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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 22
Signos: 70
Night Court Champion of Community
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Bonded: N/A
#1


 THE BODY IS A PLACE OF VIOLENCE. WOLF TEETH, AMPUTATED HANDS. COVER YOURSELF WITH A CLOAK OF LEAVES, A COAT OF A THOUSAND FURS, A PAPER DRESS. THE DARK FOREST HAS A CODE. THE WITCH SOMETIMES DISPENSES ADVICE, SOMETIMES EATS YOU FOR DINNER, SOMETIMES TURNS YOUR BROTHER TO STONE. YOU WILL BECOME A CANARY IN A CASTLE, BUT YOU'LL LEARN PLENTY OF SONGS. 

Denocte has never bloomed for Boudika before tonight; the city has never dropped her Venetian masks to reveal the intricacies beneath the smoke-shrouded streets. But for the first time, she feels as if she sees Denocte, as if Caligo walks beside her along the cobblestones. Perhaps Boudika is only more receptive to the heady scent of skin; the burning of frankincense; perhaps it is only because her senses seem so much sharper than they once had been, and every movement, no matter how imperceptible, entices her with something almost like lust. The copper-headed mare watches the shadows that entangle themselves in the corners of bonfires and 

her eyes trail the sensuous dancers by the flames. Boudika can feel her teeth against her tongue and the sharp reminder is enough to steel her nerve, even as she weaves between the fires like a tigress, always on the edge of the light. More strangely still, however, it grounds her; it whispers along her skin with all the knowledge of a lover’s touch, you belong here, as if she hadn’t before, as if her remaking ensured her belonging. This is the first time Boudika, the Champion of Community, had returned to the city since her becoming. This is the first time she has walked the streets, adorned so handsomely with moonstone, since she learned the taste of flesh and blood.

Her fear is what has kept her away; her fear that she could not control herself and her insatiable urges. There is a part of Boudika that understands she is no longer polite company; there is something artistically, painfully base about her now, something carnal and wanting. It shows in the predatory, metallic reflection of the firelight in her eyes. It shows in the way the younger dancers shy from her silhouette, instinctively, as if they know a tigress is near.

It takes Boudika longer than she would like to decide why it is they stare at her, now, when they never had before. Eyes linger and whispers follow the half-seen glimpse of her, with her tigress stripes, with her bald face catching the firelight in a way both ghastly and beautiful. 

Boudika knows why they stare, though. 

She is inconsolable. 

There is a raw edge to her expression, her being, like a tragedy; it is there in the shape of her mouth or the glint of her eyes. It is there in the way her hair hangs long and tangled, windswept, smelling of the sea. Denocte’s smells of bonfire and incense do not cling to her; it is all hard salt and water. She is inconsolable in the way she looks half-wild, transformed as if by grief or some daemon, some inner turmoil and power. No one speaks to her for the same reason. She is terrifying and beautiful and strange.

It is not until later in the evening, when the partygoers have drunk their fill of honey mead and flavoured wine that the Denoctians dare approach her. She is a tragic backdrop; a shooting star; something tameable and strange. Boudika had not felt her control waiver until the first stallion asks her to dance, embolden by the liquor on his breath. She rejects him politely, in a clipped tone, and is already back-stepping when he steps forward to press his telekinesis against her shoulder, urging her toward the throng of sensual, entwined bodies of dancers already entranced with one another. “It’ll be fun, I promise.” he is quite handsome, and—

Boudika’s teeth are long and sharp in her mouth. She does not want to speak, or expose them, so she remains quiet. He presses closer to her, unbeknownst, mistaking her silence for indifference or insecurity—

“Dance with me, Red,” and even the nickname is charismatic. Boudika presses back. Boudika follows him into the throng and for a moment they twirl. She lets him lead her. 

