Old April 15, 2017, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Jae] Downtown Diversions

Summer Era XXIV


The summer suns slipped through the canopy of Eastern Jae, tendrils of gold on a sea of cobbled stone and climbing greenery. The building in front of Adyn was warm to the touch and bold to the eye, its ocher surface overcome with deep viridian vines mottled with gilt and purple. They melted over from the building next to them and reached toward dusty, shattered windows above, a mark of new and flourishing life against old abandoned scars.

The once rich-colored door, he was finding, was boarded from the inside. He grunted as his shoulder made contact with its surface, stirring up clouds of dust that seemed to dance circles in the air. He "hmm"ed softly to himself, brow pinched in concentration as he produced something from within his pocket, and with a snap of his wrist the switchblade flipped open and clicked as it locked in place. He wriggled it where the door seemed to have been jammed in place by something, but even that did little to loosen it. It would need to be opened from within if he really wanted to go that route.

He retracted and pocketed the blade, then looked up and around himself. There was a wrought iron balcony a little further up, but it wasn't reached with a simple stretch of the arms. He grumbled something to himself, paced backwards a few long-legged steps, then trotted forward, using the wall as a means of scrambling up just an extra foot or two before he took a leap. His hands found the iron and, thank the gods, the weight of his body didn't immediately bring it down onto his head. He pulled himself up, manged to swing his legs over and then tested the handle on the doors before him. Locked and boarded, too.

Still, time and a few attempts at vandalism seemed to have loosened things somewhat. The rogue took a look around and then kicked. There was a crack of wood and a groan of hinges, but one of the doors swung open. He turned, glanced down toward his companion and grinned. They were in business now.

He swung over the iron of the gate and maneuvered his way toward the outside, hooking a leg and arm into the iron so he could bend down and reach for her. He offered an arm for her to latch onto, ready to pull her up until she could grab hold of the balcony and climb the rest of the way. It would be easy to get a foothold between the bars.

"Careful where you step," he warned when she had found her way over, referring to the interior past the open door. He didn't know what the state of the place was on the inside, and he wasn't keen on her rushing in to find out first. They'd have to poke around steadily and carefully at first, although he was fairly certain that the building was new enough that it shouldn't be in too horrid a state of disrepair... not yet.

He took a final glance around to make sure no one saw what they were up to, and slipped toward the open door.

Last edited by Adynirach; April 15, 2017 at 05:30 PM.
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Old April 20, 2017, 06:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The rhythm of Kailin's heart was tripping faster than normal as she stared up at the half-alive surface of the building before her. It was not an uncommon experience when Adyn was around, but it was compounded now by the curiosity of why he'd brought them here and by the unknown that lay behind the door he was currently trying to find a way past.

Her gaze flickered between the beauty of the man before her with his broad, strong shoulders, and the fall of light on his dark hair, and the same light as it painted the stones before her to a glowing umber. Perhaps she wasn't quite bouncing with excitement, but that was only because of the trepidation she felt at the fact that they were breaking into this place.

As he attempted to find away around whatever blocked the door with his knife, Kailin peered back behind them to make sure there was no one around to see what was happening. Again. By the time her eyes returned to him, he was putting the knife away and looking upward.

Now her gaze flickered between the balcony and Adyn, brows raising as she watched him bounce his way off the wall to catch onto the thing. Nearly as grateful as he was that the thing didn't suddenly give way, she could only stand and admire the strength that allowed him to pull his body up. Pale green eyes were glinting as he displayed skills she had never yet seen so obviously put to use before.

A very specific set of skills, these were, and Kailin found herself grinning and shaking her head as he kicked open the door, then turned to look down at her. Her turn, she supposed.

Readjusting her satchel so it wouldn't catch on anything, she moved forward as Adyn lowered himself down enough that she could clasp the arm he extended to her. Grip strong, eyes trusting, she let him pull her up until she could get her own hold on the balcony railing. From there, she was able to assist, and if her ascent was not quite so graceful as his had been, she still managed it more easily than she'd expected.

Flushed with pleasure at the accomplishment - and yes, perhaps a little with the exertion, too - she turned to look back down, then toward Adyn as she shifted the satchel back to its original position, nodding at his warning. Glancing at the relative darkness of the opening he'd created, she let her eyes roam over the face of the structure, scouting for windows or other hints of what they might find inside.

