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Messages - Lirielle Pond

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1
Shahllene Province / Re: Shadows
« on: June 22, 2019, 07:43:15 PM »
Lirielle stared at the door, then the bed, in utter despair. She should’ve been able to go to one or the other, but instead… there she was, in the middle of the floor, unable to so much as move. She needed to get back in bed. If someone came in and saw her on the floor like this…

They’d never leave her alone again.

There was a huge part of her that was desperate for that, that wanted them to stay even if she told them not to. She felt so guilty for that, but she felt guilty for taking up their time, for leaving them with so many more responsibilities… for being a broken Queen instead of someone they deserved to have lead them.

She tried to stop crying, but all it did was make her cry harder. She wanted to reach out to someone, anyone, but she’d asked to be alone and she couldn’t change her mind now. It was too late. If she did… They’d never think of her the same way. Then again, they were never going to think of her the same way anyway. They’d only be able to see her this way, as a sobbing mess instead of their Queen.

The thread startled her, and she jumped, hiccuping over the sob that was just ripping itself from her throat. She didn’t want to respond to Mihail even as she desperately did want to, and she hesitated for a moment. She should just tell him to leave her alone…

But so, so badly, she didn’t want to be alone.

*Yes,* she replied after a pause. *Please, Mihail.*

Before she could think to ask him to give her a moment to try to gather herself, he was opening the door, and she wiped hurriedly at her face. It didn’t help. It was obvious she’d been crying, and she was still on the damn floor. She tried to get up, but her legs wouldn’t work. She gave up, letting out another ugly sob as she reached out toward Mihail, in desperate need of a comforting embrace.

2
Shahllene Province / Shadows
« on: June 19, 2019, 09:33:03 PM »
@Bismark

She shouldn’t have sent Aria and Nicai away. She shouldn’t have sent anyone away. She’d thought she wanted to be alone, but now that she was, she saw shadows everywhere — shadows that looked like him, with fingers reaching out toward her. She whimpered, pulling the blanket up to her chin and trying to get the nerve to close her eyes. She couldn’t do it, not when she kept seeing images in her vision.

She knew she needed to call for someone, but she felt so very guilty about monopolizing so much of their time lately. They didn’t have a chance to do anything other than sit with her, and she knew they had plenty to do — especially to pick up the slack where she was failing her court because she couldn’t bring herself to leave her room.

The land needed her, but the idea of going outside was too intimidating. What if he came back? She couldn’t go out into the open, not where she might be attacked. She had to stay inside, where she was safe.

Mostly safe.

The soft shine of witchlight provided her with enough to see her surroundings, but there were still shadows, so many shadows… And there she was, back to those shadows.

She didn’t want to be alone anymore. She had never really wanted to be alone. She needed someone there with her. Aria, Nicai, Mihail, their mother… Bryson. Guilt rose in her at the thought of her first escort, who had tried so desperately to keep her safe, only to end up hurt. And he was so hurt he couldn’t even come see her. Aria had made it clear that it was under her orders, but it didn’t make her feel any better. It made her feel worse. She wanted to go to him, to hug him and feel that he was safe with her.

She wanted to be more, to be better, but every time she thought about leaving the room… She got out of bed anyway, hugging her arms against her chest, and she bit her lip as she took a step toward the door. One step after another — good, she was moving, she was doing it.

Except the idea of even touching the doorknob scared her to death, and she stopped, freezing halfway between the bed and the door. Her breathing came hard and fast, and she couldn’t go back but she couldn’t go forward either. Finally, she collapsed onto the floor right where she was, drawing her knees against her chest and burying her face against them as she started to cry.

3
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 10, 2019, 08:48:47 AM »
Lirielle frowned at him, but there wasn’t much she could do to argue. She could try, of course, and argue that it had been different… But Mihail was going to win this particular round, and she knew it. She didn’t want him to blame himself, and if that meant trying not to blame herself, wouldn’t it be worth the effort? ”Stop that,” she told him with a sigh. ”I’ll try, if you try. Okay? There was no reason you should’ve had to be there.” But he’d be there every time she ventured out from now on.

If she ventured out.

She squirmed a little when he pulled her close, but she didn’t pull away, instead relaxing by small degrees into his arms. ”Okay,” she said, a little reluctantly, her voice more than a little small. ”I just… Mihail, I don’t know what to do now.” To her shame, tears welled up in her eyes again.

