NOVUS
[P] hit me like that snare; - Printable Version

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hit me like that snare; - Acton - 11-08-2018






 

How good it felt, the sun hot enough to make his coat shiny with sweat, the sand in his teeth. Acton had never been made for the cold. 

Neither, of course, had Solterra. Just to see it back to the way it ought to be (painfully bright, each eye he met glittering with challenge) felt like a good omen, like maybe everything could go back to normal. Never mind that normal had once meant war

All this to say Acton felt more alive than he had in months as he clattered his way across the bazaar, looking for Bexley. 

He missed her more than he missed the Crows, more than Reichenbach, more than knowing his place in the underbelly hierarchy of the Night Court. He missed her the way he missed who he used to be, before everything went sideways. 

What a relief it was to feel his heart kick back into that battle-drum rhythm the moment he saw her, talking to some poor messenger with a look that could singe a lion. It was a lucky thing whatever business they had concluded by the time Acton arrived at her side; he wasn’t the kind to stand politely by. 

Nor was he worried about the stares of others (more likely that he enjoyed them) as he pressed his muzzle to the crook of her neck like he needed to touch her, breathe her in, just to make sure she was real. 

“Been a while, Goldilocks,” he said at last between his grin, pulling away only enough to meet the bright glass blue of her eye. “Figured you’d been missing me long enough.”




the moth don't care when he sees the flame
he might get burned, but he's in the game


@Bexley




RE: hit me like that snare; - Bexley - 11-14-2018

one good honest kiss, to feel alright

Watch it, Bexley snaps at the merchant in the corner of the market. The sun glimmers from overhead, lights the whole scene in orange glitter. It’s a familiar feeling. She’s bizarrely pleased that he flinches at she says it: after all this effort to rebuild the court it makes her simmer with anger that courtiers have the nerve to be so reckless, in front of a member of the regime, no less. The regent rolls her shoulders back and glares at him with blue eyes so bright they singe, wearing an expression of disdain that curls her lips and drops her lashes to a moony kind of gaze; then she begins to turn away from him - but of course, not without a scathing remark - if you’re going to sell black market goods you might as well not do it so obviously. If I find you here again, it’s not going to be pretty -

Almost she spits on the pavement, but that’s harsh even for her.

With a scoff Bexley moves away. Her steps are quick on the pavement, her white hair floats around her like a halo; summer is back with a vengeance and the bright eye of the sun casts asunder a favorable glance, returning her to her constant, aureate glory. The whole day feels like a return to a past world, good and organic and nothing new, which, she’s realizing, is the best kind of new to be. Gods know they’ve had enough surprise for a lifetime. Now all that seems to matter is returning to the life Bexley had managed to scrape together when she first arrived -

And what could be more representative of such a life than Acton, appearing in the courtyard like a ghost called to arms by her thoughts of him.

She feels his lips on her neck, his warm breath, smells the jasmine and woodsmoke on his skin and the laziest kind of smile winds its way over her lips, a smile she’s worn infinitely often before. Ah, the misfortune of being in love ; her heart bangs loudly in her chest, she sways on her feet. Bexley leans into his touch, blinks up at him through white-blonde lashes. Didn’t miss you at all, she says, voice rasping from a smirk. Don’t flatter yourself. She bumps a slim shoulder against his without thinking much of the electric spark that shimmers over her skin a second later.
credits



RE: hit me like that snare; - Acton - 11-28-2018






 

He hadn’t been quite near enough to make out her words, but the gist of them was clear enough - the way she made herself into some new and shining god, promising retribution and wrath. For a moment, when he watched her walk, it was her approach through the Night Markets he thought of. Only then it had been torchlight and not sunlight she shimmered like new-wrought gold under, and he had been the sole subject of her rage.

Sometime he should ask her what kept her from killing him. Sometime he should ask her how close she had come.

But not today. Instead his heart stuttered when her blue eyes found him, instead he was laughing at her retort. Good thing thing Acton wasn’t the religious type, because right now he’d be wondering how the hell he got so lucky (never mind her scar, never mind his knee, and all the burning and breaking they had done), and who he ought to thank for it.

“There’s that loving welcome I came all the way for,” he said with a grin, and when the spark of her magic leapt across his skin, too, he didn’t even jump. He was sure it would have felt the same even without her gifts; touching her was always like passing your hand through a flame. “And I never flatter myself.” The little lie, too, felt familiar on his teeth; like he was the Acton of the old days, where anything could happen, and the only disasters were the ones of his own doing.

For a moment he let himself just enjoy it - the press of her against him, her familiar scent, the sun beating down on them both. But Acton could never stand still for long, and a moment later he was nibbling at her ear, blowing a warm breath where the slim gold circled her throat. “I like watching you work. Got anymore poor merchants to threaten?”




