*Running Hot, Running Cold

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*Running Hot, Running Cold

Post by Izira Nyte » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:47 pm

The heat boiled under her skin.

Izira paced in her study, trying to focus her energy—trying to calm the fire down. The orange tabby called Sylis perched silently on top of the dark wood desk, watching to woman in turmoil. As she moved back and forth, his tail flicked in a mimic of her. Beneath the feline’s form sat the full translation of the book from her father’s people, once again opened to the section covering sharing the gift through a bond. Izira would be freed from the chaos of her nature if she could share it with another.

~He would, you know. ~

The cat’s mind spoke into her own.

“Shut up, Silas.”

Left, right, left, right… the slit green eyes continued to watch as the cat deemed to remain silent for a few minutes.

~He might. If you asked.~

“I’m not asking!”

She shot a dark glare at her companion, but could not focus on further argument. The heat was about to undo her. Without though, Izira turned making towards her private quarters and bath. Hands came into fists about the fabric of her buttoned blouse, ripping it off without hesitation. Finger tips running through her hair, trying to get it off her neck. Heels were lost somewhere between the two rooms. Skirt and undergarments removed with the same care given the blouse. Stripped, she walked across the tiled floor of bedroom and bath—the cold tiles warming under the heat from her body.

Her personal bath, the room usually soothed Izira just by stepping inside. However, today was different and the care and personal touch given to the interior did not sway her mood. Hanging plants, their purple and white flowers filling the air with their soft scents. The tub was massive—big enough for four, sitting within a raised platform. The water of the tub could overflow, slipping over the edges only to drain down the sides. She was not interested in a bath at this moment, though, and headed straight for the shower instead.

The shower was like another room, floor to ceiling tiles of a dark blue veined with aqua green behind a clear glass door. An oversized shower head to either end, the cascading waters crossing paths as they fell. Izira shut the glass door behind her, then turning both faucets to the highest cold water setting. A short gasp as the water started to fall against her naked form. She tilted her head back, watching steam lift from her body as the cold water meet with heated skin. A soft sigh, closing her eyes, tears escaped to mix with the falling water. Her breathing became labored as sobs wracked her body, taking her down to her knees on the tiles. Cold water fell, but hot water pooled on the floor.

Eventually the tears ran out, Izira angered that she would feel so sorry for herself. She sat down, knees pulled up to her form. Eyes opened, the glass door to the shower was covered in mist and the shower was thick with steam. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale… the water that surrounded her started to lose its heat. Swallowing hard, head tilted back again. Cold, it was all cold. Izira closed her eyes again letting her body shiver with the feel of it.
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A Letter to Alain

Post by Izira Nyte » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:48 pm

The raven perched quietly in higher branches of the tree. Unmoved by that which happened around it. Morning came and went, then afternoon and night. Two days. The mark came and went, the bird sat still and unconcerned. Wind rustled its feathers, exsposing bald patches and pulling loose feathers free to scatter them further away.

Day three, as the man passed the bird left the tree. Making an ungraceful landing near the feet of Alain. Damaged wing or leg, perhaps both. Parchment was dropped from the raven's beak, the writing hectic as though the writer had been in a hurry. It read,

Alain

Forgive me. I need your help again. I do not know what to do, please hurry.

Izira Nyte


The moment the bird release the paper into the care of the man, it took wing into the air. Circling once before turning in the direction that would carry it home.
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Memory Loss

Post by Izira Nyte » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:49 pm

It was happening again.

Izira muttered under her breath as she tried to come to terms with where she was. Not in her bed, not inside. She felt the rough ground at her back, a cold breeze over bare skin. Dawning sunlight burned through her eyelids, causing a greater ache to awaken in her head. She pushed herself up, coughing into a hand. Eyes cracked open, first light of day, her hand was covered in ashes. Alertness bolted through her body, wide eyes looked around to take in her surroundings.

Where was she?

Slowly standing, her body resisting the effort it took. She turned in a full circle, devastation waited at every turn. In a radius of nearly thirty feet from her nothing remained but ash. Beyond that stood pristine forest, untouched by whatever event had occurred. Turning and turning again, Izira could not make sense of it. Only knew that she must have been the cause.

How long had she been out?

Ash and dirt covered her body along with cuts and streaks of dried blood. Was it her blood? There was no one else in sight. She was unsure on whether or not to consider that fact a good omen or not. Foot moving for balance, something snapped beneath her foot. Eyes captured by the sound, a dirty foot moved carefully to the side, white bone stared back up from the ground.

What had she done?

Small bone. Not bird, mammal. Small mammal. Falling to her knees again, shaking hands lifted the bits of broken bone trying to piece them back together. Trying to piece herself back together, to become whole, to become fine, to undo whatever it is she has done. No luck, too late. She just hoped it wasn’t one of hers, releasing the bones to fall back to the earth.

What else?

Izira looked around once more, taking in the sky and gauging which direction would lead her home. A chill had slipped into her skin. There was no fire to for warmth, it lurked but would not come when called. Burned out, she was too tired to even express the bitter smirk. It died before it reached her lips. Perhaps her father’s people were right, it would be better for the half-breed to be dead. Safer. Izira shook her head. First, she had to make sure everyone at the inn was fine.
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Back at the Inn

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:18 am

((Played in IM))

A familiar noise - the rumble of Alain's Vincent Black Shadow - approaches the Forgotten Layers. Once he pulls up out front, he cuts the engine off, tossing his helmet carelessly over the handlebar. "Izi?" he calls as he hurries up to the door, and pushes it open.

The interior of the inn was something of a mess. Tables and chairs in chaos and some on their sides. The great silver cage had crash landed, it seemed, the door open and neither raven to be seen. The only one there was Silas. The orange tabby sat on the bar, his tail curled at his side as he watched Alain with deep green eyes. It would be silly to think that I cat was waiting for you, wouldn't it?

It wouldn't be the weirdest thing that's happened to him. He looks around the common room, and starts in the direction of her study, calling out again. "Izira?"

The feline hopped from the bar, going on ahead of the man. The study didn't look much better—in fact the desk had gone over on the side... the books Alain had given her on the floor beneath it. The translation sat near the music box he had given. The feline wandered that way, perching among the scattered items and meowed at Alain. Nothing was heard from Izira.

"Izi?" He picks up the music box carefully, examining it... and then the translation. He looks left and right... and reads it.

Would he skim or truly read? The book covered the history of the people, their beliefs, and major celebrations throughout the seasons, rituals for courtship, marriage and death. And, of course, the binding—that which would spare the gift from causing madness in its vessel. There was also a goodly chapter on the dangers of half-breeds who could not control their power.

He skims the boring stuff... but whenever something looks interesting, he reads it in detail. He looks at the cat... but figures, Hey, it's just a cat, and sets the translation back down as if he'd never picked it up in the first place. And he resumes his search, moving on to the bedroom and the bathroom, in turn.

Her bedroom was dark wood and deep cool colors. A bed large enough for four, draped off for privacy - though everything in the room looked a little mussed it hadn't suffered the fate of the rest of the inn. The bathroom, her sanctuary was empty - though moisture clung to the walls and mirrors. The cat appeared again. A low meow called to Alain. Another if he did not turn to him. Once gaining his attention the cat moved back into the study... walking along until it sat before a door that led out to the back gardens.