4
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 07:11:33 PM »
”You didn’t make any mistakes,” she instantly replied, chastising him for his guilt even though she certainly carried her own. ”And it’s… It wasn’t…” She trailed off, unsure of how to voice what was going on in her mind and finally giving up on trying. ”But don’t blame yourself, Mihail,” she said earnestly, feeling more like herself when she was telling him so fervently that he wasn’t at fault. That much, she could do. She could help her court, even if she couldn’t help herself.

She didn’t believe him, not really, not when all of this was stirring within her. What was wrong with her, to want to see a man… punished so thoroughly for something that wasn’t really his fault by the strictest sense of the law? She should’ve been making sure Mihail wasn’t still looking to make him pay, but instead, she was staying quiet and hoping he’d come to her and say it was done.

”Then I’ll keep doing it,” she said, returning his smile as best she could. ”I’ll keep being your queen.” She wasn’t sure how well she could rule, not with this nightmare in the back of her mind, not without her Purple Dusk, but for them… For them, she would try. As long as they stayed close, she would try.

5
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 06:56:00 PM »
”I know you do,” Lirielle said haltingly — and she did, even if it was hard to believe at the moment. She almost wanted to ask him to do something huge just to prove to herself that he would, but that felt… cruel.

Then again, he was willing to take care of... Dustan. She could barely stand to think the name, and she drifted for a few seconds into her own mind before the sound of his voice drew her back into the present.

”This is real,” she repeated. ”You’re here, I’m home, and I’m safe.” Wasn’t she? No, not as long as he was out there. She wasn’t safe, and she’d never be safe — and who else wasn’t safe? Who else had to worry about this happening to them? Who else had to worry about the men they trusted turning into beasts when they should’ve been there to protect their females?

She clung to him, nodding as he tried to convince her that her fears were unfounded. ”And I do need you,” she said, clutching his shirt as she pressed against him. ”So, so much. I need all of you so much right now, and I’m scared…” She drew back enough to look at him, her cheeks pale as she asked, trembling, ”What if they don’t want to serve a damaged queen? What if they just leave me? What if you decide to leave me? I can’t do any of this alone.”

6
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 06:22:35 PM »
It was okay. It was Mihail. It was one of her males, someone she trusted implicitly. It was okay if he was there — even if she did have to remind herself of that as he touched her back and made her feel like she was a little trapped. She wasn’t. If she wanted to move away again, Mihail would let her. She knew it. She didn’t need to—

She pulled back again, just enough to make sure he was really going to let her go. Guilt washed over her as he — of course — did, and she wrapped her arms around him again. ”I’m sorry,” she whispered, that and the shame making it hard to even function in that moment. She didn’t want to seem like she didn’t trust him, because she did, but she was so scared.

What if she was just dreaming, and she woke up back next to him? She let out a little distressed sound, shaking herself a little. ”I’m awake, right?” she asked, her eyes pleading with his. ”This isn’t just a good dream?”

She felt pitiful, pathetic, and nothing at all like the good queen he was telling her she supposedly was. ”Do I rely on you too much?” she asked miserably. ”I’m so weak on my own, and I always thought it was a strength having all of you…” She trailed off for a moment then continued softly, ”but maybe it’s too much to ask.”

7
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 04:26:54 PM »
She tried so hard to stop crying, but she couldn’t help it. It felt like the tears were just leaking from her eyes nonstop, like there was nothing she could do to make them stop flowing. Even with him brushing them away, with stroking her hair back and making her feel a little less alone, she was still so, so very ashamed.

She bit her lip. Mihail wasn’t wrong. He really wasn’t. There hadn’t been anything she could do, and he’d hurt one of her dearest males. Was it any wonder she’d been afraid? It only made sense that it had happened as it had, right? She’d been terrified, and he’d been brutal, and… maybe he was right.

She might’ve protested again but for the words he spoke: to anyone. It was one thing for it to have happened to her, but it was another to think that beast might go into rut again — and what he might do. And what if he thought about her, if he focused on her again? What if he hurt anyone at her court? The idea of being responsible for more pain and suffering was too much for her to bear.

Lirielle drew back enough to where she could free her arms, just so she could make sure she could, and Mihail easily let her go. She paused for just a moment then threw her arms around him, breathing in his scent and reveling in his closeness. ”I don’t know if I can still be a good queen, without…” She didn’t want to keep crying. She felt so weak, and she just wanted to brace herself and stop hurting the people around her. She didn’t want them to think it was their fault that anything had happened, and she didn’t want them to have to worry about her.

