A Beast Among You

A place for stories beyond the gates of Rhy'Din
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Ezra Rowe
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A Beast Among You

Post by Ezra Rowe » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:24 pm

November 17th, 2019

Costa Rica was a fever dream of lush green ranges wrapped in a clear blue ribbon of salt water. This favored destination to many tourists in the early winter months meant there was jovial interactions between hotel guests and natives almost every single night. Here, the air was soggy with the rainy season beginning to wrinkle up into a dry heave, leaving everything with a glossy look of fresh moisture. Just another natural reason for supporters of this lively land to celebrate their luck of being here. Most seemed preoccupied with encouraging one another in photos, trading experiences of their impressionable stay with other visitors, bathing in the carefree atmosphere that was nurtured with sweet liquor and beach side views.

Ezra was hidden somewhere beneath the ragged growth of a beard and the unkempt mop of overgrown hair. He was unrecognizable to those that may remember him from all those years ago, just before he had vanished with barely a whispered word to any he kept in contact with. His eyes were like brittle wood, dark and unable to rejuvenate themselves with the lost strips of fools gold. All the tales of unsung battles that littered his suit of skin appeared to be dull from either the time spent in the sun or a lack of nutrition that helped keep his glamour crisp.

His seat at the bar was in the corner where he could be the quiet shade of himself, some husk of a great god that had given up somewhere in his millennia of life. The employees here seemed to recognize him for how long he had been a staple on these shores, but he seemed more and more like a washed up vagabond with no where else to go. Even the bar tender, a young man who went by Benicio, had learned to just refill the mans beer as they got low and not question if any change was needed with the cash that he provided. The relationship was a stagnant and simple affair.

"You look awful." Inga commanded any in ear shot to look at her, not just for the svelte carapace she wore of feminine guile, but for the extremely foreign accent which took dominance over her tongue. A mutt of Scandinavian descent who kept herself locked away behind the bars of thick, black ink which stretched like hieroglyphics around her collar bones, shoulders, and even the length of her neck. Platinum white hair spilled over the silk of her spine, hard eyes enriched with a gun metal finish, and skin stolen from the moon itself. She sat one stool down from the tired beast who had grown shaggy and unresponsive to the Call.

"I'd say the same to you but we both know I'd be lying. Something I'm not very good at." A deep baritone trembled from his throat, toppling over his teeth like thunder that had lost its way from the storm. Ezra kept his dull attention on the television screen that was showcasing some soccer game that he wasn't at all interested in. It simply kept him from having to look aside at the lithe Inga; lesser men had gotten lost in her eyes when she stared as hard as the abyss looking back.

"Lying, no. You've never been good at it. And until recently, you had never been good at hiding, either." Benicio was summoned with an ethereal flow of her fingers, beckoning him to serve her whatever it was that Ezra had been dining on as well as a refill. "Perhaps you still aren't given how quick I found you. Have you thought about your new look at all?" Ever changing as the lunar shifts, she bullied him with the sharp symphony of her words and just how easily they invaded his space.

"Who is the bad liar now, Inga?" Brief as it was, his mouth cut into a half-life grin. Those same grins that used to be of the stalwart nature, possessing an uncanny charm that belied the threat his human stature might give off. Unfortunately it did not stay long, gone beneath the shadow of the unruly hair that was covering the bottom half of his features. "If you found me so fast, why have I been here for eight months now with out your interruption?" She had slung a smooth insult in the fold of her last words. He ran his fingers through the beard she was so obviously speaking about. "I've been on vacation. No need to shave during vacation, is there?" Flat was his timbre to show he was not at all taking the proverbial bait from his ilk.

"I suggest you do take the time to shave. You look like a heathen." Inga opted to navigate around the fact that Ezra could have been spilling facts; she hadn't been able to find him, not as fast she would have liked, and he had camouflaged well enough to thwart even the most viperous of their kind. They both watched the television but clearly neither of them were enraptured by it, more that they may need a moment of silence between them where they could both start preparing for war if either spoke out of turn.

"What do you want, Inga?" Ezra went first by breaking the quiet with a cutthroat question, deciding he didn't have the patience for the serpents games.

"You should go home, Ezra. You wallowing here by yourself, pretending to enjoy your own company, is unbecoming of you. Unbecoming of a king." That single utterance of king made Inga strap her fingers around the bottle neck of the beer a little tighter. Its term felt new given the outcome of what had happened the previous year. Unable to use it until now where it felt unconvincing in the face of a soccer game and the curious eyes of Benicio.

He didn't flinch or bare his teeth when Inga propped that moniker up on the pedestal of her tongue. It could have been a vocal blade for how it cut through some of the solitary confinement his eyes were in, though. Ezra mirrored Inga in a drink, letting his last longer till there was barely a drop left in the bottle. Large shoulders rolled back so he could align his spine from slouching. "Don't call me. Ever." Aggression restrained to a murmur. There was plenty to collect from that inflection in his tone.

"Why? Because you are wallowing in how you obtained such a title?" Inga delivered a potent tch while simultaneously tilting her head in his direction. "Many of us were part of what transpired, Ezra. You did not summon the chaos of last year by yourself -- not really, anyways. How were you to know --"

Ezra cut her off with out even a courtesy glance to her carrion eyed stare. "I should have known. I should have stopped. I should be gone, not ..." Unable to finish the terse emphasis of his follies. The names that he could not stomach to speak being swallowed back down from ever climbing out of his throat again. Finally, and only now, did he size Inga up with a sidelong look. Froth of ochre eyes regaining some semblance of the creature hidden behind the veil of this man flesh. "My home is gone, Inga." Breathing that out sans the distant thunder of his usual resonance. "So is yours." Reminding the ancient Ophidian who dared brave the weight of his shadow as he stood from the bar.

"Home is wherever I choose it to be, Ezra. It always has, it always will." Each of their kind had their own antediluvian essence that had been in their veins since the birth of the soil, the first burst of the seasons, the very beginning of elements and life. Inga wore her own on her sleeve by how she could asphyxiate one with her hypnotic prowess. Even so, Ezra never seemed to sway under her spells, always a formidable force to reckon with, even in his haggard state of disrepair. "You can't avoid your destiny in this for long. Staying here will only make you rotten on the inside with all that guilt you're harboring. The taste of it will always be there, Ezra, but as time goes on it will begin to taste less and less like defeat. And we have all the time in the world. Would be better for you to start sooner than later, though." There were proposed truths that Ezra might not want to stomach, or even listen to, but Inga made sure her forked tongue was heard.

"If you have a home, Inga, go to it. And leave me be." A notion that he wanted her to understand and respect so he said it close to her ear when taking his turn to be the invader of her space. He kissed the side of her temple after, a farewell of implied gratitude for her seeking him out but also a fair warning that she may not find him again.

Inga melted some of the ice that kept her body language cool, leaning enough into his once familiar body to say that she touched on his once sun ripened skin one last time. There were flashbacks of the savage lands they had been born from, the quaking smell of volcano ash, desert winds, the untouched sea. He embodied all of it just as she did. Ezra became more and more a distant memory in the movement of touring bodies until he dissipated all together to leave the femme Primordial to her own thoughts, her own theories, her own schemes, and her very own solemn oath.

"Good bye -- king."
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