Old May 30, 2017, 08:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Off the coast of PA] To the Sky

Summer Era XXIV


It had been for his own peace of mind as much as anything.

Being out here, it was... bordering on frightening. He didn't know how to feel about the great abyss beneath him. It was cold, dark, and vastly unknown, and what lurked there was left only to imagination. Adyn wanted to shudder. He wanted to look down.

And at the same time, he wanted to look up, where the stars were a smattering of gems on an endless midnight sky.

It seemed very much an analogy of his life, he thought. On one side, the deep dark under, the place of fear that demanded strength and shaped one out of burdens. And on the other, a different sort of darkness - one of beauty, of discovery, of hope.

And here he was, as he'd always been, a man settled in between them.

He let thoughts of the sea below him melt as his body did, sinking into the boat so that he could lean his head against it. He remembered a few of these constellations as ones his father had taught him as a boy, and others as ones that Rosie had taught him when they'd been marooned not that long ago.

But his heart felt heavy at the sight of some, and weightless upon others. It was as if his heart didn't know what to do with the tangle of memories woven up within those stars.

"I've decided to make up a few as well," he murmured to his companion. He quite liked the idea, ever since he had learned it from her. "It makes me feel as if they're my own."

He pointed some of them out. "A music note, for Aria. A flower, for Ellinor. A telescope, for Samson." People he had loved and lost. People he paid homage to every day he managed to live and breathe.
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Old May 30, 2017, 09:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He had asked her once how many times she'd fallen from a ship. At the time the question was posed, she'd answered truthfully: once. In her entire life there had only been one time her boots had left the deck of a ship and found themselves submerged in the vast ocean beneath.

Now, in one season, she'd gone overboard twice. How had she allowed that to happen?

The first time, she had been enveloped in a witch's spell and sank to the bottom. She could still feel the pressure of the water clutching at her throat, threatening to crush her beneath its immense weight. The second had been a choice to save a life. The gravity that had surrounded her then was no less however.

And yet, she couldn't stay away. Instead of frightening her from the seas, the experiences had seemed to only bolster her need for them. As if she wanted to get lost amongst the anonymity that could be afforded her. She was just one droplet of water in the ocean. What did it matter if it consumed her? It was a terribly beautiful thing to know with certainty that one's life was of no consequence. Depressingly freeing to have eyes opened that fact.

As she settled her head in her arm against the wooden bottom of the boat and turned her eyes to the sky, she felt it was much the same up there. It was just a different sort of void where one could lose themselves. The glittering stars promised to guide a sailor to their destination, but if misread could lead them to their doom. Mischievous and enchanting, the stars offered no remorse or regret for their existence. Unlike the dark facelessness of the sea, the stars offered a bright invisibility.

Maybe she was one of them. Her brow quirked at the thought, having never considered it before. Unsure of the implications the sheer responsibility of being a star would entail, and what that would mean to her personally, Rosie attempted to push it aside as her friend began to speak.

Her head inclined towards his with a soft smile as he began to point out his own constellations. "I shall have to add them to my map," she offered quietly.

Her grin faltered for a moment. Creating constellations for oneself was a deeply personal affair. Truth be told there were only two people in the world that knew of her own propensity at inventing them. Three, if her father still counted. Her eyes sought out his stars and Rosie realized that he did. He still counted for everything. Something told her that he always would.

"Or perhaps I can draw one of your own for you." She wasn't certain he would want to meld his stars with hers after all.
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Old May 30, 2017, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There was a soft chuckle in response to the offer to add his constellations to her map. He imagined she might have to push aside a lot of legitimate names to do so. There was no rationale or order to what Adyn was picking out among the stars. He didn't think Rosie would want the mess he'd fashioned there.

He didn't think she was being serious, anyway. What bearing would his particular visions of the skies have on her own, after all? He imagined that when either of them looked to the horizon, they were met with very different pictures. Whatever guided the woman across the seas was surely no memory of Adyn's.

It was a bittersweet thing, though, to feel the ties of another loosen and remain at bay. It was freeing, and yet suffocating, to know that what he saw before or behind him was no longer shared by someone else. But he preferred it that way, where his selfishness was not a danger to someone he cared about. It was easier to stand aside so that others could move forward and onward with their lives.

