Good morning, Cupcake!

Description:

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Good morning, Cupcake!
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:39:53 AM »

It was only a minor scuffle. A little upsetting of the new, hard won routine in the kitchen. It couldn't be helped though. River needed to take Wren her breakfast. He had done most of the work himself. Pulling a plate from the wall and filling it from the pot and pans and steaming sheets done up for the court's breakfast.

Stolen the carafe of coffee that had been carefully prepared for the queen. Which meant, of course, his queen.

A minor scuffle as a flock of bristling witches descended upon him. River's high pitched laugh nearly drowning out their hissing. Clutching the silver tray he'd prepared for Wren, River lifted it above his head and out of their collective reach. Fingers pinched him. Sides, arms, buttocks. Giggling, River wrapped himself and the tray in a shield when the spoon came out.

"It's been great, ladies, really, but I must be going." He was careful as he wiggled free of their pressed in bodies. He didn't even call on his Ebon-grey. That would have been rude, and woken half the household. But there was a twitch of his lips and a dip of a shoulder that underscored the seriousness of his words. He needed to be back to Wren's rooms before she woke. Or left.

He wasn't sure which would be worse.

Free. Out the swinging door of the kitchen, the one meant for entering rather than exiting, nearly knocking a poor hearth witch onto her ass. Passing, giggling apologies and River charged the stairs. Wren, Wren, Wren, sang quietly under his breath, unaware at the sing-song chant existed anywhere other than his head. Outside of her room, River rubbed his forehead against the door, the subtle feel of the wood-grain cool against his skin.

The natural oils the seeped from his pores leaving a subtle trace behind.

"Knock, knock!" He called, tray pressed between his hollow stomach and the door. River licked his lips, wondering if he'd brought enough for two. Never mind. He could eat later if he hadn't. He tapped the tip of one winged shoe against the door, like an impatient child scuffing their foot while they waited to be released from the corner. "Hello? Wren?"

Had she left? Was Willoughby in there with her? Chuckling under his breath, River probed the room. No Willowfuck, just Wren. So she was in there, and his naughty cousin safely elsewhere. Throat working on a strange noise, not quite a laugh, not quite a hum, River tried the door handle.

"I've brought breakfast," River sang.




Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 10:22:57 AM »
❁❁❁

A bright swirl of colors. Dew drops with pictures inside gleaming as the rolled down glittering threads. In her dream Wren tried to catch them but as they fell into her waiting palms the droplets absorbed into her skin. The secrets inside lost. The web above her head too far to view them before they fell.

It was the sort of dream that left you confused and frustrated on waking. Doubly so for Wren since only half was remembered. The shimmering threads, the distorted images seen on the falling crest of each fat drop. Her nimble fingers worked against the soft sheets covering the bed. They were wrinkled now as if she had been clutching them in her sleep.

Wakefulness came slowly, over the length of several minutes while her mind sorted itself. She pulled the light quilt tighter over the shoulders, tucking it up under her chin as she sprawled in the bed on her stomach. She would weave a web today, she decided, since she had dreamed of one. It had been several weeks since last she spun. Too determined to improve the issues affecting her higher caste.

On perfect cue one such issue called through the door, making it shiver with his soft taps. Groaning inwardly Wren buried her face in a pillow to stifle the sound. Control. Composure. She crept to the edge of her bed, cotton dressing gown pooling at her knees. ”One minute, Prince Well. I’m dressing!” She lied.

It would buy her another minute to herself, at least. Or so she expected as she shrugged the night gown over her head where it fell to the floor. Trousers today, she decided, reaching for her favorite pair from among the neatly folded items on the shelf.

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 11:14:24 AM »

"Okay." Dressing. Right. He was supposed to wait because she was dressing. which meant that there was undressing to be done as well. River leaned farther into the door, tray digging deep into his stomach which rumbled. Slowly he looked to his left, and then to his right. But River's conscience was not there. Where was Willbe anyway? Not that River actually wanted him there. Then he'd have to share.

Or behave, even, maybe.

River decided he didn't want to wait. Waiting was boring.

"I won't look!" He chirped happily, popping the lock with a bit of Sapphire nastiness. There were enough of those floating about that someone wasn't likely to notice. No need to disturb everyone else while he attended his queen. "Not looking!" River called happily, face averted as he slipped happily into Wren's room, door kicked shut behind him. Like any good butler, River found a nice place to lay the tray out. A long, pretty chest of drawers.

That just happened to have a mirror running the length of its back.

"Still not looking!" He promised, sliding the tray into place, eyes barely peeking beneath his lashes. It was just reflection he was looking at. And the hazier one in the background. Lust just roiling beneath the surface. She was very pretty. River had noticed the first time he'd seen her, face pressed tight between the bars of the gate. A cool sort of pretty. Chilly, almost.

He was so glad she was pretty.

"I have coffee too. Do you like coffee?" He hoped she liked coffee. Head bowed as he set things just so. Mostly shuffling them around the tray while he watched her reflection beyond his own shoulder.

Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 01:16:06 PM »
❁❁❁

Wren cast a glance at the door as he agreed, shoulders relaxing. Good. A few more minutes of peace. Just enough time to set her emotions aside for another day. ”PRINCE!” The shrillness of her own voice made Wren’s skin crawl. Shock tickling up her spine as the lock she kept on the door shattered beneath his Sapphire.

Then he was swooping in as if he had done nothing at all. Indignation would have to wait, Wren reasoned, until after she had clothing on. The pungent aroma of coffee followed River in, overtaking her room the same way he did. Alarm turned to annoyance as she tried to cover her chest with an arm. ”You should have waited.” Voice void of emotion she struggled to loop the leg of her trousers around her ankle with only one hand. When it proved impossible she turned her back to him so she could freely use two.

How had this happened? Wren let herself flush as he chirped on about not looking. Why did boys have to be a part of this queen nonsense? Hadn’t recent events proven they were untrustworthy? It was hard to compromise what she thought and and what she felt though. The her-ness of the dual annoyances that had pushed their way into her life. Lips not quite pursed she glanced over to see him bustling around the tray. Their eyes met briefly in the reflection of the mirror he was ‘not looking’ at her through. Thick lashes on his brown eyes almost hiding the peek. Rude!

She plied him with her gray, poking at his barriers without any real attempt to see inside. Just a bombardement to distract him while she turned around again and grabbed the first top her hands fell on- a sheer, sleeveless bandeau. As quickly as she could manage she pulled it on; shuffling the molded cups to fit properly. Fingers brushing skin and gossamer cotton as she smoothed the hem. It was cool enough to throw on a sweater, so she choose the thickest one she had.

”Of course I like coffee.” She stretched her still bed stiff arms up over her head as to slip the sweater on. Shaking her head lightly as the knit cloth gave her a second of freedom for face making. ’Calm down. Stay composed. Manage your own emotions and you’ll manage everything else fine.’ She reminded herself. It worked- mostly.

It was still strange to have him there, in space she thought of as personal. But he had brought food. Her stomach pinched as she hesitated, hovering in place with her face free of any hints. Ridiculous, that was what men did, made everything more complicated and ridiculous. Moving forward, faster than was graceful perhaps, she descended on the tray he brought in hungry curiosity. Eyes flitting between the food that lured her closer and his person, which was much too close now for comfort. Towering over her, a damned mile high boyo of course. Even taller than he normally seemed while she was barefoot. ”You have to learn to wait when I ask.”

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 10:53:47 PM »

The skin along the back of his neck tightened at her cry. There was something unnatural in the pitch. The tone twitching his shoulders. It made him want to wrap the room in shields. To burn the house down around them. To slink back out the door like a kicked stray.

River did none of those things, however. He wanted to be there more than he wanted anything else. Setting down the tray, and settling his body into the here, the now. That room with his undressing queen. Only a little guilt. Not enough to do anything more than wet the keen edge of his giddiness.

Wait til he told Willbe.

”I did!” He lied defensively, grinning as he rattled plates and cups. Watching her fingers curl around her back, leg kicking at something he couldn’t see. What was she doing, this glowing queen of his? His, his, his! River’s heart sang. Awheee, awhooo. Mine mine mine. A yearning that was different from the one that stirred in his pants. Both sharper and softer. More pressing than a bit of lust.

River was almost always in lust.

Caught! Eyes meeting his as she settled trousers over her hips. River didn’t look away, just lowered his lashes a little farther. Not looking! Really he wasn’t. But he could tell she didn’t believe. Questing Grey tendrils blustering against his barriers. Lips hitching upward, River very politely let her in. Bits of hungers and happy pulsing drifting about inside the first barrier. The sort that made the body feverish overriding the kind that made it weak and achey.

Tricky queen. Grinning, River ducked his head and rattled the silverware. Almost too busy looking in to look out. Just quick enough to see the last of her vanish. Knuckles brushing her sides. Was that all she was going to wear? His tongue flicked his lips as he poured the coffee she claimed she liked.

”Of course you do.” He only spilled a little. That was not all she was going to wear, arms stretching as she pulled a sweater over... whatever that was. He liked it. Liked that he would know all day that it was under her sweater. Peeking at her now, over his shoulder, chin tucked into the hollow beneath his clavicle. She looked warm.

Warm and hungry. Swarming him suddenly. No not him, the tray. River giggled softly and moved aside, thigh pressing into the dresser. Gave her room to explore the tray. A couple plates. A little pool of spilled coffee. Things with fruit and things with cheese. Sausages and neatly cut and perfectly seared squares of potatoes. Eggs. Eggs all done with garnish and vegetables in a way River had never seen before.

None of it smelled as good as she did.

”Okay.” Learn to wait. He could do that. River handed her a fork. Wait. He was sure he could. Probably. Maybe. ”When you ask.” he was almost certain he could for Wren. But he didn’t want to wait for Wren. His hands slid into his pockets. ”I brought breakfast.” River glanced around the room. ”Chair?” There was one, he gestured. And a little table too, with a box in top and something small and blue. ”Table. Sit! Eat!” He would bring the table to the chair!

And the food to Wren.

Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 12:51:12 AM »
”Not long enough.” She told him blandly. Not long enough at all! ”It’s proper to wait until you’re told to come in.” They said males matured much more slowly than females. Wren suspected warlord princes with all their bleeding emotions and sensitivity likely took even longer. This one was young. She decided that was why she forgave his intrusion.

And his lack of discretion continued. Nearly dragging her into his barriers! Opening them against her knocking when she had not expected him to. Practically toppling in like a drunk whose chair of support was suddenly pulled away.

It was amusing in there at least. That first thin layer between face and self. In that separate plain there was no serene lack of expressions to hide her own feelings behind. Her curiosity sparked, overpowering the encroachment of his primal urges. She tested his deeper barriers with a Black Widows finesse. Racing along the outside of the next, searching for any hint of cracks or crevices. Just checking! He was her responsibility now, after all. Better for her to be the one finding any vulnerabilities than someone with less kind intentions. There were none she could perceive. Which left her nothing more to do than exit… or focus on the contents of what he revealed. The same wash of naughty boy emotions! Did they ever think of anything but sex?

That was unfair, she realized. He was also quite hungry.
 
Stomach sympathetic she examined him as much as the tray of temptations. It was good of him to step away, at least. Polite even. He was still very near, near enough for her to note the smell of others on his skin. Familiar people, household people she could not name. She noted too that she didn’t like it. ”You smell like the kitchen.” The staff of it really. All of them. Not the kitchen in a pleasant way. Prince Redgrove often smelled like the stoves and tables layered with mealtime treats. Or cake. This was more an offensive sort of scent. Her nails pricked at her palms, reminding her the man now dominating her thoughts was watching.

Too many new things to feel. She didn’t like that either. Would rather none of it at all. There had been a great deal of avoidance on her part. Naturally. River and Willoughby were keen to sidle up as soon as she would let them. Males. She had retreated already from the shallows of River’s first barrier. The strange slink of zealous desire more than she wanted to deal with before breakfast. Hunger was a much easier need to satisfy. His made her wonder, eyes narrowing slightly at each corner. How could he so patiently wait to feed that Ebon-gray, yet charge into her room a millisecond after saying he would not? Was he always so hungry perhaps?

Her eyes dropped from his face to his shoes. He was skinny. ”I can see you have.” Skinny and strange and so damned excitable. There was a thing Wren could do, that she was rather good at by now. It must have been a queenly thing because no other Black Widows she knew had ever done it in her presence. A trick developed instinctively to calm an even stranger and more excitable mother years ago. The tone of Wren’s voice changed. Firmer yet softer spoken. As effective in most cases as a hand on the forearm seemed to be. ”Slow down. We’ll put the whole tray on the table and sit on the floor.”

Pale fingers darted out to nab a small cube of cheese from the tray. Her room was not furnished for hosting or eating. Only one high backed chair at the desk, and a softer one in the sitting area. Small table for catching this and thats beside the plush armchair. The floor would have to do since she had no intentions of eating while he stood watching. ”I’ll carry these.” A precise tendril of her Sapphire lifted the coffee carafe- a very nice coffee carafe- and sent it gliding carefully to the table. Her hands wrapped around the liquid warmed mugs. One meeting her lips as she walked over to the table, trying to decide how she could position herself so that he didn’t sit directly beside her. Sighing under her breath Wren conceded it was likely impossible. He could move the whole house ten miles to the West if he really wanted to sit at her side.

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 09:42:11 AM »

River shrugged, slanting a look down at Wren. There was a crinkle at the very corners of his eyes. A laugh, a worry. He wasn't so sure she would have invited him in. Better to annoy her now than spend the rest of his morning waiting outside her locked door. He didn't want to tell her so though, just in case. What if he gave her ideas she hadn't actually had before?

"Okay," he whispered, writhing as she wiggled in deeper. Her craft tickled and her curiosity was surprising. River made a soft, pleased sound. Like a sigh and groan woven together, a hint of laughter at the tail end. Ah! The way she stroked and poked and prodded made his body quiver and his deeper barriers vibrate, threatening to open. He wanted to open them, but she seemed more interested in testing them than actually getting in.

No, something in River whispered in reply. Reply to what, he wasn't sure. A thought of his own, or hers? He was in agony. Not sure if he should shield himself, or loosen the button of his trousers, ease the tightness there. See if she was interested in what lay beneath that barrier too. Licking his lips, River's eyes widened. Staring. A little lost between the inside and the out.

"I was in the kitchen." The half wakened erection in his pants flagged. Was he not supposed to go in the kitchens? Wren's face didn't so much as flinch, but something thrummed warning up his spine. River didn't know what it was, but it was there, heart stopping and then racing again. Oh. She was looking at him, eyes narrowing slightly as she withdrew from his psyche. He grinned, cheeks all folded skin, lips pulling tight over his gums.

"Can you?" River asked stupidly, not even caring that he sounded like an idiot. The inside of his head felt funny, now that she'd gone. Still cloudy, unsure where the danger had come from. It seemed gone now, but River couldn't be sure. Maybe he should shield the room just in case? Or stay out of the kitchens? "I can't get you food out of the kitchens," his tongue followed his thoughts, three steps behind her own as his eyes roamed the room.