Too much stress over the last few days. He lights a cigarette while he looks around, and then... blinks at the cat. It meows again, and so he follows it. Is it... waiting by the door? No, maybe it just wants to go out... or it wants him to go out? "I've done stupider things..." he mutters, and opens the door to let the cat out, and steps out himself, looking around.

The cat slipped outside, then vanishing in some direction near the Inn. Now, Izira could be spotted. Or it could be assumed it was her. The woman sat with her back to the door, on a stone bench in a little clearing. The two ravens sat in a nearby tree looking down at her. She wore a white dress, the fabric crisscrossing in front to make a v-line neck. A black belt cinched her narrow waist. The materials were light, better for a spring day. She sat with a black rabbit in her lap, a small orange mark upon its forehead. Hair was down, framing her face. Clean, but still covered all over in small healing scratches.

He draws closer slowly... and pauses, maybe several feet away from her. "...Izira... what happened?"

Her eyes were far away, she didn't think to wonder why Alain was there, merely answered the question he gave, "Don't know. Badness." Her lips twitched, almost a smile but not quite. "Hope and Light are mad, Pascal doesn't understand. I'm glad they're alive, though. So long as they’re alive." She turned towards him, "Alain, would you kill me?" It was said in an easy manner, as though she was asking him to please get her down a mug.

He looks at her a long moment. It's as if she's shoved him back several feet, though he barely rocks back a fraction of an inch, if at all. "...Don't ask that of me again," he says simply, coolly. He is silent a while longer... and then he moves to kneel beside her. "There's a way you can... make this better?"

"No." She shook her head, "No, no. No." Still shaking it, she closed her eyes. "I'm dangerous. I only bring death. I've tried to be good, but I can't. My nature is wrong. I'm wrong. I'm death." Her voice was emotional but clear, her words declared an understanding she had come to long ago.

"...You can mitigate it. You know this... don't you?" He certainly knows about being death... His hand moves to her shoulder.

Her eyes snapped to him, almost accusing, "What do you know?"

His eyes fall from hers, fingers sliding away from her shoulder. "That you can share it."

She muttered a curse in another language. Standing up with the rabbit in hand, "How - no never mind. It was Silas. You needn't tell me. I should have burned the books."

He taps the cigarette, holding it between his fingers. Straightening. "You can find someone to share it with - to make it better." Frowning. "Why don't you?"

"I have a limited supply of people I can trust." A glance at him, you can imagine why - going through my books and all - her expression seemed to say.

He grimaces. "...I didn't mean to pry. I just..." Smoky sigh. "Want to help."

“Then what do you suggest Detective? As you don't seem to care to the solution I have arrived at."

"Find someone to share it with. I'd offer myself, but I've no familiarity with magic - and four souls in one body leaves me a little too crowded for it."

A soft sad smile, she didn't reply - there was only defeat in her eyes. She turned a little away from him, "After the... events of my childhood... I was alone. I ran and traveled where I could. A girl child alone, I shouldn't have to tell you the details. Sad to say I got used to it, being used. But you don't have any care for me in those regards. It scares me and I don't know what do about it." Another shake of her head, she inhaled... exhaled slowly. "I would not do it with anyone else. I do not know or trust anyone else enough, Alain. And you cannot. It's been three days since I consciously knew what I was doing... it's not going to get better from here." She spoke as a woman who already accepted her fate.

"I'd do it if I weren't so sure it would unravel me... and put you back at square one, or worse." Pausing again; frowning. "What does the sharing do?"

"Splits the power, makes it manageable. Keeps it from being able to take over, weakens it." Izira moved over to a little patch of clovers, setting the rabbit among them. Flowers bloomed year round at Layers. There was a muted half smile. "Wouldn't exactly know, haven't done it. Never seen it done. And the people who have are more likely to kill me than tell me."

"...I may be the only one you trust..." Watching the bunny quietly. Hands in his pockets. "...but there are more people that I trust. And maybe some of them would share this with you - and maybe you could trust them, too." Cigarette bobbing between his lips as he speaks. "I'm sorry, Izira - I shouldn't have snooped."

A glance back at him, "Alain, it is hard enough to bring myself to trust you. I just cannot stretch myself that far." A glance back at him, and here was Izira beneath everything... the woman with the broken heart, the girl passed around for fun, a momentary slave until fire bought her freedom, orphaned child... someone who just wanted something safe and always got hurt in the end. Another weak smile. "I'm sorry for failing you." You and everyone, she turned her eyes away again as they slowly started to fill.

He spits the cigarette out, crushing it under his heel. He takes a step forward, hand going to her shoulder, to maybe turn her into his chest. "Izira..."

Izira did not resist Alain turning her into his chest, though her eyes were cast downwards and away from him. Though she could not find her voice to respond and so remained silent with her internal struggle.

He holds her. It's all he can do. He saw the tears brimming in her eyes, and so if she needs to cry, he'll let her.

The weakness in her lingered for a few moments. She wanted to be held, to cry, to be comforted and safe. But that really wasn't an option here at this time. Collecting herself, she gently eased away from him. And with that step away, her walls were up again. Izira looked to him, amber eyes reddened but dry. She cleared her throat and attempted to speak to him casually. "I'm sorry Alain... was there a reason you came here?"

He too takes a step back, his frown subtle, gentle, until she speaks, and it deepens. "Because you sent a letter to me, Izira. Asking for my help." But you can't save her, can you? How many women have crumpled and died in front of you... He pushes that nasty little voice aside - steels himself as best he can.

A bit of surprise registers to her expression, mixed with confusion. She looked to the side, since it was hard to keep up a strong appearance when you're wondering if you've already gone crazy again. Softly, "I'm sorry... I can't remember..."

He reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out several small papers, shuffling through them for a moment. A pair of surveillance photos, a contract... her letter. He hands it over to her. "I came as quickly as I could."

Taking the offered item delicately, she looked it over... seeing her own hand writing. Trying to remember when she would have scrawled it out, but there was nothing but darkness in her memory for the last few days. The last thing she did recall was sitting at her desk, speaking to Silas. Her heart sank, as she thought it might already be too late for her. Izira offered the paper back to him. "I... appreciate your... caring." Not sure what else to say, he had come at her behest it seemed and here she was pulling away from the help he offered out of fear.

You couldn't save Leslie. He watches her eyes, her face, carefully, while she considers the letter. And she wasn't in love with you... and Chastity and Tulip, they died because they love you. He takes the letter back, replaces it in his pocket. Isn't this woman in love with you, too? You've said your piece, Kael. Now be silent. "Please, Izira... don't give up. I'll look into this - I'll figure something out... and if there is no other option..." He pauses. "I'll share the burden."

Hope kindled, but she covered it quickly. Turning to look at him again, her eyes were questioning. Wondering what game he played at, for surely it must be a game now. "You said it would unravel you." Izira recalled the Wizard man, master of her for a time before the fire came and took all he had created as well as him. His mind games like chess—there was never a move that didn't land her in a trap. Her heart leapt at the imagined hand reaching out for her again. No, no... this was someone different. Alain was different, she told herself.

"Maybe... if I can steel myself... find a way to be strong..." He watches her closely. "I don't know what subtleties you've noticed - that my eyes are too bright to be human... or my canines, just a shade too long... There are burdens I carry, bound to me, burdens I did not ask for. And I need to consider one more would unravel me - but I should also consider, all this may have been preparing me, to take on a burden I do ask for. And actually help someone by doing it."

