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Private  - the beating of your tell-tale heart

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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 5
Signos: 35
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 13 [Year 491 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 5 — Atk: 15 — Exp: 13 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1

if you were church i'd get on my knees


He is slat-sided and sharp angles when he makes his slow way out from the blind canyon that he has made his home in, his once-strong hooves cracked and dirty, his mane a tangled snarl along the thin line of his neck -- his stomach is a beast that howls against the conditions of the canyon, that growls and gurgles its emptiness to the world, and he has grown used to ignoring the sounds. His movements are mechanical, a force of habit more than any driving decision -- he swings into a lethargic trot in the general direction of the Court, through the winding canyons and tunnels that make up the Elatus, searching out a plateau he has not grazed bare since the winter started and Raum had sealed up the supplies of the court in the Oasis.

Even in starvation, his pride will not waver -- he will not beg on bended knee to be fed.

He will survive, or he will die.

Above him, the vulture cackles -- it is fat and wanting, indolent in how it lounges around his canyon always just out of reach, soaring on the thermals above him and waiting for him to collapse so that it can feast. It has been showing up more often, now, perching on cacti and hovering above his head, beady eyes trained on him, and all that he can do is grit his teeth in stubborn resolve and press forward.

He will not give it the satisfaction, either.

When he turns a sharp corner and finds himself face-to-face with a ghost of his past, though, something inside his chest cracks and howls, his lip curling up and exposing his teeth in a snarl. “Jetsam fucking Volta,” rolls off his tongue with all the venom of a striking snake, and oh -- oh, he knows it is only his traitorous mind, and his aching heart, and his starving stomach,but he aches for the apparition to be real even when he knows it will not be.

“You’re not real,” He declares, finally, after a long moment of silence in which he stares down the ghost, and he is sane enough to realize that he is slipping into insanity, if he is hallucinating Sam now -- Sam, who had left him years ago, who left wounds on his heart that still festered there, who is standing before him as though all those years have been only minutes.

“You can’t be real.”

credits


@Jetsam





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Played by Offline princeley [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 2
Signos: 260
Dawn Court Medic
Male [he/him/his] // 10 [Year 493 Winter] // 18 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2

WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO BE GENTLE
to reach out and not want to hurt
@Mathias

A hot, dry wind buffets him, offering him little comfort in the unrelenting heat of the desert. He aches all over, still recovering from his last Change, and his throat is raw from breathing dust and screaming for the last week and a half. The journey, the Change - it had all gone wrong, so terribly wrong, and he wept still, tears dripping like tiny diamonds into the sand before a dusty hoof buries them. The bloodscent clings with fervor to his unwashed pelt and his guilt festers, familiar, like an open wound in his chest. The taste of blood - the taste, the taste! - it haunts him, choking him, had punctured his lungs in the night with pleasure and so much pain. Sam had never been a killer, but thoughts … thoughts had always been there, dark desires, things he had believed he had put to rest. Someone had dug up, extracted, injected, and forced it out of him so many moons ago,and now he had become someone - something - he hardly recognized. This wouldn’t be his last victim, either. The Wolf was waiting beneath his sad, sorry face even now, unleashed only when the moon sang its soft, tragic song to the beat of his own heart, to the tune of his own quiet plea - not again, oh gods not again, why, why this, I am good, I am good, believe me! The moon only ever shone back, impassive. The moon did not believe him. The moon knew he was a murderer, a monster, and his heart swelled like an ocean full of regrets and lost memories.

He longed for a home, but he would never - could never - have that again. The closest he had ever come to the ignorant bliss of domestic life was when he lived together with Mathias and Elysium, and they were gone now. He had tried - still tries, some furious nights spent alone in the library, sketching on vellum Mattie's likeness, making sure to emphasize his scowl, fantasizing about posting his makeshift missing persons poster but never having the courage to do it. Sam is alone, so very, very alone, and it shows. There is a dullness to his burning eyes, and when he trips on something he isn't expecting, he is slow to recover. What is the point of going on like this? Is a pointless existence worth the torture of his slowly decaying heart? He has found no other survivors of his homeland, has found no others with his … illness. They call it magic here. He wonders what he will do if there are no more. The last born of his line, rejected since birth, abandoned by his family, now afflicted with something that made it impossible to be close to anything. Only Mathias, his long lost unrequited love, could ever understand a pain like that, and he hurt in every inch of his sinner's soul for him, more tears welling on his wet lashes as he pulls himself to his feet. As he raises his head, an apparition greets him, black, white, scarred, skinny. But that voice. If every land he had ever lived in was burned to dust and he was stripped completely of memory, he would still know that voice. Only he could wield his true name, his soldier’s name, with such unforgiving venom, ringing in his ears as the sword of his next words sang from its sheath and pierced his broken heart. This is not the Mattie of his memory: muscular, roguishly handsome, speaking with the devil's tongue and constantly playing with fire to keep his own from going out. This Mattie was a wraith, a husk. They mirrored each other in their bleak disrepair, and he felt his breath stolen for a fleeting moment before reality hit him.