He smells heady; her mouth presses into the nape between his shoulder and his neck. He is laughing, and golden-skinned. The flesh of the stallion is warm. Decadent. There is something in the salty smell of his sweat and the sweet-rich odour of the liquor on his breath that reminds her, distantly, of overripe plumbs in the summertime, the way they bruise, the way they flesh sloughs from the seed. There is something in the memory that makes her mouth water, and it is not the flavour; it is the precise and indescribable tension of the plumb’s skin against one incisor, the way it feels to press just so against a ripened fruit, how—

her lips press into that nape now, and the stallion laughs high and pleased, unknowing to the tigress he holds like a woman, like a lover—

she is sweating now, and it smells rotten like the sea on a too-hot day, rotten but natural, metallic, hard, hard

there are many bodies now, all of them, pressing her—

the heat of the bonfire is incendiary—

the heat of the bonfire pools everywhere her skin is soft, vulnerable, the armpits and breastbone, the loin, the ankles, the throat, the eyes—

the golden stallion is endless, limitless, she feels his pulse again beneath her lips—

her nostrils are full of that vivacious, lively scent, all salt and skin, some kind of woody cologne—piñon or juniper?—and the sweet, sweet wine—

oh how sweet would he taste?

how sweet?—

her lips, his tender throat, and his eyes so darkly hooded beneath long, lovely lashes as he says, “We could go elsewhere?”

but he does not know she wrestles with a beast and the beast has teeth long and sharp drawing blood within her own cheeks—

she cannot speak, she cannot speak, 

she cannot pull away, and there are bodies everywhere—

her mind is full of the feeling of a perfectly ripened plumb, the press of an incisor against the skin, the burst of juice beneath—

And then, she sees the sigil. 

Perhaps she should have been thinking of pomegranates all along. 

@Tenebrae 

LITTLE GIRL, WATCH OUT FOR OLD WOMEN AND YOUNG MEN. IF YOU DON'T STAY IN YOUR TOWER YOU'RE BOUND FOR TROUBLE. THIS TOO IS CODE. YOUR BODY IS THE TOWER YOU LONG TO ESCAPE. THE BONES IN THE FOREST YOUR MEMORIES. THE LITTLE BIRDS BRING YOU BERRIES. THE PEBBLES ON THE TRAIL GLOW GHOSTLY WHITE. 


[email protected]






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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 14
Signos: 50
Night Court Soldier
Male [Him/his/he] // Immortal [Year 500 Summer] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 38 // Active Magic: Shadow-Forging // Bonded: N/A
#2

T  E  N  E  B  R  A  E

On my body, the grace of shadows
and in my heart: all Hells


 

He sees the copper of her through the thick throng of dancing bodies. They move about her like a whirlpool, spinning, spinning. Tenebrae does not move, though he sees the way she dances:  intoxicating, alluring, hungry.


Her lips press onto golden flesh. Her partner smiles dark and pleased and full of want. It took too long for anyone to ask her to dance. It took a night of dancers skirting her, watching this copper creature of danger and delight, before anyone was brave enough. The Stallion had watched it all. He had seen the way she moved through the crowds wanting and resisting. Firelight gleamed in her crimson eyes - they danced like rubies precious and wicked.


Where was the blood? The monk looks for it, he waits for it. He waits for his warrior-girl’s grip on control to loosen - and then he could intervene. But she does not. Ah, this strong-willed girl! Instead she dances and her eyes fill with savage desire. The stallion, gold and bright, is as soft as fruit in her grasp. They are intimate as they dance, their bodies woven together with shadows and firelight. But will this stranger end up like the seal upon the beach that Boudika pinned Tenebrae down beside? His own throat twinges with the memory. Her bite is now a tattoo of white, proud flesh. Even the scar is sharp and wicked as the teeth that made it. It reminds him of her. It is the largest badge of his sinfulness.


The moonlight and firelight are as soft across her skin as the kiss she continues to press upon the base of the stallion’s throat. She picked (or maybe he picked her) a man as gold, as bright as the sun. Tenebrae’s hunger rises. It prowls behind his teeth as they press together tight, tight like a cage. His shadows billow with ire, they slink and stalk restless with something he dares not name. It is something dangerous, something that festers within him. It is something a monk should be too pious to ever feel. 


But Boudika strips his piety from him with every passing moment. 


Tenebrae has not genuflected enough. He has not crawled nor prayed to Caligo enough for penitence because desire still slips like lightning through his body. It is enough to make him mad, it is enough to make numb the tight skin of his whip-torn back. It is enough to forget that he is a man who should not want - should not lust. Would no amount of flagellation remove his want of Boudika? 


Then her eyes find him. Boudika’s look is the same one that threw gasoline upon his ire as she bathed like a nymph in the Night Order’s sacred pool. Tenebrae does not move, he is not alive with rage as he had been then when he begged her to get out, when he promised to deliver retribution on her for her insolence. Yet he holds her gaze, crimson into white. Blood into starlight. 