Izira listened to his words, taking them in fully as they weighed heavy on her mind and heart. "It was cruel of Silas to show you. It was never my intention to ask you, Alain. But... if you would do that for me then I will accept the sacrifice you make. And I... will be willing to wait to know your choice before... " She stopped mid-sentence, not wanting to continue - not wishing to burden him with what she would do. A swallow. "I do not know how much of a burden it would be to you. I only know that the power is greatly lessened through a bond. It should not trouble..." us? "...two as it troubles me."

"Does the fire - the power - does it speak to you?" What - you don't like our company?

It seemed her tongue went dry, but she found her voice. "No, it doesn't speak to me. But the power is more than I can withstand... I cannot always control it. Anger is dangerous for one such as me." Did she need to tell him of everyone she'd killed or hurt whether intentional or not? Part of her knew she was a monster, the thing the man that was forced to play father to her saw every time his eyes settled upon her. "And... I fear that when it has hold of me I am not always myself." Eyes flickered away and back to him. "But that is an unnatural state for those bonded—it is something the not bonded suffer."

"Unnatural... or impossible? There are a lot of people in this world who anger me on some level - and a number who actively seek my ire."

"Depending on the element, there might be a trace of the power in their heated emotions... seen in the eyes. But they don't... burst into flames and destroy everything within a thirty feet radius. Or burn down homes without active thought and effort to do so..." As I have... destroyed again and again.

He pauses, gently worrying his lower lip. "...There's an additional burden. One that will go away, hopefully in several months... but understand I can't speak of it." He rubs at the back of his neck, slowly. "Several months may be too long for you, so the first thing I'm going to look into is people that... because I trust them, maybe you can find you can trust them. Someone with magical experience already, but without any of the... complications that seem to plague me."

"If that is what you wish." But the idea seemed to put steel in her eyes, as those with magical experience in her past always brought out the worst in her.

He sees the change, subtle as it is. "Talk to me. What's your opinion on it?"

"Honestly? I'm not comfortable with the idea, Alain. As I said, I wasn't even going to ask you... but now you know. You know a lot more about me than anyone does... and sometimes... I almost see a reflection of my experiences in you. It pulls me to trust you, but someone else?" There was almost a visible shudder at the thought of making herself vulnerable to someone, a magical someone again.

He rubs at the back of his neck. "Maybe... maybe I can do it, once that temporary... burden, is gone..." He looks her in the eye. "If we do that now, as it is, and the two of us are openly bonded... I can't explain why... but I'd end up dead or worse, and you'd be in great danger of a similar fate. You're in enough danger as it is - I can't drag you into even more of it."

She couldn't help but chuckle, shaking her head. "The danger I put myself in could hardly be comparable. I woke up naked in a clearing in the woods- the clearing being the remains of a fire. I don't even remember leaving the inn!" She ran a hand through her hair, pulling it from her face where the breeze blew it. Quiet a moment as she thought, "You said that if there was a bond that could be seen it would put you in danger... what if the bond was hidden?"

"Believe me, the danger is greater." And then he falls silent. He worries his lip... and shakes his head, slowly. "I'm going to have to think... very hard, about this. If it's not done correctly, it could kill me, kill you, and put a lot more people in jeopardy. It would have to be hidden very well, from very skilled eyes."

"Within the mind? Or within an object?" Izira seemed to forget herself, functioning in her mind as she often did when tending to business. Someone had a problem, if she could conceive of an answer and help- she would.

He pauses. "It could be separated from my mind?"

She paused, somehow stuck that he didn't know that. But then again, it perhaps wasn't that common of an occurrence. Nodding her head, "Yes, yes of course. I worked one once, for these twins. They feared that someone would hurt the other if it was widely known that they were... within each other's mind. It was placed into the bracelet that either of them wore, like a shield? Someone would have to know what they were looking for and where to find it... even then it would not be the easiest of tasks to understand it. Mazed it." Her mood brightening. True she might be an elemental’s get but she was proud of what magic she had been able to learn over the years.

Again, thoughtful silence. "Why don't you take a week to do some research, figure out what all this would likely do to me, how we might get it done... and I'll mull the whole thing over."

A nod, "I will do as you ask." A gentle smile, her emotions lingered somewhere between hopefulness and being wary.

Yeah, Cassie's not going to like this... but she'll put up with it, probably. He drifts a few slow steps away, to see whether he can just let himself out, or if she'll walk him to the door.

"You can go through the gardens if you would like. I know fresh air helps my decisions at times." Moving to collect the black rabbit up again and leaving the birds perching in their trees.

He nods. Maybe she'd rather he not go back through her room again, since he did snoop. Well, he's a detective - it's what he does. "Thanks. Send me a letter once you think you've done all the research you can." Pausing to watch her, the wall coming up behind his eyes. "...Take care."

"You as well, Alain." Izira left him to make the walk alone, carrying the rabbit back inside the inn.
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Wandering

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:04 am

[[Original post from 21 Feb 2008]]

Presence of mind gone, Izira moved through the night. Her expression quickly went from one mood to the next. Everything felt hot, too much heat to even stay focused. She giggled and looked around. The Red Dragon Inn stood before, lights pouring into the night. She heard voices, saw shadows, it seemed merry. Izira wanted to be merry too, tired of the things she felt all the time. Perhaps they would have some other mood available. She would pour herself a glass and everything would be right. Right?

Disheveled hair, she touched it up with her fingers. She was beautiful, a radiant flame in the night. Fingertips ran over the smooth black fabric she wore, so soft. And there below her were her toes, all ten. She counted to be sure, stopping on the steps of the porch as she did so. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Yes, they were all accounted for.

Izira entered the inn, amber eyes bright. Laughter bubbled into the air, happy with her ten toes and the thought of another mood available. Perhaps someone would ask her to dance? It had been forever since she’d last danced. Forever and a day, maybe even two more that than.

So many people. Her eyes go about the room again and again, quite sure that everyone is continually leaving and coming back again. Or they’re changing their faces. Which is rude. A man standing behind the bar nods to her. Not a normal nod… more of an ‘I know you’ nod. She hesitates. Does she know him? Doesn’t matter. Again her eyes watch the faces, wondering when they’ll stay the same. There is another man that sits at the bar with his hand upon a gun, eyes hidden behind dark shades. She becomes nervous that it may be too bright in the inn, wondering if someone had stolen the sun for the décor. Feet carry her further inwards, eyes seeking out the sun.

Lightly she hummed under her breath, a song for the moon. The moon must be lonely if the sun has left its home. But it was not there, not anymore at least. She smiled to herself, knowing the sun will find its way home and comfort the moon. Fingertips dance over wood as she moved through tables and chairs, nearing the bar. She is unaware of the heat of her skin, that the surfaces she touches remain warmed even after her passing.

There are people about the bar, ladies and gentlemen speaking. The man behind the bar, the nodder, speaks to several. He must be the tender, as tenders talk and he was talking. Also standing behind the bar, she reminded herself, another requirement. A knot in the wood beneath her feet stop her a little ways from the bar, Thinking quietly to herself about. Could it be a good omen? Bad? Maybe good! Maybe dancing! Her attention was caught by two men at the bar. One was the man in shades still fingering his gun. Another spoke to Mr. Nod. Maybe one of them would dance with her? She checked one then the other several times, but neither moved to ask her for a dance. She would have to decide a partner for herself.