8
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 04:05:14 PM »
Handled it. That wasn’t really how she’d have put it, and she shook her head slightly. If she’d handled it, she wouldn’t have panicked, wouldn’t have broken herself. Because no matter how they wanted to look at it… She’d been the one to do it to herself by trying to flee any way she could. He hadn’t broken her, not intentionally.

She was quiet for a moment, letting him talk, letting him brush away her tears for her. And she shook her head without thought because no matter what she might try to tell herself, she didn’t think any of her males would be capable of that sort of violence. Even if they lost control, they wouldn’t do…

That.

She swallowed hard, squirming. Was she really doing anything to help? She tried, but she’d tried to soothe him, too, and it hadn’t done anything. But her males were usually calm, collected… happy, too, weren’t they? So she had to be doing something right.

”He’s not the one who broke me,” she finally said, finally coming to the heart of the issue as she voiced her thoughts. ”I broke myself, Mihail. He…” But the look Mihail was giving her was making it so hard to resist the urge to let him do it, to get rid of this for her, to make her feel like she could breathe again.

”Are you asking me for permission?” she asked, the words feeling like they came from somewhere else. ”What are you asking, Mihail?” The tears continued to fall. ”How can I claim to be a good queen if…”

9
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 03:23:41 PM »
”Of course it was my fault,” Lirielle said, the bitterness overwhelming everything else in that moment even as she had to blink back tears all over again. ”I’m not… It’s not like I’m the first witch to…” She shuddered, withdrawing a little despite herself as she shrank back. ”I should’ve been able to handle it,” she said, blinking even as the damnable tears started to flow again.

But she brushed them away, urgently shaking her head. ”No,” she said, more certainly and certainly stronger. ”You didn’t have any reason to think it wasn’t safe. I didn’t either.” Her lips twisted into a grimace, and she closed her eyes only to open them immediately when an image of him was there, burned into her memory. ”You shouldn’t have had to be there. It’s never…”

It had never been a problem before, and she’d never dreamed that it could become a problem either.

She went still as he mentioned keeping it silent, as he mentioned hiding what he might do… She lowered her head, pressing her forehead against his arm. ”It’s not right,” she whispered, but she wouldn’t fight him on this. She didn’t think she had the strength to, not when she wanted the memory of it gone, any chances of reminders gone. ”I’d never b-be able to blame one of my own for what they did during… during r-rut, Mihail,” she added.

10
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 02:51:49 PM »
The certainty in his voice reassured her, and she nodded, desperate to believe that he would be there. The only other person she wanted nearby was her first escort, but he needed to heal before he tended to her… and she wasn’t sure she could handle seeing him just yet, not when he’d had to see her at her worst. She was deeply ashamed of the whole situation, and she wished she could’ve just been stronger. It wasn’t like she was a virgin!

Wetting her lips with her tongue, she shifted a little uncomfortably. At first, she wanted to beg him to take care of it — then and there, to make sure that nothing would ever happen to her like that again. But she couldn’t really condemn the man like that, could she? Men in rut were excused of their crimes. Even breaking a witch — even breaking a Queen — might not be enough to damn him.

Then Mihail would get into trouble, and what would she do without him at her side? This was greater than them, and as long as he stayed close, she would be safe. As long as she stayed here, within her own court where she could count on the people around her, she would be safe. ”Because I don’t want anyone to know,” she whispered, the deep shame making her voice tremble. ”And you’d have to explain why.”

11
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 02:30:02 PM »
She wanted, so badly, for things to be normal. She wanted to be cuddling him, laughing with him, not to be having this sort of conversation when she hurt in all the wrong places, and her mind… It was dizzying, trying to maintain control, trying not to slip away at the wrong moment. Would it really be so bad? Yes. Yes, she had to stay here, stay present, for her court.

What kind of ruler could she possibly be now? But she was what they had, and she had to try to be… to be stronger, somehow. To be better. ”Just don’t leave me alone,” she pleaded.

She flinched as she felt the surge of anger against her psychic senses, but she couldn’t do a damn thing about it. She couldn’t help him. She couldn’t help anyone. ”I… I know I’m s-safe,” though she stumbled over the word. Just not if she was alone. She couldn’t be alone. She’d been alone, and there hadn’t been anything she could do to protect herself. She was too reliant on her court, but she couldn’t stand up on her own. What was she supposed to do? It wasn’t like she could… What?

