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Old April 3, 2018, 04:57 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Aah. Not as calm as he had thought then. Calanon frowned at the acerbic tilt of Kailin’s response, already pulling his hand back as she surged up and away from him. He found himself pushing upright, setting his back against the headboard and drawing up his knees beneath the sheets, arms wrapped around them, a physical defence to mirror that which he could feel building within.

She was judging him for leaving Rosie,and it stung. “That is unfair. You weren’t there, and I did what she asked of me”. He knew it to be true, the sailor had forbidden him from telling Adyn, and he thought he had a closer understanding of Rosie and her relationship with her crew than Kailin did for sure. But still, the thought that might have let his friend down at so critical a point sat like a lead weight in his belly, and he picked at a seam on the bedsheet covering him, eyes flicking briefly toward Kailin as she flung herself out of the bed and made some pretence of stoking the fire.

He was silent as she agitated the ashes, only the shadow silhouette of her visible to him, but clear enough for him to mark the sharp movements and the tension in her. She didn’t want to think about Rosie, he wished he could not For now,as he questioned his decision to abide by her request, it was too easy for everything to push its way back into his mind, and he felt the residue of the fear that had bitten hard, a cold pickling down his spine.

Kailin’s anger, becoming only more visible, was stirring another emotion into an already volatile mix, and Cal set his jaw, feeling it threaten to break past his guard, the control he had wrestled for since staggering into Kailin’s office slipping. Closing his eyes and trying to find it again, he startled at the sudden crash of the wood flying into the fire and the wave of expletives that followed, casting a concerned look towards the door in case the noise disturbed the rest of the family, before sighing into the silence that followed.

“ I’m sorry you didn’t know where I was”. It was a concession he could make, though there was still that hot little knife of indignation that she was judging him for leaving Rosie, whilst at the same time, clearly enraged that he had been with her at all. He went to call her on it, but there was such a tangle of thoughts in his head that he couldn’t separate what was justified and what was not, and he could not face making an already awful situation worse.

And amongst the accusation he heard, Kailin’s obvious anger, her next words reminded him that they were at least some part rooted in fear, for she had suffered too and it softened the edges of his defensiveness. His hand rubbed wearily over his face and he was blowing out a breath when she finally turned to him. “ You don’t need to apologise” Calanon muttered, thinking that this particular conversation would not be any more pleasant whenever it was held. But perhaps they would both benefit from pursuing it when nerves were not drawn so thin. So he let her pass him by, gave them both a few moments to regather.

Whilst she was in the bathroom, the elf stared unseeing at the small flames that had started to lick at the restacked fire, before he moved suddenly, extending his arms before him, turning them over, envisioning the rope burns that had been there, wondering again at having been so helpless. It was not a nice feeling. And he realised that Kailin would have faced a similar fear and let his head hang, for he could have spared her some part of that. And whilst he did not think he had snuck, he had not been upfront with her. Perhaps if she had known where he was, then she might have found them. Before….

The breath that escaped was long and juddering, not quite a sob, but Calanon let himself feel it in that moment he was alone, before pulling himself together. Though he still felt bone weary, he could not imagine that he would find sleep easily again now, and so reached for the whiskey that still sat beside the bed, sipping it slowly and letting it seep into his frazzled thoughts. When the bathroom door opened, he rose to meet his beloved, glass set aside to take a hold of her arms, eyes searching her face to judge where she now stood in this whole muddle. He’d started talking almost before deciding to.

“I know” he forestalled any protests with a gently raised hand. “ That you do not want to talk about it now. But I understand you being angry at me. If something happened to you and I had no knowledge of where you were, I would hate it too. And then if I found out you were with...I don’t know, someone I disliked. Well I would be angry. And I’m so sorry that you were scared.”
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Old April 4, 2018, 05:23 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Closing the door behind her, with Calanon's muttered words still bouncing around her head, Kailin took the robe that was hung on a hook - intended for whatever guests were in residence, but useful now that she was beginning to feel the chill left in the wake of her waning anger - wrapped it about herself, and sat down with her back against the wall. Head resting backward against the cool tiles, she let her eyes fall shut and took in a few deep breaths.

Kailin held no misconceptions about whether she would, in the few minutes she intended to take, manage to pick apart the knot of emotions that had been tumbled and tangled across the previous brightening's events. That would take time, and - she suspected - distance, to achieve.

