A somewhat morbid chuckle escaped him then. “The purposeful ones are simple enough,” he muttered, “those are nothing more than business, now. Even those threads I’ve cut on the way to taking the one I was sent for seem nothing more than inconsequential… bumps in the path, hm?.. But those random happenstances…” another lingering sigh “... I understand, love.”
His words made her pinch her eyes and then she shook her head. “No… n’uma… I don’t think it’s remorse, or feeling some moral quelm… you saw the body didn’t you?” she looked over at him.
“I did that. In an instant, from a distance of several feet, Nyx. His head nearly popped off…” She bit her lip and then continued. “All I did was turn my wrist. It’s… overwhelming, that feeling…” her voice darkened a little and she pulled her eyes from his and back to the top of the tent. “I was worried about you, I didn’t know where you were and if perhaps someone else might have seen us. I panicked some, it wasn’t in the plan and it could have brought problems for you… for me… I was scared. Which I didn’t enjoy. It was confusing.” She frowned.
All I did was turn my wrist… The words echoed in his mind, coaxed long forgotten memories forth, and suddenly, he was standing in that cave in Shanurdir with Jolbane grovelling at his feet… All I did was turn my wrist… and let my elbow free… and then Jolbane’s head bounced from my toes… his non-seeing eyes staring up at me from the dark… a whisper in my mind… and the Executioner had me.
“I know,” he muttered, almost in less than a whisper, remembering the dream she had described to him and the last promise Prien had made him. He dared not turn his eyes on her, just then, but, still, allowed his fingers to toy over the skin of her cheek and play in the hair at her temple. “I know,” he whispered again, pulling her tighter against him as he turned his head to press lips to her skin. “Let it go and think nothing more of it, melamin, I’ll see to it that you need not have to make those choices again, can I help it…”
It wasn’t a promise he could keep, he knew, should she have fallen unaware into Prien’s thrall, but, at the same time, the words Taellyn had uttered to her… Atta’llie tengwe elen… resonated in his mind...
No gods hold you and I in sway, any longer, Cayrimisa, he thought, and, should you kill me, it will be in the throes of passion and not because the Executioner calls for it. Amin mela lle.
...He nestled her closer, still, and pressed his lips to her skin again. “I speak nonsense,” he murmured, “I am sorry. I cannot compare your experiences to mine and, from now forward, I will not try. Just know that I am here to listen, yes? Regardless of what you do… in the throes of hera or otherwise, hm?”
She gave a slight shudder at the feel of his lips against her skin again. “And next time I won’t be caught so unawares… this is a journey we’re on and I am learning as I go. It helps to know that you are there when I burn out like that. I know you are there…” her fingers began to trail along the lines of his biceps.
“You make me feel safe…” whispering as she turned her head and searched out his lips with her own.
“And this is all I want, yes,” he purred, capturing her upper lip between his own, “To make you safe… for you to feel it…” He let go of her upper lip and turned his attention to the lower, then “...I came this far to find you, Cay,” he sighed, pausing in his attention to her mouth to say so even as his hands refused to pause their attentiveness to her body, “nothing will keep me from that, now.
Nothing,” he reiterated cradling her face in his hand and tipping it toward his before hungrily kissing her.
The witch sat before the little campfire pulling her hair into a braid while a small pot simmered. Before her she had spread out the little bag of dried fruit and was meticulously going through it, separating out the small dark blue colored berries from the rest and putting them into one the little cups she had found in their supplies. After resting, and reconnecting, with Nyx the night before she seemed to be in a much better place than she had the night before.
“Is the plan to follow along behind the caravan today? Make sure that everything goes according to design?” she inquired, popping one of the berries into her mouth, then going back to her sorting.
“Uma,” he nodded, glancing at her over his shoulder before turning back to his brushing of the horses. “Ahead, behind, alongside; I suppose it shouldn’t matter so long as that wheel fails.”
“I need some things… we should keep our eyes open for them while we are out on the road.” She paused a moment to begin a mental tab of her current list of desires, “Cinter mushrooms, a few pounds of green moss, the brighter the better although I know the colors are fading… I’d love to find some violets or dandelions, but that might be difficult this late in the season. The wood I can probably gather here.” She glanced around at the trees surrounding their little campsite. “Although a good strong mahogany would probably be better.” She glanced up at Nyx and smirked. “Also a lake, or perhaps a wide river might also be a good idea. And by chance can you whittle?”