The steadiness of his voice drew her back into the present again, and she looked up at him, pleading — though she wasn’t sure what she was pleading for. She was never going to feel safe again, not as long as he was out there, not when she knew he’d try to… make things right. Panic thrummed within her, and she clutched Mihail’s hand more tightly. ”You know the laws,” she whispered against his skin. ”You c-can’t.”

But she wanted him to. She hated herself for it, for how much she wanted to be sure he would never be a threat again, but it was still there.

12
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 02:29:19 PM »
He was hers. Mihail was hers. He was safe. She could trust him, could always trust him. He’d destroy himself before he ever hurt her. She knew that, and she badly wanted him to hold her — but at the same time, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to handle the potential restricting of his arms. He didn’t push, and she didn’t ask; she just clung to his hand, lifting it up so she could rub her face against the back of his hand and press her forehead against his skin.

She nodded, momentarily relieved. She hadn’t been sure, not when he’d looked so bad, not when it had been all they could do to get back. But Nicai was good at what she did, and if she’d taken care of him… But he probably needed more, didn’t he? She was okay. She hurt, but he’d been beaten. It had been worse for him.

But he didn’t break.

Tears stung the corners of her eyes and she blinked, trying to force them away. One hand tightened on Mihail’s, and the other went to his wrist. She shook her head. ”You can’t,” she said, swallowing hard. She couldn’t help it. The tears fell, the words spoken from a place she could barely even recognize. ”The rut…” She shuddered. ”It wasn’t…”

13
Shahllene Province / Re: Shattered [CW]
« on: June 09, 2019, 02:21:15 PM »
She’d trusted him.

It surged in her mind again and again, just how badly her trust had been broken — and how she knew, in theory, that it hadn’t been his fault. She’d been fussed at for her naivety before, for being too trusting, too gullible… but then, did those things even matter? Even if she’d gone in expecting the worst, she wouldn’t have been able to put up any more of a fight.

But maybe her mind would’ve been stronger. Maybe she wouldn’t have broken herself.

Even the thought sent the pain through her anew, and she shuddered before peering directly into the bright witchlight of the room. It was harsh, difficult to bear, but she couldn’t stand the thought of being plunged into darkness. She’d risk falling asleep, and then…

Relief spilled through her when Mihail spoke up, when he reassured her he was nearby. She needed that. She needed him… yet when his hand touched hers, she flinched just a little. She tried to remind herself that she trusted him, but she’d trusted Dustan too… but Mihail was different. Mihail had seen her through the most fragile part of her life, and he’d been so good at what he’d done for her.

She took his hand in between hers, turning over so she was curled up where she could see him. Her eyes found his, and she tried to force a smile. ”Hi,” she whispered. She couldn’t break down again. She couldn’t lose it in front of her court again. ”Are you okay?” She had to focus on him, on her escort. She asked about him, too, searching Mihail’s expression. ”Is he?”

14
Shahllene Province / Shattered [CW]
« on: June 06, 2019, 02:01:34 PM »
CW for rape. Open for @Bismark to join or will remain a solo thread

This had been her friend.

The sweaty, grunting creature above her had been her friend for as long as she’d known him, and here he was, sending her deeper and deeper into despair. She cried and struggled and begged, knowing full well it wouldn’t do anything but incite the man as prey responses but unable to help herself. She’d tried to calm him, but all attempts to soothe him had been for naught. Then…

Then Dustan had hurt her First Escort, the man who had taken care of her on so many occasions. She didn’t even know if he was still alive, and she couldn’t go to him to check. He had lain in a senseless heap, still reaching out for her, when Dustan had stolen her away into his chambers. She’d been frantic with worry, but even that had faded as the reality of her situation had set in.

Other women dealt with this, with men in rut, and they survived it. They came out in one piece, dealing with it like the strong witches they were. But she wasn’t one of them. She’d always been a little skittish, a little shy, and she’d only been with two men. One, she'd named her First Escort. And the other she trusted so deeply... she’d named him her Master of the Guard.

Now, she really wasn’t getting pleasure out of it. It hurt, and the more she tried to resist, the more he snarled at her and dug his fingers into her skin. His fingernails broke the skin on her wrists, her arms, her hips, as he’d held her still with little more effort than he might’ve used to scruff a kitten. And she’d seen glimpses of him, of her friend, but she’d shied away from him. She couldn’t see him as Dustan. He was only a Warlord Prince, a beast in his most primal form.