So what she focused on instead was the very real gratitude she had felt ever since Calanon had appeared in her office. Gratitude that he was alive, gratitude that he was back, and gratitude that she was able to heal him, at least as far as physical wounds were concerned. They were the easy ones to heal from, she knew from her own experience, and not her major concern at the moment.

Her major concern was the fact that Calanon was, doubtless, traumatized. And her anger and reaction to the news of just whom he'd been with was quite possibly making it worse. For which she rather hated herself, right now.

The sigh she gave was long and visceral, and it felt good enough that she did it again for good measure.

Right. So stop harping on about Rosie.

She could probably do that, if they went directly to sleep. Or if she tripped and hit her head and knocked herself out.

Bouncing her head against the wall a few times, Kailin huffed out a breath (much less satisfying) and pushed back to her feet. Enough cold had seeped into her backside and legs from the chill stones of the floor that she shifted from foot to foot for a moment, stalling before turning back to the door and what was waiting on the other side.

The fire had built itself to the point that there was enough glow to see by, when she exited the bathroom, though it likely helped that she'd been sitting in darkness for the past many minutes. The bedroom seemed bright by comparison, and as Calanon stepped up to meet her, her gaze lifted to his face, the need to check her work of the brightening before an automatic thing. Her own expression, as he searched it, was a combination of apology and fatigue, with perhaps just a touch of determination in the set of her jaw.

Even through the thick fabric of the gown she now wore, the elf's hands were warm, and the aromatic scent of whiskey filled the air between them as he spoke. It was not quite true that she had not wished to speak any more on the subject, only that she wanted to start over from a place where she wasn't quite so angry, or wait until they had both slept and recovered a bit before diving back in.

Except, tired as she was, she knew it would be hard to find sleep without some resolution. So his words were welcome, and opened the way for her to say what she needed to, as well.

Moving closer as he finished what amounted to offering of an olive branch, she tucked herself against him, needing a moment in his embrace. Needing to find that connection again, for it had yet to fail them. Silent, then, for the space of three deep breaths, she finally nodded against his shoulder.

"Me, too, melamin," pulling back, she led him over to the couch set close to the fire by way of the bed, so as to pick up both of their tumblers of whiskey. There were blankets folded along the back that he could wrap himself up in, if necessary, and the heat from the fire was starting to push back against the chill in the room, making it an attractive place to sit and talk for a while.

Settling down with one leg tucked underneath, angled toward him, Kailin found herself fighting with her hair as it was caught between her hip and the couch. Tugging on it, she glanced across at Calanon, features now easily read in the warm glow from the fire.

"I do not blame you for leaving Rosie..." she began, pulling the now freed hair over her shoulder and winding it slowly around her hand. "However limited my experience with her, the one thing that she made abundantly clear is the fact that she is not good at being vulnerable."

Indeed, it felt like a vast understatement to Kailin, and the frown she gave held a healthy dose of concern, "I think I just worry about her, if she did not ask you to find Adyn, or to let him know she was alright..." a frustrated sigh, though not for Calanon so much as for the petite blond pirate and her foolish pride. "It is not healthy, melamin, to hide what... what happened to her. But," and here her words slowed, the weight of them heavier and tone more measured, "that is not your responsibility."

Unwinding her hair abruptly, the strands fell back against her side as she reached for him, fingers tightening where they fell on his closest thigh, "truly, she is not your responsibility, Calanon, and I did not mean to imply that she was." Given what she knew of the blond, this one thing seemed of the utmost importance to get across to her beloved. He had been a part of a terrible thing, had been made victim to it, too... And if what Kailin suspected came to pass, she did not want him to feel like he had somehow failed his friend, when it was her own stubborn pride that would so likely prove to be her downfall.
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Old April 6, 2018, 08:06 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Grateful for the thaw of that small embrace, the elf enfolded her in his arms without hesitation, still feeling to raw to cope with discord between them on top of everything else. He dropped a kiss onto the top of her head before letting her lead him over to the couch by the fire, flickering light turning his skin golden though there were still shadows of bruising where her magic had not touched.

The fire, reinvigorated with the heat of Kailin’s angry attentions, was beginning to cast some heat once more, but Calanon,not usually one to think anything of nudity, reached for a blanket anyway. Perhaps it was the aftershocks of what had happened, or the disparity between Kailin’s clothed form and his, but he felt vulnerable all of a sudden and the blanket was a protection of sorts.