Mattie claims he is a figment, and isn't that something? A ghost that thinks he isn't real. After so many long years, the desert taunts him now with this vision, what he wants most in the world so close in front of him and yet, so absolutely far away. A wretched sound comes from him, somewhere between a laugh and a sob, and the taller stallion shakes his head. "You wouldn't want me if I was," he replies, voice hoarse. It is logic that brings these words forth from his cracked ebony lips. Sam had never had a chance to find him after escaping his tormentors, he never had a chance to say goodbye before they swept him away. This, in the silver snake eye of the bastard prince, was an unforgivable sin. He would find no redemption from ethereal beings, yet still he finds himself yearning to reach out, to touch. His eyes are watery but they drink in every inch of him like a thirsty man that finds an oasis. Ah, but there would be no oasis here for them. Only the excruciating pain of reality, the rolling gut full of the love that remained for someone that would never love him again. "It's okay," he forces out, a choked whisper. "I understand. I always have, haven't I?" Again, a shake of his head. He can hardly bear to look at him like this, scraggly and rough clearly from the arid climate, the lack of resources available. "Oh Mattie …" Sam might have lost some muscle, but he had never been able to count Mattie's ribs before. A crack in the wall weakens the structure, and he takes the weight off of a hoof tentatively, unsure if he should get closer - afraid his vision will shatter, fragments of glass that would pierce his broken, bleeding heart to the tender core that he cannot afford to make vulnerable.









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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 5
Signos: 35
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 13 [Year 491 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 5 — Atk: 15 — Exp: 13 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

if you were church i'd get on my knees


They stare at each other for long moments, these two misplaced and misguided ghosts, and he finds himself wondering when his memory had become so imprecise -- there are flaws to this apparition, scars he cannot place on the matte flesh, teardrops glistening like diamonds on long lashes, an uneasy grace as he rises from the sands, and he wants to howl to the universe for the unfairness of it all. He could deal with the incessant vulture, he could shrug away the voices and pretend they were just the wind, but this -- oh, this was mere cruelty of his own mind, the thing he had once wanted most in the world (even if he had never been able to admit it) long-since torn away by time, by the same sorry truth he had always stumbled upon.

Everyone would leave him, in the end. It is a rule of the universe -- he is meant to be lonely, deserves the emptiness in his chest where his heart had been scorched to embers years ago, sentenced to a life for the crimes he had committed in search of some sort of peace that he had never found.

Perhaps he had ruined every chance he had at peace.

“I have always wanted you,” The words roll from his tongue unbidden, but what does it matter now? He is arguing with a ghost of his own making, with a figment of the desert sun, and the thought makes a harsh laugh rip its way from his chest, full of sharp thorns that tear at his throat.  “---you left me, remember? You promised me you would never leave, Jetsam, and then you disappeared!” His body shakes from the force of his shouts, from the venom in his voice that leaked bile over his tongue, from the way his knees still get weak just from the sight of Jetsam before him.

This is weakness, this is loathing, this is something that he cannot allow himself to entertain when he is starving and too damn stubborn to die, or else he might just waste away here. He leaps forward with a snarl curled over his bared teeth, with his hooves aimed at the wraith’s chest --

And he expects it to disappear beneath his touch, to fade away beneath the winter sun, to leave him in solitude for a few hours at least before this newest torment comes back to haunt him --

Except that his hooves meet solid flesh, and he is surprised enough that he stumbles over his own feet and goes crashing into the sand, legs sprawled out and face pressed to the earth beneath him.