"Mmm?" He glanced down at the hand on his arm. Leaned in closer, lids drooping. The jittery skitter of his mind slowed. He could see through her sweater, the tight skin pulled across her stomach vanishing beneath gauzy fabric. "On the floor?" River couldn't imagine Wren sitting on the floor for any reason. Not sure he wanted to sit on the floor himself. But... "Okay."

Heart slamming into his throat, River picked the tray up again, nearly spilled it, too busy watching Wren. Wren with cheese between her fingers. Coffee cup in her hand. Carafe floating by on her craft. Wren drinking. His whole body throbbed. Tray sliding onto the table. Pushing the other things out of its way. River's knuckled white on the handle as he slowly pried his fingers away. And then folded himself onto the floor with a thump.

Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 12:45:20 PM »
Wren felt her nostrils widen slightly and willed away the need to grin. Not yet, her mind insisted. He was a stranger, no matter how familiar he felt. Terrible boy. Those cheerful crinkles around his inviting eyes nearly masked the intent focus in their depths. Speaking in that slow, distant voice that showed he only half listened. Mind elsewhere, but not a mysterious elsewhere. She had felt the terrible thought behind his barriers and smelled the lust in the air, hiding just below the physical smell of the coffee.

”Its polite to eat downstairs, in the dining hall, with everyone else.” She told him in that clipped manner school teachers used to deliver facts that needed noting. Someday Wren would have a court of her own. A First Circle that would doubtless want to take as many meals with the queen as allowed. Today there was just River and Willoughby. Where was Prince Willowbank, anyway, she wondered? His Purple Dusk answered a searching hint of Sapphire she sent to find out. Busy, but not too busy to come up, the thread hinted. Wren had only been curious, and pushed the feeling along the thread so he would stick to the tasks he had taken on.

River folded to the calming energy; Wren relaxed, her shoulders lowering when she hadn’t even realized they were tense to begin with. She had wondered if it would work or if his darker jewels would fend her off. He could, she knew, if he wanted. Could do a thousand frightening things she rather not imagine. That was her duty as a queen, as his queen. To help the males, particularly her bonded males, walk the lines of Protocol. To keep everyone safe.

She didn’t think she was doing a very good job of it yet.

Later she would have to ask Lady Crag how she managed to balance the need for solitude with her court’s need for attention. Everytime Wren so much as thought of either boy they latched at her like dying men to a healer’s aid. She knew what they wanted. Free hand flat she rubbed the palm along her thigh and settled cross legged on the floor. A sidelong glance at River made her nervous. The calm had not lasted for long.

Tongue skimming across the inside of her lip Wren watched him more closely. He looked very bothered. ”What’s wrong with you?” She asked, stomach knotting with regret for the question. She didn’t want to know his answer. Not with that strange look on his face. It took actual effort not to rush out of the room rather than be alone with him another second. ”He isn’t here to hurt me.” She mumbled under her breath. Not at all convinced it was true.

A sip of coffee to steel her nerves. Too keep her busy so that she didn’t squirm against the floor. It was like an insane tea party she didn’t want to attend. It was easier though, if she didn’t look at him. So she choose a fork and rose up on her knees to look over the entire tray. It hovered a moment while she tried to decide what appealed to her most. An egg, perhaps. Her fork divided a bite sized portion. When she had chewed and swallowed she motioned at the tray, ”Eat something, you’ll feel better.”

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 09:23:21 AM »

She was very invested in being polite, his Wren. River's toes curled inside his shoes, rubbing the seam of his dark socks between skin and leather sole. He wondered if he should point out that running away from him all the time wasn't polite. He'd seen her turn corners after glimpsing him. Always some excuse. Busy, busy with Lady Crag. But that wouldn't be polite, he was sure.

And he really didn't want to antagonize her.

"I didn't want to." He whined instead. Sharing her so early in the morning annoyed him. Willowfuck he could stomach. River was very much used to having Willbe close. Like an extension of himself, really. Sometimes River found himself talking to his cousin when he wasn't actually there. So far he hadn't done it in front of anyone but himself, thankfully.

He almost told Wren about it though. Slowed and sleepy with whatever she was doing. He knew she was doing something, some strange witchly queen thing, but he didn't care. He liked it, stretched out under that cool calm. Warm like a blanket. Familiar like the smell of home. Peaceably he took the tray and did as he was told, reality creeping in on the edges once she'd let go. Floor hard under his ass.

River's head cocked to the side, eyes bright and watchful.

"Willbe says I was dropped on my head."
He offered, cheek crinkling into a grin. It was true. That Willbe said it, River wasn't sure he'd actually been dropped. His mother denied it, but what mother admitted to dropping their child on his head? None, he would guess. Not his, certainly. Silly mommy. River watched her back, expectant. Was the answer good enough? Did she want to poke about in his head again?

Was he misbehaving? He'd done as he was told.

Temper, like a blade, cutting the air of the room. Keen and gleaming.