He would have curled around Kailin, but she sat an angle to him, and so the elf folded himself into the corner, legs stretched out toward the fire, hands clasping both the blanket around him and the whiskey that had been snagged en route. He was watching her a little warily when she looked over, still damp hair falling haphazardly across his face where he left it.

That Kailin’s somewhat accusatory words of earlier had hit home could not be denied, so he was grateful for her retracting it. But as she went on he glanced up at her, the slight hesitation inferring she suspected...something, even though he had not said a thing. And he tried, as she continued, not to let the upset that clawed up his throat find its way out, that simple touch of her hand on his thigh what really broke down his efforts.

“ I should’ve stopped it” The words were so quiet as to almost be inaudible, spoken through a jaw clenched tight, his inability to meet her eyes enough of a clue that it was a hard fought battle to maintain control. And then as it was lost, a hitch in his breathing that he despised. “ I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t do anything. And I heard Kailin.” For a second, he brought his gaze up to find hers, his expression betraying his anger..his grief at that. “And she might not be my responsibility, but she’s my friend and I can’t….I didn’t know what to do.”

He hated himself for it but part of him had been relieved to leave her with her crew. They had never been...emotionally open with eachother, he and his pirate friend, and so he was so far out of his depth he might as well have been drowning in trying to comfort her after.Breathing in and out of his nose, he took a large gulp of whiskey as though it might burn away the bitter taste of admitting his failure, before he looked up again at his beloved, distraught. “ I wish I could stop hearing it.”
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Old April 21, 2018, 06:48 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Kailin had no experience with being on Calanon's end of things. Not really. She'd certainly suspected that terrible things were happening to others who'd been captured, back in Aslangrad, and of course she'd heard sounds drifting through the door that horrified her, in the very occasional lucid moments they allowed her.

But, in her situation, it had been more of a question of solidarity with those around her - nameless, faceless voices only rarely heard - who'd been receiving similar treatment at the hands of the 'priests'. What would it feel like... to be brutalized and helpless, but not suffering quite the same fate as a dear friend?

And not that fate. Her heart broke for her love and his friend again as he seemed to confirm her fears. Whatever anger had remained was laid down for the moment as she shifted close enough that her hip settled against his, reaching with her free hand to brush a length of hair out of his face. Tears were falling sporadically in ones and twos to trace wetness down her cheeks, as if to balance out all the control that Calanon was exerting, but it was not a steady flow. He was balanced on an edge, and Kailin could hardly help shedding the few tears that he was unwilling or unable to, but she would not give in to them, either.

"I'm so sorry, love," the words were surprisingly calm and even, but there was no question of the depth of feeling underlying them. As her hand fell back to his leg, she leaned forward to place a kiss against his shoulder, out of her depth on how to comfort him, but just wanting to be close. "It was not your fault, Calanon. But I am so sorry for you both."

She would not lie. Could not tell him that he would stop hearing it sometime soon, or that he would forget. Kailin still woke from her own nightmares, frozen and silent with terror, and perhaps always would. And while she hated that this new trauma had come for her beloved, she had no illusions about how rosy his life had been before this. If she felt some concern, then, for how he might handle this situation, or what spirals it might send him down, she kept it to herself. It was too soon, yet, to worry about such things.

On the end of that thought, Kailin reached into the pocket of the robe she wore, pulling out the other item she had swiped en route to the couch from the bathroom. Earlier, while he'd been bathing and she'd gone to her room, Kailin had retrieved it from the depths of the drawer she'd buried it in and set it on her side of the bed, thinking that its use might be warranted. Now, there was a glint of silver as she drew the small case into the firelight, and she set it down on his thigh gently, a warmth that could not be attributed to the fire filling her cheeks as her gaze lifted to find his.

"I... you left this at the club." She did not need to tell him when.

"After everything, it's okay if you need this tonight, a'maelamin. Perhaps a little numbness would be a good thing, just this once?" Unsure of how he would recieve her offer, Kailin could not hide the reticence in her voice as she watched him. But there was no judgement to be found in her eyes, should he look for it, nor any testing of his will. Instead, he would find only a wealth of concern, and beneath that, understanding.
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Old April 22, 2018, 07:39 PM   #35 (permalink)
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The elf could only be glad of the closeness as Kailin shifted nearer, her touch pulling him back from the churn of confusing emotions that it would be so easy to topple into and lose himself in .Her regret penetrated, even if he found it more difficult to accept her reassurance that it was not his fault, shifting his gaze away to the fire, which reflected burnished gold into the green of his eyes and the surface of the glass he held.