He smiled at the sky when she offered to draw him a map. "And perhaps, then, I would not be so lost," he said, although he knew that would not be true. His smile faltered when he realized what he had said, what he might have admitted to his friend. At least the humor in his tone would easily allow her to receive it as a jest. Surely that was all much of anything had ever been between them.

"If you make me a map, I'll keep it in my office. When I have one at last," he went on. "Who knows... maybe my father's old telescope will be somewhere in the cellars."

If only, he thought. Such a piece would have been the first thing to have been claimed or sold by Lynessa. But a man could certainly dream.
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Old May 30, 2017, 11:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The humor in his tone was lost on her as she took his words for her own. Perhaps it was the sky bearing down on her, and the sea pushing upwards, trapping her in their tight cocoon, that wouldn't allow for her usual levity. It was difficult to remain aloof when stuck in a tight space with nowhere to retreat but inwards. And when the insides were a maze of broken pieces, that could be worse than facing the world.

"I think," she groaned and arched her back against the wood; eyes rolling as she realized she was about to play the outspoken hypocrite once again. "It is only when you change the stars that you can truly find yourself. Perhaps that's why I like making my own constellations. They're a story. The people and things that I've loved along the way guiding me towards wherever it is I'm meant to go."

She sighed and cupped her hand over her mouth, lest it betray her any more than it already had. Thankfully Adyn continued speaking.

"An office?" came her muffled reply before she scowled and shook her lips free of her offending hand. "A star map and a telescope," she quite liked the idea. The image of Adyn standing at a window and gazing at the heavens closer than the naked eye could see came to her. She wondered if he would let her play with it too. What were the stars made of?

"What will you do in your office besides sip whiskey, smoke cigars, and toil over paperwork?" It was almost the same as what she did in her own, and it was miserable. If she trusted someone else to be as meticulous about the paperwork, she would have them do it. It was one of the least exciting aspects of her life.

Her hand reached towards the sky and she shut one eye so she could trace the outline of her father's anchor. "Do you think they care that we rely so much on them? The stars, I mean. Do they know how badly they are needed?"

Her eyes rolled once again and she apologized, "I know... less talking, Rosie. Keep it light, Rosie. You're ruining the night, Rosie," she laughed at her rhyme and couldn't help but add one more, "You're bound to give him a fright, Rosie."

She covered her irritating mouth once more and made an attempt at a vow of silence. Adyn was bound to regret inviting her on this little voyage if she kept saying strange things.
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Old May 30, 2017, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There was a silence as the woman spoke about changing the stars. Adyn could name them, perhaps. Pretend they were his. But change them? He didn't know so much about that. The stars were much like the world at large. Immovable, unyielding. It was the reality of being a single person in a world that would continue on as it was that made him feel as lost as he did. Perhaps that was why he didn't feel that he was meant to really go anywhere.

No destiny, no fate. Just existing. It was what he was best at. Just... being.

Aria had seemed to act as though it would never be enough. He supposed that was fine, if one had the imagination to come up with reasons beyond surviving. But Adyn wasn't a dreamer. Adyn was rooted in the world as it was, and that world was not as full of fancy as his sister had known it to be.

"Count coins, obviously," he said of what he would do with his future office. "Order people around. Take a nap. Ponder the meaning of life, perhaps."

His eyes traced the stars as Rosie began to speak of them, but the answer had formed in his mind even before she had finished her question.

"No," he murmured. "Look at how many there are, Rosie. How far away they are. How vast a world they form up there. Why would they care about us?" The bewilderment in his tone was evident. As if there could be no answer to ever rationalize the importance of Man... not to the universe.

"The stars don't owe us anything. I'm sure we've lived and died beneath them too many times to count."

It wasn't meant to be depressing. It was only a statement of fact. Spoken as casually and as certainly as if he were remarking on the weather.

He laughed at her attempts to then leave him in peace. He wouldn't have invited her out this way if he'd cared about her speaking. Gods knew that one didn't take Rosie somewhere to settle into a lasting stillness.

"You're not ruining anything," he scoffed. There was a pause, and then his tone grew softer.

"It's nice to hear a voice, anyway. It's preferable to the silence." To what went on inside his head.
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Old May 30, 2017, 11:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"Remember not to bathe in them," she spoke of his coins and her lips twitched at the memory of a past conversation. She was just a fountain of useless philosophy and advice. Perhaps it would benefit the world if she did lose her voice.