"No one is here to hurt you," River whispered, something in the folds of his smile not quite as sweet as before. No one would hurt Wren whether they wanted to or not. Not with River here. He would break them like the little rice crackers stuffed on one side of the cheese plate. River wouldn't hurt her either. He couldn't. Not even on accident.

He watched, as she drank. Fingers picking at the creases in his trousers. The floor was really uncomfortable. Hard wood. Hard soles. All of it pressing in against his skin and bones. He wondered if Wren was uncomfortable, tempted to slip a little cushioning craft around her body. Never thinking to fit some around his own.

"Alright." Mouth working around a bit of egg. Good. Eat. River took the tray from the table and laid it on the floor between them. Less work for her to do. No having to hover on her knees. He couldn't stand seeing her like that. Tongue working against his bottom lip as he tried to decide on food. Food that wasn't Wren on her knees, hair pale against the dark back drop of his pants. 

He ate the rest of her egg, popping it into his mouth with his fingers and chewing. Stomach bitching that it wasn't enough. Nothing was ever enough though, so River ignored it.

"Do you have lessons today?" Strange to think of her having lessons. He knew she didn't sit in a classroom being lectured by Lady Crag, but it was how River imagined it anyway. Like children again. Toes swinging under a desk. He had nothing to do. Mostly he spent his time wandering aimlessly. Drifting through the house, or out in the gardens. Sometimes venturing into the city if he knew Willbe would be close should Wren need them.

Filling and emptying his pockets in turn.

He really hated when she had lessons.

"Eat more." He rattled the tray, plucking a cracker for himself, eating it with a smile. Yes. Just like rice crackers. He'd done it before for less reason.

Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 01:02:48 PM »
An airy pop sounded from the back of Wren’s throat, cheeks rising a hair. An almost smile and as near to laughing as she would get. Willbe, what a surprisingly cute thing to call his cousin. She would call him that too, she decided. In the privacy of her own mind at least. Did River have such a nickname, too? The rest of his answer was equally amusing. Who would have dropped him? Were there brothers and sisters? Like him or different? Parents? Where did they come from? Things she supposed she was free to ask. If she wanted. But if she did she quickly forgot. Tensing further at his reaction to her slipped words. Air suddenly thick with the promise of protection- the promise of danger to others.

Strange that it steadied her instead of scaring her. She was sure frightened was the appropriate reaction.

When the fear didn’t come she circled back around in the conversation. ”I mean, what’s wrong with you right now, silly. Settle down and stop being so bothered.” Her attention wavered while she carefully placed her mug on the crowded table. It flicked back to him, with poorly veiled interest. Not ready to ask the personal questions, so resorting to quiet hints instead. ”I’m sure if you were dropped Prince Willowbank has fixed it by now.”

Just as she moved to reach for a bowl of peeled and parted citrus fruit he moved the tray. Wren turned towards it and realized they faced one another now. Careful to appear unaffected she kept her eyes low, on his hands. So that she didn’t lay her own on them. Accidentally, of course.

She ate without any apparent system. Selecting the next bite at random no matter what she had just touched. Touching it all really. Hoping- no assuming. Assuming it would encourage River to eat more. To finish the things she tasted then set aside. She had watched other queens use a similar tactic. Feeding their males, escorts mostly, a bite here and there. To keep them eating. It was almost exhausting to fuel a dark jewel. The amount it took at odds with what a stomach could actually hold. Always hungry, even when you were stuffed.

”They’re not lessons. She’s my mentor, she’s showing me how to be an effective queen.” Lessons. Really. As if she were a child. What did he think she was learning, then? Eyebrow ticking slightly up in place of a head shaking she added, ”I might go to her later, maybe, if I feel like it. When this is done I’m making a web.” She could feel the itch of it on her fingertips already. Keen to spin threads into something readable. If Lady Crag wanted Wren she would call. But she would also understand the need to be a Black Widow for a while. Webs, funnily enough, were not Iris’s forte; she could dwell in the Twisted Kingdom though. Confident in almost unnatural ways, at home in that shifting land where few dared even visit. Head tilting up towards him she poked a forkful of hashed potatoes at him, ”You eat more, skinny boy!”

Like an echo in her head a piece of advise slipped into place. Wren felt for a thread, sure someone had stuck the thought there from the outside but drawing up a blank. ‘Give him a task’ it reminded. They liked having a reason to do things. ”Eat so you’ll have the energy to make sure no one interrupts me.”

Her eyes flicked up just in time to see his suspicious little smile. What was he thinking now? It made her cross a forearm over her chest protectively. She didn’t ask this time. Really didn’t want to know. Did she? No. Not at all, she assured herself before turning back down to the plates and bowls.

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 09:45:35 AM »

What was that expression, River wondered. Eyes widening, gears churning. It looked as if her face was about to crack. Or relax. He wasn’t sure. Maybe it was nothing. His imagination. Something it wasn’t polite to notice. Strange. It made him want to pinch her cheeks.

Or stroke them.

”I’m not bothered.” Was he? River didn’t know anymore. Never sure how to be, exactly, when she was in close proximity. Other times too. But Wren made that rushing, falling, going sensation even worse. Whatever it was, he tried to calm it. Slowing his breathing and sitting stiller. The floor pushing up against him. He could ignore the floor. Trying to remember all the things he’d been told over the years. Trying to settle. It never worked for him like it did for others.