If he understood more about spellbreaking, perhaps he might have been able to outthink their captor. If he’d kept mis mouth shut in the beginning then maybe things would not have deteriorated so quickly. If he had chanced breaking free from his bonds earlier….

All the details plagued him as he sifted through them, trying to find the thing that would have changed everything. It was addictive and yet pointless torture, so Calanon was glad when his beloved’s voice drew him away from it, though it took him a moment to catch up to what she was saying, and for his gaze to leave her face and fall to the small tin that she had settled upon his thigh.

He stared at it for a few beats, lips pressing together and a frown forming. He had not expected to see that again. And he could not refute that the idea of wreathing himself in smoke to blot out the horrors that replayed in his mind was appealing. But Kailin... Calanon turned to look at her, not having moved to touch the tin. Not yet.

“Is it cowardly?”
he asked, searching her gaze. “ To want that?” It was scant cycles before, after all, that she had expressed her concern in him dealing with things in that way, and he had offered the smokes up to her in some gesture of amends. And yet here she was, giving them back to him. He found nothing other than acceptance and understanding in her face though, and, uncurling one hand from the tumbler of whiskey, the elf covered the tin with his palm, picked it up and turned it between his fingers as if considering.

The temporary respite was tempting, the idea of just floating off somewhere else for a while enough to have his fingers twitch toward opening the tin. But he was afraid of what it would feel like when reality reasserted itself again, and so he vacillated between flipping the lid to find a stick of Felicium or tossing it aside.

It was the realisation that whilst he might gain some distance from the paths his mind kept wandering, he would also be shuttering himself away from the woman next to him that eventually made the decision for him, and he stared hard at the tin for a while longer before finally reaching out and gently folding Kailin’s fingers back around it.

“Thank you. I can’t say the idea is not a welcome sounding retreat. But…” There was a pause as he struggled to find a way to express his thinking. “ I don’t wish to be alone like that...when it makes so hard to reach you, and for you to reach me”.

Perhaps it was too much, his leaning on her like that, perhaps that what why she offered up the drugs, but he hoped not. Moving suddenly, he leant forward to set his glass down upon the floor, hers too if she would relinquish it, and that small tin. Then, wrapping his arms around her, Calanon drew Kailin toward him, shifting her so he might stretch along the length of the couch and hold her close. “This is better” was the soft declaration he made, the decisive answer to her tentative offer.
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Old April 26, 2018, 02:24 AM   #36 (permalink)
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"No, melamin, not always..." Kailin's reply was quiet, but all the more certain for it as she watched him pick the tin up from where she'd placed it. "I think it is a matter of timing, and usage, as with anything. Some people sleep, some drink, some lose themselves in their work." He could feel the ripple of movement as she shrugged, gaze transferring from the tin back to him, "they can all be unhealthy, and they can all be just fine." Her own tendency was toward work, and that was where she had lost herself, numbed herself after Paxia was destroyed.

The fact that it had been Calanon who'd helped her find her way out of that fog of numbness warmed her, so that her expression eased into something on the edge of a smile, memory drawing her gaze distant for a moment. She blinked then, brought back to herself a few breaths later by the feel of slightly warmed metal as her hand closed automatically around the little case.

Refocusing on the elf at her side as he spoke, Kailin couldn't hide the thrum of pleasure his words sent through her, as the smile tipped over the edge it had been hovering on to steal across her lips. Small, it was accompanied by a soft flush that signaled the fact that it was very definitely not too much for his love, but rather more of an unexpected and unlooked-for shift in their relationship.

So she relinquished her tumbler and the cigarettes with no complaint, ending curled against his side with her head resting on his chest. The sound of his heartbeat was strong and reassuring in her ear, and did much to soothe the last of her residual fear as the twirl and dance of the flames lulled her. Kailin's breathing deepened, and her voice was a sleepy murmur when she finally remembered to respond, equally decisively, "much better."
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Old April 26, 2018, 03:13 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Timing and Usage. Calanon considered that for a moment, thinking of the times he had turned to those little sticks to numb himself and thinking that, particularly where Kailin was involved, the brief respite had not been worth it. And so he had pushed them back to her, choosing instead the more solid and tangible comfort of his love within his arms, curling his neck down so he could drop a kiss atop her head before he settled back against the sofa, his eyes too drawn to the perpetual motion of the flames that flickered in the hearth.