The windows had all had their glass knocked out, and as she passed through the open door behind Adyn, she let a hand slide over the warm stone of the building. It was a greeting as much as anything, and an acknowledgement of the eras of abandonment this place had felt. Kailin had been in many structures that had been far more derelict in her time in Paxia, and she'd learned to be cautious in such places, and learned to love them, too.

Their footsteps kicked up dust that was caught by the warm breeze that blew in behind them, swirled into life in the shining trails of light that bent around their bodies to pierce the interior.

"You take me to the most romantic places, love..." she spoke quietly from behind him as she gave her eyes a moment or two to adjust. And for all that there was teasing in her tone given the fact that this was not the first abandoned structure he'd broken them into, she reached a hand forward to clasp his briefly, giving it a warm pulse of actual gratitude. Because this really was her idea of romantic, whether or not Adyn had known it when he put the plan together.

"Thank you."

Perhaps it was preemptive, but she was already feeling the rush of the discovery to come, and now that they were inside, she had to tamp down the urge to skip forward past him, her curiosity boiling up deliciously.
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Old April 20, 2017, 04:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Adyn likely appeared far less concerned with the truth of what they were doing than his companion was. He moved with a practiced ease as he slipped from door to street to wall, and only cast a cursory glance about as he lifted her toward the balcony.

He knew the street to be relatively silent, especially at this time of day. He had observed it over the course of the week, in fact, when he had realized what might be found within. Typically he wouldn't have granted the place the time of day, given that it had nothing of value within, but he had caught glimpses of the beauty it had once commanded, and had considered that it might be a place Kailin would like to see and explore.

Granted, he was only just getting a hang of this whole idea of taking someone else into account with his actions. He had no idea how she would react to the idea. All he knew was that she seemed cooped up in Le Refuge, and he still couldn't understand how she hadn't gone insane by now with how still and silent that place could get. He had determined, upon finding this place, that she could use something new and interesting to explore... something adventurous to punctuate the normalcy of her days.

He closed the door behind them, nudging some of the broken wood in front of it so that it wouldn't swing open later on. As he started to turn from the door Kailin's words cut through the dusty air, and his lips quirked at the feel of her hand finding his.

Although he couldn't help but think that her 'thank you' might end up premature, he leaned in and planted his lips against the side of her mouth anyway. "Look," he breathed as he pulled away. His eyes danced in amusement as he stepped back and turned to test the floorboards around them.

As he did so, Kailin's eyes adjusted to the harsh light they had been bombarded with outside. She stood in a vaulted room that had once been painted a pale, soft green and accented in hints of gold. A staircase wound its way upward, its railing somehow carved or formed to look like the winding branches of a tree, its steps covered in dust and debris that had blown in through the broken windows. All around, light streamed in from the openings where intact windows had once been situated, and poured in from an unknown source somewhere high above.

Old, olive-colored furniture yet remained around the room, accompanied by an old piano with chipped and missing keys. Some of the walls' intricate paneling was disrupted by what may have once been a hidden door, which now lay slightly open against the relative darkness of the space.

A few doors went here and there as well, some open and others closed. It was unclear what any of them led to from here, but they only begged to be explored.
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Old April 21, 2017, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kailin was already looking, and her eyes had been caught and held by the staircase that curled up before her. The craftsmanship that had gone into the railing alone was a sight to behold, and she just barely responded to his kiss, pressing into it without taking her eyes off of the staircase. Her lips automatically formed their own kiss, more a sound left in the air than anything that was meant to be tangible.

As her eyes continued to adjust, she saw more details, and her eyes swept up the walls to the vaulted ceiling high above. Where did the staircase lead? Was it even safe to try it?

Her feet carried her a few more steps into the room, and she could hardly help the automatic categorizing of faults, flaws, zones that presented the most danger, and things to be salvaged. Lips twisting upward at the old habits, she thought of Felix and Jan, John, and the boys, could almost hear their loud voices as they argued over who got to start where, and with what.

This place could so easily be made beautiful again. Well - she amended internally - relatively easily. Maybe. She'd only seen the one room, after all. Premature, again, said a voice in her head. You never knew what you might find behind another door.

Speaking of which, with a light step and testing the floor for safety, she decided to start with the secret passage. It was an obvious choice for her, it's draw too strong to ignore. How many others like it might they find? Swiping an index finger through the dust and grime that coated one of the many pieces of furniture as she passed, she wrinkled her nose.

