No Change of Heart

Tales of Jaycynda Ashleana and her associates.

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Jaycy Ashleana
Seasoned Adventurer
Seasoned Adventurer
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Her ship, with various friends, or at the dueling Arena and Outback

No Change of Heart

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:04 am

Feb 13th, evening

It wasn’t too late when they left first the Arena and then the Inn proper; people were still bustling to and from the main cultural center of the town. While Jaycy hadn’t exactly minded starting a serious conversation in the Arena (where she felt comfortable, with people she knew), outside was another story. Old habits died hard. “May we go to the library, please?” she quietly requested.

He was following where she led and was happy to. Perhaps he had spent a bit more time in reflection before Reiko came in than he knew, because he didn't seem to mind being serious in his talk, whereas usually, he would circumvent it.

"As you wish hun. I'm sure we can find a fairly quiet spot in there."

It was a matter of a thought, and a portal opened before them, allowing them direct access to the main floor to the old library.

It was perfect, for her ends. On the main floor they could walk, as they might need, but it also held a sense of safety - this place was Tass', even if and when it served the city entire. She couldn't think of here and not have her thoughts drift to the old man. Without hesitation, she stepped through the portal, never relinquishing her hold on his hand. In fact, she might have squeezed it a little tighter before stepping through.

As they gained entrance, she waiting a beat for him to step through and then banish the portal, she looked around. She didn't have a particular destination in mind, all directions seemed equally viable, so she simply stood there, peering up at him. There was much to say, now, but when she found herself here and able to say it ... she wasn't quite sure of how to do so.

A tiny sigh, and a shake of her head, until finally, she spoke again. "I am your peace." It wasn't a boastful, bombastic assertion, full of misplaced pride. Rather, it was a quiet acknowledgement of what she felt to be truth, and harkened back to a conversation they'd had recently about what he was looking for.

His steps seemed to pause as she spoke, like an image that glitched and tried to catch up to its self. Then the full weight of his attention settled on her. There was more of him there, and it could be felt in that look.

"Thank you, vana. But you are someone else's peace, and I cannot..." there was a pause, and he shook his head and continued, "..I will not intrude upon that peace."

"It's not mutual exclusion," she countered, keeping pace (which, admittedly was easy, it wasn't like they were any hurry to get somewhere). "It's not like a parent cannot be a child's peace because they are also 'peace' to a mate, or partner." She may have been small, and short, but she didn't flinch or diminish under that look. In fact, with her chin tilting up, it almost seemed as if she might be growing all the more present. Power rose to power, after all, and she had some poor power herself. "It's also not like it's your choice to define what intrudes on me, or anyone else not you. That is our choice."

She paused, brows knitting as she looked away in thought, then brought the earnest gaze to him again. "I am offering you peace, what you need. You should know and trust me; I wouldn't be offering if you were considered an intrusion." She huffed softly. "I am yours, if you choose." While there was no denying whatsoever that she was, also, Psly's, barriers had been ... negotiated.

"With one condition."

There was much that he could say, and perhaps would say. There were a few things that he had learned about himself, not only since he had been gone, but even during the time he last called this place home.

But those things could wait, for now. She was convicted in her stance, and if nothing else, his love for her would let her stand. "...and that would be?"

It was simple... in theory. “No holding anything back, at least with me. Your power, your pride, your pain. The feelings I know you still have for people, including me.” It took her a moment to gather her words; they needed at least some care. “I’m not just offering sex, love.” Though Tass should make no mistake; if he accepted her offer they would become lovers.

...in theory. But her words were enough and he choose to listen to them. "Vana. I love you, but I cannot. And before you set your beautiful red headed stubbornness in, you need to listen. One. The reason Kitty chose her path is because I could not. I am who and what I am... a dragon. I hoard and I do not share. I tried, but I found I could not. I wanted to be the only one."

His words were filled with pain, still after these many years, but she deserved to know. He loved her too much not to let her know. "Two. My power would destroy you. I am never all of me because it would burn... everyone and everything. But that is ok. I am no longer worried about my pain and pride. That has long gone numb."

Here he paused, not because he was holding back, but more because he wasn't sure the proper means to show the numbness.

In her turn to listen, she did. Closely, and actively, and even nodded slightly. She understood, at least in part.

"My redheaded stubbornness," she returned, quirking a small but visible grin, "... may not be as stubborn as you think in some ways." The smile faded and she affected a little shrug instead, belying the sincere sorrow she felt at his words. It wasn't only because what he said was no, but it also was empathy from the pain so easily apparent.

"I'm sorry, love, that's what happened, and I understand your feelings on it." She truly did; nonmonogamy wasn't for everyone, and she'd never judge someone who couldn't bide that form of significant relationships. It was part of the reason for her split with Bane; he'd also wanted to be the only one. Even moreso, she knew intimately the patterns and habits of kin, especially in relation to hoarding. She had to fight those urges herself.