He does not open his eye, too afraid that it is all a dream,

And for the first time in years, a single tear slides down his cheek, carving a path through the dust.

credits


@Jetsam





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Played by Offline princeley [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 2
Signos: 260
Dawn Court Medic
Male [he/him/his] // 10 [Year 493 Winter] // 18 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4

WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO BE GENTLE
to reach out and not want to hurt
@Mathias

The ghost says something Sam has ever only dreamed of hearing before, and he cannot control the soft inhale, the shock that overcomes him, if only for a moment - a sudden lightheadedness that ceases the second Mathias returns to his old self. Ah, that old familiar ache, the challenge in Mattie’s voice, the raw wrath in which he speaks the accursed name he was doomed to carry with him for the rest of his life. Jetsam. It is spat in his face like a curse word, as if he finally believes that Sam is what he was first named after: something useless tossed overboard, washed ashore, waterlogged and worthless to any and all. It sets a fire in the kindling of his soul, and he is already bracing himself before Mattie springs to life, immediately raising up on his hind legs to meet him. He is expecting the apparition to simply fall through him - from years of research he knows the dead cannot mimic the feeling of flesh-to-flesh contact - yet the blow strikes him square in the chest, forcing him back in the sand and turning his mind from fire to pure burning, savage rage. His lungs empty of air in a high squeal, and he rears up higher, crashing down in the sand with a leg on either side of his beloved’s astonished face. “Don’t you dare use my name against me, Mathias Blackwell,” he snarls back, ferocity underlying in his bitter, biting tone. I know who you are, he is saying beneath this jarring flirtation. I know you like no one else can ever know you. In the heat of the moment, Mattie has made clear two things: one, that he is absolutely, completely and irrevocably real; two, that he is still as stubborn and stupid as the day Sam first fell in love with him.

The taller stallion looms, a harsh snort released from black nostrils as punctuation of his grandstanding. He raises a hoof delicately before gently pressing Mattie’s face into the sand, pressure increasing bit by bit, his own lips curling back to reveal bloodstained enamel. “If you think I left you,” he whispers, something feral slipping into his eyes, pooling warm and wet in his chest. There is a Darkness within him now, something he knows he cannot cut out, drink about, wash away. He is Unclean, and he will never be forgiven. “If you think, for one second, that after everything we had, everything we went through, that I would do that to you …” He leans down, wolf-yellow eyes glimmering, voice a quiet hiss full of contempt. “... Then you never knew me at all.” A rough shove then with his hoof - let Mattie feel the scratch of the sand against that devil-soft flesh, he thinks, let him have a taste of his own fucking medicine. I love you, he is not saying. I have loved you every day we’ve been apart. How many years has he spent alone, searching for a bastard’s bastard child? How much time had he spent loving a memory? A brutal dance is all they have now, in the dangerous garden of the desert. Their own intricate, terrible way of loving one another. His heart beats, a drumming staccato rhythm filling his eardrums, muscles tightening in preparation - for what, he knows not. He can never know - part of the excitement of this is the unpredictability of his partner. He turns away, allowing Mathias a chance to gather his feet, to parry, if he can.

He has always preferred a gentle hand to Mattie’s flash fury, but time has hardened him. He knows this is the only way to prove his love now. “Get up,” he commands. A disdainful tone drips from his voice like acid, a counter-challenge. Show me how much you want me, he is saying silently, speaking to his lover with his body. A flicking tail accentuates his elegant pivot as he squares himself again, patience thin and ebbing by the second. There are things Mattie does not know. There are things he will not understand. Sam has feared this part of their reunion for many years, afraid that he will be unable to convince his lover of the truth, afraid they are beyond repair. But he knows Mattie. He knows every beat of this dance, every step burned into his memory alongside his incessant, consuming guilt. But here, here in this place now, in their own private Hell, he is free from it. Mathias released him from his bonds with a single jolt to the chest, an electric pulse that woke him from some deep internal crisis that he could not resolve. “I was tricked,” he finally admits. “I was controlled. I was drugged, abducted, experimented on and tortured for years before I broke free, but the damage was done.” His jaw sets, stubborn. He still refuses to show how these events affect him, hides his vulnerabilities like one does when the need is dire. If he has it his way, Mattie will never know. “You were gone. Adriana was dead. You didn’t wait for me to come home, you ran. You ran from me, thinking I’d abandoned you, thinking I was like all the rest, even though you knew I made a promise to you. You knew I would never do that to you. How could you not know? His voice rises with each word, and while he feels a burning in the back of his eyes, he refuses to cry a moment longer. There will be time for that. A fury is budding in him now, a flower of desolation a bright, burning blossom as he lights it with the matches Mattie’s supplied him with. He laughs, the laugh of a person who has seen more than they should have, the laugh that borders hysteria and gut-wrenching pain.