"It's always harder when the furniture is left behind... feels like more of an intrusion. To me." Looking over her shoulder at Adyn, her thoughts were just processing the possibility that furniture in the house might be par for the course for a thief when she put a foot down only to have the board sag under her weight. Bouncing back, she tilted to look up at the window directly above. "Careful... it's rotted here."

Stepping farther out and around, she tested as she went again, and finally made it to the door. It took a few attempts to pull it open further, and amidst the frantic fluttering of wings she revealed a floor that was clearly rotted through and unsafe for passage. Beyond that, a stone staircase stood strong against the walls of the home, leading both up and down from where they stood.

There had been windows here, too, as evidenced by the rotted wood and bird droppings, and sconces on the stone walls. "Servants passage, do you think? Or something more nefarious? Maybe there's a dungeon down there..." Green eyes glittered as she looked back at him, full of speculation and lively with the challenge of getting through to where she wanted to go despite the possible pitfalls all around.

If Adyn hadn't yet learned what a dangerous combination curiosity and Kailin were, there was no doubt he would understand it at least a little better by the time they made it safely through this beautiful, rotting behemoth.
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Old April 21, 2017, 02:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Satisfied that the floor wasn't going to immediately cave beneath them, the rogue set about inspecting some of the doors along the walls, pushing on them gently to see if any of them might open. He didn't have anywhere or anything specific in mind, but he was certain that there ought to be something interesting beyond this central chamber.

Not that it didn't have its own little characteristics, small trap doors and cracked chandeliers aside. He shot a glance over his shoulder at Kailin's words about the furniture, and it was clear from his somewhat blank expression that he couldn't relate in the way that she was feeling. Usually any break-in he did was an intrusion, and he was used to having pushed aside the guilt of that by now. It had been the very nature of his job to be an intruder, after all. The furniture was merely background noise now.

He was passing by when she bounced backward, and his arm reached out to latch onto her when he realized the alarm was unfounded. His hand dropped before it even made contact, and the man remained nearby while his companion inspected the passageway.

At her question he dipped his head in, scrunching his nose at the dust and debris and musty stench. His eyes met hers with some manner of amusement, although it wouldn't be the first time he had stumbled upon a dungeon in places even smaller than this one.

"Careful what you wish for," he said, knowing very well despite the humor in her tone that she would be even more fascinated to know that it was. Such would have been far more intriguing than a wine cellar or a servant's passage.

"Maybe there's a treasure stash," he added casually, seeming unperturbed by the danger of such a possibility, and swung his body into the passageway before she could get a word in edgewise. The stairs were stone, so surely they wouldn't buckle beneath him at this point, but he still wanted the opportunity to test them before Kailin could.

"Up or down?" he queried, lifting his brows at her from inside the doorway.
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Old April 22, 2017, 11:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Kailin snorted at Adyn's warning, shaking her head, "I am always careful what I wish for, love... and yet the gods see fit to give me gifts like you." Pale green eyes flashing with wry humor, she turned her attention back to the secret room, wondering how she might get across to the stairs beyond, when he spoke again and simply swung into the space.

Kailin's gasp was cut short, and the hand that reached for him - like his moments before - stopped short of its goal as she clenched her fingers into a tight fist. "Dammit all to hells, Adyn. That floor is rotted through!" He was, apparently, not the only one who could be protective.

As it was, the man had been smart enough to swing in directly inside the door, where the boards had a chance of holding because they were the farthest from the open windows and the effect of the elements. He'd also grabbed onto one of the heavy metal sconces that were built directly into the stone of the walls. It was precarious, but he might be able to manage a crossing if he hugged the wall and carefully leapt from sconce to sconce. The bigger problem would be the gap between the last of the sconces and the edge of the flooring - essentially where the hallway ended before the stone of the stairs - which gave out into a dark hole about two feet before the staircase.

A feeling of certainly settled into Kailin as she looked at her idiotic, rash, all-too-lovely man... she would be picking up the pieces before the end of this tour was over. Shaking her head, she lifted a brow and pursed her lips, thinking of that scar he had on his thigh, the one he'd gotten when trying to jump the horse. Of course, she loved his impulsiveness, but he didn't need to know that. And now that she was not simply watching him from afar, she guessed that there would be times when it might prove to be a bit trying.

"You are..." she cocked her head, "expecting me to follow you?" Was the answer she gave to his question of up or down, and it was said through the tension of hiding a grin. At least she was wearing pants instead of a skirt...
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Old April 23, 2017, 04:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Adyn waggled his brows at her jest, seeming totally unperturbed by it. He was used to comments like that. He had gotten them all his life, after all. Granted, some of them had been entirely serious, and he was certain Kailin might believe in her own words more vehemently in time. But at least for the moment the words were laced with amusement. He could work with that.