The armed man was picked, but moved away. Her eyes went to him when she had chosen and finding him gone. The other then by default! Though, he was talking to Mr. Nod. still. She didn’t know how their conversation went but thought to join it away.

"Oh it is, it is." She said approaching the man on the same side of the bar as her. Then watching as both the men continued to speak with one another without acknowledging her. Brow creased, inwardly she panicked. The possibility of finally fading from view entirely running circles in her thoughts. No. No, she told herself. She was alive and solid still! Her eyes first narrowed at the man closest to her before she sent a dark glare at Mr. Nod., as he had certainly seen her before. Why would he try to make her doubt herself now?

Finally the man at the bar looks over to her, "Oh? Who are you?" While Mr. Nod. gave her an expression what was a little puzzled.

He would not puzzle her! She knew her answers, eyes going back to the man who had asked after her. Eyes bright with a wide smile upon her face, "I am. That is most important. You are?" She focused on him, trying to put all her mind upon it. Tired of faces changing all the time.

"Psst." Mr. Nod. says quietly to the other. "If she asks if you're a god, say yes." But the other spoke to her and said, "According to Descartes, our own personal existence is the only thing we can be sure of."

Again her eyes narrowed at nodding tender. She knew the man was not the god nor a god. If he was he would not be here, he would be caring for the sun and taking it home. Her eyes returned to the other. Smiling warmly, "Unless this... Descartes is alive and nearby his words are fairly useless to me presently."

"I'm Lt. Cowrie, of a former name. I'm the commander of Company K, the watch company that will enter service tomorrow." The other responded giving her his name.

She had not understood most of what the man had spoken, but aware she was of The Watch and their job about the city. "A man for the people, hm?" Izira asked as she canted her head, studying the features of his face. He was not unattractive, not overtly handsome either. He just was. Which was good. It is bad when the people you speak with suddenly cease to exist.

"I'm of the people, at least. I was born and raised here in Rhydin. No special aristocratic background. I used to be a lawyer, but I found that stultifying." The man replied. More words that ran circles through her head. Why didn’t he smile? Why didn’t he dance?

"Really." Izira’s words were dry, dissapointed. Her interest started to fade, and more shadows leaked into her thoughts.

Lt. Cowrie replied, "For serious, Company K has been trained in the latest military discipline and technique."

Military discipline. It didn’t sound fun, it didn’t sound like dancing "Mm. What other techniques do you know?" She smiled naturally, friendly, moving closer to the man. Perhaps he knew a two-step? A good waltz?

While Mr. Nod. behind the bar almost choked on his coffee, Izira remained unaware that her words were taken for a meaning she did not intend. Thoughts far from any ideas of such carnal things, she was unaware of the tender as he set the mug down and stared at her with flat surprise.

"I'm a lawyer. I can argue anything." He stated.

"Any-thing?" She asked, a delicate hand reaching out to touch his chest over his heart. Attention away from dancing. She wondered about arguments as what moved people to fight. She was done fighting, she was submitting. To the heat, to the air, to the minutes that went by. "Do you argue with your heart? Or your mind?" Unaware still of the heat her hand possessed as it was pressed against the man’s chest. She considered his heart and the things that would move him. Unless he fought with his head, then he might be unmovable.

He spoke words to someone else, more words she could not follow. Then, his attention on her again he said, "Please, ma'am. Anti-seduction training was day 2, right after we gave up our old names.” His words almost caused the tender to choke on his coffee again.

She had not said a thing about it. But there it was, with its ugly head in her face. Her mood falling faster as memories pulled in. Did they think there was nothing more to her but two legs to part? She laughed loudly, and her amber eyes flickered momentarily as those irises narrowed at him. "Little Twit. You think yourself even worth bedding?"

"I do, actually. I take it you don't. But then again, you've got a fever, so I'll pass anyway. You should get lots of bed rest until that clears up." The man replied, his words careless to Izira’s ears. The tender set the kettle back on a cold burner and leaned against the bar again, watching Izira with a faintly worried expression. The other continued, "I admit I'm no great catch, but I'm a respectable and educated human being. What are you?"

What are you? What did he mean to imply by that? That she was the same worthless creature that she saw reflected in the eyes of her past? The fire inside of her was already alive, now it started to wake bringing a burning heat to her skin. She was more than he would give her credit to be, she knew this. Had to know it. Had to believe it. She chuckled low and coldly. "A lot more."

"Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to unhand me."

The tender was starting to look uneasy about the exchange.

Her hand? Oh. It was still upon his chest. She didn’t recall. But now, now that he had asked to her move it away. She didn’t want to. He hadn’t said please, hadn’t been kind. So her hand was on his chest? A greater number had taken their liberties upon her. The heat of her hand was like a stove warming up. "Educated human should know that he can just move." Voice low as she spoke.

"Izira-" The tender speaks, placing a hand on the bar and propels himself up, onto it. Hand moving like a striking snake, catching her wrist. "What the hell....?"

The other keeps awfully stoic in the face of the hot hand. "Of course I can. But the Romans, who generally got this sort of thing right, reasoned that a free man doesn't have to move when he's in a place he has the right to be; it's the responsibility of the aggressor to move."

It was only the sudden distraction that kept Izira from ‘moving’ upon the other. The mental image of striking at him was vivid in her mind. Angrily her attention snapped to the man whose hand was upon her. "Why... are you... touching me...?" She growled.

"He's touching you because he's a lawman and thus has the right to intervene in these kinds of situations. Until tomorrow morning, I'm just an ordinary person, and thus I had to warn you before I did anything drastic. I've had training, of course." The other responded, speaking when he hadn’t been addressed. In her mind his face changed and he was a cocky young soldier she’s had the misfortune of meeting on the road when she was young.

"You're hurting the man." The tender said, pushing her, gently, removing her hand from the LT. He moved off the bar top, onto the customer side of the bar. "What's wrong with you?" Shifting as he lands, he interposed himself between her and the lieutenant.

Nothing was wrong with her. It wasn’t right for that cocky bastard to still be alive. Alive an unharmed. "He didn't seem hurt. Perhaps you should let me hurt him so that statement will be true. Hate to make a liar out of a lawman." A sneer casted at the tender, for protecting the arrogant scum.

The tender let go of her wrist, keeping himself in between her and Cowrie as his eyes studied her. "Seeming doesn't always mean it's so." He tilts his head to one side and asks, a little gentler. "What's going on with you?"

The other speaks, once to her and then to another. His words were jumbled up in her head. A gun went sliding down the bar top, from the man in the shades. The tender reached behind him to stop its travel, without even looking. Then giving it a slap, he sent it back to its owner.

She twitched the second time the tender presented the question, ignoring it again. It was an irritating thought, his concern, that flitted about in her head like a moth on crack. Eyes snapping to Cowrie. "Did I hurt you, pup?"

The pup spoke, but his words made no sense. His voice barking in her mind, nothing was cohesive. Why was everything changing? Izira’s breathing became somewhat labored, a low growl in each exhale. There were too many colors and things going on beyond.

"What are you trying to do this evening, Ms. Izira?" The pup’s voice finally slipped through in the jumbles that danced within her mind. The tender spoke, but his words were lost.

"I was trying to have a little fun, pup." She snapped. Someone was meddling with magic on her, the fire jumping further to life at the threat. Flames flickered in her irises faintly.