It did not take long for Kailin’s breathing to steady into the more rhythmic patterns that heralded approaching sleep, and he did not disturb her, content just to feel her warm against him, and his arms did not let go. Reminded again how blessed he felt to have gotten back to her, he thought sleep would evade him, what with the worries that still plagued his thoughts and did not seem want to go away any time soon. And for a while, the prediction was true, and he watched the fire, watched Kailin, and tried to tell himself that all would be well and that he was at least safe here, that she was safe too and that he should be grateful for that.

And eventually, without him realising, Calanon’s eyes had grown heavy, his breaths slowed to match those that gently rose and fell against him, and the elf too succumbed to slumber, this time deep and dreamless, the restorative rest a bruised soul sought out. And as they slept the firelight played golden across tangled limbs and chased away the chill of any fears that remained, for now at least.

***

The next time he awoke, the elf was hot, sticky with the combined heat of their bodies, the embers of the fire that breathed their last in the grate, and the blanket that had wound up twisted around them in the night. His arm had fallen asleep too, and he shifted, feeling at once the protests of his body at having been subjected to the confined sofa rather than the wide expanse of bed that was just across the room.

Calanon found that despite those things, he was not unhappy to wake so, with Kailin still curled against him, and for a moment he smiled, forgetting all that had transpired, until as the sleep fog slowly lifted, the smile faded and died too. With a sigh he recalled the brightening previous, and the darkening hours that he had awoken for. It was a tempting proposition to close his eyes again and go back to sleep, deal with facing it another time, but his arm had pins and needles now, and so reluctantly he gently tugged it free from underneath his love, and began flexing his hand to try and encourage the bloodflow to return to the forgotten limb.
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Old June 9, 2018, 04:03 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Kailin grumbled into wakefulness as the bed beneath her shifted and was quite rudely pulled out from where it had been supporting her. With a quiet moan of complaint, she made to roll backward only to come up short against the hard surface of the back of the couch, at which point the rest of her body began to fire into awareness.

Or not.

"My arm is asleep," the complaint was directed into Calanon's shoulder, before her consciousness caught up with her and she realized it was Calanon's shoulder. And in quick succession Kailin tumbled through a rapid-fire run of emotions that left her sitting up straight - legs still tangled with her beloved's - heart pounding as the memories came flooding back.

The room was still cast in shadows, but the spears of light coming around the heavy curtains made it obvious that it was brightening, and let Kailin see well enough in the gloom to make out Calanon's features below her. Aching, and yet feeling better rested than she had in a number of darkenings, she bent forward to greet him with a quick kiss before gingerly climbing off of the couch (and him) to let him up.

"Did you sleep well? How are you feeling?" Shaking out her numbed hand while reaching up with the other, the human did her best to collect her hair from where it was matted against her neck and face, damp from the veritable furnace she'd lain against. The robe she wore was wrinkled and crushed, and Kailin let it slip from her shoulders as she eventually made her way toward the bathing room.

"I need a bath, and then we should go see what we can find to eat. You can join me if you wish, otherwise I left you a change of clothes on the dresser near the door," clothes that she had grabbed from Ian's room the previous brightening while Calanon had been taking his own bath. Simple enough for all that they came from the dandy's closet, they were finely made and would suffice for now.
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Old June 11, 2018, 10:16 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Awake enough now to smile at little at the grumbles directed his way, the expression on the elf’s face settled into something less certain as Kailin sat bolt upright, and he realised she was likely going through the same recollection he had himself not moments before. The brief kiss was reassurance enough though, for now, and Calanon followed her up, twisting to sit straight on the small couch as she stood.

“ I did sleep well.” The surprise he felt at that was evident in his tone as Calanon rolled his shoulders, attempting to unknot some of the kinks that had formed whilst clinging to his lover during however many candlemarks they had slept for. The second question was harder to answer, and Calanon paused, the lack of an immediate response rather telling in itself.