He laughed at the reaction of fear that erupted after his leap. His feet danced a bit within the entryway as he sought to find a foothold. Doorways tended to be the most solid of spaces, so at least his assumption that it might hold his weight had not ended in broken bones.

He grinned back at her from his newfound position. If one thing hadn't changed, it was Adyn's enjoyment at making a display of himself. But the conundrum that she made clearer with her words was one he was forced to consider.

"Sure," he said finally, testing the weight of the boards along the wall. "You trust me, right?"

His brow quirked as he reached out, eyes sweeping the distance she'd have to move to meet him. It'd be significantly more difficult to add her weight to his own, but how else were they going to explore this place... separately? Besides, the adrenaline was what made it interesting. Nothing like a good jaunt through a place that could send you plummeting a couple stories.

"Don't worry, I've got you," he encouraged, yet even then his tone was laced with amusement. "Explore an old abandoned building, leap over the floorboards, climb along the wall sconces. Easy, right?"

Easy. He waited for her expectantly.
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Old April 24, 2017, 09:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Kailin snorted, stepping further into the doorway at his question of trust. Green eyes flashed with the challenge of trying to get to him, shifting from his face and the confidence he clearly held to the floor directly next to his feet. It was rotten through, and pieces had fallen away, through which she could see shadows but not much more.

A deep breath and she looked back to him, stretching her hand out to clasp his as her smile widened into a grin, though the brows arching toward her hairline were a fair sign of her skepticism.

"Of course I do, love. It's me I'm worried about."

Gauging the distance, she looked up to the sconce that was helping Adyn stay in place, and prayed that the construction was good enough to hold the both of them. It looked sturdy, and Kailin let that reassure her as she finally let out a soft, high-pitched laugh and nodded to Adyn.

"Easy. Right. Ten other doors," she hadn't actually counted,"with non-rotted floors, but this is the easy option." But of course it wasn't. Adyn would hardly take the easy option. Exciting? Yes. Easy? No.

Swallowing, she shook her head, knowing she was grinning like an idiot. Her heart was pumping hard already, and she had yet to move from the doorway.

All of her instincts, learned over the eras spent crawling through similarly abandoned buildings in Paxia, screamed at her to find another, safer way around. But Adyn was waiting for her, and that grin was drawing her toward him, making it impossible to say no. She tried to remind herself that her Thaum would only work if she didn't die and wasn't unconscious at the bottom of their fall, but that was no deterrent either.

Hand tightening around his, green eyes locked to blue and all the trust he'd asked about was there, clear in her open, nervous, excited gaze. Her leg stretched across the distance between them, and she let him pull her in as she stepped away from safety, while her other hand sought a handhold on the same sconce he was clinging to.

"For this, love..." she said, a bit breathless as she came to rest essentially against him, her satchel bouncing softly against her hip, "you will pose for me, later." Her grin turned almost feral, "It seems a fair trade, hmm?"
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Old May 6, 2017, 04:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Adyn arched a brow at the woman's hesitation. He could understand it, sure, but he wasn't used to it at all. Adyn was accustomed to just doing things. It hadn't occurred to him that they might both plunge to their deaths... although that worried him, given that he should have thought to be more careful with Kailin' life in particular. But he tugged a bit on the sconce to test it, and it seemed to hold up well enough. They'd be fine... surely. Probably.

He shook his head as he took her hand, clasping it firmly as he considered how he would get them from point A to point B. "Well, I might have made an understatement," he responded casually, voice a little strained from the effort of twisting so he gauge the distance to the next sconce. "But easy is hardly the most interesting, in my experience. And I didn't bring you here to be bored."

Surely she had become aware of that, though, by now. He hadn't exactly told her why he had chosen to bring her, but leaping over rotting floor boards and exploring the building's hidden nooks and crannies wasn't exactly a business excursion.

He turned back to her and the grin returned. He allowed her the time she needed to make the leap. He wasn't worried because he had a hold of her now and had every intention of pulling her in the rest of the way. As soon as her weight lifted away from the floor, he was drawing her in quickly with a tug of the arm. He took hold of her by the waist when he was able.