He grew stiller, tucked the edges of his barriers in a little tighter. Straining at the edges to burst free. To move. To breathe.

”Maybe.” River’s head tilted in thought, fingers picking at her left overs. He shrugged his bony shoulders, as if it didn't matter much one way or another if he was walking around with a busted skull. "He would have been young then." Younger. Willbe wasn't really old. Still fun, even. Most of the time. When he wasn't being more healer than prince. "Might have been more than once." The dropping.

There were also the self inflicted head wounds. But Wren didn't need to know about those.

"Sounds like lessons to me." River wasn't sure what it took to teach effective queening. Was queening a word, even? He couldn't say if Wren even needed the lessons, but supposed she would know if she did or not. Lady Crag did seem good at wrapping a man up in leashes. The thought send River's fingers around his neck, rubbing the skin as if it were tender in memory.

"A web?" Curiosity rushed in to fill up all of River's empty places. He'd never seen one before. Especially one being made. His eyes tracked Wren's fingers, as if he would see the hint of craft there. Some sort of secret writ on the skin. "Can I watch?" Eager. Body leaning in over the tray as he rolled an egg between his fingers, squeezing until the top split and the flaky yellow yolk threatened to spill out.

She'd need energy for it, he was sure. about to thrust the egg in her mouth when she turned the tables.

"Yes lady." In it went. Mostly whole, except where he'd broken it. Chewed with the same vigor he did everything else. No one would disturb her, if that's what she wished. Obviously this was why the Darkness had sent him the Ebon-gray. Too keep Wren in peace while she wove. And whenever else she wanted it.

Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 04:52:10 PM »
❁❁❁

Of course he tried. Wren split a delectably greasy breakfast sausage in half. It didn’t take Craft to sense him practically shivering under the strain of pretending to calm down.

A silent sigh turned Wren’s slow blink into an actual expressions. Amused and exasperated in equal measure. Of course he tried to what she asked. He couldn’t be an awful, sassy, suspicious male that was easy to dislike. In a way that made him more terrible, more dangerous- or should have, said Wren’s conscious. Which made him more terrible, in a way.

What was worse: He didn’t even make a lazy or meaningless attempt. The poor dear did his best to settle his restlessness. She was sure it deserved some sort of reward. But she didn’t know what or how to go about such a thing. So she nodded instead, letting her appreciation filter into the air around them. Mingling with the thinly veiled need to fidget.

Since he was willing to try she tried to ignore the way his barriers seemed to hum like taut spider silk. ”I don’t think its from being dropped, anyway.” She mused. That tended to cause a very different set of longterm symptoms. It might have just been his caste. Not one she was used to, yet. 

”Would you rather stand?” Walk, even? Jog circles around the room, maybe? It drove her to distraction. Worrying if River was comfortable. If he was annoyed by the request to be still. Struggling with it. Suffering just because she had asked him too. A thousand things she didn’t want him to feel. To match the thousand things Wren was always forcing herself not to feel.

Using her sharper tone again Wren clarified, ”It’s about observing, she doesn’t give me assignments or lectures.” Which was why it wasn’t lessons. Also why Wren struggled. No one could give her a set of guidelines, solid rules for grasping the skills she lacked. There was Protocol, which helped some, but the actual males had to be dealt with. Each differently too! What worked on one might not another. Other queens seemed to have an instinct for leashing and taming. Wren both envied and abhorred the idea.

River must have been thinking of a similar subject. Or lamenting over her inability, reaching for a leash he wished was there. Bony knuckles brushing around his shirt collar. Fingertips at his throat. Were they soft hands, or did he have some hobby that made them calloused? She sighed again, inwardly this time. Would he always be such a distraction?

As he leaned in Wren flinched away. Eyes turning down to pick mindlessly at a roasted chunk of tomato that had garnished an egg dish. Not ashamed, but sorry for the momentary lapse. The rude reaction. ”Yes, and yes.” She answered his questions, tone contrite even though she voiced no actual apology. Slipping another length of fruit between her lips she chewed thoughtfully. When she was finished she added, ”You mustn’t touch it, though.”

They finished the tray. On first seeing it Wren was sure it was too much. Between their two jewels it was gone before she realized there was nothing left. Fingers raking at the empty platter while her mind was lost in web planning. ”Oh. Good. We’ve finished.” Was he still hungry? She turned her gaze up to his ever smirking face. It was probably enough to hold them until midday. ”Alright, now.” She wiggled back up to her knees before standing completely. Everything she needed was in her secret place, that private psychic cabinet they all possessed. But their hands needed washing first.

That simple task done she returned to the small table, and her knees. A plain oval frame clattered into existance. Pale hands made paler by the deep mahogany wood, worn smooth by frequent use. This was her favorite frame, her very first frame. And she always used it when she was sure a web was important. Seeping with built up years of her own scent it felt as familiar as holding her own hand. The work space was on the small side, only slightly bigger than her head. It did everything she needed it to, though. Her affection for the sentimental item was clear, a smile working across her lips as she folded the legs out into place and turned the hoop into position. ”I have to concentrate, now.” She told River, pulling a shimmering thread out of nowhere and securing it to the bottom. Concentrate on minding her barriers, the first slowly opening to connect with the Craft of her web weaving.