No longer is her attention on the golden stallion she presses her lips to. A stallion as gold as the sun. Was it fate that chose a golden stallion to ask her to dance? Would she have said no if he were not the colour of the sun - the sun that all Stallions are made to Swallow. Was this mockery? Was this her way to draw him in? Or was this mere coincidence?


The monk does not know. Girls were complex creatures and no matter how much he thinks he begins to know his, she keeps surprising him, she keeps him in the dark.


His girl. His. He is already damned.


Tenebrae prowls forward. Darkness billows, it reaches with groping fingers along the tables of wares the merchants sell. He plucks something from a table as he passes, replacing it with its value in coins. Boudika makes him many things, but a thief is not one of them. 


Then he is parting the crowd as he moves toward her. Darkness reaches for the kelpie as it shrouds its master. Shadows breathe along all the places where sweat darkens her torso. It moves along the contours of her body, remembering. Yet Tenebrae looks only into her eyes as he stops beside the wanton couple. 


“There are many sweet things to eat this evening.” He remarks softly, casually, lightly.  The Stallion’s gaze switches from Boudika to the sun-bright stallion. He smiles, dark sinister, full of hunger. His sigils brighten, laying light across Boudika and her partner. Tenebrae wants, to fight, to eat, to have her


Slowly he returns his attention to Boudika, “And some of us seem hungrier than others.” Oh Tenebrae sees her struggle, sees the way her lips press tight into an unwavering kiss, barely a breath from feasting. He weaves one of his purchases from the merchant’s stall into the golden stallion’s mane: a pomegranate aril. 


“Will he really satisfy you for the night, Boudika?”


@Boudika - <3
 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~






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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 22
Signos: 70
Night Court Champion of Community
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Bonded: N/A
#3

THIS WILL NEVER END CAUSE I WANT MORE
MORE, GIVE ME MORE
GIVE ME MORE
There are so many things that should catch her eye and Boudika knows it. There are so many other things that she should be looking at when he brings his billowing shadows and charged confidence. There is a part of her that ought to flood with shame or anger; with ire or guilt. Instead Boudika blinks long and slow; instead her heart flutters in her chest in a way that is neither girl nor monster but some bemused in-between. 

There are many sweet things to eat this evening. 

There is the golden stallion, displeased. He steps forward as Tenebrae places the pomegranate aril in the tangle of golden hair, half possessively. But just as Tenebrae looks at nothing save the copper-headed mare, Boudika’s eyes feast upon him. Oh, there are certainly those that are hungrier, that were born hungrier, that were born with a hollow pit of wanting. The air feels electric. The air feels like the tension of a fight, of a storm. 

She recognises it in Tenebrae's eyes. It is the first time he seems familiar and Boudika shows Tenebrae everything she has learned from his hungry shadows; as his darkness laps the metallic gleam from the stallion’s skin, Boudika’s eyes reflect the brilliant light of Tenebrae’s sigils and leave his flesh wanting for nothing.

The golden stallion clears his throat. “Maybe I’ll catch you later. It seems you have something… unfinished… here.” And there is a heaviness to the stallion’s words; Boudika cannot tell if he is jealous, or hurt, or simply savvy enough to realise the entire time they had danced she’d been a tiger disguised as a girl. 

It is only when he is gone that Boudika realises just how close she came to ending his life. It is only when he is gone that she realises, unwaveringly, her eyes had laid claimed to the puckered white scar on Tenebrae’s throat. Seamlessly, the wild dancing continues around them, as water runs around stones. Seamlessly, the band playing a wild, haunting tune. Feverish. Impassioned. Boudika steps nearer Tenebrae; she steps close enough the heat of his skin touches hers.

“If I’ve learned anything from men,” she says. “It is that they rarely satisfy you.” Her tone is barbed; laced with venom; needing an antiseptic.

Boudika steps inward, to his shoulder, so they are aligned limb-to-limb. She turns her face toward his ear and whispers so only he can hear, “You owe me a dance if you’re going to frighten my partner.” 

It is not a question.

There is no pool of water to separate them this time. There is no hungry sea to call her back. There are only the bodies that surround them, pulsating, a current and a throb. Everything, a rush of blood. Everything a brilliant, beating heart. The bonfire flares and flickers; it cries towards the sky it cannot reach and sends embers flaring, dying, into the dark. The music is in her. The crowd becomes her. And Boudika feels the hunger of a huntress, and of a woman, for the first time in her life.