He shifted his hand so that her own grip didn't lock it to the sconce. He thought on their path a moment. He could be slow and deliberate or simply get the journey to the stairs done and over with. He tested the boards at the base of the wall. He could probably support her most of the way, keep his weight toward the edges in case one of the sconces gave out. Yep, it looked entirely doable. Maybe. He had done similar things before.

"Hmm?" Adyn shot her a look when she began to speak, already maneuvering his way toward their destination. He stopped to shoot her a frown, eyes wild with the discovery of the trap he had somehow managed to tumble into.

"What? Why would you do that to me? I show you a good time and you want to torture me. How is that fair again?" Still he continued to move, grunting softly here and there, but his tone had taken on a playfully defensive note that might have held some sincerity to its fear.
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Old May 9, 2017, 04:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"No..." she said in a very dry tone of voice that was all at odds with the grin that still stretched her lips as Adyn twisted in an attempt to figure a way across to their goal, "clearly you lured me here to bury me in the foundations of an old, derelict mansion and then steal all my money."

"Which, now that I say it out loud, doesn't sound all that boring, either." She laughed, and the sound bounced against the stone staircase before fleeing through the floorboards and empty, open windows. "Though perhaps it is another purse you are after, my love... in which case I doubt either of us will be able to claim boredom."

She traversed to him, eyes flashing with mirth and just a bit of heat - adventure really did stir the senses - and he captured her before encircling her waist, pulling her so that she was less likely to tip them toward the rotting boards only inches from her heels. Having tried to land her hand on the sconce away from his fingers, his tug had made her grab far less precise than she'd hoped, and so their hands did a little dance to make sure that his was free to maneuver.

He'd already begun doing so, with the length between sconces making it so that he could not merely stretch from one to the next easily (there were three down this little hallway before the couple feet of empty space that lingered between rotting floor and stairs), when she made her proposition.

The near panic on his face delighted her no end, and the slight feral quality to her grin deepened. "You risk my life, love, I risk yours... though I do promise to try to make it interesting enough that you won't actually die of boredom."

Then, as she watched him test the floor next to the wall, while holding onto her own sconce and staying pressed tight to the stone, she quirked a brow, the grin clear as day in her voice, "You trust me, right?"

One of his feet chose that moment to settle upon a piece of wood flooring that sheered away under the weight he'd tested it with, and he between sconces with no handhold to brace himself against. Apparently the rot went right up to the stone wall in some places.
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Old May 9, 2017, 05:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"Darling, if I wanted to steal money, there're far easier ways of doing it. Take it from me."

Once he had a hold of her he set about pressing tentatively at the floor boards, letting Kailin's words continue to dance in the back of his mind as she went on speaking. It was difficult to split his attentions, but he needed to make sure they didn't plummet onto their heads below.

"Are you sure? That's what you said last time and I very nearly almost died. I remember this distinctly."

He grunted at the follow up. "Go on and tease me, Love. I'm the one supporting you right now - you do realize that right?"

He turned and shot her another grin, only for his eyes to widen as the ground shifted away from his deliberate pushing and prodding. He danced back, taking her with him, gaze swiveling from her to the weakened flooring again. Hm, that wasn't a good spot to go.

He checked to see how far the weakness seemed to travel from what he'd uprooted. Maybe he could get around it. It would be nice to test the other side though. An errant leap could certainly be the death of them.

Maybe he could jump over on his own, catch the sconce and then test the flooring on that side, too. At least if it gave way, it'd only take him with it. Then he could see about reaching back for Kailin.
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Old May 11, 2017, 02:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Kailin snorted, single brow arching at his comment about the last time she'd asked him to sit for a sketch. She remembered well enough, remembered giving up halfway through and telling him she'd finished, just to put him out of his misery.

"Well yes, love, though we were all but children last time. I should hope that my skills have increased on many fronts since then..." again, that dry, amused tone of voice, colored with the warmth of affection.

At his rejoinder about supporting her, she looked up to where her hand still grasped the sconce firmly, as she was still in range, and was about to turn and roll her eyes at his back when he lost his footing and danced back into her.

Safely supported as she was by the sconce, she wrapped an arm about his waist to steady him, and though it proved unnecessary, the irony of it did please her.

"No teasing and no torture... Next you'll say no flirting, I suppose," she chuckled in his ear, before releasing him so that he could test the floor, "and here I thought we were on a proper date."

