Take Flight

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Morilinde

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Take Flight
« on: September 24, 2017, 05:32:55 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

The air in Roeselare was fresher, cleaner, less everything than Shahllene at present. The queen was on edge, so the court was on edge and all the dark jewels bristling had given her a migraine. So she’d taken a few days away to clear her head. She couldn’t keep Josiah safe if she couldn’t think straight, that was what she’d told Iris just before she’d slipped out the door. She needed somewhere that wasn’t overrun with temperamental blood. Especially not temperamental blood that sat so far in the abyss, they raised her hackles immediately. With so many black widows in that court it made matters even more unsettling.

Not that she would ever tell them that. Mori suspected that they’d enjoy it too much and she had appearances to maintain.

Like the appearance of fluttering between being a little too foreign for Little Terreille and being completely at home. A flash of gold and crimson lined her lips and eyes, long hair half-pinned up with a pearls and silver flowers while the rest fell to her waist. The deep blue silk, embroidered with silver and lavender flowers, of her dress clung to her and fell away just above her ankles. She could have come straight from Dhemlan for all anyone knew and Mori was hoping no one would get it into their minds to take out their frustration toward Dhemlan on her. Mother Night knew she had no desire to deal with misguided aggression today.

Not that she wasn’t capable.

Her blades were always close at hand, easily called in, easily reached where they were strapped under her sleeves or to her thighs. But today wasn’t a day for blades. Hopefully. She just wanted to spend her hard earned marks and return to Shahllene before Iris sent someone to find her. Or worse came to find her herself to drag her back to keeping an eye on Josiah. As if the darling hearth warlord was ever in any external danger.

Making a face at the thought, Mori settled back on her heels to peer into the windows of the store she’d stopped in front of. So many pretty trinkets, jewels and clothes. She could splurge and get something nice for her lamb, a little apology for disappearing so suddenly to play ‘guard for hire’. Maybe she’d see about getting Iris a new fur coat too. Maybe that would put a smile on the grey queen’s face before someone else wound up dead in Shahllene. It would do everyone some good really if Iris shrugged off whatever mood was troubling her.

A prickling of warning along her spine made her pause and she put on the most harmless look she could manage as she turned to whoever had interrupted her browsing. “Can I help you?” she asked lapsing into that not-quite Dhemlanese accent she had perfected years ago.

@Open

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 11:58:43 AM »

Something.

Something.

Familiar?

Elia took a left, fingers working his tie loose from around his neck. What was that? A pleasing sort of tickle at the back of his barriers. Almost sensed, nearly understood. It drew his feet, changed his direction, pulled him free of his coat.

He walked too fast, disturbing ladies and wilting young boys. He went noticed instead of not, but Elia was too preoccupied to pay much attention. Folding his jacket over his arm, he yanked his tie from his neck and stuffed into one of his pockets.

Almost.

Almost.

Two buttons worked free, skin blistering hot, more than the mild day warranted.

What?

What?

There!

His nostrils flared, eyes finding the mark only moments after his other senses did. Morlinde. Elia licked his lips and quickly squelched everything. Twisting himself up. Banking fires. Masking his scent. Elia slowed, sliding through the passing shoppers until he was very nearly standing on her heels.

He watched her, the way the muscles worked under her dress. Of course she noticed him, Elia barely had time to breathe her in before she was turning, guarded, ready. He was almost pleased. Almost. He inched a little closer.

"Morlinde." The innocent expression on her face made him smile. The Wolf was not fooled. He knew better. "Where's your escort?" Hell's Fire, she didn't need one. Elia knew she didn't need one. It hadn't been Mori they'd hired him to chaperon all over the Realms. Mori could take care of herself.

But still.

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 02:41:54 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

“Elia, darling.” Familiarity almost broke her act but Mori stifled the wide grin turning it into a wicked little smile. Escorts. When was the last time she’d accepted an escort that wasn’t Josiah or her darling Elia himself? Centuries at least. She couldn’t very well resist continuing the little game for a while longer though. “My escort?” she made a show of looking around for some wayward male or the other before heaving an overly dramatic sigh. “Oh...He ran off again.” Not that she’d had an escort to begin with, but the deception was certainly entertaining.