She tried to imagine Adyn ordering people around and pondering deep meanings. It went against everything she knew of him, but then she supposed she didn't know a whole lot. That was what they had wanted though, right? Right. Of course it was. It was easier that way. But then what was the point of rowing into the bay in the middle of the night and gazing at the stars? She felt like she was failing. She didn't know what she failing at or who she was failing. But that deep sense of dread snuck its way into her heart and settled there, mocking her in her failure.

"Oh..." she ceased tracing the anchor and her hand fell to her stomach as the man regaled his outlook on the stars. "I suppose they don't." It wasn't as depressing a thought as she would have imagined it to be. In fact it was quite freeing.

If that were true, "Then what's the point in giving a feth about anything at all?" She might as well just live her life however she wanted. Stop worrying about making a mark on the histories that would be written. Simply find her adventures and create her memories for herself. "Take whatever you want," she whispered the first challenge she'd ever given him as an adult as if saying it to herself.

But she couldn't believe it entirely. She knew better than that. Her father was in those stars. Her lost crew was too. They were all watching over her. She could feel it just as she could feel the waves gently lapping against the side of the boat.

Perhaps there was still something in his view though. Maybe her grandiose thoughts were too high. A middle had to be somewhere. If she had the courage and wherewithal to find and accept such a thing. "Maybe there isn't somewhere I'm meant to be. Instead it's just somewhere I would like to be above everything else. And the stars are the souls of those who loved me most and they can help guide me there?" she turned to watch his face as he answered.

"Or maybe they're just stars and I should grow up," she shrugged and didn't know what to make of it.

It was her turn to scoff when he asserted that she wasn't ruining anything and he didn't mind her voice. "That's good then, I suppose," she answered and returned her gaze upwards. "I'm fairly certain I would wither and die if I were forced to be quiet for too long. The world needs to hear my hypocrisies, mon cher auditeur. For if I did not say them then who would entertain you?"
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Old May 30, 2017, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What was the point of giving a feth? Adyn shrugged, even if Rosie might not see it. "That's what you have to figure out, isn't it?" Wasn't that the big struggle everyone wanted to overcome before they withered and died away? "Surely you don't only live for memories."

A hypocrite, though, was he. Adyn subsisted off of memories. He had no end goal, no reason, no answer ahead. He had failed that struggle, and was failing still.

He hoped Rosie was having better luck than he was.

The corners of his eyes creased when she looked at him, when she seemed to totter between giving up and giving in to the mysteries of the universe. He wished he knew which way to guide her, but he had long settled into a space of resignation. He didn't think he had anywhere he was meant to be. He didn't think there was any grand goal that the threads of reality were tugging him towards.

But anyone could make a dream and walk towards it. He could see that power in the woman across from him, and was happy that she had the strength to harness it. He had every faith that she did.

But Adyn? Adyn was not a dreamer, as he'd only just told himself. He was still coming to terms with being content with that. Perhaps it would come in time.

"I dunno. Do you think they're hypocrisies? Maybe you just have a different set of eyes." He chuckled. "But you're right. I fear no one else in the world could replace you, ma chère. But you already know that, don't you?"

Of course she did. It was what made Rosie, Rosie. No matter how many lives these stars had witnessed from birth to death, surely there had only ever been one Rosie. Perhaps that was enough to maintain the spark of fascination she held with the universe at large.
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Old May 30, 2017, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What would she live for if not for memories? For experiences? The woman wasn't so sure there was much else to life than that. But surely that was enough to spur one onwards. To find the supreme happiness and contentment that could come with it. Maybe. Feth, she didn't know. Life was a grand mystery and she didn't think she would ever unravel it. Perhaps when she finally did meet her end it would all become clear.

"Maybe it isn't for us to figure out. Maybe it's there just beyond our grasp, and it always will be. Perhaps that's where the romance of life is." She smiled at that, coming back into her own.

"The intricacies of what it is to be human are hidden and it's our job to pick at the threads one by one, but never to learn each strand. And then you find another who has pulled his own strings and learn from each other to attain a better sense of self and togetherness." It was a pretty thought. Though she was certain Adyn would poke holes into it and cause her to doubt once again. Such was his level head.