Nyx made mental notes as Cay listed off the things she wanted to gather - very few of them would be hard to come by, he imagined - when she got to the bit about the wood, though, and asked if he could whittle, he spiked a curious brow and stopped his tending of the ponies. “I suppose, melamin, that all depends on what you want crafted,” he offered as he padded across the clearing and settled onto the blanket next to her.
As he sat down she put her hand over the top of the cup full of berries and moved it so it was no longer between them. Pointing a finger at him she warned, “You eat these, I kill you. No questions asked.”
He chuckled, lifting his hands in acquiescence. “I’ll not even look at them again.”
“ I need a loom,” she continued, “ Nothing elaborate, something small. I think I can manage with one, perhaps a foot square? It’s really not much more than a square with heddles cut out of two sides. A few wefts to hold the thread would also be nice.”
“I think I can manage that,” he nodded, offering a bit of a nostalgic grin, “It has been quite some time but I do have some experience in crafting looms.”
She leaned forward and checked on the coffee she had boiling in the pot. “Almost ready. The horses doing well? I hope I didn’t scare Devil too much last night.”
“I think they’ll be fine,” Nyx returned, lifting his eyes to the animals for a moment, “Devil is a bit skittish, yet, but…” he shrugged vaguely as his gaze returned to Cay, “...I’ll break him of that soon enough.”
“No doubt…” She smiled and found two cups not overloaded with dried berries and began to pour them each a cup. “I had a dream this morning. I was with Taellyn… we were weaving.” She handed him a cup and then blew over the steam rising from her own. “The details are a little fuzzy this morning, no thanks to you…” she gave him a light nudge and then tried to sip the hot dark liquid. “But… I need something to ground myself, the spells, they keep slipping, they need to be tied off, tucked into the fabric of what I am doing…” The coffee was warm and comforting as it went down and she smiled. “So I need to build that, and I think it’s going to be better if I don’t use any magic to make it… if that makes any sense,” struggling a little.
Another soft smile played at his lips when she told him of her dream. He blew the steam from the cup of coffee and took a sip, nodding as she made her analogies where her weaving and magic were concerned. “Amin rangwa,” he said, cradling his cup between his hands, his gaze scanning the trees lining their camp for a suitable specimen, “My knowledge of magic is nothing compared to yours but the bit about weaving makes sense.”
“Hopefully it will work…” She gave him a smile, knowing all too well how much he’s been worried about her recently. “So don’t eat these berries. I need them to dye my threads. I suppose we should finish up around here though, get back on the road, not that that camp was going to be moving too quickly this morning I have a feeling…”
Mahogany may be difficult to come by, Nyx had been thinking, perhaps walnut or maple? He set the thought aside, though, when she expressed her hopes that a loom would serve the purpose she thought it might. “Well, if that old crone visited you in your dreaming,” he smiled around the lip of his mug, “I have little doubt that it is just so.” Nyx’s smile turned almost mischievous, then, and he nodded at her cup of prized berries; “I promise, too, that those will be safe from my lips, arwenamin… I cannot make the same promise where you are concerned, though.”
She wrinkled her nose slightly and shook her head. “Not until we find that lake I mentioned…”
He leaned toward her, kissed her cheek and, then, rose smoothly to his feet. “The Reyal is behind us,” he said, “but I believe I can manage to find somewhere passable for you to bathe close by.” He sipped at his coffee again, and padded a few steps toward the horses. “After the night the senator’s camp had… not to mention the sheer size of the thing… I imagine it will be another couple of hours before they’re on the road; we should have plenty of time, yes?”
She took an extra moment at the blanket to clean up from her berry sorting and then rose as well following after him. When she reached the little filly she ran her fingers through her mane and offered up a small handful of the berries she wouldn’t be using for dyes to the creature. “Plenty of time, he says… of course we’ll have to see if he just lets me bathe or has other things in mind. He keeps getting distracted, doesn’t he? I know… Quilde’Er… you’ll be content either way though.” Turning to Nyx, “Well then, lead the way…”
“Quilde’Er,” Nyx nodded, smiling as he watched her with the filly, “Very fitting.” He drained the rest of his coffee away, tossed the empty mug back toward the blanket, and then took Cay’s hand in his. “Come, melamin,” he said, leading her to the edge of the clearing, “ When I was hunting, yesterday, I believe I saw a spring that should suit your purpose. I’ll try to not get too distracted, yes?”