And in feeling it she realises it is the only kind of piety she understands. "Do you have no pomegranate for me, my keeper?" Her voice curls around the alias; half mockingly. She wonders how long his eyes had trailed her; he wonders how long he stood at the border of the festivities, waiting, watching, to see if she could resist temptation.

He couldn't. 

And Boudika knows it.

@Tenebrae 

IF I HAD A HEART I COULD LOVE YOU
IF I HAD A VOICE I WOULD SING
AFTER THE NIGHT WHEN I WAKE UP
I'LL SEE WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS


[email protected]






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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 14
Signos: 50
Night Court Soldier
Male [Him/his/he] // Immortal [Year 500 Summer] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 38 // Active Magic: Shadow-Forging // Bonded: N/A
#4

T  E  N  E  B  R  A  E

On my body, the grace of shadows
and in my heart: all Hells


 


The night feels cultish and wrong. It seems like a strange dream as the dancers flash by with torches and hair that swirls like the skirts of gossamer dresses.Yet they are nymphs and elves, goblins and all the strange and beautiful things Tenebrae thinks might emerge upon a midsummer night. Yet this is no dream. This whole evening is sacrilegious. It is no place for a monk, and yet, here he is, stood deep amidst the revelry; he stands bold beside a girl whose teeth hold fast and deep within his soul.


The darkness chatters her disapproval within his ears, as it contorts and weaves with the lamps the dancers carry. The lamplight shines upon Boudika’s lips and somewhere he thinks he hears the ocean groan with want of her return. He would do well to caution her to return. 


He turns as the stallion leaves, watches the way his sun-bright body slips out of the darkness of his magic. Tenebrae yearns after him, he sways like metal caught in the lure of a magnet. He might have gone, he might have let himself fall drunk with rowdiness, but for her.


That ominous, unnamed feeling still festers within him. It twists and tangles within his gut. It trembles its way into his muscles and rattles his bones liek the railings of the fence he contains it within. It spawns rebellion, this feeling of his. It is what has him standing here, it is recognised in the glow of Boudika’s gaze. She knows, she knows. His lips draw into a line, sharp as a knife.


The air crackles between them. Static leaps from dancer to dancer. The air is pregnant with tension. It gathers in the spaces between his flesh and hers, along the line of their gazes, locked upon each other. Maybe Tenebrae does not breathe for his lungs begin to burn and maybe he does but the air between them is acidic with warning.


 Boudika steps closer and his pulse roars ocean-loud in his ears. Darkness breeds in the space between them. It blooms along the crimson of her skin, it contours her face. The white of her cheeks are a moonlit glow. She is a wraith beside him, dangerous in her beauty. His nape curls in toward her, his brow centimeters from hers, his mouth, millimeters. When will Caligo come to bring her wayward son to heel? His smile is growing and his laughter is rough and lazy like the morning. He forgets gods and altars and holy things as his gaze lowers to hers. The whip-ragged skin stretches along his spine but he does not feel it. He does not remember the price he pays for this.


If I’ve learned anything from men, it is that they rarely satisfy you. Boudika snarls, leonine. Now he knows why his lungs burn. It is Boudika, her breath like acid, her tongue laced with it. She is not just teeth and strength but a wicked tongue encased within the slim frame of a wild woman. She drives him mad. He knows she speaks in response to the golden stallion, but oh she burns Tenebrae too! 


“And all I have learned is that women are never, ever, worth it.” If the acid of Boudika’s words is like gasoline, Tenebrae’s are the spark to ignite them.  His words burn across hers with dragonfire. They scold skin and hearts. Desires turn to ash in the wake of the inferno. Caligo is reaching within him, grasping his soul, pulling it out, out from Boudika’s teeth. Her Disciple remembers.


Tenebrae blinks, as if rousing from slumber, as if drunk. And maybe he was, drunk upon lust, upon a girl he cannot, should not have. Boudika coos in his ear, her words like a caress along his cheek. 


