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Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 503
▶ Season || Spring
▶ Temp || 43℉ (8℃) - 70℉ (21℃)
▶ Weather || The weather radar really does seem to be off the charts lately...
I wonder what's going on? (#15-19)

Spotlight

Character of the Season
Pavetta

Member of the Season
Nestle

Thread of the Season
A land of absence
and root and stone


Pair of the Season
Bexley and Acton

Quote of the Season
"And all the while her mind, her blood, her fierce and fearless heart was singing, singing, singing." — Shrike in We're under attack!

see here for nominations


DISCORD

Private - our love is god
Bexley — Day Court Regent Signos: 445
▶ Played by REDANDBLACK [pm] Posts: 234 — Threads: 24
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 21 — Atk: 19 — Exp: 46
▶ 6 [Year 497 Spring] Active Magic: Light Manipulation
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#1


the bullet is mine. i'm not giving it up.
bex



This life is nothing but replay. Bexley stalks the desert. Replay, replay, replay.

The replay of Seraphina’s mismatched eyes in the summit-dark. The replay of a summer night filled with the omniscient buzz of lightning bugs. The emptiness of her stolen magic, replayed till it burns a hole in her stomach. The sun overhead, replayed a thousand days in a row.

When does it stop.

Her own brain is a replay of missed opportunities and the wet gleam of fire and Acton’s dark knee cracking under her weight. Motherfucker. She stalks the back-alleys of Solterra like a wild thing, teeth bared, hackles raised. Her beauty feral, even unhinged. She is ragged and keening with want. It is another familiar feeling, replayed, replayed, replayed until it hurts. Wanting for what it’s hard to say.  If she doesn’t want the whole world, she wants most of it, and that’s a confession in and of itself, and the length of a full confession is longer than the world is wide, and who has the fucking time to listen to something like that.

She is tired of pulling of teeth. Of working hard for the barest hints of recognition. She is tired of her own loud mouth, her own rapid heartbeat, her own need to be right and even righteous, and today is the day she thinks she might really give it all up, throw herself into the deepest part of the Vitae, until her eyes silver and her breath stops and the water swallows her forever, silence her once and for-fucking-all.

Until he shows up.

Because he has to ruin every god-damn plan of hers, right down to the sickest and most satisfying. (What else can Bexley ask of him?) He has to ruin everything - her heart, her body, her schemes and her wants. Maybe he is Solis’ punishment.

It wouldn’t be a surprise. Sweet irony.

And he’s on replay when they find each other, sweet irony again. His mouth on her hip, or her tugging his dark hair. (Replay replay replay. Her brain is liquid warmth, she sways on her feet.) Bexley is on her way out of the inner Court when she literally bumps into him, smashing shoulder-first into his chest with her eyes turned glowering to the cobblestone. Of course her intuition says to spit something venomous and fiery, but her preparatory inhale brings with it the scent of something foul and familiar, and Bexley bites back her rancor only long enough to look up and confirm it’s really him.

Aw. Hey, babe.

She grins, catty and too casual. The space between them is negligible at best. Her shoulder is still pressed up against his; her hair brushes his chest; when she glances up at him it burns through whatever tiny distance is left between them, until they very well could be the same person, an amalgamation of temper and magic (maybe) and righteous fury. If I knew you were showing up today I would’ve worn something nicer.

Bexley’s smirk widens. She shakes a stray curl from her face, tilts her head at him coquettishly. Everything that was on replay is on pause now, overwritten entirely by the sight of Acton - the many freckles, the dark, ambrosial eyes. Bless you, she wants to say. For ruining everything.

Of course, she doesn’t.


this way you still owe me, and that's as good as anything.


@Acton



Reply
Acton — Night Court Citizen Signos: 795
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 134 — Threads: 16
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 34
▶ 5 [Year 497 Summer] Active Magic: Illusion
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#2
Acton
these violent delights have violent ends
He had waited a long time to see this – and he’d never thought he would.