“You didn’t even look for me, did you?” He whispers the question into the air between them, not wanting to hear the answer.









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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 5
Signos: 35
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 13 [Year 491 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 5 — Atk: 15 — Exp: 13 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5

if you were church i'd get on my knees


He does not expect Sam to be tangible, does not expect to meet hard, unyielding flesh, and for a moment the world spirals as he hits the sand in shock. It is enough to give the wolf (his wolf) the advantage, and there is a wildfire sparking to life in his veins. When he stares up at the matte man his silver snake-eye is wide, the whites showing at the corners, his nostrils flared -- but he is not as panicked as he should be, when he sees the feral light in Sam's eyes, when he feels a hoof press against his cheek, when he hears that cursed name come from Sam’s lips and his ears sweep back to pin against his head.

Sam’s words, venomous as they are, act as a balm to the terrible wounds left on his heart -- he is held down and forced to listen past the denial that springs to his lips, past the doubt that has always crept in the back of his mind, past the instinctive urge to run and hide away before what he wants is ripped from his hands like it has been so many times.

His heart sings back I love you too in the gaping hollow of his chest, in the way he surges to his feet when Sam gives him the opening, in the way that ashes spring into flames within a body pushed near to death -- he doesn’t know how the words taste in his mouth, doesn’t know how the syllables would feel falling over his tongue, doesn’t think he could be so brave when he is still falling apart at every seam and his mind is still howling that this is a trick, that Sam will disappear from before his eyes and this will all be some terrible, cruel nightmare.

His love has always had teeth to it, and he does not know how to be gentle.

This is a dance that he has always known -- that he has sought out from other partners, that he has instigated in back alley brawls, spitting blood over a crooked grin -- but they had never been Sam, had never swayed to the rhythm that was a heartbeat drumming in their ears.

It is his turn to lunge forward now, to throw his body towards Sam in reckless fury at the accusation that rings in his ears. “I searched for you everywhere--” The words leap from his tongue, and his teeth seek out purchase along the flesh of Sam’s crest, one hoof throwing itself out across the taller stallion’s back for purchase, and his ears are buried beneath the tangled mess of his mane, pinned tightly along his neck. “I woke up and you were gone, and then you didn't come back!"

He had thought it normal, at first -- they had drifted in and out of each other’s days, had never quite had a schedule for when they would meet, had occasionally been busy with something. Then days had turned into weeks without any sign of Jetsam, and even Adriana had noticed him searching through Zion, poking his head into things she would rather he stay out of.

He’s gone, She had sang to him with a grin full of thorns, with a malicious delight that sent shivers down his spine. He’s gone because no one has ever wanted you -- because you drove him away.

You are nothing but a broken weapon -- a monster. He won’t be coming back.

He doesn’t remember what happened afterwards -- until he held a match in his white-knuckled grip, until he was watching Zion go up in flames, until he had made himself into the monster she had always declared him.

"---- I thought you had given up on me."
credits


@Jetsam





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Played by Offline princeley [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 2
Signos: 260
Dawn Court Medic
Male [he/him/his] // 10 [Year 493 Winter] // 18 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#6

WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO BE GENTLE
to reach out and not want to hurt
@Mathias

Eyes narrow as his partner is quick to his feet, a threatening stance even in his weakened state. He looks a mess: bony, scraggly hair, unkempt. He knows that look, the light in his eye shining fury, glittering rage, and the stallion smiles inwardly. This is his Mattie - his Mattie - not Adriana’s “monster”, her poor excuse for a weapon. Look how he has withered without love, how frustrated he is without a simple, kind touch; he forgets how to take care of himself without a steady, patient presence at his side. She has failed so miserably in her endeavor that Sam hopes she is rolling in her rotten grave, half-decayed, wailing songs of despair to gods that no longer care. He has braced himself again, catching his lover in a damning embrace as he lunges, and too late he feels Mattie’s teeth tear into his tender flesh. A gasp as the scent of blood fills his nostrils, the searing pain sending a sudden rush of chemicals to his brain. He feels malice, but not toward his love - toward those that had spurned and misguided him. Mattie’s words ring in his ears, a bittersweet melody stinging as sharply as any blade, and he sets his jaw, relentless. He understands, just as he always has, that these thoughts, these words, are not from Mathias himself, but the ghost of someone that loathed him, and wanted nothing more than for him to loathe himself as well.

