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Old February 18, 2011, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Woman's Touch on a Decidedly Masculine Space (Dante)

42nd of Melora, Winter, Era XVIII

The journey had been easier coming back from Demios to Tyrsvale than it had going to the small island. The seas were much calmer now that spring was coming and Niven decided that she wouldn't mind travelling by sea if the waters remained mild. The children and Kala had also seemed to enjoy the trip much more than they had they way out. The rest of the trip from Tyrsvale to Diana had been an uneventful brightening, but it had been long and Niven was grateful to finally see the gates of the goddess's city rise up before the carriage that carried them all.

But however excited she was to see the city, the elf was much much more excited to see the dracon she loved for whom she was 'intended'. Niven smiled to herself as she thought of the first time that had been used to describe their relationship. It had been quick thinking on Dante's part and Niven was grateful. She herself wasn't sure how to answer the question the Intendant had asked them at the Corinalia ball Dante had thrown. And to be honest, Niven hadn't been sure how she would have defined her and Dante's relationship. But he had explained their entire relationship in one word. It was honest and succinct. And exactly what they were. They intended to marry, but were not yet there. That was still to come.

That thought in itself made Niven get happy nervous butterflies in her stomach. Dante had already expressed his desire to marry her one brightening. And then later on had expressed that he was thinking about how to propose. So he was serious and it was coming. But the waiting was torture. Every time she was with him, every time he kissed her, held her, caressed her, everything, everything, within her screamed for him. And she knew his passion was the same for her. But he was a gentleman and she a lady and both of them were steadfast in their determination to maintain their honour during this courtship. But it was getting harder and harder, especially now that Niven had moved in with the family permanently It had gone without discussion that Dante and Niven would have separate rooms until the time that they married, and she was happy with that. Their rooms weren't even next to each other. The children's rooms were in between them and it was a sound arrangement. Kept temptation at bay, for the most part.

The suns were gone and twilight was upon them when the Asunder estate came into view. Niven smiled at the large familiar house through the window of the carriage as they entered through the gates. She was anxious to see Dante again, as business had taken him to Jaedaxia before bringing him here. The cycle had seemed endless and at last it was over and they were going to be together again, one big happy family.
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Old February 23, 2011, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dante sat quietly in the study, his pracenda half eaten on the desk as he flipped through the triance. He had been puzzling over something for a while now, looking to resolve, at least in his own mind, the relationship between Diana, Carmelya, as well as the role of Jalat. It had become ever more pressing as the opportunities for him to teach the Gods' word in Jaedaxia and Vortex surfaced with increasing regularity. This darkening however his heart simply wasn't in it.

His family was coming home soon and he found himself ever distracted by thoughts of his children and his beautiful intended. The dracon felt foolish for not having pursued a relationship with her earlier. He should have done the right thing and broke the engagement with Hatorania himself. In the long run it would have saved both of them a great deal of grief and he and Niven could have been closer. Every time he was around her she did something, just a small thing that made him love her more. It was like she had a gift for knowing just what to do to endear herself to him.

He smiled as he thought about his children and how they were growing up. It was a melancholy sort of smile as he knew that soon (at least to a dracon) they would be leaving home to start individual lives of their own. Maya was practically a lady and both Kel and Jar had shown how independent and strong they had become. Even to the point of dancing the night away with lovely ladies who attended the Corinalia brightening ball. Kel had even brought a date, the lovely Kendria, upon whom he had doted all darkening. Whether she knew it or not that girl had Kel wrapped around her little finger, although Dante suspected that she was well aware of that.

The dracon, for the thousandth time caught himself looking out the window of his estate toward the front gates, waiting for the carriage with his most prized possession, his family, to emerge. He once again saw the large iron gate, he saw the front landscaping and the wall. The lanterns on the streets were lit and a few people still made their way about. He sighed as he turned back to the Triance and read the same passage again for about the sixth time.

Then he heard the gate swing open and his eyes and ears perked up as his heart leapt into his throat with its own jump of joy. They were back! Dante flew from the study, the cushion of air about him flipping the pages of the book he was reading and effectively losing his place. He turned toward the door as he hit the slick marble of the main entryway and slid a little before heading toward the door again. Thankfully he was able to keep his balance and the slip was hardly noticed and not remembered in his anxiety to get the front door open.