How many dusty dreams of sunlight on burnished skin, of sand and wind and the kind of heat that kept you in the cool dark with a drink making a wet circle of condensation on the bar? How much time, wondering and loathing, but always wanting to see for himself?

At last he was here, and it was…hot.

Even in autumn there was a thin sheen of sweat across the bright fire of his coat. Acton had to squint to see anything, but at least there was plenty to squint at – a technicolor dream coat of sights and scents and an enough sounds to make an orchestra of the day.

People bustled past, though none bumped into him hip-to-hip as they always did in Denocte, careless and drunk.  Here each step seemed planned, a choreographed play nobody had given him lines for. And yet Acton did not feel out of place – in his knife-glint, blackpowder gaze and his bright-dark coat, the stallion did not stand out as much as he did in the muted tones of Dusk and Dawn. Nor did the bustle of merchants and shoppers, caravans and aristocracy bother him. Instead it felt familiar.

And so, as he eased in to the tempo of the city like a hot bath, Acton began to enjoy himself. Once this betrayal might have made him guilty, or angry, or a potent mixture of both, but it was hard to think of Solterra as an enemy when the king he’d been fighting it for was gone.

Maxence was just bones by now, anyway, broken up and digested by an oversized bird. And Reichenbach was…fled or smited or chased off or any combination of words that just meant gone.

Where did that leave himself? Acton possessed the loyalty of a pit bull: he defended those that fed him. And Reichenbach had done that for a long time, in love and in work, but now his loyalties were to himself and to Raum and the little thing they might try to build into a big one. And he and Raum were not at war with Solterra.

Quite the opposite.

A hearty thud as someone blundered into his chest, and the dry-heat spell was broken. Acton stumbled back, startled and squinting against the glare and unwilling to start anything here quite yet. His gaze fell on Bexley’s at the same time hers caught him, and he was already grinning by the time she spoke.

“Goldilocks.” Already he wished he hadn’t moved, that he might still be chest-to-skin with her breath on his cheek. This at least made it easier to look her over, hair like pale silk and true-blue eyes and the scar that still made his heart clench and shudder with an amalgam of feelings.

The grin she wore, so different from how she’d looked at him in the past, but no less cutting. No less effective at giving him that ground-shaking, apocalypse, crash-and-burn feeling.

“Not sure there is anything nicer than nothing,” he said, still grinning back. “Sorry to just drop in, but I was advised late autumn is the very best time to visit. Really brings out the smell of the sand. Wanna show me around?”

He was surprised and a little alarmed to find himself near babbling. Was it nerves or heatstroke?

Surely the latter. Acton didn’t get stage fright.





@Bexley





Reply
Bexley — Day Court Regent Signos: 445
▶ Played by REDANDBLACK [pm] Posts: 234 — Threads: 24
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 21 — Atk: 19 — Exp: 46
▶ 6 [Year 497 Spring] Active Magic: Light Manipulation
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#3


five story fire when you came
love is a losing game
bex



It is strange to watch him against the backdrop of Solterra. In her mind’s eye Acton is forever a silhouette silvered by the moon and belonging completely to Denocte, nothing but jasmine and gunpowder given a body, and some part of her - as smirkily content as she is that he’s traveled all this way presumably just to see her - is sort of uncomfortable, seeing him in the light like this. He seems bizarrely made against the sand and brick. Bizarre like a sea in the middle of the desert or finding a canary dead in a coal mine or the way Bexley’s pulse speeds up in her throat when she meets his eyes, canine-amber and aestival.

(Still she’s glad to see him, disregarding how much it hurts.)

As casual as ever she leans her cheek against his neck, letting her head drop heavy to rest against him, lashes fluttering faintly against that orange skin: the warmth that reverberates between them is enough to make her skin prickle, near-electric, but she weathers it with a practiced kind of effort. (By now the choke and swallow of pushing down her reactions is easier than letting them escalate.) When he speaks, she can feel the rumble of it more than hear the sound, the same way the noise of a wave crashing doesn’t hit quite as hard as the feel of it.

Sure, she answers.

