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In and Out of Astral Planes by Merron Schezar
[December 26, 2016, 11:16:52 PM]


Seeking a Muse by Blair Grejya
[December 26, 2016, 09:53:39 PM]


Close to Home by Luka Duplais
[December 22, 2016, 01:45:54 AM]


Storm and Fire by Gavin Berkeley
[December 21, 2016, 11:24:25 PM]


Woeful Winter Weather by Kaeden Sanzer
[December 20, 2016, 03:44:05 PM]


Your Hope is Deeper than Pain by Darien Pryce
[December 20, 2016, 02:52:54 PM]


One Skip Ahead by Adara Kendricks
[February 24, 2016, 10:06:18 AM]

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Author Topic: Close to Home  (Read 1929 times)

Description:

Luka Duplais

  • Prince; Master of the Guard of Firion Province
  • *
  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 99
    • Age: 26

    • Race: Sceltan

    • Birthright JP: 9

    • Offering JP: 21

    • Bio: Luka Duplais

    • Player: hideko

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2016, 05:10:23 PM »
Luka was a little disappointed when Thea drew away, but at least she stayed next to him. It was bearable, anyway. He looked over at her, trying to determine her thoughts. It felt impossible. He wasn't sure what he'd said that made her pull away, because that had been exactly the opposite of his intent. All he had wanted was to stay curled up with her, talking about anything but the state of the Territory.

He shifted, sitting up again with his feet planted firmly on the ground and kept looking over at the small Healer. After a few seconds, he reached out to readjust the blanket again.

Repositioning himself to lay more or less on his side was a simple task, just a few small shifts. His legs he could stretch out sort of in front of him, heels resting on the ground. Thea had managed to scoot herself to just the right place that when he lay down his head was just at her lap, which he took advantage of. The blanket provided some extra cushioning for his head, but mostly his pillow was Thea's lap under it. The Prince made himself as comfortable as he could.

"You went exploring some today, then?" he asked. "What did you find that was older than the butler?"

The feat was mildly impressive, considering the great age of the castle's butler. It had been a running joke for years, to determine the age of random artifacts in the castle by age comparison to him, and the longer it went on, the funnier it became. It was the sort of thing that could even get him to lighten up. He wondered if Thea had made the reference on her own or if she had heard it from someone.

Thea Kinsbury

  • Healer
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  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 120
  • "It is my choice how I wear my scars."
    • Age: 18

    • Race: Chaillotian

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    • Player: Elle

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2016, 09:53:20 AM »

Thea let her fingers comb through Luka's hair as the weight of his head settled into her lap. Having lifted her feet from the floor to tuck them underneath the blanket on the chaise, she was leaning against the back for support and balance. The press of his form, his shoulders against her thigh, his head resting so easily in her lap, felt as if it should have been familiar. The texture of his hair as her touch brushed through it in an unflagging motion was equally familiar, equally easing.

And yet - somehow, none of these things eased the constriction around her heart.

Her eyes dropped to him, finding his outline even in the lack of light. Her touch knew where it should fall, fingers light against his scalp now, and then along his cheek for a moment, the delicate fingertip settling for the briefest of moments against his jaw, before it returned to his hair. Thea inhaled slowly, conscious of how her own shifting would move the male.

"Healing spells, for one," the small witch remarked with a bite of acidity that was no real indication of temper. Leaning her head back against the chaise, she smiled faintly in reminiscence.

"A number of tinctures seem like they haven't been touched in generations. Compresses - yech. Moths had eaten away at one of them. The room was full of them when that one was disturbed." Mild perturbation. It seemed that the small Healer, then, wasn't one to find herself at odds with an assortment of insects.

Thea didn't speak of the relics there that had needed no explanation. Past-lethal doses of herbs that would numb the pain of a mortal wound. An assortment of first-aid mechanisms that were so lacking in skill, in the need for Craft, that even one completely lacking healing Craft could use them. The byproduct of war that must have dated back to an earlier conflict. Perhaps not the last war, but at least, one of the inter-clan eras of aggression. It had been a chilling moment. Reality, despite the halcyon sense of peace, would never yield its grasp. She understood it now in ways she hadn't ever wished to.

Her thoughts had wandered into such dark space - but Thea's voice was light and soft, still. "And then the Healer came across a spider who seemed determined to set up residence in the storeroom. He was most displeased at being disturbed.... the spider, and the under Butler, from her shriek."

Luka Duplais

  • Prince; Master of the Guard of Firion Province
  • *
  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 99
    • Age: 26

    • Race: Sceltan

    • Birthright JP: 9

    • Offering JP: 21

    • Bio: Luka Duplais

    • Player: hideko

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2016, 12:52:56 AM »
Tension melted away at Thea's touch, as if every stroke of her hand on his hair drew out another measure of it. Luka tried to let his mind quiet, though it was a conscious effort to keep it from following any of the various paths it wanted to go down. Quiet, he commanded it, and he hoped it would eventually listen.