Again the tender was speaking, but he was hard to hear through the flames. "Maybe you could… little fun… other people. …Slapped? …calm down a little bit?"

"I don't need to calm." She smiled sweetly, deciding to ignore the in and out conversations. She remembered about finding a new mood, bottled and ready for the feeling. Eyes gazed away from either of the men to the bottles behind the bar. "I want a drink.”

The other adding, "…is correct. I advise you…"

Eyes again narrowed at Cowrie. "I advise you to shut up." The color of her eyes fading behind the lick of flames in them. She was angry at him for still buzzing in her ear. But still both persisted, she watched their mouths move as she heard nothing but the buzz. Then the tender turned to the other, speaking to him coldly… she didn’t know the words but she knew the meaning. Back off. And the other wilted at it in her eyes. The fire dying from her eyes, though the heat of her body remained.

"You want a drink, I'll get you a drink. We'll take it outside, sit on the porch, have a chat. You can tell me what's going on. Now, I'm asking you nicely - take a deep breath, calm down, and let's talk about this." The tender spoke to her. She smiled pleasantly, appeased.

"A drink, yes." A new emotion. She puzzled if the bubbles revealed pictures of what the drink was for.

"All right. What would you like?" He asked with a smile.

Her eyes roamed the bottles, over and over again. So many choices. So many emotions ready for the taking. But which? A bright colored one? A neutral? Maybe something dark that would calm the flames. She pointed at a black bottle. "That one. Yes. Yes, that one."

The tender glances over his shoulder at the one she's selected and nods. He takes a half step backwards, hops lightly so he's back on the bar, leans back and snags it - never taking his eyes off her for more than half a second. He picks up two goblets with the same hand and slides off the bar. "Okay. Let's go outside. You need a coat or something?"

Izira smiled slyly, feeling within her the coiling of the flames. Warmth. "No. No coat is needed. Ever." Putting her hand gently on his arm so that he may lead her out.

He does so, arm held stiffly like a gentleman escorting his lady to the ball - she's still warm, hot, even, but the heat doesn't seem to bother him. He caught the door as an unknown man leaves and holds it open for her, beckoning her out to the tables on the porch. On his way out, Izira noted that he waved to catch the attention of a new tender, and indicates a waiting patron.

She followed the man out, moving into the breeze - though the coolness of it never reached her. Looking around, eyes wide and content. The sky was wide and dark, full of so many possibilities. She could be anyone, under any sky. "This is nice."

"I've always liked the cold," he says with a slight smile, closing the door behind him. Bottle and goblets set down on one of the tables, he pulls the chair out for her. After she's sitting, he takes the seat opposite her - opens the bottle. Looking as though he was checking the contents, Izira wondered if perhaps he wanted a new emotion too. He let it breathe a moment then pours, hers first, then his.

She picked up the goblet, sniffing the liquid that he poured. "Interesting." It didn’t smell like any emotion she had felt before. Tilting the goblet and drinking the full amount. Greedy to feel something new. She set it down, her head drifting to the side as she felt the liquor melt into her.

She is happy in the moment of silence before hearing his voice again. "Maybe we should be reintroduced... it's been a while. My name's Paladin." Turning her attention to him she sees he has offered her his hand.

She took it, a sly smile… the feel of his hand against her own. They were both of the flesh. There was a different kind of warmth in her stomach. A lightness was entering her mind. "I am." A pause. "Pleasure to meet you."

"I hope so." He smiles back. Releasing her hand and takes up his goblet again, taking another small sip - sets it down, lifts the bottle, pours her another dose.

"Tell me Paladin." Izira spoke, smiling as she watched the dance of the liquor into the goblet as he poured. There was a far-off shine to her eyes. Her smile, not quite right, she considered how small she would have to be to drown in that stream.

"Tell you what?" He asks quietly, eyes on her. He sets the bottle down, cups his glass again.

Izira tired to think of what she wanted him to tell her, but there were too many questions in her mind and many she thought he wouldn’t even know the answer for. "Everything. Everything there is to tell. Tell it all, it's all very interesting. Very." Voice rushed, a nervous movement in her eyes. Maybe he would know the answers, or they would come to him. They never came to her it seemed and when they did they were wrong.

He takes another sip of his brandy. He pondered his answer before speaking. "Well... in the beginning, there was Void... nothing, formless and meaningless..."

"And then? Then what? More nothing? Something? Less, more?" Her eyes went side to side, the goblet set down. She rubbed at her arm. A void, that is what she needed. A darkness in the burning light. Silence.

"And then came everything. Now, the exact mechanics of this are a matter of some debate. Some folks say their God spoke a word, and everything sprang into being all at once, like it had always been here. Some folks say that it took their one God a week. Other folks, well, their creation myths are a little more complicated, and usually involve someone killing someone else, or cutting his wedding tackle off and making the world out of it, or two deity-like beings making with the sweet sweet loving and the result of this is the world. None of this which makes any much sense, when you think on it, but that's part of the joy of the world. It doesn't make sense." He pauses and takes a sip from his coblet. "The world is not beautiful. Therefore, it is."

He spoke, and his voice was a song in her mind. But the notes were forgotten quickly. And she mourned that she did not have her piano with her to assist in keeping the memory. Memories of other times. Not all of them were good. Many men had touched her, many had said she was beautiful "Am I beautiful?" She asked him, every word he said before that lost. Eyes upon him, wandering and lost.

He takes a sip of his brandy, sets the glass down. He seemed to consider her carefully. She wondered what he thought about when considering her. What made her pretty? What if he could see inside her? See the type of monster she was. "Yes," he says honestly. "You're quite beautiful." His words broke her rushing thoughts, but did not steer her away from the place where they had carried her.

Her smile faltered and she looked as though he had slapped her. "You will not love me." It wasn’t even his face she saw, when she spoke to him.

“Not the way you're looking for," The man said. "My heart was carried off by a slip of a girl a long time ago. Never saw it coming."

A sorrow was coming over her. Attention turned away from the face that did not belong to Paladin. Sadly speaking down at the table, "Those slips are stronger than they look."

"Must be. I hate to think what kind of burden my heart must be to her, heavy as it is most times." She heard the movement of his glass but could not gather enough energy to look up, not yet. "Look, Izi- I am, I can't be a lover to you. For you. I'm sorry, I'm not wired like that... once I care for someone, I cleave to them and only them... I can't spread my heart around. What I can be, though, if you'll let me, is a friend."

"Hm. Friends." She thought it over in her head, of the friends she had before. Now people she once knew, now enemies, now dead. She shook her head. "No bad things happen to those." Eyes still focused on the table top. He was supposed to be her friend, but she was afraid of it.

Silence again, but for her mournful thoughts. Then the goblet was heard to move again. Again, his voice. "Maybe, maybe not. Although, as I've told another lovely young lady who was afraid of her friends getting hurt, I've kinda gotten into the habit of staying alive and in one piece. Kinda mean to keep it that way."

"Worse things than death.... always worse." Like being the one that walks and has death lingering in the wake of her steps.

"Death is not the worst of evils," she heard his voice agree.

"Betrayal." And she was sure that word was tattooed upon her soul.

Head still down, she missed that the man nodded. But she took his silence for agreement. A faint smile, she looked at him. His face was his own again. But still there was no recognition to be seen in her eyes.

He shook his head, set the goblet down, and pushed it towards the edge of the table. He leans forward a little bit, tiny frown between his eyes, studying her. "What happened, Iz?"