It’s an absent agreement, nothing but an automatic yes, because - when is anything a no when it comes to him?

One day it will get them in trouble.

Bexley sighs against his shoulder. For a moment it seems as though the world is closing in around them, irrelevant but for their bodies, the sun and Venus in the sky. Her breath slows, her heart murmurs. Then reluctantly she regains her footing, and turns back toward the inner Court, hair trailing behind her like corn silk in the warm breeze.

A golden spectre exactly where she belongs, Bexley finds her step easily. Her skin glimmers cold now, as if missing Acton’s pressed against it, and half of her wants to slow down so they can walk together again, shoulder to shoulder, as horribly attached as ever, but as soon as her step falters she picks it back up again, all forced confidence and tightening poise. Hard-headed as ever, the glance she tosses over her shoulder as a beckon to follow is little but glamour and poorly concealed degeneracy.

So, she starts, a smirk tugging to show bright-white teeth, Quite the walk to make it over here. They squeeze through a crowd ogling at a vendor’s stall, deeper into the city center, past crumbling sandstone buildings and mosaic glass painted in hundreds of colors; Bexley traverses it with casual expertise, winding a loose path seemingly without destination, almost lamenting how well she knows her trail. Seems, I don’t know. Like you’re committed?

An awful word for the two of them, but Bexley doesn’t quite have the forethought to stop herself from saying it, nor the common sense to regret it afterward: all it brings is a thrill of nervousness and white light to the pit of her stomach, as wild as every other part of them.


@Acton

[/color]


Reply
Acton — Night Court Citizen Signos: 795
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 134 — Threads: 16
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 34
▶ 5 [Year 497 Summer] Active Magic: Illusion
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#4
Acton
these violent delights have violent ends
He could let himself forget all about belonging, he thought, if he stood out here in the heat for long enough. Let the sun bake away all memories of Denocte and silver markets scented in cinnamon and spice, let it give him a new sheen of sweat to salt his body, a reverse baptism.

But all that vanished like so much smoke when she touched him again, a grounding, a sparking, a lightning rod that drew him over and over again. He doesn’t even remember to wonder how they got here from so much blood and dust, violence in not-so-veiled threats, spelled in each echoing tumble of a rockslide or lick of flame.

Acton was not the kind of man to make space, and so he didn’t bother to move but let the crowds wind around them like an altered current. Solterrans – save the one leaning against him now – seemed so far a discreet sort; most of them didn’t give the pair so much as a look.

This was probably for the best, as his gaze was bright as burning, and it wouldn’t take much of a challenge for it to catch.

For a moment he dropped his muzzle against her hair just behind her ear, inhaling the scent of her, now finally growing familiar. He missed the warmth when she pulled away again – though something about it had seemed hotter on the summit. Maybe it was just that everything was hotter here, and one golden girl couldn’t compete with the sun itself.

So entranced was he by the way she walked before him (he could make an effort to catch up, but he didn’t much mind the view – suddenly he found himself less interested in the city than he had been a moment ago) that he doesn’t notice when the skies began to darken, strange clouds gathering at the corners like rot on a blue tapestry.

“Yeah,” he drawled, “enough to make your knees sore.” In his eyes was a bright gleam, though the joke between them didn’t make the muscles and tendons ache any less. At least the heat had been like a poultice on the way.

In the sunshine the colored glass turned the path before them into a rainbow, splintering her into a thousand pieces of color as she passed beneath its chaotic shadow. He was almost sorry when they’d both moved beyond it, but then came the rest of her statement, and Acton huffed a breath that bordered on a laugh.

“You tell me,” he said, grinning all the while. “I came to learn all about keeping promises, if I recall.”

In truth, it felt as dangerous to answer as any dagger-point they’d danced on or struck each other with. Acton did not have a good relationship with the word commitment. Some part of him worried that he was less himself if he didn’t stand alone – and this girl was different than being a Crow or a blood-brother to Raum.