Upon opening the portal to his home he strode out onto the front steps, smiling large and heading for the carriage. He looked toward the windows trying to spot his family within the vehicle and took on the roll of the footman, opening the door to the carriage, as he was too impatient to wait for the man to do it. When he saw the faces of his children he exclaimed with unconstrained and impossible to conceal enthusiasm, "Hi guys!" The dracon would hug as many of them at once as he could, helping them from the wagon and giving them each a kiss on the head.

Niven would once again take his breath away. Dressed for a ball or covered in a brightenings worth of dust from overland travel she still made his heart race, his eyes sparkle, his throat choke up and the impromptu summoning of a three ring butterfly circus in his gut. The dracon would smile up at the angel Diana sent to be with him and offer her his hand to help her down from the carriage, pulling her into an embrace as she exited (assuming she took his hand), and giving her an affectionate peck on the lips. Had they been alone he wouldn't have been able to restrain himself from doing more.

Still keeping one arm around Niven he would half turn to his children again, giving them one armed hugs, and ask, "So how was the trip?"
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Old February 23, 2011, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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oocAre you not modding your kids?

It was of little surprise to Niven that Dante was at the door almost as soon as they had entered the gates. She leaned back in her seat and smiled to herself. He was so enamoured with his family, a quality of his that was very endearing. With all the evil he had seen, all the horrible prejudices against him, and the battles he'd been through, Dante was still a giant teddy bear when it came to his kids.

No sooner had the carriage stopped then had Dante swung the door open and the children all lunged for him. Their level of excitement was probably a toss up between being thrilled to see their father, being back in Diana and finally being able to get out of the carriage. Niven waited patiently until they all, and Kala, had emerged before showing herself. She smiled brightly at the dracon as he smiled at her and offered his hand. Niven took it and allowed him to help her out before finding herself swept up into his arms and a loving kiss being placed upon her lips. The elf smiled and returned the short kiss.

Still under his arm, Niven turned with him and looked at the children, waiting to let them explain the experience first. If none answered, then Niven would speak up saying, "The seas were fair and the roads easy, but it was a long brightening. I think we are all relieved to finally be here." She looked at each of the kids and then back at Dante. Her weariness from the day was evident on her face. She would look forward to her bed this darkening, but had a feeling Dante would have something in mind before she got there. Not that the idea wasn't welcome to Niven, but she hoped whatever they did, it didn't require a lot of energy. The Sylrosian was a seasoned traveller, yes, but with all the children, trying to keep them from killing each other while being in such a confined space... It was an experience and a half.
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Old February 24, 2011, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dante smiled at them all, just relieved that they were all safe and that there were no problems. Kala excused herself as was her custom in Diana and headed for the home of her parents. Dante arranged for the coachman to take her there and soon the horses were clopping out of sight. The children waved at her as she left and Dante then escorted his family back toward the house. "I'm glad the trip was easy. Thank you for keeping an eye on them," he stated sincerely.

The little girls for the most part were in a tizzy and were basically two little balls of pent up energy. They jabbered away, giving an in depth albeit not chronologically accurate account of their journey. Dante just grinned at them shaking his head, occasionally stating "I see" or "Oh interesting" to show them that he was still listening. The two older boys pretty much bounded into the house and headed for the kitchen. Their adolescent stomachs had been growling for the last candlemark or so and they were looking to abate it. Maya shook her head at the boys, a little amused or perhaps irritated, it was hard to tell, but regardless she headed to the kitchen as well. Chariras had already passed out on Dante's shoulder.

Dante smiled at the girls, "Alright ladies why don't you two go and get some Pracenda as well alright? It's already on the table." Both the girls stomach's growled as well and they turned to each other and giggled before bounding off toward the kitchen, "Thanks Daddy!" they said almost simultaneously.