“Tall, cute, wears the yellow and startles far too easily.” Her smile was starting to break into a grin, the practiced accent melting away as she closed the distance to place a red tinged kiss on his cheek. “Not nearly as cute as you of course, but close.” It was good her imaginary escort had run off, she’d have hated for the poor man to tangle with Elia. Especially if he was one of Iris’s courtiers in the first place.

“You can be my escort for today while I selects gifts.” Mori was grinning outright now looping an arm through his. “And then you can tell me what you’ve been up to since I last saw you.” Quite a few people had likely died in that time but it was probably less finicky than serving in a court and dealing with the fall out from that.

E l i a

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 10:44:10 AM »

Darling. The word sent a tremor down his spine, and the saucy grin on her lips sent tremors down elsewhere. Elia vanished his coat and did his best not to inch any closer. Any farther and he would be standing on her toes. He could smell her fine from here. Mostly.

"Again?" Had he run off or run away, Elia wondered, a hint of amusement hovering at the edges his temper. He was almost sure she was having him on, but Mori could be a wily creature, and he knew little of what she'd been up to recently. The Lamb had mentioned something about a Court, but not much beyond that. "How unfortunate for you." Elia tried very hard not to loom.

"I suppose they didn't think you needed a proper escort. One that didn't run every time to looked in a window?" Something tightened and then worked loose as she approached. Elia bent his head like a good boy, accepting her kiss with the barest flutter of his lashes. More. "Close?" Elia purred, something lurking in the too warm look he settled on her. Cheeky vixen. He didn't bother wiping away the mark he could feel scalding on his cheek. The paint pulling as his skin flexed.

"Can I?" Elia chuckled, tucking her tightly against him. More. "How nice of you to ask. I just so happen to be free to carry your bags, lady Morilinde." He played with her fingers, escorting her down the crowded street in a very nearly unseemly manner. There was no self possession, no proper handling of the lady. His. And he'd do as he liked as long as she let him.

"Oh..." Elia drawled. "I've been about doing a little this and a little that." Whatever contracts the Lamb could scrounge for him. Falling in with a ragged band of naughties. He grinned, exposing the new chip in his first molar. "It's been fun, if almost lonely." Mostly lonely.

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 11:07:19 AM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

“Oh Lady Crag’s properly trained males are all caught up fussing after her so they can’t be spared to escort someone like me.” Someone that didn’t need an escort of course. Morilinde had made certain to remind Iris of that fact within the first week. Who knew the poor things wouldn’t be prepared to follow her through the back alleys and rooftops she frequented? “They seemed to think I would be easier to herd than Lady Crag for some reason.” Reasons that Mori had a good idea of. Witches with jewels as light as hers were hardly a problem when compared to a black widow queen but Mori lived for making people regret underestimating her.

“Very close.” she chuckled, noting the look, “Such a good thing too that said boyo doesn’t actually exist.” There were games she played and games she wisely stepped away from and Mori was quite aware of it being time to step away from teasing Elia. No need to send him prowling the streets for some half imagined escort when she preferred having him nearby.

Morilinde was still grinning as she settled in against Elia’s side. “Of course you can and you should.” She enjoyed his way of escorting much more than the blustery males that the courts insisted on foisting on people. “I have a queen to temporarily cheer up and a little lamb to pacify before she comes and pins my ass to a wall.” Not that she wouldn’t enjoy the attempt all the same. She was far too indulgent when it came to her wolf and lamb but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I did run off without too much of a warning to play at being a guard.” Mori added sheepishly.

A little this and that meant nothing short of murder and light escort work. Mainly murder if Mori knew the sorts of contracts Lamb got for Elia. Still the chipped tooth and grin gave pause and one eyebrow lifted in silent question. What had her darling wolf been up to in her absence? “Maybe I should come along on one of these little...runs. Just so you don’t get too lonely, hm?” So he wouldn’t get lonely and so she could see just where he was off to while she danced around all the tempers at Shahllene.