“So you didn’t get smited, then.” This was meant lightly – he didn’t know (couldn’t know) about Solis’s punishment for her, but something in him twisted anyhow. There was no cut-and-dried story of what had happened to his own regime, and rumors loved to take on a life of their own. None of them had a happy ending for the Denoctians.

Though the clouds that gathered like bruises didn’t promise a happy ending for any of them.  




@Bexley this blows, I'm sorry D:





Reply
Bexley — Day Court Regent Signos: 445
▶ Played by REDANDBLACK [pm] Posts: 234 — Threads: 24
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 21 — Atk: 19 — Exp: 46
▶ 6 [Year 497 Spring] Active Magic: Light Manipulation
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#5


five story fire when you came
love is a losing game
bex



There is too much riding on this moment for Bexley to feel anything but her own adrenaline, running rampant and feral in the livewire map of her nerves. As she walks she thinks that every step might be her last - that she very well might fall or trip or stumble at the mere sound of his voice, the way it makes her skin shudder, her pulse sputter feebly agains her ribs. Even his breath against her skin is too much to process, in a world where everything has gone warm and gold and loudly overwhelming.

Shards of colored light on the cobblestone break and split and are ground to fine dust as Bexley slips over them, moving as quietly and comfortably in the sun as a fish moves in water.

She slows her steps as they emerge from under the shadow of the citadel. This deep in the court the crowds start to dissipate, the mica-flecked streets thinning of distractions until the world around them is eerily quiet. It only takes a moment of shortened strides until she’s level with Acton again, gliding shoulder to shoulder with him, blue eyes turned up with a surprising earnestness to watch the Denoctian as he speaks - there is no coy fluttering of dark eyelashes, no sharp-tongued comment, no lilting, half-smug smile to be found.

The hopefulness on her face is awfully, sickeningly genuine.

But it passes as he makes that smited comment, moving on from Bexley’s question so easily she can’t do anything but blink in surprise, falter just-barely in her step. Um - (It might be the only uncertain thing she’s ever said to him. Might be the weakest word she’s ever used.) Yeah, I guess not. Not exactly. She forces a smile and turns a quick corner.

Now they’re squeezing into a narrow alley, lined with drooping, unlit lanterns and desert sage overhanging each windowsill. Overhead the sky has gone a deep purple, lamentably dark, and in that lack of light Bexley’s burnished gold skin seems almost dull, velvet instead of gild, more easily lost.

An errant plant limb makes the shadow of a crooked heart on the cobblestone, and she steps over it with military precision.

Well, I did ask you first.

Her heart sings inside her mouth.

And even if I did tell you, you probably wouldn't like it.
@Acton



Reply
Acton — Night Court Citizen Signos: 795
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 134 — Threads: 16
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 34
▶ 5 [Year 497 Summer] Active Magic: Illusion
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#6
Acton
these violent delights have violent ends
In all the heat and burn of them both Acton didn’t notice the warmth of the day start to drain away. Likewise there was too much of the gold of her skin and the blue of her eyes to see when the splintered-rainbow light faded to nothing because the sun disappeared behind the bruise of a sky.

Even if he had noticed, he wouldn’t have been surprised. Acton had always expected the gods to be dicks.

They didn’t know each other well (and that was part of the problem, wasn’t it, or would be if the buckskin was the kind to give a thought to things like common sense) but he knew enough of her to notice the falter, the filler-word. He didn’t think much of it, only nudged his bronze shoulder against hers, because that kind of unsure hesitation was the same way his heart felt now, too big for his ribcage, tight tight tight and stuttering.

Until she led him into an alley, at least. This was familiar territory, no matter that it smelled of dust and sage – the shadows were just as thick as the ones at home. “Not exactly?” he echoed, and cocked a brow at her, waiting for her to expand. Bexley Briar, he figured, would have plenty to say about gods and regimes both, and Acton wanted to know everything and nothing at all about that day.

He wondered then if she knew he’d helped try to dig, thinking of her buried again beneath the crumble-and-dust. Like that could undo anything, or restart it.