Lacing her fingers in his she grinned. “Liar…” And then lets him lead her out to the spring.
Posted on 2021-03-02 at 13:06:20.
Edited on 2021-03-02 at 13:07:10 by Eol Fefalas
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 466/28 8686 Posts
Before dawn - The Olsta Encampment
“Oi,” the burly, dark-haired half-elf barked as he jerked one hand away from the bowl he held, “Mind whatcher doin’, Rin! I a’ready got my arm scorched, last night, an’ now yer tryin’ ta scald my thumb off? It’d be awful damn hard ta take down camp with just the one arm, would’n’it?”
“S-sorry, Bon,” Rinril blinked as a scowling Bon sucked the porridge from his thumb. The cook-elf tipped his ladle over the other man’s bowl, again, making sure not to splash any more onto his hand. “Guess I’m still just a bit jumpy after last night.”
“Yeah,” Bon snorted, taking a wooden spoon from the table and plopping it into his bowl before trudging away with his breakfast, “ain’t we all?”
“I would say so,” said the sel’thanni girl who followed Bon in the serving line, “All but the senator, at any rate. I’m sure he slept through the whole thing.” She smiled soothingly as she held her bowl out over the pot; “Good morning, Rin.”
Rinril offered a small smile of his own when his gaze turned to the girl. Her long, golden hair had been braided and wound into a tight bun at the back of her head and her bright aquamarine eyes glittered in the flickering torchlight. “Morning, Ghilly,” he returned softly, carefully ladling a serving of porridge into her bowl, “Nothing too bad happened to you, last night, I hope?”
“No,” she gave a slight shake of her head, “unless you consider having to chase down Olsta’s oversized knickers and give them a second washing after the line snapped is too bad.”
Rinril chuckled and shook his head, too; “I wouldn’t want to think about his knickers, let alone have to wash them; but, no, I don’t suppose that’s too bad.”
She giggled softly, a light tinkling sound much like rain-drops falling on glass bells. “Well it’s certainly a better chore than that for which he originally bought me,” she smirked, a finger absently tracing the bright pink scar which chased from her right cheekbone toward her upper-lip.
“I wouldn’t want to think about that, either,” he muttered almost apologetically, his smile waning a bit…
When Ghilly had initially come into Olsta’s service it was as a body-slave and, given the tales he’d heard from others over the years, he was sure that he would much rather have to wipe the senator’s arse thirty times a day rather than have to endure entertaining the fat pig’s carnal desires. Mercifully, Ghilly had only had to serve in that capacity for a couple of years before that facial scar appeared (some said it had been wrought by her own hand) and ‘marred her beauty’ to the extent that Olsta struck her from the harem. Given the price he had paid for her, though, Olsta was loathe to sell her off for a lesser amount and, so, Ghilly had been reduced to serving as a chamber-maid and a laundress ever since.
… “I saved you a crust,” Rinril smiled, again, producing a heel of well-browned bread and placing it atop the girl’s bowl, “I know how much you like them.”
“That’s sweet of you, Rin,” Ghilly smiled brightly before turning to take her leave, “Thank you.”
“Ghilly,” he called after her in a coarse whisper causing the girl to pause and turn back. When she stood on the other side of the porridge pot, again, Rinril’s eyes darted about to ensure that no one else was in earshot before continuing in an almost conspiritory tone, “You’re not expected to ride in the carriage today, are you?”
The girl’s brow knitted in mild confusion at the question but, all the same, she shook her head. “No,” she replied, “I think I’m either to be on the supply wagon or riding the line to tend the guards. Why?”
The cook-elf’s gaze darted fretfully about, once more, and then he leaned closer to the girl. “It was him...” he whispered, “...last night... It was him!”
Ghilly’s eyes went wide and her gaze, too, began to cast about somewhat anxiously. “The assassin,” she hissed softly, “are you sure?”