For the second, however, she didn't accept, in whole. "Even though the point is moot because of how you feel, I will argue in principle." Here she frowned. "There is a difference between not holding back and not destroying something completely. The point was to mean you share all parts of you - power and magic given and shared in intimacy can enhance the joy shared."

Their hands remained connected, and she squeezed his. "Your numbness is why I worry so much for you, and a reason why I made this offer. Tass, none of us want to lose you. I refuse to lose you, and this numbness... is not you. It is a shadow."

He thought about it a moment and nodded.

"Yes, it is a shadow, but it is still me. I have lost the connection I.. I've lost my connection. There has always been a piece that has known that I don't belong, yet I have tried to make it work despite that part of me. I have been married three times in these lands. And three times I've had a piece of my heart die." He chuckled a moment, and there was a sick darkness hidden in it. "Where I a human medical scientist, I would say that I've only one part of the heart left, as there are only four chambers. Granted, I'm not human, but the analogy fits."

He turned and looked her in the eyes. It was perhaps the first time he had done that in a long time. It was a risk of a soul gaze, but one he was willing to take with her. "Vana, what you offer... I am honoured. But... " He shrugged, again, at a loss of words.

"There's a part of most of us that doesn't belong. Except when we're together," she commented, taking a moment to ease onto a nearby bench. It wasn't comforting, this seat; it wasn't made for reading but rather to serve as a quick stop for those overburdened. However, her bulk necessitated a minor rest.

"And I mean we in the general sense. Many of us came from other places, worlds, and mix together." She broke eye contact with him for only a moment, just enough to look away and down the corridor and sigh. Then, green-gold eyes sought his again. She had no trouble looking into his eyes; mayhap the break was for his benefit. "And if you want to analogize to the heart ... love, I'm not a scientist, but I know enough science to know this. The heart is a muscle, and if you don't use muscle it atrophies. If you hold your heart back and refuse to risk that last piece, it will die anyway. And worse, you'll take everyone and everything with it, I fear."

The truth, the pain, the depth of that truth... they were contained in that gaze, and just shy of shimmering tears. "I love you, Tasslehofl. I .... know ... at least to some degree, how you hurt, and I want nothing more than to take that from you. I had thought I could, that I would be different. That I could save you, even as things were. I admit, I didn't think you would say no; I thought that since you have to go places and times that I cannot go - even if I had no one else - it would be enough. That you could and would go, and then come back to me, and that would keep your heart - you - substantially whole."

The redhead didn't look away. "But I was wrong. And I'm sorry for hurting you and making this harder."

He couldn't help but chuckle, and this one was more light.. more life to it, though there was a sadness that hid there. "I love you Jaycynda. You've known that for a long while now. I doubt that will change. And this.. this doesn't hurt. It's open and honest. Our timing just.. sucks."

She chuckled too, if for nothing else but a reaction to his own laughter. "You keep saying that." Any amusement faded, drifting away, and she shook her head. "I suppose it does." All she could do was agree. She'd realized, in the last few seconds, something significant to her. Even if it were just the two of them, now, he'd still say no. He'd decline any offer because he couldn't stay and she couldn't go with him. That understanding made her all the sadder, but she hid it behind a wry smile turned up to him.

"So, then, we keep this openness and honesty and this love?" It was in part what she'd wanted; she wanted him to remain him and she couldn't see any other way for that. It was tempting to turn the question into an additional joke, to tease him about 'not touching,' but for once in her life she bit back the quip and asked the question with all the seriousness and gravity it required.

Despite the seriousness that has been transpiring, he leaned in and gave her a kiss. "We do."

A hand came up to brush his forearm with the kiss, kept moderate in time and passion. "Thank you." A moment later, she added, "... this just made my life harder." Rueful, and honest, and that upturn of the corner of her mouth that came with the words mirrored the tone of words.

"Oh?" Nuisance that he was, he still wanted to know, and by extension, perhaps how he could fix it.

"Now that I can, it'll be harder not to do." She had to behave. She didn't necessarily do well at "behaving."

"Ahh. It seems I don't make things easy, hrmm? I'm sure that we will work through it, together."

"We will," Jaycy agreed. "If I begin to cross lines that make you uncomfortable, please..." She repeated, ".... please tell me. Either in some code or straight out even hit me if you need to." Another chuckle, and she pushed down on the bench with a hand to lever herself up while simultaneously borrowing his arm for balance. "Ugh," came the grunt as she found her feet.

"May I stay with you, tonight?"

He shifted just enough so that she would fall into his arms, then he lifted her easily enough, and settled her there. "That will never be an issue. You are welcome any and all times."

The grunt turned to a yelp immediately, caught by surprise in being lifted. Her arms moved up and curved around the back of his neck, settling loosely but with just enough firmness that she wouldn't fall if something happened.

"Lead on, love," she requested, with a brush of lips to his cheek.

(( Taken from live play! ))
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