A dance. That is what she asks him for. The question curls itself about his throat, lingering upon his scar where her eyes once had. “I do not know how to dance.” For Tenebrae was made for different dances - those of blood and vengeance, righteousness and holiness. Not this, not this midsummer-like frenzy that calls his body to move with music and light. “You pick the wrong man, Boudika.” He says, even as his lips ghost along her lips, up and over the corner he once kissed. The monk wants her to remember.


And he wants her to forget. 


Her words are a demand, yet he does not move. He stands as if he were before Caligo’s temple, a guard upon his duty. Until she lets him claim her. How can she flay him in one breath - mark him (and his gender) unsatisfying, demand he dance with her in another and then call him her keeper in yet another? The pomegranates are hot in his grasp, could he chain her to him now? Boudika is as wild as the sea, she knows no bridle or chains to keep her contained. 


Mine.  Mine.


When did they come to this? Ire and fear and want mix heady and wrong within his veins. They gather dark and broody within his gaze, his eyes dim like shadows pool across them, like he has not drunk enough, he has not faught enough - like his magic slips, slips. “I have pomegranates for you too.” He says low, dangerous. The arils appear between them, in that small, small space they leave. Each one gleams like a heart - a dozen of them. They beg to be given. “I should throw them away. I should leave you.” He muses and lifts his gaze from the seeds to the kelpie stood too close. He can smell the sea, can taste the salt upon her skin. “Do not play games with me, Boudika” Tenebrae groans, just a man.


@Boudika - <3
 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~






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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 22
Signos: 70
Night Court Champion of Community
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Bonded: N/A
#5

THE SEA SPEAKS MORE HONESTLY

TO THOSE WILLING TO DROWN

It is always the darkness that tries and keeps them separated, blooming up like flowers, like a thousand incomprehensible shapes. In this way it nearly reminds Boudika of the sea; caressing; hungry; all consuming. It wants so many things at once and colours her with dark, dark, dark—or is it that it robs her of the light? And just when Boudika thinks she has pushed him too far and his darkness might consume her after all, he laughs aloud; the sound is rough and for a moment, inexplicably, she is reminded of Vercingtorix.

Boudika does not expect the memory; it shocks her, however, because the correlation is not that they are similar. It is that she finds the sound incredibly attractive, and for a moment she is not a kelpie, she is not a creature of the sea, she is a girl remembering what it felt to have her heart broken by the only man she had ever given it to. That is why her next comment emerges in such a snarl; it is why she is left wondering what is different about a monk.

And all I have learned is that women are never, ever worth it. 

I do not know how to dance. You pick the wrong man, Boudika. Just when she believes she has pushed him too far—and perhaps, herself—his mouth nearly brushes hers. The almost-gesture strikes her more utterly than if he had made contact; it runs her through with extraordinary tension and it feels as if she is on a hunt, as if she is stalking the reeds tiger-like and silent for more than a meal—

Boudika knows he is nothing like Vercingtorix. In his piety, he will forever be different; in his piety, he will forever be safe. And the thought is just enough to take the carnal edge from her actions; it is just enough for Boudika to lean her shoulder into him, soft rather than threatening, and she realises in doing so just how badly she wishes she could be touched. In her new form, in her new experience, she has been afraid to make contact of any kind; she has stayed from her few friends and been wandering, wraith-like, the woods and the sea.

If his tension has faded, so has hers. I have pomegranates for you, too. Boudika does not expect it, but he presents the anvils. His voice is more a growl, a groan, than what it had been before; and she sees in it her own slipping control reflected. She is not hungry as she had been moments away. I should throw them away. I should leave you. And immediately Boudika says, “Please don’t. Please.” Her voice is uncharacteristically raw; the impulse of the comment leaves her embarrassed and very girl-like her face flushes. 

If the sea were there, she would run to it. She would have the water caress her until she no longer wanted the touch of another creature; she would keen to the deep and wait, poignantly, for an answer. If the sea were nearer, she would become the surf, the waves, the hunger of the limitless beast. She would not be a woman; the salt would not feel so far from her skin. Everything is too warm; the fire; the dancers; and before the danger had been in her teeth and now, she realises, it is all in him. Do not play games with me, Boudika.

She does not mean to; but she is split between wanting and knowing, already, how these things end. When Boudika looks at him now her face is not split with an animal’s hunger; the feral, nearly unhinged wildness that had been visible mere moments ago is replaced with something tender, and young, and vulnerable.