She nodded when asked if she really believed herself to be a hypocrite. "The worst kind. I spew advice on things I've never even known," she admitted freely without understanding why. There was a mysticism to the air that night and she almost felt comfortable bearing her soul to another. To have someone know something of her other than what she showed on a daily basis was foreign, and yet she could feel certain weights lifting from her.

She snorted and turned her smile upon him, eyes gleaming in the starlight, "Oh oui, mon coeur. They certainly broke the mold when they made me, non? Truly it is a lonely existence."

Her smile only broke when she chewed on the inside of her cheek for a moment, trying to remember something. "My father always said there were two halves to the mold of creation. That one should seek their other half and be complete. If that's true, and I came from a unique mold of one, I fear I may never find my happiness."
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Old May 30, 2017, 02:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"Maybe."

Adyn didn't seem uncertain. He also didn't seem to understand. He just agreed with her maybes, allowing them to drift up into the mystery of space and time and to remain as they were - as simple and unfathomable maybes.

He gave a soft grunt of laughter at her thought that the mold had been broken when making her. He knew a thing or two about loneliness, although his was the sort of his own making. He could ease that sensation in the crowds of the city at times, and in the arms of those who sought to love him. But he had learned in this past season that he knew very little about truly loving back.... that perhaps he had been broken of that ability when he had lived the life he did.

Perhaps loneliness was his punishment for his many mistakes. At least that way, he could never really harm someone the way he had harmed before.

"Are you truly lonely, though?" he wondered aloud, genuinely curious. "With your crew... and William? They seem to be very fond of you." He imagined, after all, that Rosie had not put herself through much of what had managed to tear holes into Adyn. The suffering in the Gut, the thick of death during the war. But he didn't know what Rosie had seen or experienced. He didn't know if she was like him, in that those memories seemed to linger and twist at his soul in a way that he would never truly manage to escape.

He paused to consider what her father had told her. He didn't want to tell her that his own father had not found that second half. Adyn knew that many people never did, or would, even if there were several halves that might fit with another piece. He was hardly a romantic in that regard, though. He didn't have the heart to go searching for that little glimpse of perfection. He didn't think he would ever find it, not when he could never offer what he'd been given.

"The other side doesn't have to be like you, though, does it?" He considered what he was trying to say. "Maybe you shouldn't be looking for someone who fits the mold. Maybe that's not who completes you."

Or what completes you, he might have said. His father had seemed to find that satisfaction in the stars and in his children. Perhaps it was a matter of seeking wholeness in different sorts of love. Wasn't that what they were talking about? That mysterious, nebulous thing called love?

He shrugged, then looked back up again. Even to him, his words sounded like mush. Wisdom from a dunce. It would have been enough for Adyn to feel as if he was a complete half in and of himself, after all. He figured that until that managed to happen, he wouldn't be completing anyone else. So who was he to speak on it? As if he understood.
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Old May 30, 2017, 02:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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She nodded solemnly, but not without mirth, at his question of her loneliness. Truly it was a mantle that she had taken of her own accord. "Oh aye," she lamented. The woman wasn't certain who she would be without it. Rosie had spent her entire life building up her persona and not allowing people close to her. It was safer this way. She'd seen the way her mother had destroyed her father. She had witnessed how someone could wither under the touch of a person they loved. Rosie had determined from a young age such a thing wasn't for her.

She laughed and buried her face in the man's chest before turning onto her back once more. "William!" she said his name as one might say the name of their favorite toy. The man had been her first lover and closest friend. He'd slipped into a role of surrogate father at times since her return. Though he was hardly someone she ever shared a deep conversation with. Actually this was her first one with someone other than herself. She found it to be aggravating that he didn't agree with her, and yet intriguing to hear someone else's thoughts. For the first time ever, she considered that her own opinion didn't have to be the right one.

"I am surrounded by people and am yet completely alone. I don't know how to change that. Nor do I know if I would." It was honest a statement as she knew how to make on that particular subject.

She considered his answer on the mold conundrum. "I've never thought of that," she admitted. "I suppose you're right though. I wouldn't want to deal with another me. I'm exhausting," she grinned into the air. Perhaps someone a little less exuberant would be more suited to her. Someone to temper her somehow. "Not that I'm even looking. At least for now, this life is enough."