He was acutely aware of Thea and of all her movements. As she continued to stroke his hair, however, the feeling became almost meditative; combined with her subtle movements, it was like the rocking of a ship on the ocean. It lulled him into relaxation.

Even her voice, expressive as it was, had a soporific effect on the Prince. He closed his eyes and let her envelope him, physically, aurally, psychically.

He could imagine the state of the room that she had found, even from the bits of description she had given. There were plenty of nooks and crannies in the place that hadn't been touched in years. He had to smile at the mental image of Thea kicking up all that dust and then getting a face full of moths for it. Yet neither dust nor moths seemed to have bothered her overmuch.

The Prince did laugh as she continued again, and he wasn't sure who he felt the worse for: the Healer, the spider, or the under Butler. If it was anyone (or anything) other than the Healer, though, he wasn't about to admit it.

"Perhaps I'll have to go with you the next time you go exploring, to stave off any aggressive eight-legged foes," he mused.

Mirth subsided after a few moments.

"Whatever brought you out here after all that, I'm glad of it," he said, only vaguely changing the subject. "I can't fathom why this place isn't used anymore, but at the moment I'm not going to complain about it."

Thea Kinsbury

  • Healer
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  • Posts: 120
  • "It is my choice how I wear my scars."
    • Age: 18

    • Race: Chaillotian

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    • Player: Elle

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2016, 12:55:34 PM »
 Thea found calm settling into her bones with every movement she made. More and more she allowed her fingertips to migrate from his hair, finding the bridge of his shoulders where they pressed against her thighs, seeking the autocratic plane of his cheek, the breadth of his chest where she could feel his heartbeat beneath her palm. On another day, the Healer might not have dared. In another place she certainly would not have. With the darkness of late night settling around them, and the bite and nudge of frosty air in the conservatory pushing them close, it felt as if the night were a different place.

It was a different time of its own and what might have been an unpardonable liberty by daylight - too undignified, too familiar - was not just permissible, but somehow encouraged. She could feel the tension ebb from the male, where he pressed against her, and found herself calmed but the Healer couldn't quiet the absent flutter of anxiety in her heart.

She would try, though. She would try for him; for the Prince who had clearly bourn anxieties and frustrations all his own and had little need of hers adding to the burden carried across his shoulders.

"We wouldn't have to be concerned about aggressive arachnid foes," Thea chided with good humor, laughter rife in her quiet words. "Merely an aggressively out of sorts butler."

Silence settled between them again although she let her amusement linger.

Her arch expression couldn't be seen by the mutely flickering light of the lamp, but somehow it was evident through her tone all the same as she said, "although perhaps the housekeeper is the more formidable foe? Impugn her cleaning skills and invite her wrath."

Thea's hand smoothed over the silky crispness of Luka's hair again. She let her head fall back against the chaise, eyes staring up to the peak of the conservatory's roof - also glass. The stars were bright, although muted somewhat by the frosted panes. It was a cold sort of remoteness, one that brought a shiver down her spine.

The warmth radiating from the Prince's shoulders against her leg eased it away after a single drawn out moment.

"Perhaps certain places wait for the right people," Thea suggested after a moment. "Or the right moment."

Luka Duplais

  • Prince; Master of the Guard of Firion Province
  • *
  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 99
    • Age: 26

    • Race: Sceltan

    • Birthright JP: 9

    • Offering JP: 21

    • Bio: Luka Duplais

    • Player: hideko

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2016, 11:10:42 PM »
On any other day, at any other time, Luka would have been acutely aware of Thea's every movement, but as he let go of all the worries and thoughts that had hammered at him all day, all week, all he could focus on was that her touch felt good. Her story kept him grounded in consciousness, though as he continued to relax he could feel himself slipping closer to sleep. Exhaustion was going to catch up with him one of these days. He'd been resting enough to stave it off, but never quite enough to completely recharge himself.

"Both the butler and the housekeeper can be formidable when they want to be," Luka agreed. "Even I wouldn't want to cross either of them."

It was a silly thing, the still-wakeful part of his mind said, to be talking about such things, but it was better than worrying about what-ifs and things that he could do absolutely nothing about at that moment. Besides, he could take some joy in the mundane activities of the Healer at his side.

The Prince felt Thea's hand go to his hair once again. It took a few moments for him to gather up the energy to move his own hand, to reach up and find hers. Another moment and he had twined his fingers with hers, gently pulling her hand across his cheek and to his lips.

He let their hands linger there as he thought about her words. There was perhaps some truth to them, he thought, though his mind was becoming too relaxed to make any further sense out of it.

"Perhaps," he agreed and fell silent for a few moments. Then, "Thank you, Thea."