What happened? What happened? "I was born." Her eyes wide as though that was sin enough.

"When?"

It was an odd question. When. But she thought and knew the answer. "Twenty-nine year the coming fall." She considered how long it had been since the time of her birth had been acknowledged. How long had it been since anyone cared?

"Younglin'." He said, though he looks too young to drink himself. Of course, she knew of many like that. He could be ageless.

Youngin. As though she had all the time in the world. She knew then that she didn’t. Time was growing short and here death might catch her. And she was young and foolish to be sitting here and waiting for it. A weak smile. She stood. "Perhaps. I like the night am young. Too young to know better. Eve to you... whoever you are." She couldn't be sure as his face kept changing.

He stands as she does, rubbing the back of his head. "Look, Iz... um... be careful, okay?" She thought she saw worry in his eyes for her.

"Careful. Always. Never good." Another weak smile then she turned away. The stars once again catching her attention, she starts counting them as she moves into the night.
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Dreaming at the Masquerade Ball

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:12 am

[[Original post from 6 Mar 2008]]

A moment of lucidity, Izira’s thoughts boiled under the surface of true consciousness in her mind. She wore a gown of black and white about her form. The skirt was long, but kept close. The body of it fitted to her form. Her mask covered the bridge of her nose and that which was above—in a mixture of black, white and reflective metallic. Topped with black feathers that fell back to rest against auburn hair. Footsteps carrying her up the stairs towards the Masquerade Ball. Music floated out to greet her, eyes alighting on many others in fine dresses and masks. She had to wonder if it was a dream… and if so, how soon would it turn into a nightmare?

Cautiously she moved from the entrance, finding a spot against the wall and half contained in shadow to lingering. Feeling her heart racing, a white gloved hand was placed over her chest as her eyes once again scanned the room. As one masked man offered a toast to the room, Izira snagged a flute of champagne off a passing tray speaking a muted ‘cheers’ to herself before drinking.

Hiding, quietly drinking from the flute, Izira watched the dancing longingly. It was a simple thing she hadn’t gotten to do in a while. Nearly forever, the thought slipped through as she drained her flute and set the empty thing upon another passing tray. It was then that she caught sight of Alain, masked and at the bar. Or so she thought it might be him, though this man carried himself with a cane, her eyes dragging away with doubt.

The ballroom was awash with many colors, from bright to dark. Voices and music filled the Great Hall. While she watched and existed on the edge of her living dream the man she had seen at the bar was suddenly beside her. Lost to her thoughts, Izira hadn’t seen during the moment he stood there before speaking.

"And who might you be?"

She didn’t jump. It was a dream, she figured, turning towards the man. Even masked, it was him. Alain was the steady rock in the flow of her mind that she felt herself slowly drowning in. But her reply came in a soft sad tone, “I am.” Then she smiled to him.

"Then I will have to refer to you as 'm'lady',” he smiled and bowed his head to her, "Tonight, I'm going by Gumshoe."

"Lovely. Gumshoe. You hurt yourself?" Her lips creasing with concern as she looked down towards the cane. Beneath the form of her dress she was hiding various cuts and bruises herself, but for the time being they did not bother her now.

"Thursday evening, an old friend wanted to dance." He sipped his champagne before continuing, "I'll recover."

"That is good to know." she nodded to him. And truly it was for Alain had been one of the few people she could speak to… aside from the fact that she carried a kindling flame for him in her heart. She noticed a woman with blue hair looking in their direction, and further noted the two flutes that Alain carried. "Please, do not let me keep you from your company."

"I've made my decision. I'll come see you at the Forgotten Layers as soon as I'm feeling a little more... Well. Mobile." He bowed his head to her saying, "Good evening to you, m'lady.”

A nod in return, "Good eve, Gumshoe. Until I see you next."

Then watching him a moment as he made his way back, Izira’s attention slipped towards the woman who awaited his return. The woman offered her a wave, perhaps to say there were no hard feelings for the time Alain had been away. Izira waved back to say she understood. She wasn’t sure that she did, but it would be better to pretend.

Another look around, and she could no long spot Alain between them. A sudden worry brought the heat to her face. The colors and sounds of the party blended together. Becoming dizzy and confused, Izira retreated into a dark private room to try to steady her mind.

Again—she started to sink.
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Sinking and Resurfacing (1)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:15 am

((From the day following the Masquerade Ball))

Morning. Light filtered in through cracks at the edges of thick curtains. She found herself upon her back on an unknown sofa. The room felt to be melting, ready to swallow her whole. Izira got up quickly, exiting the room. The Great Hall. Now empty of all the revelers of the previous night. But a memory of them lingered and their ghost danced across the room before her eyes. The moving misty figures all carried black eyes and cold smiles. She carefully moved through their mass, avoiding touching any of them. Making the door to the inn, she went through it before halting in her steps.

Still dress as she had been the night before, she wore a dress done in black and white, the form of the dress fitted. The mask was likewise done in black and white, speckled with reflective metallic pieces and topped with long black feathers. Izira looked around the inn, nervous and tense—afraid of what new nightmare she had walked into this time. A man with a shaved head, long mustache and the appearance of being a warrior smiled to her and gave a soft bow of his head. Quickly Izira turned from him and the memory that boiled to the surface of her mind. Rough ropes, rough hands, cold steel. Her eyes searched the inn further, looking for a way out of that memory.

She moved towards a table, thinking to use its presence as a shield between herself and others. It was then that her hand wandered to her face and discovered the mask there. Fingertips felt out the surface of the thing with panic before twisting the mask from her face as though it was a spider suddenly found upon her person. Stepping away from the mask and the table on which it sat. Mind playing tricks on her, Izira envisioned the mask turning into a small creature and leaping at her—devouring her whole.

A glance was cast down her figure, finding it wrapped in colors like the mask. Was it some other creature devouring her or some separate part of the same? She leaned down to closely inspect the skirt of the dress. The fabric was close to her skin, too close. Sensations like man small teeth scraping at her skin invaded her mind. Izira sunk fists into the fabric of the dress, trying to tear herself free.

Scraps of white and black fabric lined the tear that she painstakingly worked at. Legs curled about her, torso twisted around, as the tear reached her knees. Fragments of the dress littered the ground. Exposed flesh covered in random little cuts and bruises. Izira slipped further into a panic as the fabric was proving troublesome, though she refused to give in. She would not allow it to overpower her. Another rip sent the tear over her knees.

Another long rip set the fabric to expose her upper leg, also a black worn slip that had seen better days. She tossed aside a chunk of fabric in her hands and set back to freeing herself from the monster. Muttering softly to the dress that had ensnared her, Izira had brought the tear to her torso where the materials became thicker and harder to get through. That fact did not stop her from trying. She clawed at it like a mad animal trying to free itself from a net. Bits and pieces of black and white from the dress were scattered about her form. Panting, softly pleading, "Please… please..."

Now there was no particular attention paid to how she was ripping the dress. All that mattered was that she got it off. Little by little more of the wron black slip underneath was exposed. As she had torn into the dress further, a hole was revealed in the side of the slip… torn out as though from a previous struggle. She was sobbing now in her panic.

Then he was at her side, "Hey, darlin'. You okay?"

She was panting through her reply, eyes streaked from the tears. "It won't come off. It won't come off."