“Saw him with my own eyes,” Rinril nodded, “I think it’ll happen today. You see to it that you avoid the senator’s carriage as much as you’re able.”
“I’ll do my best,” she nodded in return, “Do the others know?”
“I haven’t had the chance to tell them, yet.”
“I’ll see if I can’t spread the word, then,” Ghilly offered, poking the crust of bread into her mouth in hopes of masking the hopeful smile that threatened her lips. She strolled away from the table then, the mouthful of bread unable to stifle the almost happy tune she’d begun to hum.
Cayrimsa sat on one of the warm stones on the edge of the spring. Water dripped from her bare skin and dripped onto the stone. A light breeze came up and brushed along her skin causing goosebumps to rise. She glanced up and noticed that the bright blue skies had a gathering of small clouds off in the distance. For now though the sun still shone down brightly and she leaned back a little, taking a long breath as she soaked in the sunlight and the beauty of the spring that Nyx had brought her to. The pool was small but deep. The mineraly water held a wide range of gem colors as it’s depth changed. Near the edge where she was dipping her feet in the water was tourmaline, out in the middle where Nyx was lazily swimming back and forth it dove into deep sapphire. Around them dark cliffs rose on two sides, there were small veins of lighter rock that glimmered in the late morning sun.
Quietly she watched Nyx’s lithe body move through the water, and couldn’t help but feel a slight increase in her heartbeats as she did. Smiling a little she shook her head and tried to pull her thoughts back. Dragging her eyes from his figure she looked again at the spring itself. It had been many years since she had actually spent any amount of time out in nature like this. It was bringing back memories. For once though, those memories were not painful.
Something about the day, the colors in the spring, the breeze upon her skin, perhaps even Nyx himself, was stirring memories of a warm day from her childhood. She closed her eyes and let her mind wander. The gentle notes from an elven song tugged at her. Bright colors from the woods and from the costumes that had been worn that day swirled around. A feast had been set out and her mouth watered at the memories of the way it had smelled and tasted. Most of all, though, she recalled the young couple that had been the reason for the celebration. She had been young enough at the time, perhaps only a year or two out of her swaddling dresses, that she had actually taken time that day to imagine what her own joining ceremony might one day be like. Even now, all these years later, she could recall the pale purple gown she had imagined, the wreath of flowers around her head, and the vague impression of a male elven boy standing beside her in dark blue. How foolish that had been. It had only taken a few years for her to realize that that was never going to be her fate. A woman like her did not get a wedding day, at all, let alone a day in the sun with some kind elven boy who would build her a tent and make her a fire.
She opened her eyes and took a breath, letting the present wash back over her in waves. Finally she sat back up and found that Nyx was swimming up to her.
How does he compare with those childhood fantasies?
She smiled warmly at him and beckoned him over.
There was want in his eyes as he rose from the spring and shoved milk-white fingers through raven-black hair. It wasn’t a necessarily lascivious want - though there was a tinge of lust to it - rather, it was more a longing, a satisfaction, and a love that shone from those typically cold yellow eyes. Smiling, he waded up between her knees, rested his hands on her thighs, and leaned in to kiss her rose petal lips. “You summoned,” he purred softly, “my Mistress?”
“Turn around… come sit here…” she spread her legs and patted the rock between them indicating where she’d like him.
As she opened the gates, Nyx waded closer, stooping to playfully nip and flick his tongue along her inner thigh as he advanced.
“No… you behave…” Cay chastised, swatting at him in the midst of his antics, “...I want to do something. Come sit with your back to me.”
When he complied she curled her legs around his thighs and ran her fingers down his back, letting them slide carefully down the roots of her tree and then rising up along the growing trunk. She placed a kiss on the blade of his shoulder and then pulled back slightly. Her fingers began to pull through his hair. Gently she detangled the wet dark locks. Memory came back to her and she began to pull the locks into strands. With each twist of each lock and the movement of her fingers an elaborate elven braid began to weave into his long hair. Inch by inch the braid grew until at last it tapered off and she tied it off.
Finished she smiled at her work and then closed the distance between them again, pressing her warm still damp body up against his back and wrapping her arms under his and around to his scarred chest. Her lips fell back to his shoulder and she sighed contentedly.