Physically, he could feel the results of the unorthodox sleeping position. Or perhaps it was just the delayed ache of his exertions on the rooftops of Port Alyxandrya. But other than that that, the healing Kailin had poured into him had done away with the more physical reminders of his ordeal. He wasn’t quite ready to poke at anything else yet, though he knew it was there, just under the surface.“ And I feel better than expected.” he eventually confirmed, pushing to his feet and stretching as if to demonstrate that very fact.

Watching as his love padded away toward the bathroom, the elf found himself making his decision almost without realising it, suddenly not feeling ready for the intimacy of a shared bath, or rather the intense scrutiny he felt he might be opening himself to, before he had really taken stock of his feelings himself.

“You go ahead.” His tone was casual, and Calanon had already moved towards the clothes Kailin had indicated, setting a hand atop the neatly folded stack of garments as he paused, waited for the click of the door that might afford him a little of the space he all at once felt he needed.

The clothes- Ian’s he would guess- were a fair enough fit, though not necessarily to his taste. And as he buttoned the shirt that felt cut just a little too narrow to properly swing a sword in, Cal glanced around the room he had paid little attention to in the hours before.

Kailin’s home.

It was not how he would have chosen to be introduced to her Mother, and he cringed at the memory of it from the brightening before. Feeling out of place in clothes that were not his own and in a place he did not know, he wandered over to the window, pulling back the heavy drapes enough to let some light flood in and to give him view of the world outside in an attempt to shake off the claustrophobic sensation that had kicked in. He had wanted to meet Kailin’s family, he reminded himself, carding his fingers through his hair in an attempt to tame the wayward strands. Why then this sudden discomfort? Mayhaps it was just the circumstances surrounding his being here. He didn’t much like being vulnerable, and both Ian and Kailin’s mother had borne witness to that. And little else, in the latter case.

And so it was that by the time his lover emerged from the bathroom, Calanon had wound himself up rather well, and he looked up sharply from where he’d been tugging irritably at the cuff of the borrowed shirt. “Better?” he asked, turning toward her. The prospect of venturing out to be faced with her family was more than a little daunting now, and the elf wondered how he might postpone the need for it, eventually settling on gathering Kailin into his arms and kissing her soundly. It might buy a little time at least.
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Old July 11, 2018, 06:02 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Despite the hesitation that preceded Calanon's answer, Kailin smile bloomed into something more sure of itself as he seemed to be doing better than either of them might have expected the darkening before. The corners of her eyes crinkled with pleased relief as she stepped toward him once he was on his feet and stretching, laying a quick kiss to the corner of his jaw before she turned toward the bathing room.

Her head bobbed her understanding at the 'go head' that he sent her way, leaving him to take a moment to himself as she closed the door behind her, aware that she did so partially because she was grateful for the time alone in which to gather her own thoughts. Thoughts which were, perhaps unsurprisingly, somewhat in alignment with those of her lover.

Settling into the bath, eventually, she couldn't help wishing that her family was meeting Calanon under somewhat better circumstances. After everything that had happened with Ian, she'd fully intended to introduce them, but not like this.

A sigh escaped her as she sunk beneath the surface of the water, washing away the sweat of the darkening along with her ideas of what could have been. This was what it was, and now was as good a time as any for him to meet everyone. Probably. Right?

Trying not to spend much time on thoughts of Rosie, though her concern about the woman still lingered, Kailin washed and dried herself off before realizing that she had neglected to bring a fresh change of clothes to wear. Wrapping the towel around herself, she stepped out of the steamy bathroom to find a somewhat tightly wound Calanon. Yes. It seemed she wasn't the only one who was nervous about leaving this room. Nor could she really blame him.

She had time to smile at his question, arch a brow at him, and managed the words, "yes, but--" before his mouth descended to silence the rest of her answer.

Both unwilling and unable to pull away from the embrace, she leaned into him, only vaguely aware that her wet hair was dripping onto the sleeves of the shirt he was wearing. Her hands found their way up to cup the back of his neck as she gave in to her own need to feel centered and connected to him, to feel more settled before she introduced him around.

The towel provided only a flimsy barrier, and thoughts of heading down to rosyun were growing more and more faint when the knock sounded at the door. Tentative at first, then more sure of itself.

"Kailin? Cal? I..." a pause as Ian waited to see if the door would open so he could say the rest face to face. Kailin, fingers now entwined in Calanon's hair, lips hovering close enough to brush against his, exhaled a chuckle and then tucked her head into the curve of his neck. When the door stayed shut, Ian continued, "I just wished to know how you were doing. I'm off to work, shortly."