Her words pull him back to the present like a golden chain; their footsteps echo on cooling stone and he is too busy replaying what she'd said to notice any shape a dim shadow might be making as he walked beside her.

Until he stopped, and waited for her to stop too, and waited to see what his own heart might think of his response.

“Hell,” he said, and nipped at her ear before dropping his mouth to burnish the bright gold of her necklace with a warm breath. “Babe, I’m yours.”

And anything might have come after that – any word or phrase at all from his hollow-cinder heart to his brash tongue – if the first snowflake hadn’t fallen then to settle on her golden coat and melt like a fading star.

Not yet in disbelief, Acton looked up.




@Bexley





Reply
Bexley — Day Court Regent Signos: 445
▶ Played by REDANDBLACK [pm] Posts: 234 — Threads: 24
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 21 — Atk: 19 — Exp: 46
▶ 6 [Year 497 Spring] Active Magic: Light Manipulation
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#7


five story fire when you came
love is a losing game
bex




When the warmth seeps out of the day it goes slowly, then all at once. The sky bruises deep and dark; shadows stretch long and bitter down the length of the alley; all at once the world is the darkest kind of silver it can be without turning black, gelid and oppressive. It is a deep freeze kind of chill. It frosts Bexley’s skin metallic, crunches deep into her curls, freckles her lips like so much starlight.

(Where does it hurt? Well, everywhere - )

Her teeth chatter as they draw to a stop under the limelight of the storm. In the absence of everything Bexley’s heart is a sick kind of flame, sputtering weakly inside her chest. It hurts to swallow that kind of pulse. A breeze howls overhead, rustles the Regent’s icy white hair until it almost seems to crackle. Some part of her almost wants to cry, and she knows if she does she knows she could just blame it on the wind. I mean -

And when their eyes meet, the cold in her chest almost ebbs away, as if it were about to be replaced by the too-intense longing of a shipwreck, a lighthouse, a lost magic. (And again it isn’t. But the feeling that it might is almost good enough.)

His Majesty dumb-fuck took my powers away, she finishes, but whatever. The word seems foreign, almost, in her mouth. It is a lame kind of digression from Bexley’s forever-hereditary anger. Still in the cold it seems kind of apt, in the same way that the ice in her eyes or the dead casualty of her sloping shoulders do not feel out of the place in the biting winds and frost, because (and Gods help anyone who thinks otherwise) she is nothing if not adaptable. If the sun burns so will she, and if the world is cold she can be too - she has to grin a little when she says out loud the next petty thing that comes to mind, Though it seems he’s finding his own magic a little unusable, huh?

She tilts her head to the black sky and watches it, as if He might be listening. Though he never has before.

But she is listening when Acton speaks again, and what he says makes her heart crumple in her chest with all the force of a coal crushed to diamonds, hitches her breath in her throat so forcefully it sends a pain into her lungs, sets her skin to a tone-deaf kind of buzzing that hums in her ear like the dark violet sound of honeybees. All at once the edges of the world crumple inward, a paper crane folding its wings to land. It hurts to breathe. Bexley slashes him with a look of righteous doubt, pitching in place slightly. The blue of her eyes is increasingly garish against the whiteness of the world around them and she can feel that vibrancy burning all the way back into her head, that void singing back to her in a slew of white noise.

I don’t know if I believe you,
Bexley mumbles. Still her heart sings a strange wanting song against her ribs, wild and unsettling, and still her gaze is horribly soft. The warm breath on her neck almost melts her from the outside, and then she is nothing but a girl again, wanton, unsatisfied, deeply uncertain. But if you’re sure -

She watches the first snowflake fall (with a religious kind of reverence, even), but only as it comes to settle on Acton’s skin: what else is worth watching?

@Acton



Reply
Acton — Night Court Citizen Signos: 795
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 134 — Threads: 16
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 34
▶ 5 [Year 497 Summer] Active Magic: Illusion
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#8
Acton
these violent delights have violent ends
It was easy, in the cold, to forget just where he stood.