He then turned to Niven with a little bit of concern, although mostly adoration, "You like tired angel. Why don't you get something to eat too. I'm going to put Chariras down for the night then I'll join you okay?"
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Old February 27, 2011, 05:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As Kala took her leave, Niven waved at her friend. She was sure that the draconess was happy to go home to her own family, probably as happy as Dante was to be reunited with his. As she turned back to Dante and he escorted them all back to the house, he made his statement and Niven gave him a smile. "Ah, Kala could have handled it all on her own, I'm sure. I did nothing but add another voice of reason to any petty bickering and another set of eyes on the little ones."

The older kids bounded into the house, most likely in search of food and Niven shook her head slightly, amused. The little girls were hopping around their father, who was carrying an exhausted and now sleeping Chariras, and chattering on and on about the trip. As one ran out of breath, the other took over. The Sylrosian was amazed at their energy. 'Perhaps they have sapped all of mine,' Niven thought, smiling.

Dante suggested the girls go in for pracenda and once they had head for the kitchen as well, he suggested the same to her. Niven nodded and kissed her fingers and then placed them on the back of Chariras's head. She moved towards the kitchen, while Dante moved towards the stairs to put the sweet little blond to bed.

While the kids chatted and got their plates of food, Niven just smiled as she sat in "her" spot at the table and watched all that transpired. She wasn't particularly hungry, as travelling seemed to curb her appetite, due to era's of having to pack her own food along with her and in the interest of it not spoiling and needing to have food for the animals as well, but she sat and oversaw the children eating.
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Old February 28, 2011, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dante smiled at Niven's gesture toward Chariras and fought back the desire to kiss her again, lest he wake the child. He silently moved up the steps toward the bedrooms of the children, locating Chariras' and laying him gently in his bed. He gently and softly removed his shoes and socks, and slipped him out of his travel clothes then slipped him into his pajamas all the while the boy not rousting more than a delirious stupor of near unconsciousness. Once the task was complete Dante covered the boy with his blanket and set his stuffed dracon next to him. Pangs of regret entered his heart every time he though of how the boy had come to him, but perhaps in the interest of Dante improving himself for the work of the goddess such an experience had been necessary.

He quietly slinked downstairs to find Niven and the children...

Meanwhile Jar and Kel had loaded up their plates and were contentedly eating, more than it seemed possible to actually fit inside them, while MJ snacked on some fruit and nibbled at the prepared meal her father had made. Nikki and Nelly had dished themselves up food, their eyes being bigger than their stomachs, and Niven knew full well that neither girl would finish all the food in front of them.

The boys were discussing their plans now that they were back in Diana for awhile. It seemed that Jar was eager to start practicing with the Vigils. He apparently was considering either joining up with them or the military. Kel on the other hand was excited to get back to Demios and while he never said as much it was pretty obvious to everyone at the table as to why he'd want to go. He and Kendria had been almost inseparable after the ball and it was a fair bet that if you came upon one undoubtedly the other would have been there as well.

Jar had been rather jealous for a while of his more handsome younger brother, but Kendria had made her choice... for the time being... and he had gotten over it. Plus Kel wasn't the type to gloat, in fact he never mentioned the girl's name in front of his older brother, so that helped a great deal. MJ on the other hand was irritated at the theft of her best friend by her little brother and had taken whatever opportunity she could to make life difficult for him without actually doing anything that would get her in trouble. Perhaps it was her vysstichi nature, but she was quite good at the sneakiness.

The two youngest girls were jabbering back and forth about school. They smiled at each other as they talking about their friends and teachers. The children of course attended the school Dante had founded, but thanks to his connections the locale was now run by the CoF. They were in mostly the same classes, but Nelly was required to take a different language class and P.E. class because of her race.

Dante snuck into the kitchen silently, motioning to the children to not mention his arrival. He snuck up behind Niven and hugged her from behind giving her a kiss on the head.
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Old March 3, 2011, 02:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Upon her arrival in the kitchen, Niven found the boys had loaded up their plates and were devouring the meal at an amusing rate. Niven just shook her head slightly and noted Maya had decided to eat lighter and seemed to be enjoying fruit rather then the prepared meal. The younger girls had clearly piled their plates with more food then either of them could possibly eat and Niven remarked to them that it was better for them to take less and go back for more then to take more then they could eat and have the remainder go to waste. The way in which she said this admonishment was not harshly, but more of a suggestion. She gave room for the fact that the girls may have taken too much in their excitement in being home again.