A sigh from Kailin, then, before her fingers relaxed their grip and she took a step back, pale eyes meeting Calanon's with a sparkle of amusement. "I did tell him he could check on you, didn't I? And I suppose I ought to get dressed anyway, melamin." And with that she stepped back from him and turned toward the door, pulling it open to reveal a frowning Ian. Patting his shoulder as she walked past, she said, "perhaps you can show him down to the table? I'll be right behind you, once I make myself decent."

Suddenly blushing, Ian looked from his sister to Calanon, and his eyes widened for just an instant as he recognized his own clothing on the lithe figure. "Are you..." his gaze dipped to the obviously wet sleeves of his shirt, then back up, searching for signs of the damage he'd seen the brightening before, "well?"
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Old July 14, 2018, 04:54 AM   #41 (permalink)
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It had seemed a successful ploy in putting off that which he was dreading, and Cal’s fingers were just sliding upwards, intent on their path to loosen the towel that Kailin still clung to when a knock on the door had him freeze. The elf pulled back against the hands that had climbed to his neck, wanting to create some space between them in case it was Kailin’s mother about to burst in on them. However easily distracted he might be, and good at distracting in turn, he was not stupid, and did not want to upset the lady of the house on what was their first meeting., whatever the circumstances that had led to it.

He relaxed only fractionally when the voice sounded out as well, still afeared that the door might be flung open and now uncomfortably reminded of the fact that Ian had played nursemaid to him the previous brightening. Theirs had no been an easy relationship, given the nature of its beginnings, and Cal wasn’t sure what to expect now...a return to the bitten off animosity that had coloured their more recent interactions? Something else?

Tempted as he might have been to pretend that they still slept and thus avoid having to deal with that quandry just then, it seemed the time for hiding had passed, and as Kailin sighed and looked up she would find his gaze locked warily on the door. Calanon frowned at her words, thinking he was no more able to explain to Ian how he was feeling than he had been to her, but she was moving away already and the elf was left standing alone as the door fell open to reveal his lover’s younger brother.

And then, in a move that he would have to work hard to forgive her for later, Kailin left him, left him! at the mercy of her sibling as she moved past and into the hallway, leaving the two males in an awkward stand off.
Cal, still staring dumbfounded in the direction that his beloved had disappeared into, shifted his attention back to her brother just as Ian spoke, only for his gaze to follow that of the young man and look down at the clothes he wore, the fact that they belonged to the man surveying him only serving to make the elf shift uncomfortably.

“...thank you” Calanon got out quickly, thinking that Ian was going to follow his ‘are you..’ with a ‘wearing my clothes’ , and mortified to be standing there wearing them if Kailin had not even asked her brother first. “ My own were..”

He tailed off though when Ian’s question did not follow the format he had expected, green eyes lifting briefly to meet those dark ones looking back at him, and there was a long beat of silence than said more than words, more than Cal might have liked.

But then he recovered himself enough to flash a quick, tight smile, and lifted his arms as if Ian might better inspect his physical wellbeing. “ Kailin’s magic has taken care of the most of it” he reassured. It was then that an uncomfortable memory of the expression Ian had worn the brightening before rather wilted his forced levity, and the elf fiddled with the cuff of the shirt he wore, forgetting for a moment that it was not his own as he tried to find some words that did not seem so flippant.

“...I am grateful for the help yesterday” what he finally settled on, not quite meeting Ian’s eyes, for he was certain his own would betray him and after everything that had transpired between them, it was particularly difficult to be so unguarded with Ian Alyxanda. “Truly, I would never make such a burden of myself if..” If I’d had any choice. That hung unsaid, and Calanon suddenly wished Kailin would return, or that they might move downstairs as she had bid, for even the promise of meeting the rest of her family was less daunting than dealing with pity from the man opposite. The reality of what had brought them to this point was still too near and too raw for Cal to trust himself if Kailin’s brother chose to press the matter.
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Old August 9, 2018, 01:34 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Despite his initial surprise (and a resulting awkwardness on both sides) at seeing them on the lithe figure across from him, Ian was quick to wave away Calanon's thanks for the borrowed clothes that his sister had not, in fact, requested permission to take. Having both seen and smelled the state that Calanon's own clothing had been in the brightening before - and being fairly certain that some of those blood stains were unlikely to come out - he could hardly have expected the elf to meet the rest of the family in such dregs.