"Gently, gently," he says quietly, reassuringly. "There's a zipper in the back... usually, you undo that and step out of it. Are you sure you want to do this here, though? It's not generally considered couth, to change your clothes in front of strangers..."

"Then where can I go? Everyone's a stranger. Faces always changing.", was said as she started sobbing into her hands.

"Well, there are rooms upstairs. Should I take you to one?"

She looked up at him with wide pleading eyes, "Is it safe there?"

He nods, firmly. "As safe as you like."

"Okay, okay." She looked around then back to him. "Yes, please take me."

"Half a sec..." He said, moving away. Izira watched the emptiness where he had stood. By the time he returned she was peering at the space from the tight ball she had curled into. "Alright, when you're ready?" He offers his arm. She looked up at him like a frightened kitten. Did he want her to move? To stand?

It seemed so as gently, he takes her arm and helps her to her feet. As she was lifted panic ensued in her mind. She tried to climb upon Pal and curl up in a ball at the same time. Her effort winning out as the man held her and carried her towards the stairs as she clung fearfully to him for protection. Muttering under her breath, she tried to stay as curled-up as possible in his arms.

He reached the top of the stairs, moving to the room and working the key into the door. The sound of the door sliding open made Izira jump and cling tighter to the man that hold her.

Inwards the two went.
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Sinking and Resurfacing (2)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:16 am

The room was sparse. A bed, a chair, a washbasin, a small table next the bed. Maybe the man had grabbed one of the cheap keys. With a sigh, he closed the door behind the two of them and carried Izira over to the bed, resting her gently on it... hovering there as he waited patiently for her to let go of his neck.

Though, she remained clinging too him. "Is it safe?" She asked as she was looking about.

He glanced around as well, unsure of what has her so scared. "It's safe, Iz. We're alone here, and I swear to you, you've nothing to fear from me."

She chuckled at that. "If you hurt me I will kill you." Not a threat, just simply stated. Sometimes it wasn't something she could control. Her hands pulled away, body pulling away to the further side of the bed. A pause as she watched him.. then She returned to ripping at the dress.

He catches at her hands - gently, always gently. "There's an easier way to do that, you know... one less likely to hurt yourself." He reaches behind her and unzips her deftly. Can you tell he's had practice? "There... now all you have to do is slip out of it." If she can.

She stilled when he touched her, watching him carefully. Once the zipper was undone, she was flinging thte dress off herself as though a snake lurked within the confines. Then standing on the bed with her ruined black slip. It was ripped and torn as well, dirtied with dried mud and blood in a few small patches. Just barely a large bruise to the back of her left side was viewable.

He tilts his head to one side, studying the bruise. "Does that hurt?" He asks quietly. His med kit's in his pack - not that he's very confident she'll hold still long enough for him to put a numbing cream on it.

Not knowing that he is addressing her bruise, she looks at him as though he must be blind. "It always hurts."

He gets that she's talking about something other than the bruise. "Why?"

"Too much." She shook her head. "Not supposed to be this much inside of me." Lower lip quivering, water was starting to show in her eyes.

He blinks. "This much what, Izira?"

"Everything." She replied. Confused and frowning at him. How could he not see it? Disappointment took over her expression. Another pause. As she recongized him as the man she had spoken with on the porch, once. "You're the slip's. Why are you here?"

"'Cause you need me to be here." He says simply. He's not sure why he considers her a friend - hell, they haven't talked more than a half a dozen times, and the last time they did, she was just as batty as she is now. He tries to lighten the mood with a shrug and a smile. "What, a man can't come to a lady's Inn room and still have honorable intentions?"

"Few people have honorable intentions no matter their location." Frown.

"I like to stand out from the crowd. My intentions are always honorable."

"Always?" She frowned more.

"Call it a character flaw." He nods.

"It is, if you say always." She shook her head.. stepping back and off the opposite end of the bed.

He holds his position, but tilts his head to one side. "I believe I might have some clothes suitable for you, if you wish to be dressed," he says quietly. "A robe, if nothing else."

She shook her head slowly. "It's not mine."

"This is true." He acknowledges. "But you do seem to be lacking, a bit, in the clothing department. With you, at any rate."

"I will get more." She spoke as she lowered herself to the ground, peeking at him over the top edge of the bed.

He takes a seat on the floor on the opposite side of the bed, legs folded under him. "If I give you the clothes, would they count as yours? Would that be acceptable?"

"I am not acceptable." Spoken in a childlike voice, her head vanished from view as she crawled under the bed. Curling into a ball once there. She watched his shoes.

"Why aren't you acceptable?" Calm.

"Unclean." Scratching at her arm. A heat awaking in her.

"That's not true." Quickly.

"You don't know that." Just as quickly.

"I beg to differ, madam. If you were unclean, I would feel it, and our friendship would be at a quick end."

His disagreeing was irritating. The room getting warmer, fog upon the windows. "Wrong."

He tilts his head to one side, noticing but not commenting on the rising temperature of the room. "You're getting angry. Why is that?"

"Because you lie. Lying isn't honorable."

"That's not always true, but that's a moot point. I am not in this case lying. I don't feel you to be unclean. I don't see you as unclean. So, why then do you see yourself as unclean?"

"Because I am." The heat of her not lessening.

"Reiteration isn't explanation."

Frowning at his shoes, his words. No reply came.

He seemed content to wait. As though for all the world like he hasn't anything better to do than sit there, in this room with her. He has a canteen, coffee grounds, and a French press - not to mention his natural pyrokinetic talent to heat the water - putting it to the use of making coffee.

All was quiet on her end.

"Would you like a cup of coffee?" He offers, when it's ready.

"Bitter."

"I have sugar, if you like. I believe I can make you a cup of tea, as well, if you prefer."

"Yes." The heat was evaporating.

"Will Earl Gray do, or would you perhaps prefer a green?"

"Lavender."

A pause. Then, carefully. "I do not believe I have that kind of tea. Perhaps chamomile?"

"Poor boyscout."

"One does what one can."

"And will."

"What do you will, Izira?"

"An end."

"To everything? Or just the pain?"

"Everything."

"Self destruction is a poor solution to your problems, you know."

"I know."

"Then mayhaps we might turn our attention to solving them, rather than destroying them?"

A quiet sigh. Izira resurfaced in her own mind. The lingering sorrow. She felt the floor against her side, saw someone sitting beyond... what was she under, a bed? She had long stopped questioning the places she found herself. Softly she muttered a curse in a gutteral language.

He tilts his head to one side, then pours himself a cup of coffee. Whatever this latest development might be, he gets the feeling he's going to be better equipped to face it with a mug in his hand.

She thought for the moment to remain where she was. Wondering why she smelled coffee in the air. Not quite sure how to address someone she might have already been addressing. Another curse.

"I've always found it curious how epithets are universally translatable." He says calmly, taking a sip of his coffee. "Something about the intonation, I think."

A faint groan. She rolled unto her back looking up at the bottom of the bed. "Whoever you are, I'm quite fine now."

"Fine is a relative term, I find. Most things are, though. Would you like that robe, now?" A sip of the coffee.

Tilting her head as much as she could to look over her body, then laying it back down. "Yes, Please. Thank you."

He reaches into his bag and rummages around. Blankets... pants... cookware... ah. There we have it. The robe would be calf length on his 6'3" form, and its a deep crimson red. He rolls it up and lobs it gently over the bed to where he last saw her.