When her attempts to physically break free failed, her mind took over. It dragged her down, into the psychic realm where she was free of him, but it chased her deeper and darker until she didn’t think she’d ever escape it. She struggled against it, fighting harder and harder… then she’d felt it. She’d gone too far. She’d pushed too hard. And her Purple Dusk splintered and broke, leaving her trapped within her mind as the grief overwhelmed her.

Time passed. She didn’t know how long, and she didn’t care; she could only feel the man using her like she was nothing at all. She was a Queen! Maybe not an experienced one, not really, but she was still a witch worthy of respect and care. She’d always been treated so delicately, with her friends there to support her… but now? Now, she was all alone, and she was keenly aware of how weak she was on her own. She’d always thought it was a strength, the ability to surround herself with people who offset her weaknesses, but now she knew better.

Her friends could turn on her too, but she had to rely on them even more if she wanted to stay safe. But they weren’t here. They were out of her reach, and her First Escort… Her heart ached in the moments she emerged from her self-made prison. Was he even…

Eternity passed. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Centuries. Eternity. She lay there, the Warlord Prince snoring in her ear, and she stared up at the ceiling like it contained the answers — like it could un-break her precious jewel of her offering.

Like it could un-break her.

Then she felt a warm hand on her arm, but before she could scream — but what’s the use of even screaming? — she heard the urgent voice, and it took her a moment to recognize it even as the scream died in her throat.

”Lirielle,” her First Escort’s voice whispered in her ear. She couldn’t see him, but he’d always excelled with sight shields. ”Shh, Liri. Careful now. I’m going to get you out of here.”

Dustan made a noise in his sleep and turned, and Lirielle froze. Her heart pounded, raced, and she let out a little whine. He shushed her again, and she nodded slightly, trying to gather herself enough to wriggle free of the Warlord Prince’s grip. With a sigh, he held her more tightly, and tears brimmed at the corners of her eyes. He wasn’t going to let her go. She wasn’t going to be able to get out of this.

But her First Escort waited patiently, and the next time Lirielle sought to get free, she was able to slowly pull herself from the Warlord Prince’s arms. She almost sobbed in relief, but she was all too aware of how quiet she’d need to be. Arms crushed her in an embrace, and suddenly she could see her First Escort as he enveloped her in his sight shield. He looked horrible, worse than her, and she bit her bottom lip to keep from gasping.

”Let’s go,” he mouthed to her, slowly walking toward the door and leading her gently beside him. She stopped long enough to gather up her dress, her face burning with humiliation as she covered herself with it as best she could, and she followed his lead as he passed through the wall. Thankfully, Dustan hadn’t shielded it, or she’d have been in even more trouble.

Once out of the bedroom, she put on her dress, whimpering as she disturbed her injuries, but she heeded her First Escort’s warning look. She would have time to break down later on. For now, they needed to go. Neither of them was in good condition, and they helped one another to the door beneath the shield. Her feet were bare, and she felt raw inside and out, but she forced herself to focus on one thing.

Escape.

Most of it passed in a blur. She didn’t remember much of the travel, beyond the fact that she clung to her Escort like her life depended on it — and maybe it did. She didn’t let go of him, and he stroked her hair and back and murmured soft, soothing sounds to her.

When they arrived home, she clutched his arm, and again they helped one another out of the carriage and into her court. There, everything descended into madness and chaos. She blinked, and her Master of the Guard was there. She blinked again, and he was replaced by her Court Healer. Then her Court Seer was there, too, and they were gently leading her to a bath. Only her most trusted friends were there, and she broke down in their arms. Every time they tried to leave her alone, she panicked all over again, clutching them hard until they left someone with her at all times.

Her Healer gave her something to drink, and there came blissful sleep — but it wasn’t truly blissful at all, because she was trapped in nightmares she couldn’t wake from. When she finally fought to open her eyes, it was dark, and she was sobbing all over again. Her Seer — her friend of so many years — was immediately at her side, but Lirielle refused the potion she tried to give her despite reassurances that it wouldn’t make her sleep.

She refused the food, too, refused all but the tea because she knew what it was despite how delicately they put it. That, she choked down out of necessity, then… Then she finally spoke for the first time since returning home. ”Mihail? Where… where is he?”

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