E l i a

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 01:38:44 AM »

"Very foolish boys indeed." She deserved a proper escort, whether she needed one or not. Yet, Elia was amused at the idea of fussy court males trying to keep up with his vixen. Mori never seemed to need anyone for much of anything. Elia figured that was why he appreciate their closeness all the more. She let him in, without a need for his nearness.

Elia's lips smacked, as if he were missing the taste of the imaginary male.  It was always nice to have someone to take the edge of your temper off on. Elia supposed he would have to find another way to settle himself if there was no wayward wanna-be escort to murder.

"So you did. So you did. And now look at you, buying baubles for some queen." He was only half teasing. Elia didn't understand why she was serving in a court. It wasn't the usual contract they'd taken in the past. "Have you spoken to her recently?" He was not, of course, referring to Mori's queen, but to their lamb. Elia hadn't in quite some time, and he worried a little.

More than a little.

He looked down at her, eyes drinking her in. Measuring her.

"I think I'd like that." He'd like that a lot. It had been too long since they'd hunted anything together. "I think you'd like it too." Probably, unless she'd changed in their time apart. A court could do that to a person. But Elia doubted it. She's always be his vixen. "So... where are you staying?" He was tired of sharing her with the street. There was hair to bury his face in and tastes to test. He eyed an up coming alley, wondering if it would be worth the bruises he was likely to receive.

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 05:24:17 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

“Not baubles, furs, darling. The only thing to really placate the queenling.” Mori shrugged with a laugh, “It’s comfortable work and I’m hardly serving Irisviel. I just babysit her steward for the generous pay and the occasional murder whenever someone thinks Lord Redgrove is a good target.” Which had been fewer and fewer people after Iris’s last incident. Who knew having a queen kill quite a few of her own guards would keep would-be assassins at bay? Maybe Little Terreille’s hunters had gotten soft. Too many maybes that didn’t actually matter at the moment.

A soft click of the tongue and she shook her head, “Recently no. Not since I took this contract.” And that had been an oversight on Mori’s part. She should have taken a moment to check in regardless of how finicky Shahllene’s court was. Well oversights could be corrected. Mori had no illusions that her closest friend couldn’t take care of herself. Not that that dulled the edge of worry much. “We can both drop in to surprise her. Then I won’t be the only one that gets yelled at.” Her lips were pulling into a smile and she was fairly certain she could hear the scolding already.

“Then that’s settled. It’ll be just like old times.” Well almost like old times but close enough. Mother Night, it’d be good to slip the leash of playing nice at court for a few days. Giving Elia a look, Mori smiled sweetly and trailed her fingers along his arm lightly. “Partly at the court residence, partly at my house in Walcourt.” It was a guess where Elia’s mind was straying to but Mori wasn’t so inclined to indulge him just yet. She had come to shop and she’d at least have something to show for this trip. Well something other than the bruises and marks. “I do need to get that gift for lamb at the very least before you whisk me away.”

E l i a

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 10:45:41 PM »

"Furs?" Elia scoffed. It all sounded a bit rich to him. Very rich, actually. "Some queen. Needing furs to be placated. Mori what did you fall into?" There was a sharp edge to his laughter. Amused but... at the end of it was a snarl, just a hint. "Protecting Stewards of all things." He crowded, not meaning to, hackles raised. Worried.

Not that she needed his worry or protection, but Elia heaped it on her anyway. Carefully.

"I don't want yelled at."
His eyes narrowed, considering. "Maybe a little, but I haven't run off and joined a court like some." His shoulders twitched as her fingers trailed along his arm. Inviting. But her words evaded him. Work before play. A deep sigh, eyes narrowing as Elia dug into his reserves of control. Some pushing was too much pushing.