Her life had settled into something that she knew wouldn't last forever, but she was happy to hold onto it as long as she could. Her ship and her crew were enough. Her friendship with Adyn was enough. "I can be content until the seas swell and sweep me in another direction towards a destination I probably haven't even considered."

She chuckled loudly at her words and rolled her eyes. "I honestly have no clue what I'm saying, mon douce. What magic have you poured into me tonight to make me say such strange things? Is this your plan? To bring forth the poet from your friend? You could have just asked. I am rather liberal with my advice, non?"
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Old May 30, 2017, 03:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Rosie hadn't struck Adyn as a lonely person, so he was surprised to hear her say as much. He supposed he could understand it. He had found a new family since he had returned home, and yet somehow the world had still seemed empty. He couldn't fathom what created the hole. He only knew that it tainted everything else, cast it all in shadow.

But that wasn't only loneliness, he knew. It was just a general lack of... something. Something he wasn't sure he'd ever be able to find. But it was "something" nonetheless.

He snorted at her admission that she was exhausting, turning onto his side to arch a brow at her. "You won't be looking, I assure you. That's when it strikes." His nose creased. "And then Rosie will marry a man with infinite patience and have a gaggle of children, each with a sense of adventure. And then she'll be too exhausted to be exhausting. Do you think it's in the stars?"

He pointed upward, at some cluster within the galaxy that surely had Rosie's fate written within.

He scoffed at her next question. "Me?" he asked in return, pointing to himself. "I haven't come here to force anything from you. Are you sure that's not the way you've always been?" His eyes glimmered even in the darkness.

Truly, he had just come out here to be. To exist just as he was. If Rosie saw fit to do the same, he would welcome that as well. It was just nice to have his silence without silence, the peaceful moments with a voice other than his own trundling through the darkness. It helped to ease the troubled thoughts, helped to calm his restless nerves.

And besides, Rosie had been the one to teach him many of these stars. He just assumed that she enjoyed them as much as he found he did.
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Old May 30, 2017, 05:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It was her turn to crinkle her nose. "Marry someone?" she scoffed and rubbed their creased noses together. "Mon dieu, mon amie, your future for me is more horrifying than your loup garou." She couldn't even imagine what it would take to have her settle down and marry someone. Didn't even want to imagine it. And then children! She wanted to laugh out loud. "If my own mother is any indication of how I would fare, I'd be doing the world a favor by staying completely celibate."

Although the thought was nice... Who was she kidding? No it wasn't. There was no way she would ever be suitable for family life. She was too wild. Too exhausting. She slapped his hand playfully from the sky. "I don't think I want to know what the stars have in store for me now," she joked.

She laughed and nodded her head, eyebrows raising to her hairline. "Right again, mon douce. Ugh," she fell onto her back and brought her wrist to her forehead. Her eyes were closed so she wouldn't have to look upon the stars. "Put me out of my misery, mon amie. No one should have to see me as a wife and mother. It isn't becoming."

What would she be without her adventures? Land-locked. "Pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen? It is a fate worse than death." Absolutely no appeal at all there. She needed her dramatics and antics and rabble-rousing.

"But you," she turned on her side once again and narrowed her gaze on the man before her. "You will have ten children at least. Nine boys and one girl. All the boys will look just like you and wear tiny little waistcoats. And your daughter will have you wrapped around her little finger. Your wife... well, she will have you wrapped around her little finger too. So really it's a lose-lose for you."
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Old May 30, 2017, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Adyn snorted at Rosie's horror at being married. Adyn didn't have the best experience with mothers either, but he imagined they couldn't all be bad. Aria would have been a wonderful mother. And Aria had loved adventure, too, just in her own different way. That hadn't seemed to die when she'd found someone she cared for. But he wasn't about to preach on all of that. Rosie was not Aria, after all.

"Perhaps you'll marry a sailor. Or worse. A navyman."

His eyes creased at the corners again when she told him his own future. Nine boys, and all of them just like him? "Are you certain that's not already the case? They could be running around anywhere." He regretted the joke immediately. Gods, he certainly hoped not.

She might have been right, though, about what his devotion might have been to his children. His wife. He had thought, on some few occasions, that he might have had both of those things. The thought wasn't unappealing. Someone who made him feel less alone. Little ones who might help form the memories he'd never had a chance to with Samson.