Boudika thinks of Vercingtorix and his betrayal. She thinks of Orestes and his voice, velveteen, it is in your nature. She thinks of Amaroq and his disappearance. And the thing bursting in her chest is a wild, heady fear; the fear of life on the edge; the fear of wanting what could be knowing reality and want rarely coincide. 

Finally, breathless and rugged, she says, “I wish you could swim with me, Tenebrae.” Boudika does not meet his eyes. She stares at the pomegranates; she lets the crowd of dancers swallow them and, perhaps, their audacity is not so unlike the sea. Music rushes in her ears and everything smells of flesh and sweat; the fire gleams in places where Tenebrae’s shadows do not reach. But between them their space seems silent, subdued; the darkness makes it a private affair. And Boudika says, “I do not play games. I simply don’t know how to give my heart away.” And for a moment, transient and ephemeral, she is not the complicated intricacies of her past, or her becoming.

She is just a woman.

And in that moment, admitting her vulnerability, she has never felt so alone.

@Tenebrae 
[email protected]






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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 14
Signos: 50
Night Court Soldier
Male [Him/his/he] // Immortal [Year 500 Summer] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 38 // Active Magic: Shadow-Forging // Bonded: N/A
#6

T  E  N  E  B  R  A  E

On my body, the grace of shadows
and in my heart: all Hells


 



Being with her is like touching the sea. He watches the way energy ripples out across her torso. They radiate from the place upon her lips where his mouth hovers. He thinks, somewhere, some world might be ending with the tragedy that his mouth does not find hers. The monk does not need to think what she might taste like, to his shame he already knows. Boudika tastes like salvation should. She is the passing of the sun across the sky, present in his mind from his waking to his fitful sleep. She is wet of rain upon his lips, drawn up from the sea that cradles her and shed by the clouds that rain down upon him.


Oh, he is close, close. Every breath is filled with her and he does not move from where he feels the heat of her body. It is a warm caress across his face. If this was all he could have of her, it would sustain him for all eternity. He is content. He is a lion sated.


But Boudika is not.


Alarm slips through his veins and spooks his heart into running. There is a drum in his breast. It is his heart going to war, each thundering beat a cry of warning. Violence looms and yet, Tenebrae, always the warrior marches at its front lines. He is to be struck down by arrows filled with the violence of want and lust and love.


His heart thunders on and Tenebrae wages his war - he does not retreat, not when she pleads with him to stay. Her voice is raw, rough like the salt of the sea and the granules of sand nestled in the fine hairs of her copper coat. It sounded like the words hurt her, each one leaving her with the friction of desire. He moves to touch behind her jaw, at the junction of her throat where imagined words are made by sound and tongue - but he stops. The only balm he presses to her throat is that of his breath. Another sigh, a touch only dreamt of. Another heady dream. 


The pomegranate seeds glisten, fleshy, red and sweet as he considers her words. “You will be the death of me, Boudika.” Tenebrae breathes against her jaw, still close, still not touching.


He does well, to resist her, to never let himself kiss her, nor let their bodies touch. Though he dreams of it, though he remembers the touch of her body to his as a blasphemy for how close it brings him to the divine.


Another desire slips past her lips and he feels the air vibrate with it. “I will swim with you.” He whispers a pledge that paints itself across the delicate contours of her face - that moulds itself around the wicked edges of her new, wild sea body. It seems a small gift to balance all the others he cannot give her. It is small gift to him also, to see her in the sea, where it cradles her,a formidable ally to a forbidding huntress.


She looks up at him with eyes as bright as a crimson rose. He wonders when she has become just a girl for the look in her gaze is as fragile as a flower’s petal. He wonders when he let her lead him so far from his holy order. Tenebrae takes a breath and in the darkness that breathes around them (that blots the stars out of the sky and the dancers from their swirling orbit) Boudika fills up every corner of him with the scent of her skin. She is too close, he can almost feel where their shoulders and hips threaten to touch. Temptation is a candle in the dark, bright and warm and alluring. Her shoulder presses into his, the touch of her body to his sudden and warm. Boudika is soft beside him. She is not a warrior, but a girl, craving. He learns what it is to be touched without violence. He learns what it is to yearn. The Disciple learns what it is to be weak. His eye close and suddenly the darkness scatters and the stars blaze in their thrones above and dancers reappear swirling and laughing. Revely comes flooding back in and Tenebrae’s chin is lifting up that he might breathe air that is not full of her. He puts space between his mouth and hers. 