He throws his weight forward, using his height to his advantage as he tries to unsteady the scrawny fighter that his lover has become. Dislodging himself from the tangle of their messy intimacy, he lunges and then dodges to Mathias’ blind side, teeth snapping at his neck - but he does not bite down: he is teasing, taunting him, finds a pressure point and drags his teeth across it. He kicks up sand as his dancing feet bring him ever closer until he is in the air once more, pressing his knees into the shoulder of his beloved. His neck arches, a solemn bow, as his black lips caress a torn ear. “I followed your scent,” he laments, and for a moment, he touches his cool lips to the vulnerable skin of the self-destructive wreck he has chosen to call his own. He shoves hard, then backs off again, circling, the strength of his conviction pooling in the cooling embers of his firelight eyes. “I know she came back.” He won’t say her name again, won’t bring up the fury he still contains, pent up for the day he meets the bitch in hell himself. “I know you stopped her from hurting anyone else.” This is important phrasing. He is reinforcing something he has always believed, but has never been able to convince Mattie of. You have done the world a service as only you could, is the unsung ballad of his words. You are not what she made you. “Elysium found you - you were together again, until you weren’t.” He still doesn’t know what happened, who left when, only knows that there were others involved, and can only assume it was Mathias who had chosen to strike out on his own, because Elysium knows - knew? - better than anyone the damage done to her brother, and would follow him to the ends of the earth even if it killed her - and he had a reliable source that said it just might have.

“You had children ... and left them,” he says then, softly. It is not an accusation: he understands, and there is an apology hidden in his voice. Mattie cannot care for himself, this much is plainly evident, and it was a kindness he showed to them by allowing them to have their own chance at life without his destructive tendencies. “You never stayed in once place. I get it - believe me, I do. But don’t …” He shakes his head, catching Mattie’s eye and holding his gaze, a brief interlude between clashing titans. “Don’t ever, for even a moment, think that I could be capable of giving up on you. Not you.” Blood trickles from his open wound, the scent still making him feel dizzy, making him want more, but he is suddenly so very tired of bloodshed. Mathias is weak, and if he wanted to hurt him, he could - but he doesn’t. He wants absolution. He approaches: slow, measured movements. Sam is persistent, has always been, will always be. He loves with his whole heart and hates even harder, and the thought of Mathias has consumed his every waking moment since the instant they met, two strangers in the night with nothing to lose. He reaches out, then, a tempered touch: muzzle to muzzle, he confesses his deepest secrets in hushed tones. “I have been lost without you, and you’re lying to yourself if you think you’re fine on your own. I know you.” He steps into him, lightly brushing his lips over the bridge of Mattie’s nose as he comes, up to the peak of his forehead, and then, ever so gently, back down. “If you feel you must be a monster, then let me be one beside you. I will build the fire while you strike the match to burn the bridges we leave behind us.” He dips his head down low now, submitting the dark heart of his forehead to Mattie’s lips. “Understand me … to have the Volta blood is to possess a loyalty like no other. Those that came before me were bred with one goal in mind: single-minded destruction, directed by one master only. Our master was whomever held the Northern throne. This was our purpose …” He has spent countless hours under the knife receiving history lessons from a deranged demigod about his birth family, and he shudders weakly at the memory as he explains it.

He pauses then, feeling his heart stuttering in his throat, but knows this is his moment. He has waited so long, has survived through so much, and now is his chance. Mattie has to know. A soft sigh leaves his lips, and he looks up at him through long, dark lashes, the evidence of his love a bloodstain in the sand, a glimmer in his eye. “All the times I promised I would never leave you …” He feels his heart swell in his throat, but still his words come, tasting like years of loneliness and love he was incapable of giving to anyone else. “That was my vow. I have sworn myself entirely to you and to you only, until the end of my natural life ...” In this moment, he has carefully and deliberately put a noose around his own neck, and handed his lover the end of the rope. He has effectively given himself up, admitted the fatal flaw of his character. A choked laugh breaches him then, a pain in his chest aside from his wound.