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 10:21:24 PM »

"What's not from being dropped?" He'd lost the train of the conversation. Too many turns for him to keep them straight. Still unsure what she'd been implying to begin with. River really didn't know now. Some sort of flaw in his character, whatever it was. But he had plenty of those, apparently. At least people liked to point them. So many things he did wrong, River had half given up on doing anything right.

"No." Face folding in on itself in a smile. River shook his head. "I'm fine sitting here with you." Where else would he want to be? Ever? So what if the floor was uncomfortable and his bones ached. He'd get something from Willbe for the pain if he needed. It Wren was going to sit on the floor, River was too. Maybe he'd get her a nice rug though, if she was going to make this a habit.

"Does she send her little warlord to do it instead?" He joked, a short, high laugh riding up on his bouncing shoulders. Lord Redgrove was a frightful little menace. Fussy thing. River thought he could play at insult and wounded dignity to be beset by such a man, but mostly he was amused, giggling at the threat of wooden spoons, no matter how much they stung. So serious! So stuffy! River still couldn't decide if he liked him or not.

Ah well. He was busy enough that River found him easy to avoid. Terrorizing the kitchen witches instead. Eager to forget all about Lord Redgrove in pursuit of Wren's weaving. Eager enough to lean in across the tray, right into her personal space. Forcing her to flinch backward, away from his presence. Frowning, River leaned back, settling into the bony points of his ass again.

Confusion. Hurt. He was used to people flinching. But River hadn't expected it of Wren. Clearing his throat, he licked his lips and poured more coffee into her cup. Politely ignoring her as she regained her composure. Working at his own, too. Her yeses were a balm on the raw welt she'd risen, at least. River flicked a glance at her from under dark brows. He felt a little better, but he wouldn't forget.

"I won't touch," he promised quietly. Some of his exuberance having been clawed away. Still curious, but now his attention was divided between Wren and the oozing wound she'd left behind. He didn't want her to be frightened of him. Or driven away from his proximity by any number of emotions. Disgust. That wasn't good either. Wiping his fingers clean on his pant legs, River smiled as she looked up from the empty tray.

It was alright. He was scary, he supposed. A giggle escaping at her apparent relief that eating was over. It was alright. They were going to weave a web. Strangely patient, River waited, poised on the floor, watching as Wren went through with her rituals. Washing her hands, arranging things just so. Helpfully he vanished away the tray, moved the coffee off to the side so she had room. To kneel, again, setting fire to his imagination. Lust searing the wound shut.

She'd said yes.

River flicked his fingers across his lips. Silencing them for her concentration. He raised barriers, too, around her room. Dark shields that would keep others out. Allow no hand to turn her knob, or her knuckle to strike her door. There would be no interruptions for their weaving. Even River himself was frighteningly still. It was the stillness before the strike, calm before the storm. Body strung tight with watching. Every once of his attention poured outward onto Wren.

A curious probe along the opened barrier. Along the thread. Was it craft too? His body strained to hover. To be nearer, to see everything. But he stayed in his spot on the floor, hands cupping his knees.

Wren Cloverbridge

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Played By: Jones

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    47 Posts    0 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 10:31:24 AM »
”Nevermind.” Wren let that facet of the conversation drop. Before he made her loony. Miraculously she managed not to roll her eyes. Made calm and control difficult. Ridiculous boy. To be fair she couldn’t quite pin down exactly what aspect made him odd. Every fiber of her bonded heart screamed that he was perfect. Logic, common sense, the very core of what made Wren, Wren swore otherwise. Anyone could see he was just to the left of normal. Treading a fine line between acceptable and scandalous. But that was not why he had fidgeted and stared here and now.

More internal sighing. How could she not think he was flawless? Stupid cutting cheekbones plumping slightly as his teeth flashed. Itching to please her, yielding to her whims without complaint. It took pressing the hard knuckle of her finger against her lip to keep from echoing his laugh. The pitch and rhythm completely unexpected. Sucking in a breath to still the rattle in her chest she didn’t lower her hand until she was sure the color had left her cheeks. Noooo,” She drew the word out melodically. ”though I’m sure Lord Redgrove could probably write a book series on the subject.”

Wren had decided she liked Josiah the instant she met him. Clever without being conceited, genial, and safe. His White as nonthreatening as a jeweled Blood could be. He knew everyone at court and their quirks. Knew to be cautious but was never afraid. Plus they had the same taste in ‘poetry’ and he didn’t mind a bit of clandestine sharing. What wasn’t to like? He even helped her keep River from starting too much trouble.

An accomplishment to be sure- River was very good at being too much, and trouble. It wasn’t fair, the rush of feelings he created in her! At least she kept her own carefully tucked away. And didn’t flap his in her face. They were there though, the very edges of them hinted at in the air. She was sorry, really, for making him so dejected. Hypocritical, Wren knew, to keep a proverbial finger on the pulse of his emotions while hiding her own. River hadn’t asked her to stop. Or share.