I do not play games. She says and he might call her a liar when she is here, pressed against him. But she is so suddenly fragile, her confessions raw and plaintive in his ears. He feels where her chest rises against his with every heavy breath she breathes. He does not like her this way: suddenly delicate, frangible, a girl working out how to fall in love. She is a creature as wild and strong as the sea, she is made for better things than sinful men. “Do not give your heart away, Boudika,” the monk warns her. He turns to look at her, the moon-bright white of her face is stark beneath the midnight sky. Never before has he let the light hold her as it does now his shadows are banished. He is naked without them, only the glow of his half-moon sigils mark him a monk amidst men.


“Especially not to a monk.”


@Boudika - <3
 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~






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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 22
Signos: 70
Night Court Champion of Community
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Bonded: N/A
#7

THE SEA SPEAKS MORE HONESTLY

TO THOSE WILLING TO DROWN


Boudika’s heart has always been too much. It only took her becoming something—someone—else to realise what, and who, she had been all along. Yes. Her heart has always been too much; she has always tried a little too hard to love the world, and all the broken men within it. Her father taught her best, and taught her young; how to wrap her innocent, girlish affections around a man of barbed wire and whiskey and say, you are enough, enough, enough even as he pushed her to become something she could never be: a son. And still Boudika sacrificed; and still Boudika strived; only to see him proud and happy. Then, of course, there was Vercingtorix and all his fiery, passionate intensity. She gave the most to him, she thinks; a whole chunk of heart, wrapped and bloody, every time she defended him, stood up for him, trained with him. It was there when they drank atop the citadel of their old homeland and stared at the stars; it was there when she leapt off a cliff-face to save him; it was there when she visited him day by day by day in the hospital bed, and fell more in love with someone who would never—could never—want her. It was there, always, when she lied. 

Orestes. The man who she could never not give her heart to, already too in love with the terrible sea. He had been the sea, changing as the tides did, full of anger and sorrow and a depth incomprehensible to her until she spoke with him, until he looked at her with those deep-sea eyes and tried to cover up all the ways life would hurt. She loved him and lost him because of it. She loved him and learned to become something else because he would never, ever let her shy from her true nature again; and she owed it to him, for essentially killing him. Boudika owed it to him. 

Amaroq. He was the ice and feral passion; the arctic. A different part of the sea then she had ever known, but still familiar. He had chased her and seen her and she had hated him first and loved him second, because she had been afraid of all the things he might teach, she was afraid to hear him sing beneath the too-still sea and hear the cold echo of her own heart. The last of a breed, the last, the last, the last— 

Now: 

Tenebrae. 

And he is not like any of them.

There is no sea for her to fall in love with first; no water to shield his mortal flaws. Only him, and flesh and blood and shadow. Perhaps it is because he is as chaste as she, bound by some higher order. He moves to touch her and somehow refrains an inch from her skin; instead his hot breath ghosts over her throat and Boudika trembles, strung taunt as a guitar’s wire. 

You will be the death of me, Boudika he says, and she thinks the same of him. Then: I will swim with you, and said so close to her skin, to the pulse of her blood, Boudika feels as if the words Bind them. And then it will be Boudika feeling her morals strain and fight against her; tonight she knows she will dream of things he cannot give, tonight she knows she will dream of him following her into the deepest parts of the ocean. 

Tenebrae gives her a small gift by not flinching from her touch; no, he breathes in her scent and she is and that, too, feels like some type of promise. They are Denocte and the sea; smoke-fire, frankincense, sweat, salt. Boudika nearly closes her eyes; but then he moves and the darkness dissipates with an abruptness that is shocking. 

Do not give your heart away, Boudika

The comment shocks her more than it should. She nearly laughs aloud, and in reflection of her earlier thoughts the girl says whip-quick, “Why have one, then, if not to give it away? If not to share it?” The question is delivered innocently, though. Without his shadows he does not seem so unreachable. Without his shadows he is there, ready to be touched, and Boudika moves uncertainty to press the soft of her cheek against the half-moon sigil at his shoulder. Only a man.