“I would have kept searching for you until the day I died.”









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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 5
Signos: 35
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 13 [Year 491 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 5 — Atk: 15 — Exp: 13 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7

YOU'RE HOLY TO ME


He tastes copper between his teeth and snarls, a low, rumbling sound that starts in his chest, his feet unsteady on the sands beneath them -- he stumbles easily beneath the full weight of his lover, has to catch himself to keep from falling, but still he stands with an arched neck and fire gleaming in his eye, muted as it may be. Small sparks tingle along his spine when Sam’s teeth scrape across the pulse point where he can’t see him, dancing in the blind spot offered by his missing eye, and his head twists so that he can grab at Sam’s mane and tug, just gentle enough not to rip out the hair, still enough to sting -- and when the topic of his mother is brought up, he falls still beneath his lover’s weight.

“I ripped her throat out,” He affirms, and he chokes on the words, on the remembered taste of her blood -- the way it had curdled in his mouth, the crunch of her trachea between her teeth, the way she had gasped wetly for oxygen before she had finally fallen silent and still at his feet. “She -- I had to. It was the only way to stop her.” His voice breaks on his explanation, accompanied by a violent toss of his head as thought it might shake away the memories that haunted him, his gaze blank and staring into the distant past.

He had burned down Zion, had probably killed countless civilians in the fires, but he had never taken a life by his own hand before he had ripped her throat out, had embraced the monster she had made him into, and his skin crawls every time he remembers. He had never wanted this, had never wanted to become her weapon, and as Sam reads off the litany of his sins, he wonders if he will ever be anything else.

He shudders under the gentle touch, but for the first time in his life, he does not shy away from tenderness -- he leans into the touches like a man starved for affection, skin-hungry and aching for the absolution of Sam’s touch, wondering how the wolf can touch him so gently when he is the aftermath of violence; he is the bullet casing left behind on the floor, he is the hole punched into the wall, he is bloody knuckles and broken jaws--

And he is so goddamn tired of all of it, of living with rage breathing in his chest, of letting the wounds in his heart grow infected and rotten -- when his teeth brush the heart on Sam’s forehead, they are careful not to catch flesh, unsure of how to be gentle. “Teach me,” His voice is hoarse, trembling, but still the plea falls from his lips as his forehead presses against that dark heart, his eye closing and his body shaking. “If you would be my monster, if you would watch the bridges burn and hold the matches with me -- then teach me how not to be one. “

Above him, the vulture screams out in dissatisfaction. Around them, the world keeps turning, but he feels as though it has stopped.

“I’m so tired of being the monster, Sam. Will you teach me how to be gentle, instead?”

Teach me how to love you, his heart whispers, and isn’t sure whether his next breath is a laugh or a sob, muffled as it is in the curve of Sam’s neck. Teach me how to be worthy of you.

credits


@Jetsam





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Played by Offline princeley [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 2
Signos: 260
Dawn Court Medic
Male [he/him/his] // 10 [Year 493 Winter] // 18 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#8

WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO BE GENTLE
to reach out and not want to hurt
@Mathias

“Teach me,” Mattie says, and for a moment, Sam’s sides still as he scarcely dares to breathe. He is silent, the thrumming of his heart the only betrayal of his confusion, his mind churning. The words are so surreal to him here, these are things he has only ever imagined hearing come from those cracked volcanic lips. He has only ever known the brutal side of love since their initial union - what Mathias asks for now could mean the end of an era. A hushed sound, muffled by his own shoulder: a show of emotion that is so foreign to him it takes him by surprise, so new it takes a moment to register it. His touch is feather-light as he reaches out, the movement to comfort instinctual as he brushes velveteen lips over the hardened ridge of his lover’s withered shoulder. Every caress is unspoken reverence, a quiet worship of something as fragile and holy as the Eucharist. Behold, the body of the broken man, not yet sacrificed. How many died for Adriana’s sins? Yet, this one lived, the one she poured hate into, spit venom at, condemned then to years unloved and lonely. Blessed be the living, that they have seen the light of love, at long last. Sam cannot promise now that he is the same gentle soul he once was, cannot pretend that there are not scars across his body that Mattie will not recognize having not put them there himself. There is much to be explained, but this, this present moment, is so timeless, he thinks, that nothing might matter ever again but this.