"So you aren't buying just for your new queen?" The alley slipped by. Elia watched it go with only some regret. A bucket's worth at the very most. Not too much. He would have to visit this house in Walcourt though. Make sure it was secure. "Does that mean you've already bought me a present? Is it in one of these bags?" He shook those he had taken from her, trying to see past the gauzy paper that protruded from the tops.

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 12:59:49 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

“Some queen in enough of a mood that she could burn half of Little Terreille with a thought.” Mori frowned, the laughter raising her hackles enough that she turned molten gold eyes on him fully. “I took a contract to protect Lord Redgrove. Beyond the terms of that contract I’m hardly beholden to Shahllene’s court.” Not that she hadn’t briefly considered it before laughing it off. The lure of a quiet life was always tempting but she had too much blood on her hands for that to ever be a reality. “Elia darling, I know what I’ve walked into. I’m fine.” Once no harm came to Josiah of course but there was no point in telling Elia that.

“Oh you’re just being sour about it now!” She huffed, “I’ll introduce you to Josiah when I get a chance then you’ll see that he’s perfectly harmless.” Maybe she’d introduce him to Iris as well just for good measure. Or maybe not. Introducing Iris to anyone unsuspecting was a trial and a roulette game at the best of times. It would suit him for being terrible about her taking a break from endless murder though.

Mori watched him shake the bags with the faintest hint of amusement creeping in. “No gifts for naughty wolves.” she joked. Of course she hadn’t gotten anything today for him, she hadn’t exactly expected to run into him today. Not that it mattered, there was still a small pile of undelivered gifts in her house all the same for him. “And aren’t I a gift enough? Maybe I’ll get Lady Crag her new fur coat and then head home. Alone.” More teasing and Mori only momentarily considered following through with it. But that would be terribly dull and frustrating. Very frustrating and filled with cold baths.

E l i a

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 08:15:31 AM »

Was that supposed to make it better? Playing guard to a queen's steward. A volatile queen.

"So you say. But here you are buying furs for the lady." Sucked in. Neck deep in something dangerous. Elia didn't like it, not when she was wading the depths alone. "I'm not sour." He hadn't been worried about the dangers the steward presented. Not if he needed Mori to protect him. It was that she didn't realize how far in she'd gone.

"Just curious." He was sour. And worried. But he also didn't want to fight. Not when she was threatening to go home alone. After she fetched the lady a coat of course. He'd always been wary of losing his ladies because he'd fallen under the thrall of a queen. Elia had never considered that the reverse was just as possible.

It wasn't exactly the same. But the urge to serve lived within the distaff gender too. The rightness of companionship and helpmeet when the right queen was found.

"You are a treasure, Morilinde, and you know it."
A treasure he'd been too long separated from. Elia sighed, and shook the bad mood from his shoulders. He would submit this time to her independent streak. But he was on guard now. Aware that there was a threat in this service. Not just of loss through death but of loss through service. How could he hope to hunt with her if she was too busy babying stewards?

"So. What sort of furs are we getting?" Elia sneered. "I hear they favor lutrani pelts in this territory."

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 09:50:30 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

An irritated and sharp breath through her nose was her only reply. Elia worried too much in her opinion. Buying furs for Iris hardly meant she served the woman. Mori had squarely left that bit of service in the laps of Iris's males. It was better that way. She was poorly designed for service even if Elia seemed certain she'd sold her soul.

"Curious enough to want to meet the lady herself?" She questioned airily, eyeing a gaggle of young witches and their escorts as they passed. Apprentices at some district court no doubt. Soft little things they were, she almost envied them their innocence. Almost. Innocence like that didn't come with Elia or his fussing. As infuriating as it was.

The fussing could be forgiven though. Mori was positively purring at his answer. "Yes and this treasure isn't about to leave you." She said, stroking his arm gently. "No matter how many queens crop up." Queens had always been a dime a dozen in her life. That wouldn't change now.

"Lutrani pelts are all the rage... if you're daring and want a half a dozen of the terrible little creatures stealing all your jewelry and cutlery in revenge." Mori was between shuddering and laughing, the lutrani were a menace and she avoided antagonizing them as best she could. Not that it worked some days. She could admire their stealth and speed though, even if they had no place sneaking into her room. "No. It'll be a snow cat of some stripe for Lady Crag this time."