His hurt feelings seemed to pass quickly enough, thank the Darkness. By the time she knelt in front of her frame he was his curious, eager self again. Doing exactly as she had asked, keeping anyone from even having a hope of interrupting. It was both unsettling and reassuring. Finally still as his shields surrounded them. No one in- but no getting out either. Dangerously still, River watched, like a cat waiting for the right second to pounce. Fighting down the impulse to tuck in closer Wren took a slow, steadying breath. Not trapped. He would let her out if she wanted. Silly to want comfort from what made her nervous to begin with. This was fine. It would be fine.

It was much easier to relax when the web called out for all her focus. Top to bottom then right to left she anchored the thread against the frame. Six points felt right. Satisfied with the way they crossed she leaned in closer, waiting for the web to give her a hint. What did it want to be about? The dream that woke her was fading from her mind but she concentrated on the lingering feelings. Humming softly to a nameless tune her hands wove the single strand into an intricate pattern of interlocking triangles. From the bottom up she built her tangled web.

The shields were nice, it turned out. They let her feel one with the room, with her inner web and the Abyss. She forget she should wave away River’s naughty probes. He was hers and the thoughts were hers and the room and the web, they were all her and hers. A warm link of sameness that invited the probe in instead of shutting it out. There was little to see anyway, her conscious promised. Just the tangle of confusion and frustration the dream had left behind. An aching sort of want thrumming far in the background, a measure of worry, but mostly soft, confident comfort.

Minutes passed slowly. The strand glittering as it forked off from one point to the next- just as her dream web had. She was half finished when she started to rush, frustrated by how slowly this particular web was coming together. In her haste she bumped the frame. Hastily reaching out to steady the delicate thing as the oval tilted forward. The web was fine but Wren frowned at it anyway. Hand hesitating to turn it back to its original position. ”Mother Night have mercy.”

How in Hell had she managed to weave a web inside a web? From the angle she had been working in the subject was clear. The hollow Rose ring on her mother’s hand a clear indicator of the webs subject. Tilted down another image showed instead: Wren’s hands clutching at someone shirt. Another thread and she would strangle the hidden image out. Lose whatever it had to show her forever. But without another thread the same would be true of the other option. Which did she need explained more? She had spun herself a very tangled web this time. ”Well shit.”

She sat back on her heels, unable to mask her annoyance. Turning a sharp eye on River as if his presence was to blame. Perhaps it was, his conscious feeding into her own as she had spun. That would make the hidden web his web. Or had she just not focused enough. ”There are two,” She explained for his benefit, slowly regaining her composure. Not that it mattered since she couldn’t shut her barrier without losing both webs. ”and now I don’t know which I should finish.”

River Well

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    46 Posts    39 marks
Re: Good morning, Cupcake!
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2018, 11:12:28 AM »

It was strangely easy to focus, there, just inside Wren’s barriers. A place River had not expected to be. As surprising as her yeses. Maybe because she needed them open for their weaving. River neither knew nor cared, making himself comfortable instead. Stretching out along an inner barrier. This one not open. Here he rested, not testing, simply being. Settling inside her psyche.

Following the gleaming thread as she wove it. Drinking her emotions as she created hooks and points. Tasted a hint of dreaming. Secret things Wren did not share. Feelings. A soft hum that vibrated as much on his own inner webs as it did across the sensitive hairs inside his ears.

Confusion. Frustration. Worry, which strengthened his shields. Wanting, which River understood. Probably better than any other emotion. He was always full of some sort of want. Hunger. Lust. Curiosity too. It was the same. It drove Wren to weave faster and River to settle deeper. They had all day. His shields could last a week if she needed them to.

He did not stir, physically, until the frame wobbled. Body twitching as Wren jerked to catch it. A faint snarl, almost like a whine. It did not rattle in his chest or rumble in his throat. It whistled through his nostrils. A fitting reflection of his laugh. River sat up. Knees digging into the floor, toes too, pushing his ass away. He hovered now. A little closer than he had been before.

Ready. In case she needed him. Craft and power coiled, waiting. Shields sweeping in too. Just under where he rested. He did not try to go in any deeper, but to protect what lay beyond his presence. Nothing would reach her inner web if he was defending it, even at the level of a White.

He leaned away. Ass to heels. Blinking as she swore and turned a glare onto him. Tongue checking his lips. Like a snake smelling the air. Unsure what he had done this time. Leaned in too close? This wasn’t flinching. But she was not pleased with him either. Stirring, River wondered if he should slink free of her barrier, or dig in deeper so she couldn’t cast him out.

”Two?” He looked at the web, head tilting as he tried to see what Wren saw. Even entwined with her it was still mostly mystery. Tasting of Wren and dreams and things he hadn’t been meant to see. The nearness of her pulsing through his body. Consumed by Wren. It felt right.

”Can you not bring out another frame? Finish both?” He hated choices. Wanting everything and not just some things. He wanted Wren to have everything too. Whatever she wanted.

 

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