It turned out that the weakened section ran a few boards out, measuring out to at least three or four feet across. He certainly had enough runway to leap toward the next sconce and hope it held his weight and that the boards below were not part of the section that had rotted. It might even just require a long stretch of the legs to hit dry sturdy wood. And after that they were close enough to the stairs that surely they could get on with their explorations after leaping the gap to the stone beyond.

As Adyn had said... easy.
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Old May 12, 2017, 02:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Adyn made a small noise of frustration as his eyes swept the floor, determining that it wouldn't be a simple matter to take Kailin over with him. And it wasn't a good idea, besides. So he'd need to go alone, see if he didn't die first, then maybe consider taking her along with him. Having partners in crime was difficult sometimes.

A chuckle escaped him, though, at the sound of Kailin's voice against his ear. He turned into it for a moment, enjoying the small respite in which her breath brushed his cheek and her arm held his waist before she pulled away again. He waggled his brows at her sidelong.

"If I ever tell you 'no flirting', do me a favor and check me for a pulse. Now wait right here, would you, Dear?" His voice was laced with amusement. Where would she go, after all?

He made a leap over the boards so he could try and grasp onto the next sconce, hoping the floor didn't collapse from beneath him - or worse, have the sconce rip out as well. His breath came out ragged from the effort, but hopefully that would be the worst of his concerns.
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Old May 12, 2017, 11:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"Hmm..." Kailin made a quiet noise of agreement, meeting the sidelong glance with a raised brow and a contented grin. She wasn't going anywhere until she knew she wasn't going to fall however many feet to whatever lay below. And if Adynirach Thorne ever stopped flirting, she would do more than check the man for a pulse. That was for certain.

Then she held her breath, watching as he leaped over the hole his foot had made and a few more feet of boards past it. His hand caught on the sconce, and his lower body followed, swinging to land rather neatly on boards that gave way immediately below his feet.

Kailin made an abrupt noise of protest as the floor buckled that never had a chance to complete, as she clamped down on it hard. She knew Adyn was capable, and she could see that he had a solid grip on the sconce, which seemed strong enough to hold his weight, thank the gods.

That grip on the sconce allowed Adyn to figure out that the boards just past it were sturdy enough, and he was still able to hold onto the sconce as he stood at the edge of another hole that was a couple feet wide, the boards not gone, but dangling into the darkness below, hanging on with ragged edges.

"Well feth me, love." Kailin said when he'd found his feet, staring at the space she would need to traverse with clear speculation. If that sconce hadn't been there, or had been weakened, he'd have fallen, for sure. Could she jump across that? Her gaze raised to find his, brows nearly at her hairline before she pulled them down to normal levels.

"I suppose you want me to jump, and you'll catch me?" She said with a little, slightly breathy chuckle, her grin lopsided. And before she had a chance to think about it too much - quite possibly before he had a chance to properly prepare himself - she took a step or two carefully back and then used both her feet and a bit of a push on the sconce to launch herself toward him, arms outstretched.

She didn't scream, for which she was proud of herself, but she may have made a quiet little "eeeee!" sound as she flew through the air. Surely, it was still dignified and glorious to behold.
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Last edited by Kailin Alyxanda; May 13, 2017 at 12:06 AM. Reason: accidental "she"
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Old May 15, 2017, 10:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Feth. Adyn's grip tightened as the boards went out beneath him, body swinging slightly in response to the sudden absence of support. His feet pointed for a minute, as if he had only missed the landing by a few inches, but his mind swiftly caught up to him and he grunted in frustration. Well, good thing he had gone alone.

He let his body sway a little more so that he could reach out with long legs, seeking out the (hopefully) sturdier support of the boards just beyond the hole. When he found a good space to rest his weight, he lightened his grip on the sconce and breathed. He turned, brows lifting at Kailin's swear.

"Is that a request?" His lifted brows shifted into a suggestive waggle, but then knit into a frown at the question that followed. "I think so, just-"

His eyes widened as he realized what she was doing, a little too late to accommodate. His mouth opened, even as he fought for a solid stance with which to support her, but all of it was for naught. His arms reached out and latched onto her just as her body slammed into him, sending him falling backwards and onto the ground below.

He felt his stomach drop amid the fleeting realization that their landing spot might very well give beneath the weight of the both of them.

That thought was swiftly knocked out of him just as his breath was, and there was a moment of painful silence before a soft groan finally escaped him.

"That's one way to do it," he said at last, voice strained from the recovery. "Just... just give me a moment. I think maybe my insides are all bleeding."

They weren't, of course. But the dramatics made him feel better about himself and his unceremonious landing.
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