Darkness bless the person that had had to tangle with the beast too. She had no hidden desire to be shredded just for a pelt or two. The payouts from her jobs were much more reasonable for the risk involved.

"Maybe I'll get one for myself for Winsol. We could spend the evening curled up in it even." Oh yes. A lovely evening by the fire and away from whatever madness cropped up at Iris's court as well. Now that was something to look forward to. The notion was cheerful enough that Mori was humming as she finally steered Elia into the store and greeted the shopkeep with a smile.

E l i a

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2017, 08:34:37 AM »

"Not really." A quick frown. Elia had no use for a Grey Jeweled queen. The part of him driven to serve had died in Pruul, strangled by an iron collar. He straightened as the gaggle passed, thinking he should probably do all his buttons back up. "If you're going back after this, I'll come, though." He leaned into her touch, smiling at her pleasure. The way her words bubbled up, full of assurance and flattery. The petting was nice too, though Elia would never admit it out loud. In words.

"Cutlery?" Elia smirked in amusement. He'd never had close dealings with the kindred. His time in Little Terreille spent stalking rather than petting small creatures prone to theft. The idea of them making off with the silverware was a strange one. "What do they even do with it?" A flash of White warning had a warlord crossing the street. There was polite distance and then encroachment, and Elia wouldn't stand for the later, even when he was smiling and distracted.

"Just an evening?" He liked the way she hummed at the thought, blood running hot over the sound. The idea too. Elia gritted his teeth as they entered the shop, holding the door for Mori same as he held his emotions at bay. Quick craft saw his buttons closed at neck and wrist. Too late now to summon in his jacket and tie. But at least he wasn't baring so many quick pulse points to the poor things running the shop.

The door banged a little behind.

No apology was issued, but Elia did his best to stand politely in the background while Morilinde did her shopping. Thumbs hooked casually in the pockets of his trousers. He eyed the display of large pelts and draping furs. Animals done up in coats and scarves and all manner of nonsense. Studied, in particular, one large, pale pelt, big enough to spend a couple evenings on surely.

Elia slid a quick, hidden hand low enough across Mori's back for it to not count as back anymore. Once he had her attention, he cocked his chin in the direction of the skinned beast, brow arching and smile sweet as a kittens.

"How about that one, lady?"

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2017, 05:43:21 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

“Oh yes. All the silverware they can get their little paws on is apparently fair game.” Mori shrugged. “Trade? Or something like it. Josiah explained it once or twice but it’s easier to try avoiding the lutrani.” She’d amassed her share of shiny slivers that she’d grown rather fond of. Too fond to allow a still living pair of gloves run off with. Just as the retreating warlord seemed to be fond of his life. A quirk of her eyebrow was her only question to Elia before she banished the unfortunate warlord from her mind.

Mori had no doubt that she’d pay for all this teasing later, an equally enticing thought all it’s own. “Only an evening unless present company has other plans?” The smile she flashed at him was sickeningly sweet as she slipped among the displays. A moment’s more delay before she could find out what the price would be.

The poor shopkeep seemed ill at ease but Mori paid his nervous fluttering no mind. She was careful not to touch the furs and pelts beyond what was necessary before she moved on to another. Poor jittery thing, Mori was half tempted to scare him further but she’d sworn she’d behave. Besides, she needed the man not half dead from fright on the floor, how else was she supposed to get Iris a gift that didn’t involve any of her lass savory activities? Certainly not by scaring the already witless shopkeep more.

Waving the man back over she was just pointing out which coat she’d be taking when she felt the ghost of Elia’s hand right where it shouldn’t have been. Mori made a point of ignoring it until the shopkeep hurried off. “Yes love?” The sweet smile would have made her suspicious had she not followed his line of sight and grinned. “Oh that’s absolutely perfect.” What unfortunate beast had lost that, she wondered all but skipping over to inspect it. “A touch too warm for it now, but once the weather turns, it’ll be perfect.”