But that had been one of the few dreams Adyn had ever dreamed, and it had died as swiftly as he'd conjured it up when he'd realized that the strange emptiness yet remained. A life like that would still fail to address the lack of direction that forever claimed him.

"Yeah. A lose-lose," he agreed. A loss for the daughter, and for the wife.

He let his gaze focus on Rosie then. "Or perhaps we were both meant to understand that loneliness can be quite tolerable. I mean, this isn't so bad, is it?" His eyes made a cursory glimpse toward the sky.

"But Rosie.... If you go off and get married before me, I should be quite disappointed. What will I do then? Who will infiltrate lady's night with me when I get blasted drunk again?"
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Old May 30, 2017, 07:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"I've known far too many sailors for that to ever be a viable option," she said solemnly. A married sailor was only married when he was at home with his wife. Once upon the sea and hitting foreign ports, he was apt to roam and roost in different beds each night.

"I would imagine I would be far too jealous for that," she added. Not that she had ever experienced jealousy when it pertained to a lover. She'd never allowed herself to feel that deeply for anyone before. But she had known jealousy before: when someone's ship was better than hers ,or could do something better than she could. She imagined it would be much the same with someone she loved.

"If I ever allowed myself to fall in love and get married, he would have to be a landlubber. I can see it working no other way." She didn't have the words to explain her certainty, not just then. It was the first time she'd ever allowed herself to even think upon the possibility. She needed to ruminate on that for awhile and see if it meant anything, or if it was just a fleeting fancy.

Her eyes widened and she drew in a surprised breath at his admission to being a whore. Her fingers wove into the fabric of his shirt at his chest and she threw her head back and laughed. "I swear to Markalin, Adyn... if you give me a son, I will shape him in your image and tell him every single one of your stories," she meant it too. That was a threat on which she could certainly deliver.

She wasn't ready for a child. Gods, she'd only just admitted that there might be a possibility to fall in love in her future. The girl needed a break from new revelations. It seemed since her father's death her life had been put on fast forward. She wished it would slow down and get back to its previous simplicity.

Her brow furrowed at the tone of his voice when he agreed with her lose-lose situation. Something told her he didn't find it nearly as endearing as she did, and she regretted having hurt his pride. She was going to apologize, but his gaze fell upon her and he made loneliness sound like something with which she could be content.

She smiled at him and agreed, "Non, it's not so bad when I have my shoremate to share in my misery." Truly she could think of no one better to be lonely with.

"Never you fear," she answered of his disappointment. "Whomever that unlucky man is who tames me, will know from the very start that he has to let me have lady's night with my favorite friend. It's a deal breaker. I shouldn't be able to live knowing the great injustice being done to you without me there to help."
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Old May 30, 2017, 08:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Adyn found himself surprised at the things he was learning about Rosie. Jealous? Only able to marry someone tied to land? He might never have considered either of those things when it came to Rosie and relationships. Perhaps he'd never had much reason to.

But they were friends now. And as hesitant as he was to share too much much about either of their lives, he supposed it was only inevitable that they might go revealing something eventually. That was just the nature of speaking.

His lips quirked despite the look of horror that suddenly crossed his features when she laughed at him. "In my image? Gods, why would you do that?" It was the worst idea that might have passed her lips since he'd ever known her. The poor child would never forgive him. Upon recalling the imagery of the poor woman barefoot in his kitchen, he considered that Rosie would never forgive him.

"Perhaps you should fashion him after William instead. Then he could have an eye patch instead of a waistcoat. A much better accent, too."

He laughed, then, at her refusal to give up lady's night for even her husband. The joke would remain alive and strong between the two of them, he imagined. Not that he expected there to actually be a place for him once her life had journeyed onward, but it was a warm sentiment from her nonetheless.

"You think too poorly of yourself, mon amie," he couldn't help but say. "If anyone should manage to take you from the sea, they would have more love than they would ever know what to do with. That doesn't sound so unlucky to me."

He did, after all, remember quite clearly how she'd spoken of the sea when they'd ventured away from shore that day. Anything to tear her away from that would have had to be powerful indeed.

He sighed, then, and closed his eyes. The peaceful rocking of the boat alongside the gentle flow of voices, her hands on his chest, the lap of the waves... It was enough to set his heart at ease.
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