The embrace of two twin souls, torn apart when they needed each other the most and finally, tempered, soured, bittered and bruised, reunited with one another. Sam doesn’t feel the few tears he has left slide from his cheeks, is too busy pressing slow, deliberate soft kisses down a foreleg, dragging back up. The sight of each rib wrenches his heart again, and Mattie smells of heat, of desert debris, of unwashed indifference. Sam makes this his first lesson. “You must be gentle with yourself, first,” hushed syllables as he begins to do what he has always done. His work begins with a steady hand, a loving touch, and has only ever waited on Mattie to be ready to accept it. “You need a bath,” he adds gently, unobtrusively observant, and gingerly, he touches his nose to Mattie’s barrel, a huff of frustration at the ribs protruding, hard ridges pressing firm beneath his tender touch. “When was the last time you ate anything?” In this heat, he knows logically water is the most important thing, yet it all seems so damn far away. He finds himself wishing he hadn’t abandoned his belongings in the hidden pathways of Viride before he’d made his pilgrimage to the canyon where he’d hoped so eagerly to find nothing but desert waiting for him beneath the moonlight. He could do with a canteen and some herbs right now, or even his dagger if they could find a cactus, but there was no sense wishing for things that they did not have.

He turns himself around, shoulder-to-shoulder with Mathias then, unwilling to leave any space at all between them. Sam is still learning this new land, but he knows enough about recent events to know that there is no chance of finding the resources he needs to help his lover here. “This is no place for us,” he reasons. “Raum won’t show us mercy.” What little he knows of the Solterran sovereign is enough to boil his blood, but he is still recovering from the Full Moon: he is in no shape to storm the court, to reveal himself as a war machine and demand sustenance for a man with no name - if Mattie had sway here, finding him would have been so, so much easier. Raum would likely care little for Sam’s interference, anyway. What made Mattie and his dog any different, any more special, than the rest of the nation he sought to make beg? And then, what of his own court? What if Raum were to take his threat as a threat from the Dawn Court itself and take set fire to the forests, threaten the knowledge of the Library that Delumine held so dear? No, it was too much of a risk; Raum would be protected, too, and Sam is only one man. Mathias need not suffer more violence, he decides, let him breathe peace if only for a moment. “I know somewhere.” A coaxing murmur in his lover’s ear, more things left unsaid. Come with me.









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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 5
Signos: 35
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 13 [Year 491 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 5 — Atk: 15 — Exp: 13 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#9

YOU'RE HOLY TO ME


Behold -- a man reaching for the light at the end of the tunnel, weighed down heavy by the sins that rest on his bony shoulders. Behold -- a man who has only ever run from a gentle touch, standing still beneath Sam’s caresses, despite the occasional shiver that wracks his malnourished frame. The fury that has raged between his ribcage for nearly a decade has begun to cool, tempered by exhaustion -- he has carried Adriana’s rage for so long that if he were to crack open his own heart, he isn’t sure what he would find.

Who is he, beneath the anger? Is he a person at all, or has he been a puppet on a string dangling even after her death, dancing to the loathing she had poured into him? It has been so long since he’s had a purpose that he isn’t sure if he ever had one that wasn’t punctuated by violence, by teeth and blood and bone, and he has been just as harsh to himself as he has been to his enemies.

He isn’t sure what being gentle looks like, any more, but he trusts that Sam can teach him.

“There hasn’t been water to bathe with,” Not with the walls that tower above the Oasis, not when being able to properly hydrate himself took priority over the heavy layer of dust that coated his pelt. He has relied on the thorny cacti that grow around his canyon home to drink from, cutting open the tender flesh with a makeshift knife, and he is thankful for the telekinesis that allows him to avoid the sharp spines. He could survive without food for long enough to find the dry desert grasses that grew high on the canyon plateaus, if he could be sure-footed enough to reach them. He would die quickly without water.

“A few days, I think. Less than a week.” The words are muffled against matte skin, his muzzle tracing across the angle of Sam’s shoulder, his forehead pressing hard suddenly into the crease between elbow and barrel -- each touch is unsure, a little more violent than loving, and when Sam moves to turn around he reacts with teeth against the wolf’s neck until they are pressed back together. “I think that Raum is a stranger to mercy,” and oh, hasn’t he always been the same? Hadn’t he once sought out a crown in an attempt to cure the desperate ache inside his chest, to right the wrongs that had been committed against him? He sees himself in the Solterran sovereign, sharp as a blade, raging at the world for everything it has done and everything it has taken, and he is not so far gone that his soul cannot ache in sympathy.