Insult to injury, that would have been. So it was an easy enough concession to make. No, he was far more interested in what had brought him to the guestroom door, despite his own intense misgivings.

Stilted would have been a fair descriptor for his more recent exchanges with Calanon. And, having yet to make the apology that Kailin had demanded of him, he could hardly think that ease between them would come anytime soon. But he did not wish the elf ill, for all that. And what he'd seen in the office had shaken him.

So as Calanon fell silent for a stretch that was just long enough to be notable, and which said more than most words would have been able to, Ian gave a quick, sharp nod, gaze sliding away from the eye contact. He missed the beginnings of Cal's attempt at a smile, only lifting his gaze again at seeing the arms before him spread wide. His expression seemed to stutter then, confusion threading into concern and settling somewhere near skepticism, with two very familiar looking dark brows pulling together as his lips tightened in something close to distaste.

Grateful that the show did not last long, Ian didn't even try to meet the elf's gaze as he spoke of gratitude, merely giving another abrupt nod and then clearing his throat into his fist, words almost clipped as he made his reply. "There's no need for explanation. I was glad to be of assistance," he finished as he stepped back from the door in invitation. Waiting until Cal had joined him in the hallway and closed the door behind him, he started toward the staircase.

It was a full five steps before he suddenly pivoted in front of Calanon, eyes flashing and jaw tight, "no. I'm sorry but I'm afraid that's not quite true. I had time to think after you left, and it occurred to me that you showed up bloody and bruised to my sister's place of work. Were you followed? What have you gotten yourself into, and have you now put my sister in danger?"

The words were brisk, not quite angry or accusatory, but simply matter-of-fact as Ian waited for an explanation that he clearly felt it was his place to demand.
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Old August 10, 2018, 04:47 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Calanon had let his arms fall back to his sides, recognising just a little too late how Ian might misread his attempt at lightheartedness. It had been a longshot really. The conversation was every bit as uncomfortable as he might have envisaged it, and the elf let his gaze shift away too, just waiting for a cue to escape the awkwardness.

When Ian stepped back then, the Sylrosian was relieved that there was no to be no more of it, and so he moved after the dark haired male, pulling the door closed behind him as he went.

Wondering if Kailin found this amusing, or if it were some attempt to thaw the chicken hill that settled between the two since that unfortunate incident at Club Marksman, Calanon was trying to think of something to say that might aid in such an endeavour, and so nearly careened into Ian when the man suddenly stopped.

He looked warily at his lover’s younger brother, for nothing good could come of ‘no, I’m sorry but....’ and sure enough, his instincts proved true not a moment later as the man revealed the reason for his abrupt halt.

Of course, there were enough words that had fallen between them before to put Calanon on his guard, and he unconsciously straightened a little, his eyes flickering towards Ian and then away as if he were considering bolting. He didn’t want to end up in another situation where he and Kailin’s brother would end up at odds, but it seemed to keep happening, and after a moment the elf sighed and forced himself to relax a little.

“ I don’t know” he admitted, as to whether anyone had followed him. He had not been thinking straight, had just wanted the comfort of his lover’s arms and he saw now, exactly why Ian might be concerned, less than impressed.

“ I don’t know the answers to any of your questions...just that it was not me they were interested in, not really. “ Calanon hated that even thinking on it made him feel panicky, trapped, and he ran an agitated hand through his hair. And he hated even more the idea that he might have put Kailin in danger

“ I’m sorry, Ian.” That the elf was troubled by the chance of such a thing was clear enough, worry etching its way plain across his features “ I can stay with her...” She would hate it but he could shadow her steps and keep her safe...

Then it hit him. He had been unable to protect himself hadn’t he? Unable to protect Rosie.

So his words meant nothing.

He looked aghast at Ian then, for surely the man must be thinking the same thing? Calanon felt again that same helpless frustration he had felt when he had been bound and forced to listen to..to...

”I’m sorry” he repeated flatly, his gaze dropping away and his expression shifting into something blank, cool. He was not willing, nor able to talk further on it then, though his detached appearance was not matched by the disquiet he felt, and he wanted nothing more than to retreat, process it all in his own time.

But instead he was here, acutely aware of Ian, and the rest of Kailin’s family somewhere beyond. He would need to get through that, first.
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