As Niven sat, she listened to the different conversations going on around her. Jar was chatting enthusiastically about possibly joining the Vigils or the military. The Sylrosian listened to that conversation with great interest. The idea wasn't actually a bad one, considering Jar's personality. While the thought of him fighting and being in danger made her stomach churn, Niven knew that life would make Jar happy. And considering he had 'lost' Kendria to Kel, being in uniform would most likely make him popular with the ladies.

Kel was already talking about going back to Demios and it was no stretch of the imagination why. Niven stifled a laugh at the look on Maya's face as she watched her younger brother talk. The girl was not pleased he was seeing her friend. To Kel's credit, though, he didn't rub his relationship in either of his sibling's faces. Niven was proud of him for that. She had been initially uneasy about the entire idea of Kel dating, or any of the children, really, but the lad had proved himself mature enough to handle it. Niven still thought he was a bit young to be dating, but then she probably would have started courting around his age if she hadn't been so busy hanging out with the guys. It would be unfair for her to expect the older kids to wait another 30 years before they started to think about dating, as she had.

Dante's arms around her made Niven smile and the smile just grew as she felt the kiss on her head. "Chariras didn't even flinch as you put him down, did he?" she asked Dante, craning her neck to see him. "It was a long day for him. He feel asleep in the carriage for a while too. I think all should eat and then get ready for bed." She said, looking pointedly at the children sitting around the table. "It's been a long day..."
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Old March 8, 2011, 05:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"I'm sorry Niven," Nelly replied clearly recognizing that her meal would most likely not be finished. Nikki on the other hand grew a stern look as she glared, not at Niven, but at her plate as if it was challenging her, daring her to eat it. The child let in with a chomp and did her best to finish the meal. It was probably the first time that she hadn't been the chattiest person at the table.

The children looked at Niven as she expressed the not so subtle opinion that everyone should finish eating and get to bed. Dante's reaction wouldn't be readable by his intended, but the children's countenances all fell. He must have agreed with her.

"Not at all. The sweet little guy was out like a lamp," the dracon replied whispering in Niven's ear. He took the opportunity to kiss the woman he loved on the cheek before releasing her from his embrace so that she could sit their awkwardly watching the children finish their meal. He joined in on the children's discussions, even to the point of asking Maya if she had any big plans now that they were back in the big city.

"Not really father. I..." she had been about to elaborate on something, but as it became apparent that people were interested in what she was about to say, namely her siblings, she clammed up and stayed pretty tight lipped. Dante gave her a smile which she begrudgingly returned.

"You can tell me about it later," Dante finished as the rest of the children returned to their meals. With Nikki's mouth stuffed full the dinner conversation was rather subdued and it made the dracon feel a little uncomfortable. He hadn't realized how much he enjoyed the little girl's banter.

"I was thinking of heading over to the market tomorrow father," Jar finally stated breaking the awkward silence. "Hey MJ you want to come too? I promised Terrance that I'd introduce you."

She shot him a look like he'd just asked her to scrub out all the family chamberpots, but the market was the market so the look soon faded. "A..alright," she replied finishing up her fruit. "May I be excused?" She looked to Dante who nodded before she rose, bussed her dishes, then headed upstairs to her room.

Dante gave Jar a serious look, "No ditching her Jar, even if she gets moody." It wasn't like the boy would plan to do such a mean thing, but ever since getting out from under Maya's 'leadership' the boys hadn't had much problem with putting her in her place. He worried about his oldest for of all his adopted children she was having the toughest time adjusting. She didn't have many friends, and almost none in Diana, but Dante kept hoping. He said a special prayer for her every night that she'd be able to face the next brightening.

"I won't father. I know how dangerous the market can be for a young lady alone," he said with a serious face. It was true as well. For some reason a pretty young woman almost couldn't walk down the streets anymore without being harassed. Dante knew his kids were good kids, but he worried more that Maya would knife someone who became too attentive than her actually getting hurt.