He wasn't entirely sure what the emotion behind the words was; it was gratitude, but it was also so much more. Whatever it was, he hoped that Thea would understand it. She was the only one who saw him this unguarded, this vulnerable, and though they didn't always agree, Luka thought that she understood the important parts of him, and he her. When had that happened? Was it... As soon as he tried to catch the thought, however, it disappeared into the ether. Oh well, he thought. It didn't really matter when.

Thea Kinsbury

  • Healer
  • *
  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 120
  • "It is my choice how I wear my scars."
    • Age: 18

    • Race: Chaillotian

    • Birthright JP: 50

    • Offering JP: 88

    • Bio: Thea

    • Player: Elle

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2016, 09:06:18 AM »
Luka's hand gently brushing against hers was a surprise. His fingers twining among hers to gently tug her hand to his lips left something lurching in the vicinity of Thea's heart. She let her thumb separate from the clasp of their hands, tracing his jaw blindly before finding the corner of his lips. The delicate touch continued all the way there before the digit fell away.

"Imagine," the Healer continued quietly, "the butler in a temper at the implication of his Master of the Guard -" and after spending the time that she had in the castle, Thea had no illusion about it. The Lady might be Queen of this place, but it was just as much the staff's, whom considered it their honor and their privilege to serve. The Court may just as well belong to those stalwart sorts who dedicated themselves to the effortless management of the place, "doing something he considers below his station."

It was enough to evoke a smile from Thea. She could imagine it. In fact, it wasn't much of a stretch for the Healer as she had already tussled with the man on a topic very similar.

Her thumb stretched further this time to brush against his cheek.

"And then the housekeeper's fury at some poor under-maid whose job might not have been to manage rooms such as it, but is presumed to should have known better." It wasn't difficult to imagine such a scene.

Thea's mind drifted, letting the thread of such thoughts dissipate into silence. They were whimsical, mundane. But it seemed that the Prince found something comforting in the nonsensically insignificant. She felt the tension continue to seep from Luka's figure.

In fact, she might have wondered if he were drifting right on the edge of sleep were it not for the steady hold of his hand on hers. The witch squeezed her fingers lightly, finding the contact firm, reassuring. His palm was warm and dry, calloused in a way entirely unlike her own. The length of his fingers, too, were different from her own and if she had not known better she might have wondered: could they ever have been considered to have been made upon the same design, in the same fashion?

But she did know better.

And perhaps Thea understood it in a way entirely her own: his was a hand to protect, the callouses on his palm and fingers testament to the grip with which he held his oath to serve and defend.

Her hand had bourn no such weight. It was under the weight of his words that she labored, but it was an undertaking she had shouldered all her own.

Thea had shut her eyes as he spoke and silence stretched between them. It wasn't an uncomfortable quiet, though it was one that she found herself breaking.

"For you," she responded quietly.

Luka Duplais

  • Prince; Master of the Guard of Firion Province
  • *
  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 99
    • Age: 26

    • Race: Sceltan

    • Birthright JP: 9

    • Offering JP: 21

    • Bio: Luka Duplais

    • Player: hideko

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Re: Close to Home
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2016, 01:45:54 AM »
Luka managed a bit of a smile and a small breath of a laugh at the thought of contending with the butler. Though Luka had not had any such run-ins with the man, it was not hard to imagine the reaction or the outcome. Needless to say, Gray-Jeweled Prince or no, Luka was not likely to be the winner.

It had taken a while for him to get used to others thinking that some tasks were beneath him. He hadn't grown up an aristo, and while he enjoyed some of the comforts of being in such close proximity and in the Court, he had never really gotten used to the lifestyle of one. Personal touches had never been added to his rooms in the castle, leaving them to feel almost austere. Some in the Court thought he was just frugal. Everything personal had ended up in his office, since he spent much of his time there instead.

While he didn't feel that he fit in with the aristos, however, he also couldn't fit in with the staff. He was part of the Court, part of the Triangle, and that put him up on a pedestal regardless of his origins. He'd resigned himself to it long ago.

He knew he ought to feel sorry for whatever maid was going to be faulted for the dusty rooms, but he couldn't bring himself to feel anything. The job should have been done, but how was anyone to know that one little Red-Jeweled Healer was going to go in and kick up all the dust? If Luka couldn't keep track of her, there was little more of a chance that the staff would be able to better predict her moves.

The Prince adjusted his fingers a little, settling into a more comfortable grip on Thea's hand and kissed it again.

Now that he had been laying down long enough to relax, Luka could tell that he was going to be stiff later. The moment he tried to move, the moment he had enough energy to actually do so, was going to be monumentally harder than it ought to have been. And yet there was a small part of him that wanted to move, if only to put his arms around Thea again, or to curl up around her like a cat.

He didn't move. He just kissed her fingers again, enjoying the feel of her soft skin on his lips. It was about the only motion he could be bothered with at that moment.

"Hm?" he hummed. "For me?"