He knows how Raum’s story will end: in violence, in passion, in blood spilled on the sands and the jaws of justice closing in. It is the same way he had once thought his story would end.

For a moment, he debates turning back to his desert home, to the path where he had hidden himself away, and the brief thought of fleeing crosses his mind -- he presses his muzzle to the curve of Sam’s cheek until the impulse passes, thinking of the armor he has hidden away --

but he will not need his armor for now, and he can always retrieve it later.

“Lead the way.”

credits


@Jetsam





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Played by Offline princeley [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 2
Signos: 260
Dawn Court Medic
Male [he/him/his] // 10 [Year 493 Winter] // 18 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#10

WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE TO BE GENTLE
to reach out and not want to hurt
@Mathias

Teeth clash against monochrome flesh one last time, and for a split second, he sees r e d - turns on his lover with vicious teeth bared - before he registers the weary face of Mathias beside him once more and holds himself in check, refusing to harm another hair on his wretched pelt. The night prior hangs heavy upon him, a sodden cloak of disoriented savagery, and he is made abruptly aware of how desperately he needs rest. A flick of his tail and a sharp snort released is all he can offer as an excuse for his behaviour; he lowers his head, shameful, and jerks his soot-dusted muzzle in the direction he was headed before they had met. “Delumine is this way,” he murmurs, and wonders if his partner will care for his sudden outburst. There are so many things that he must explain, yet he finds his throat dry and his stomach turning at the very thought of revealing the true monster within himself. What if he bears his soul to him, and after all this time, after this - this relinquishing of rage in hopes of softness - there would be no reconciliation after all? Oh, what wounds he could bear for this disaster of a man, but losing him again, losing him now, he daren’t think what it might do to his fragile mind. Better that he brush it off, pretend he’s fine, and get them somewhere safe. But this is easier said than done, he soon realizes, as he takes a few steps forward and collapses.

He takes the ground hard, sand biting his knees as they take the brunt of the impact, but he tries to save himself. His hind end wavers but holds him steady as he shakily recovers, allowing him a few more unsteady steps before he goes down again. This time, his vision is blurry, his mind whirling. Dizziness plagues him: he cannot tell up from down, does not know where Mattie is, but feels his fangs ache in his jaw and hisses in pain. Flashes of red behind his eyes suddenly - the feeling of flesh tearing between his teeth, hot, heavy taste of blood wet on his tongue - “No!” He is up in an instant, eyes rolling with fear, every muscle taut beneath his scarred skin. He sees his lover, but not as his lover: his scent is no longer his. It is prey-scent. “Get away!” The terrible sound of his gruff shout is enough, he hopes, to drive Mattie into the desert - The Hunger, the pain! It returns to him, so eagerly, a familiar and horrible ache inside of him. He shakes his head hard, mouth open in a wordless scream of pain, and he backs away unsteadily. He won’t Change again until the next Full Moon, but he feels The Wolf howling to be free, feels the bloodlust beginning to consume him and knows he could hurt, could maim, could kill. “Mattie, go - go, you’ve got - gotta get out of here … ”

Pain seeps into his voice, he cannot help it. He’s tired, but if he succumbs to the Hunger, if he sinks any deeper into the sea of red, he will not be able to control it. A funeral pyre for any that dare get in his way. Sam is fighting it, but he isn’t sure he can hold himself for much longer. He is used to easing these side effects using his herbal remedies, but he has nothing, will have nothing until they reach Delumine. He is begging with his eyes until they turn hard, golden daggers flashing deadly in the burning sun. “You have to go … I’m sorry.” He is. His heart aches, but his pupils are dilated, his nostrils flared: the bloodscent, stale now, is still tempting him. “I’ll stay here … I’ll … I’ll find somewhere to rest. There are things you don’t - ah! - things you don’t know, I - I can’t explain right now …” Shaking like an addict, he is every inch a wild beast in this moment: the wild, unhinged look in his eye, the way he cannot stand still, oh what agony! “I need you to be safe,” he spits out between gritted teeth. “Now go!” Shallow breaths he takes before he finally allows his lover a few more words, another portentous vow: “I’ll catch up.”









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