What was Solterra without its heat, without its pounding sun that swallowed shadows and drew salt from the skins of its citizens? If he closed his eyes and inhaled nothing but the scent of her skin, he could be in any crooked alley of the Night Court.

So much time given to white-hot hatred of this place, and now he could almost as easily pretend it was home.

The chatter of her teeth drew him back, and Acton didn’t hesitate at all before pressing his shoulder and hip to her own. Bexley was not the kind of girl to shiver, (where was that warmth from the summit – or had that just been all the hot blood and headrush?) but this wasn’t supposed to be the kind of place where winds cut cold as Raum’s knife.

He’d opened his mouth to say something to that end, but she spoke first, and even absent of her tone the buckskin wouldn’t have interrupted. He knew better than that.

The buckskin’s brows climbed higher and higher still as she spoke, first in disbelief and then in admiration. “What a bastard,” he said, “but I gotta say, I’m glad you get under gods’ skins. Makes me feel better.” What a talent she had for it – and it was easier to think about that than the violation of having your magic stripped from you. The idea that it might never have been yours to begin with (Acton, for instance, had never thanked Caligo for his own – he’d never been too sure it came from her, anyway.)

He huffed a laugh at her next comment, though there was likely not much funny about it to the hot-blooded horses of the desert. “You mean this isn’t standard?” Almost he made a different kind of joke, but suggesting Solis had a limp dick right after being told the god had stripped the powers of his own city’s Regent was probably inadvisable.

The silence that dropped around them after he answered her question was heavier by far than any strange stillness of the day, and Acton was grateful when her gaze caught his the way it always did. That blue-burning distrust, familiar as his closest friends. Dutifully his heart kicked into a higher gear and his crooked grin worked its way back onto his mouth. If you’re sure, she said, and he couldn’t tell over the rush of blood and heat and want if his heart was pounding out a warning or wonder.

That, then, was when the snow began. And all the clues of the weather finally caught up with him, but adrenaline made him careless, made him laugh at the flakes that fell now faster and faster.

He ought to have guessed that the day he walked into Solterra for something other than war it would snow in the gods-damned desert. But they were all heat, had never been anything but tinder and flint, and what care had Acton for the gods, even now?

“Maybe we should go inside,” he said, some trace of that laugh still in his voice as his gaze caught hers once more, “and I’ll show you just how sure I am.”





@Bexley lordy I'm rusty AF with him but here's a closer <3





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Bexley — Day Court Regent Signos: 445
▶ Played by REDANDBLACK [pm] Posts: 234 — Threads: 24
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 21 — Atk: 19 — Exp: 46
▶ 6 [Year 497 Spring] Active Magic: Light Manipulation
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#9


five story fire when you came
love is a losing game
bex




Ha! When he offers to take her inside Bexley can’t help but contend it. (In her own city, too!) It’s a bursting kind of giggle, a laugh of knowingness and distrust pulled from her entirely by surprise, and, more subtly, something like indignancy. Some part of her might be offended were she not so distracted by the blooming heat of his shoulder pressed to hers, and the way they seem to be the only warmth in the universe, and the loud hummingbird heartbeat in her chest, so insistently fierce even when everything else is quiet and strange and dull, drowned-out by the snow around them -

Nothing with him has ever been dull. She doubts it ever will be.

She watches the amber in his eyes like it might reveal something hidden for centuries, an old mosquito trapped in orange rock or the years-old version of her heart that hasn’t yet been scarred. It is a a place she knows she could spend millennia looking through and still not fully understand and somehow that is more romantic than anything, that even a year and a half after their first meeting on the slope of the Arma Mountains neither of them is any less unknowable, neither changed, neither any more moral or kindly or empathetic.

They are as bitter as they were the day they met. What else is there to love?

She wears a fuzzy kind of smile as their eyes meet, naive and sheepishly sweet. On anyone else it would be entirely dulcet. On her it reads too good to be true.

I’m glad you’re keeping your promises, Bexley answers finally, half-serious and half-smirking, and with that turns down the alley and presses her first hoof print into the snow.
@Acton



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