The moth don't care if the flame is real
'cause flame and moth got a sweetheart deal


@Bexley




RE: hit me like that snare; - Bexley - 12-05-2018

one good honest kiss, to feel alright

There’s that loving welcome I came all this way for. She grins at him, and it’s real and bright, even against the hot sand of Solterra and the yellow-white sun overhead. Even in a land that sparkles with light Bexley’s smirk is something bioluminescent, gives off its own aeonian aura against the dark gold of her skin and the bright blue of her eyes and the way she watches him - seething, watching, dusky.

She does not think of that time in the Markets, when she shattered his bones like glass on the pavement. She does not think of the way her scar still tingles across her face, sometimes, when the weather shifts too much. She does not even think of the Bethesda of Denocte and the way the smell of it still lingers on Acton’s skin in jasmine and fog. Ha! she says to his rebuttal, and nips at his shoulder with a half-smirk.

The market whirls around them, and Bexley pushes her shoulder into his so that they stumble away from the stall together, melting into each other, moving easily through the courtyard and toward a more secluded avenue of Solterra. The tingle that slices into her spine could be magic or it could just be nerves. At this point it’s a familiar feeling either way, and if the curl of Bexley’s stomach against her ribs makes her feel a little weaker than she normally might, well, no one else can tell.

Unfortunately not, she answers, mumbling it into the curve of his neck. There’s always you, though. I’m sure I can find something to yell about.

It's almost a joke, almost, almost.
credits



RE: hit me like that snare; - Acton - 12-09-2018






 

He did not tell her that he had met their daughter in the desert, wandering beneath the same ribbon of starlight as himself; Acton was not sure he intended to. He wanted something of Apolonia to keep for himself, to hold in his heart like a secret, only the bright, good kind.

But oh, they laughed the same way, his girls with their bright eyes and their golden skin and their twin grips on his heart. The ache he felt at hearing the similarity, like a concentric ring of ripples on a lake, or the second tolling of the same bell, was not a kind of pain he’d felt before. The buckskin did not want to wonder what it meant.

So he pushed it away with the same skill he’d always had, for putting off the kind of thoughts that went below the surface and waited somewhere in the dark heart of him. Much easier, much better, to walk along with her, shoulder and hip and tail and muzzle all touching and un-touching like they are one thing made of two parts.

Acton reveled like a housecat in the warmth of it all.

One ear flicked sideways to catch her words, followed quickly with a cat’s self-satisfied grin. “I’m a reformed man, Bexley,” he said, even as the amber-eyed glance he shot her promised wicked things. “In fact it’s a good thing you live here and not in Denocte. You’d be bored to pieces of me.”

There was a laugh in his words, but as he thought back over his recent months in the smoke-and-starlight of the Night Court (rebuilding, discovering, helping ward off oversize thunder-turkeys with a queen and a god) he couldn’t help but think it might be true.




The moth don't care if the flame burns low
'Cause moth believes in an afterglow


@Bexley




RE: hit me like that snare; - Bexley - 12-18-2018

one good honest kiss, to feel alright

It might have been love that made her think of him, always, as the boy whose knee she’d smashed in on the pavement that night. But, as with anything, she couldn’t be sure. Was it love that made her want to see him crumpled on the ground, lit up by her magic like amber in the hot light? Was it possessiveness? Was it psychopathy, rewiring her brain into a hundred different messy, terrible knots?

What part of her - and she wondered this often, never mind how it made her heart hurt, and how long she had spent thinking about it without ever really coming up with an answer - was so desperate to keep him she’d rather bruise him like a peach, break every white bone in that perfect body, than let him walk away from her?

Would not, Bexley says softly. She grazes her teeth over the rope of muscle in his neck, tastes salt and jasmine and the comfortable darkness of Denocte. But something in her chest aches and twists and as much as she tries to push it away, she can’t help thinking that he might be right, that if he were the man she wanted him to be, a man she could bring home to Seraphina, a man who wasn’t such a walking disaster, she might not want him anymore.

It squeezes at her so hard she thinks her ribs might crack against her sides. But still she says nothing, just leans deep into him and blinks away the faintest cloud of tears from her eyes.

The world around them should still be sweet and warm and drenched in sunlight. Still the sun winks its hot eye overhead and Solterra swirls with the scent of sand and incense. And it is, sort of, but some part of her feels a deep-seated pain that cannot be washed away by the touch of sunlight on her spine or the way she can feel Acton’s breath on her throat, a pain that chokes her hard, makes her blink furiously to clear her eyes, turns her knees so weak she leans her whole weight against Acton’s and never wants to stand again.