A perfect stack of marks too she was sure.

The shopkeep confirmed her suspicions and she only just managed not to wince as she made arrangements for payment and to have the things delivered to Walcourt. The court salaries were consistent but she would have to see about more work after this. Mother Night knew she couldn’t afford not to have a suitable stockpile if everything went up in flames. Still, the coat and pelt were marks well spent.

“Have you eaten today, darling?” she asked once they were back outside and she could comfortably tuck herself into his side.

E l i a

Elia Anil

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 09:28:57 AM »

"Trade." Elia repeated the word blandly. Of course the kindred stole spoons for trade. Little Terreille had a way of corrupting everything, it seemed. Even the animals. No wonder its trees were literally rotting.

He blinked innocently at Mori when she looked at him, eyes tracking the exchange between himself and the warlord. Some things a man could not explain. Like the exact distance between polite and impolite. The difference between an appropriate approach and the sort that left you defending what was yours. She would also be annoyed at being labeled as his, he knew.

"More than one, certainly," he told her retreating back as Mori dove into the displays. Attempting to dodge him, he thought, prowling the edges shop, shadowing but not stalking her. He did his best to ignore the shopkeeper, and the nervousness that pervaded the air. His lip only curling a little when the creature came too close. It only grew worse the closer Mori came.

Easing just a bit as he laid hands on her. Hands she ignore until the shopkeeper left them.

"Glacia's cold this time of year," he suggested to her ear, creeping closer. Mori was having none of it, however. Too busy giving away a small fortune for skinned beasts. Elia made a mental note to leave her some marks before he left again. If he left again. Perhaps she had an account somewhere he could simply make a deposit into. He knew he would be in for hissing if she tried to having her the marks directly.

Outside the air was a little clearer. Mori held tight and close where she belonged.

"Of course. But lets eat again." The smile on his face matched the one on the wolf hidden by shirt sleeves. Elia had ideas about what he would like for lunch. Which consisted, mostly, or Mori herself. "You have been taking care of yourself, right?" Elia pressed his face to her dark hair and all but dragged her toward the nearest eatery.

Morilinde

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Re: Take Flight
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 08:51:49 PM »
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Live like you'll never live it twice

“It is.” His breath tickled her ear and Mori nudged him gently out of the store before the poor shopkeeper passed out. Silly thing, rich on the skins of beasts and still so terrified of a warlord prince. “But it’s also the one place I don’t have property.” She hadn’t bothered, Glacia was too cold to be a constant haunt. Too cold and too filled with people questioning something or the other about her. No, she preferred Little Terreille’s constant buzz to the constant threat of freezing to death.

At least Elia was still taking care of himself without anyone fussing. It was easier to believe nothing in the world had changed when she could feel the mischief rolling off of him. “Of course I have been.” She let him drag her along without complaint. She had been taking care of herself. In between dodging the chaos of Iris’s court and learning to reach for her Tiger Eye instead of the Rose that lay in her memories. Painful lessons but necessary ones. “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.” If she hadn’t been so interested in indulging herself she’d have stayed in Shahllene with the entire court practically climbing the walls.

“You should tell me what happened to your tooth.” A potentially safer topic than straying memories of broken jewels and hell sent politics. “That wasn’t chipped the last time I saw you.” Yes, much safer. Elia’d never let her have peace if he caught wind of where her thoughts had gone. Not that she had any intention of letting him know. He’d fussed at her for courts and queens enough for one day, any more and she’d be taking to the rooftops to escape. A quick escape that would only serve to ruin her dress and set him to chasing her in the end.

E l i a
 

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Witchlight is loosely based upon the Black Jewels Series by Anne Bishop though it has been adapted and expanded by our members. All lore, characters, and writing belongs to the members. Site graphics & custom codes were created by the staff. A special thanks to Wolf & Katarina for all their help with the planning of Witchlight and the writing of the base lore.

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