“I didn’t know that I could still do that…”
Nyx had languished in every stroke of her fingers as Cay wove the intricate plaits into his hair and the sigh that escaped him when she finished was equal measures of pleasure and disappointment. “Has it been so long?” he chuckled huskily, leaning back into her, “I seem to recall that it was not so long ago that you made me feel like that.”
“The braid, you brute…” she laughed. “I know full well what I am capable of making you feel…”
“I don’t know that you truly do,” he chuckled, his eyes slipping shut, his fingers playing lightly along her legs, “but I’ll not argue, arwenamin.” He sighed softly, settling a bit heavier between her legs. “It has been a long time since I’ve been this relaxed, Cay,” he almost whispered, “Diola lle.”
In response she simply held him tightly for a moment then relaxed against him and allowed the peaceful quiet bubbling of the spring to say whatever else needed to be said.
Posted on 2021-03-04 at 14:46:38.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 466/28 8686 Posts
Late afternoon - Approaching the Town of Skalkbluff
The rasping sound had begun within mere hours of breaking camp but, initially, it had been indistinct enough that it was dismissed as wind through the boughs overhanging the road or the dry whispering of dust and gravel kicked up underhoof. When, hours later, the rasping turned to grinding and the carriage had begun to sputter at speed, Senator Olsta’s driver was unconvinced that it was solely tricks of environment and air that troubled his senses. By the time the Imperial Way had bent north and west, bringing the caravan out of the forested foothills and closer to the craggy cliffs of Ellisbraud’s coast, the carriage’s right front wheel had begun to develop a noticeable wobble. Jiverio sighed in irritation and reined the team back a bit, slowing the carriage as he called out to one of the outriding guardsmen.
“Ho, Darollus,” he shouted, beckoning the soldier to come closer.
Darollus turned his horse, cantered up alongside the carriage, and fixed the driver with an inquisitive look. “Trouble, Jiverio,” he queried.
The teamster gave an uncertain shrug and inclined his head toward the trembling wheel. “Not sure it’s trouble just yet,” Jiverio returned, “but I reckon that wheel could use a lookin’ to. Any splits or the like ya can see on the hub?”
Darollus leaned over in his saddle and inspected the wheelhub as best he could without having to call the caravan to a stop. “Don’t see no cracks or anythin’,” the outrider reported, straightening in his saddle again, “but it don’t seem to be ridin’ on the axle quite proper.”
“Figured as much,” Jiverio spat, “How far we got ‘til Skalkbluff?”
“Another twenty-five, thirty miles,” Darollus estimated, “Think it’ll hold that far?”
“Mm… maybe,” the driver shrugged, flicking another skeptical glance at the wheel, “if we don’t push it too hard and the road don’t get too rough, anyway.”
Darollus gave a nod in reply to the teamster’s assessment and cast an eye toward the steadily misting skies that hung over the Sea of Daranjaya. “Looks to be some rain in the making before long, too,” he considered, turning his gaze back to Jiverio, “Don’t reckon the Senator’d fancy standin’ out in the wet whilst we had the wheel changed.”
“Prob’ly not,” the driver agreed, “Mind droppin’ back, givin’ him a report, and askin’ his preference as to what to do?”
Darollus disappeared from sight and, a moment later, Jiverio heard him rap respectfully on the carriage door. An indistinct exchange of words drifted to his ears, then, and after another couple of minutes the outrider trotted back up beside him.
“The ol’ man says he wants to make The Scarlet Griffon before nightfall if not before the rain,” Darollus reported with a shrug, “If the wheel ain’t fallin’ off, right now, keep pushin’ on and we’ll get a wheelwright in Skalkbluff to tend it in the overnight.”
“Gods forbid we disrupt his schedule fer somethin’ minor as a wheel,” Jiverio chuffed, giving a nod of annoyed concession, “Push on it is.”
“Yeah,” Darollus snickered softly, “he’s got that pink-haired point-ear’s head in his lap, again, too. I reckon he ain’t lookin’ to have that interrupted more than he’s worried about the schedule.”
The teamster rolled his eyes and smirked. “Be a shame if the wheel come loose and caused him to get his wick bit off, wouldn’it?”
“A damn shame,” the soldier chuckled, peeling away from the carriage to retake his position.