Have you changed that much?

Her voice is almost inaudible. She looks up at Acton with those seaglass eyes, blinks dark lashes hard, and she does not know what she wants him to answer, or if anything would make the dull, gnawing ache of wrongness in her chest go away.

(It probably won’t.)
credits



RE: hit me like that snare; - Acton - 12-25-2018






 

His love for Bexley Briar had once been the most complicated part of him, but that, too, had changed for Acton.

Now it was simple, particularly in the face of gods and monsters and scattered flocks of Crows. He loved her, he wanted her, he was happy being with her and thinking of her. That beat-sun day in the canyons might never have happened; the jagged scar that marked her perfect face could have been any old accident.

The past was never complicated if you never thought about it.

Would not, his girl said, and as his skin shivered and shuddered beneath her touch he chose to believe her. The buckskin leaned into her, that comfortable warmth that just bordered on pain (when she either forgot the strength of her magic, or intentionally let it slip), and she leaned against him too, and it was everything Acton never thought he’d have and never thought he’d wanted.

Sometimes being wrong didn’t make him want to start a fistfight. Maybe that was another sign of his growth.

Even as close as they were he had to duck his head nearer to pick up her voice; not quite a whisper, but like she’d dialed the volume down. Bexley quiet - when had that meant anything but danger? He could see no anger, though, when he met her gaze, and no sorrow either, and not anything he could read. But then he could never tell what she wanted - love or revenge or teeth or tears. He could only make his best guess.

“Nah. It’s just that all the trouble these days is bigger than me.” He spoke wryly, like all the storms and killer birds and goddesses had been a joke, too, and not a plague or an apocalypse. But then he smiled, and flicked his tail at her, startlingly dark against her spun gold. “But you should come and see for yourself. There’s going to be a party on Midsummer’s Eve - be my date?”

They were no longer attracting looks, the regent and the magician bold as a bonfire in the marketplace, and Acton once more turned his gaze to the rhythm of life around them. He, too, was ready to move on - from the bustling streets, from that hard-to-read look in her eye. When he spoke again he dropped his voice, dark smoke like an offering. “If you are done for the day, I can think of a thing or two to keep us both occupied.” His grin then was as wicked as the first time he met her and twice as knowing; Acton thought he could still manage to make her yell, if she needed a reason to. When he leaned close and nipped at the bright gold of her neck just above her throat, the heat of his breath suggested as much.

“If you’ll still have me,” he added, low, and stepped away toward the keep and her quarters like he walked it every day. Maybe in his dreams, he did.




with a fuse that's so thoroughly shot


@Bexley <3




RE: hit me like that snare; - Bexley - 12-26-2018

one good honest kiss, to feel alright

Bexley knows well enough that anything you worship will eat you alive. (She has done the same more than once to her own denizens.) Which is why she tries not to use the word worship for Acton, but deep down, grinding its hard teeth against her heart, she knows there is nothing else to describe it properly - the blood sacrifices she’s laid to his altar, the gold and the figs and the lives she would give him, if he asked - the way she wears his name on her face day after day after day.

She is getting too old to pretend there is something special about the way they love each other. It is as special as any other kind of sacrifice Novus has made, which is to say not very. After a certain amount of bodies pile up, she thinks, blood is more a side effect than an offering.

But it is summer and the sun shines overhead and her skin burns with a mixture of giddiness and greed and magic, and as she watches him with a fervent look she is convinced, purely, surely, that nothing else will ever make as much sense to her as the curve of his jaw, and the amber of his eyes; drunk on the season and a need for the world to make sense, a part of her, crazed, rabid, kamikaze, is still successful in saying she loves him.

Sure, Bexley answers his to his invitation, and her voice is instantaneously solid again. She bites a smile into his shoulder. Maybe he can feel her eyelashes fluttering against his skin; maybe it doesn’t matter. As long as you buy me something nice to wear there. It’d be terrible if I made a bad impression. It’s mostly a joke. But still some part of her, that stupid part that wants to call it love, is insistent on being good enough for him.

She is glad, then, that he cannot read her well (or at all). Who knows what disasters might unfold if he could?

She’s distracted easily, instantly, by the graze of his teeth across her neck and the way his breath spirals over her skin, how it sends a shudder all the way down her spine - after this long it seems stupid that she wouldn’t be used to his touch, the way he knows how to find every nerve under her skin; but it hits her like an epiphany every time, breath-taking and impossible to escape. Always, she answers, and her voice has dropped an octave, and her eyes have gone a little dark -

But she’s almost sure that’s what he wanted, anyway.
credits