The children soon finished their meals with Dante finishing up Nelly's so it didn't go to waste. Nikki actually finished her meal, but was so stuffed that she looked almost ready to be sick. With a moan she excused herself and started wobbling up the steps holding her gut. The other children all bussed their plates and headed to their rooms while Dante started cleaning up the kitchen, in particular the dishes from Pracenda. He gave Niven a loving smile, "Going to bed beautiful?"
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Old March 9, 2011, 10:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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oocYou assumed I took food. If you go back and read, you will notice that Niven does not have a plate in front of her. ;)

The differences in reactions to her admonishment amused Niven, but she kept that hidden. Nelly seemed to realize the lesson while Nikki seemed more determined then ever to prove her wrong. Niven just watched as the little redheaded girl worked at eating every last morsel on her plate.

Nodding as Dante whispered in her ear, she smiled as he gave her a kiss and released her. It was a great relief to her that they were all together again and, most of all, that Dante was no more worse for wear after his trip to Jaedaxia. It was understood that he needed to be there to check on the business and take care of any important matters, but it always made Niven feel uneasy, even though she knew he walked around in a different seeming. As that brightening on the beach, all it would take was a simple cut for his cover to be blown.

The conversation picked up as Dante got involved and Niven simply listened. She was intrigued by the conversation about women not walking alone in the city, but she said nothing. As far as she understood, Diana was reasonably safe. There were always a few incidents, but with the number of Vigils and Legionnaires walking around and it being a holy city, there was usually little trouble. But Niven had only lived in the city for a season and now was back again. She would arm herself as she went out, but only as a precautionary measure, not necessarily because she felt she needed to.

Nelly did not finish, as Niven expected she wouldn't, but Dante took over finishing what she did not. Nikki, somehow, had managed to clear her plate, but looked a little green. Niven would not be surprised if the poor little girl was sick this darkening. However, the elf was satisfied that the lesson had been learned by both girls. Jar and Kel finished as well and left their dishes in the sink. Niven bid all the children good night, instructing Nikki to keep her chamber pot close just in case.

Dante started cleaning the kitchen and asked if she would be heading to bed. "Not quite yet," she said, grabbing a cloth to wipe the table. "I have no intention of leaving you to clean this mess by yourself." She shot him a smile and began to clean the crumbs and other foodstuffs off the table.
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Old March 12, 2011, 04:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dante noticed that Niven seemed unusually quiet this darkening. He hoped it was just that she was tired, but he wanted to make sure. Then she had to go and grab the dish rag. Giving her a firm, not angry but serious, look he shook his head, "Hey none of that. You've had a long brightening and I won't have you cleaning up too. You took care of the kids all brightening, just sit down and relax."

He waited for her to do as he asked, for if she didn't he'd walk over and take her rag then slip around behind her and start massaging her back, shoulders, and neck. While his hands were working her shoulders he would guide her to her chair. After several long moments and once it seemed she was starting to relax, assuming she did so, Dante queried "Would you like some wine?"

Assuming she acquiesced to the idea he'd go an pour her a glass of Jaedaxian red, pulling it from the wine cellar below. Of course this would give her a moment alone with her thoughts, but he'd take the rag with him so that she'd not get any further ideas about cleaning up after such a trying brightening. Of course if she refused the wine he'd keep up the massage, "Are you alright? You're being awfully quiet."
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Old March 13, 2011, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Looking up surprised at Dante's protest, Niven furrowed her brow and then shook her head, "No no, it's fine," she said continuing to wipe until he came and took the cloth from her. She gave him a tired smile and then pretended to pout. "Fine," she said, conceding. Dante started to massage her as he led her back to her seat and Niven smiled. It felt really good.

At the offer of wine, Niven said, "Only if you're having some." If Dante got the wine, Niven would take her glass from him when he offered it and take a sip. "Thanks," she'd say.

At the question, Niven turned to look at him and smiled, though she was a little confused. "I'm fine. I didn't realize I was being quiet. I merely gave the kids an opportunity to talk with you when they had the first chance. The little girls, especially, chattered non-stop about seeing you again this darkening." She gave a little half laugh half sigh. "It was just a long brightening. I'm glad that we've finally arrived."