There is more she wants to do, more she wants to say. She wants to trace the supple arch of his neck, and bury her face into the tangle of his mane. She wants to lose herself in him the way she has only lost herself in the sea. But Boudika has already succumbed further to girlish wants than she would have normally; and it leaves her embarrassed in a way illy suited for a water horse, for a creature so unapologetically brazen. He had not left when she had asked him to stay; but Boudika would not keep pushing him; she would not play games. And if he belonged to Caligo, so be it. Boudika would not plead again.

“If you want to find me, come to the sea.” Boudika whispers it against the skin of his shoulder, prayer-like. Then she pulls away; it is not hard to submerge herself in the vivacious crowd and then gone, down an empty street of Denocte, running on the path studded with moonstones. She can breathe freshly for the first time; and through her mind again and again she hears

please

please don’t
 

and how she had never been brave enough to say those words before now, to ask for exactly what she wanted, exactly what she deserved. And, running, the scent of him still on her skin… she is intoxicated on it. When Boudika crashes into the sea, it is exuberant; it is four long strides and a dive, and a beating heart that screams

yes

yes, 

yes



@Tenebrae 
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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 92 — Threads: 14
Signos: 50
Night Court Soldier
Male [Him/his/he] // Immortal [Year 500 Summer] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 38 // Active Magic: Shadow-Forging // Bonded: N/A
#8

T  E  N  E  B  R  A  E

On my body, the grace of shadows
and in my heart: all Hells


 


Tenebrae does not know all the ways she has given her heart away before. He does not stop to think about what her heart  might have felt before the moment where she stands before him, trembling like a leaf as he breathes. He might smile, if he did not ache so, to think how their touches had been violence up until now. Until this moment where they are so close and he wants to touch, he longs for it, and yet he does not. There are things worse than violence, like love, like the agony of falling in love.


Tenebrae is not made for falling in love.


Though his heart is beginning to think it may know how to.


He inhales, desperate to clear the fog of her from his blood, his nerves. But oh, she is there in his lungs, upon his tongue he tastes the salt of her sea, the musk of her skin. Tenebrae’s eyes close as his brow lowers, his forelock dares to tangle with her hair that falls in wet waves down the elegant curve of her throat. It is the part of him bold enough to touch, it is the only part of him he cannot control and of course it reaches for her. Of course it tangles itself so completely with hers.


He knows when she nearly laughs at his warning, he sees the glimmer in her eyes. They gleam dark as rubies. She is untouchable and wild, she is more knowing than him then. Ah, he is a man, a warrior made by a god to end the course of the sun, and yet, he is a fool on matters of the heart. His lips press tight together as he feels the sharp prick of his own naivety. How can a monk ever be versed in the ways of the heart?


It was easier when they fought, when she had him pinned beneath her teeth, when he had a weapon angled at the groove of her throat. It was easier when there was violence instead of desire. He knows how to fight her, it is all he knows. To fight, to fight, to fight. 


Why have one, then, if not to give it away? If not to share it? She asks as she leans in to him as she makes all his efforts not to touch her pointless, worthless. Her cheek presses against his shoulder, over his half-moon sigil and its glow is hidden. Tenebrae longs for the bite of the whip his brothers used upon him becuase the pain of that is easier than this. 


Tenebrae’s eyes close, the angles of his face starker with his sorrow and his anguish. His chin tilts up in his effort not to touch her and the shadows pour their righteousness down upon him. “I do not want to see your heart broken,” He says that voice still like whiskey but it is rougher, it is something like breaking.


 You are not meant for me.


I am not meant for anybody but Caligo.


And oh these are the truths that sit deep in his veins that are burrowed deep in his marrow.


I was not made for love.


If you want to find me, come to the sea, She whispers against his skin. The monk thinks her words feel the way a kiss might, but Tenebrae only really knows the bite of her teeth, the bite of a blade. That thought, that imagining, is enough to have him breaking. It has him daring to reach down and touch her as he once did...


Boudika pulls away before his mouth finds the curve of her neck and he groans with the curse, the blessing.. The absence of her blinds him with relief and remorse. Each are so acute his nerves are sharp as lightning. Tenebrae aches in his skin, his bones are stone and he simply stands as she peels from him. His shadows are banished from them and without their darkness Boudika moves as stark as blood across a bone-white beach. His eyes trail her, starving.
She leaves him empty. She leaves him so full his skin is tight across his bones and his whip-wounds sting with the ghosts of their crimson tears. She leaves him promising himself he is not weak.


He does not follow her.

@Boudika - <3
 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~






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