Juno decided that it was his turn for food and put his head on Niven's lap. "You're probably hungry too, hm?" she said, giving him a pat and then getting up to get him some food from her bag.
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Old March 23, 2011, 10:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dante grinned at Niven as he took the rag from her and smiled at her. It was a little known fact, but he enjoyed giving her a massage at least as much as she enjoyed receiving one. He gently massaged her shoulders, making firm small circles, finding the tense areas and helping her relax.

At the stipulation on the wine he grinned, "If you insist." He gave her a mischievous grin, "You know what a light weight I am with alcohol." The sad thing was is he recognized it, yet was still tempted at her request. He had drank, trying to 'comfort' himself after the fiasco with Hatorania. He had sunk low into alcohol, really low. Since then he had all but abstained from any type of alcoholic beverage. In truth he was afraid that with his inhibitions... weakened he might try to go farther than he or Niven would want to otherwise, before they were married.

If she insisted he would pour them both a glass. Dante knew she wanted one and society dictated that you shouldn't drink alone. Dante gave the woman he loved an affectionate hug around the shoulders. "Alright Angel. As long as you aren't upset at me or something?" he replied returning to his massaging. After a moment of silence he stated, "I really missed you you know?"
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Old April 5, 2011, 02:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Noting the mischievous grin, Niven smiled. "Well, then I think one glass each should do us both just fine," she said, easily. She had no intention on getting either of them drunk, merely to just relieve a bit of tension.

Dante poured her drink and then handed her the glass. She smiled in thanx and took as sip. "Oh no," she said, brushing his suggestion off, "I have no reason to be upset with you. Unless, of course you've done something in which I should be…." She gave him a playful wink.

As he returned to his massaging, the elf closed her eyes. He seemed to find just the spots where it felt really good. "Mmmmm… I missed you too," she replied. "Was everything ok in Jaedaxia? You didn't run into any trouble did you?" Niven asked, the concern unmistakeable in her tone. She always worried about Dante when he was in that specific city considering all the trouble he'd had in the past with the thorns. Even Niven had little interest in ever returning to Jaedaxia due to the trouble she, herself, had encountered there.
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Old April 8, 2011, 03:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Where ever Niven is, Dante won't be far away...
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Dante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious SuperheroDante Asunder is a glorious Superhero


Dante poured her a glass of wine and one for himself. He took a little sip of it before returning to his massage of Niven. He truly enjoyed that she was enjoying herself. It made him happy in a way that loving someone else only could. He hugged her around the shoulders again, just because he felt like doing so.

"Me? Something wrong? Perish the thought," he said returning her wink with a seductive smile of his own. He laid a few kisses upon her neck as he massaged her. He didn't let it go too far however as she was obviously tired.

At her question he sighed and sat next to her, his thumbs having grown numb. "It is as expected. Not bad, but hardly Diana. Hopefully it will get sorted out some brightening." He took a longer drink as his eyes went distant in thought.

After a moment he realized he was spacing and gave Niven a friendly smile. "I was thinking that I might change my line of work a bit," he said with an impassive look. "Perhaps use my ships for hauling cargo rather than fishing. What do you think?"
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Old April 14, 2011, 02:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Niven is a famous HeroNiven is a famous HeroNiven is a famous Hero


At his reply, Niven let out a short laugh, truly amused. They both knew full well that trouble seemed to follow Dante wherever he went. She was pleased, though, that he teased her back and that there wasn't actually anything wrong. As he kissed her neck she smiled and shut her eyes enjoying the feeling of his lips against her skin.

He sat next to her at the table as he replied to her question. Her relief that nothing out of the special brand of 'normal' Jaedaxia held for him had happened was evident on her face. She had no energy to veil her emotions. She nodded as he expressed his hope that it would all get sorted one brightening. "Yes, that would be wonderful," Niven murmured, her own expression going distant as she imagined the brightening where the entire family might be able to move back into the chateau in Jaedaxia and live there peacefully.

Dante's next comment broke Niven out of her thoughts and she smiled back at him. "Oh?" she commented to his interest in changing his line of work. The elf took another sip of her wine as he continued. She raised her eyebrows at his new interest. "What brought this idea on?" she asked, not responding to his question about what she thought until she knew more.
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