Talented as she was, she couldn't put on a robe without hurting herself under a bed. Crawling out the side away from him. She looked at him a moment, recognizing Paladin but... not finding this moment the best for friendly greetings. She looked around the room for somewhere else to put it on.

He's staring into his coffee cup. "Perhaps I should wait in the hall?"

"Does that mean you don't plan to leave me for long?" A raised brow at him. "Unless you're leaving me, you might as well just turn your head."

"I can do that." And he does, too - his whole body, as a matter of fact, shifting to put his back to her and his face towards the wall.

Seeing that he has done so, she peels the ruined slip from her body. A quiet inspection of new cuts and bruised. A bitter smirk. Then sliping into the robe, fastening it tight and secure. "Thank you, Paladin."

"Always a pleasure, Izira." He keeps his face to the wall. "I'm going to step out on a limb, and imagine that you don't recall anything?"

"Pretty sturdy limb, I'd say." She perched on the edge of the bed.

"I try not to step onto the very thin limbs." He says wryly, raising his cup and taking a sip. "Might I offer you a cup of coffee, again? Or perhaps tea?"

"Tea. Whatever you have." Looking around and taking in the room. Not one of her own. A glance to the window. In town.

"You're in the Red Dragon," he says, fixing her a cup of tea. Water from his canteen, a tea bag - and yet the mug is steaming when he holds it over his shoulder for her. Still not turning around.

She slid across the bed. Sitting upon it with legs crossed indian style. Taking the warm mug, "You can turn around now."

He does so, refilling his cup from the french press. "So, if I might ask... what is the last thing you recall?"

"I was at my inn, researching. What day is it?"

He rubs the back of his head. "I'm probably the wrong person to ask about that. Um... Saturday, I think. No, Sunday."

"Almost a week then." Silent consideration of this fact. She got around to sipping the tea.

He tilts his head to one side. "I last encountered you here on... Wednesday, I believe. Your behavior was... questionable."

"I've been going mad lately." Simply said, as though it was a minor issue. Well, she'd gotten used to it.. at least.

"I sometimes think that we're all mad, here." He rubs his eyes before looking deep into the depths of his coffee. "Have you talked to anyone about it? A professional?"

Chuckled softly. Shaking her head at his question, then chuckling more.

He takes a sip from his coffee, plainly curious as to why she's amused. Damned if he's going to ask, though.

The chuckles slowly dying. She sips her tea again.

A deep inhalation, slow exhale. "So. What happens next?"

"Finish my tea and try to go home."

"Should I walk you home?" He raises a brow and gives her a quizzical half-smile.

"Am I getting the choice?" Brow raised.

"I did ask the question." He rubs his eyes again. "You're a big girl, Izira. I'm not going to force a choice on you."

She was obviously debating it. "I suppose I could give you your robe back then."

He shrugs. "Don't let that influence your decision... I have others." He fixes her with a firm, direct stare.

A sigh, she looked away. Focusing on finishing her tea rather than making this decision.

Choosing not to make a decision is also, in its way, a decision. But she has time; he raises his cup and takes another sip of his coffee, enjoying the bitter taste.

And the pendulum swings, company... no company. It seemed either choice was a bad one.

"The room is paid for, through the night." He says quietly. "I'll leave you the key. Should you desire to stay."

Alone was better, she only hurt herself then. "Thank you, but I won't be in need of it. I will leave in a while."

He nods. "Shall I wait with you, until then? Or do you feel well enough alone?"

"Alone." A short nod.

He nods again and stands lightly, picks up his french press and coffee mug. "Izira..." he hesitates, then shakes his head. "I hope... things go better for you. I think you should see someone... though I suppose you have your own reasons for not." He refills his mug, tucks the French Press in his bag, and turns towards the door. He hesitates with his hand on the latch. "...be careful."

"It's.. not my mind. It's my blood." She spoke, not looking up from her cup.

He holds still. "... I don't understand. How does your blood effect your mind? Your sense of self?"

She moved, setting the mug down on a table near the bed. "I was born with a gift of power, something common to my father's people. But the power is supposed to be bonded with another. It is... to much for me to handle alone." She didn't know how long she had been here with him, she felt guilty for it. So, answers she now gave.

"Bonded?" He turns then, rests his back against the door. Tilts his head to one side to consider her, expression troubled.

"It's a ritual for my father's people. Usually happens at birth, several other times throughout life. It shares the power, far as my understanding goes. Splits it into something more... easily controlled."

"So, your problem is that you're overflowing with power. I've seen similar before... this doesn't explain why you behaved like an entirely different person. Different memories. Different way of thinking."

"What makes you think they're so different?" She canted her head, expression soft.

"You've always struck me as much more reserved. Self restricted."

"Ten years of solitude. Before that.... " she lowered her eyes. "Was always different."

"Ah." He looks away. Quietly - "None of us are who we were. Sometimes, this is for the best."

"If you say." She moved again, picking up the mug and slipping again.

"I say a lot of things." Neutrally.

Izira responded witht just a nod, then taking a slow sip of the tea again

"I... don't know how to help." He says quietly.

She smiled kindly to him, "You do not need to help me."

He gives her that direct stare again. "Somebody does."

"Somebody might." A faint smile.

"I hope so." He turns back to the door. "I feel we'll meet again. I hope it's you and I who do."

"Safe Travels."

"And you." He steps out into the hall and carefully closes the door behind him. The key, of course, is on the inside of the lock. He takes the back way out, down the rear steps and into the back alley. No point in going through the common room. Let 'em wonder.

Izira watched him go. Lingering as she finished her tea. Once done, she too took the back way from the inn... hoping to make it home without further incident.
Last edited by Izira Nyte on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Izira Nyte
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The Bonding

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:19 am

((Played out in IM 2/27/2008))

Izira was outside the inn, perched on the ledge of the fountain out front. Fingertips dipping into the ice cold water of the fountain. Her hair was loose, falling over her face as she leaned forward. She wore a soft grey dress, fit to form and black belt about her waist. Short capped sleeves. The hem of a white slip just noticeable. Her heels were black, covered toe. The woman's body was healing from more bruised and cuts than she had during Alain's last visit.

It's not a Jeep that arrives at the Forgotten Layers, but Alain's Vincent Black Shadow, handling the rough paths surprisingly well - though he's only going maybe 20 mph when he approaches. He cuts the engine off, tugs off his helmet, and finds himself ruffling up his helmet hair into a more normal state. Not nearly as dressed up as Izira in a red t-shirt, jeans, and brown leather jacket. His revolver's holstered in the usual place. He lifts a hand in a simple wave as he walks towards the fountain.

Having looked up at the sound of the car, it caught her interest as very few came through and those things were quite a wonder. Her face being revealed, it look that her lip had a few healing cuts as well. A couple of light bruises near her right cheek and left temple. She stood, moving to greet Alain. Soft smile, "New?"

"Old one - someone blew up the Wrangler." He smiles a little bit, and it softens when he gets near enough to see the cuts and bruises. His eyes flicker over them, then to her eyes. "How are you feeling?"

"Seems like misfortune is a friend of yours. Small wonder the fates introduced us. I am okay. I've been... coherent for a few days. Since Sunday afternoon." Her expression wavering as she spoke, but she ended on an assuring smile. "How are you?"

"I'm in no condition to run any marathons, but I don't think I'll be needing the cane again." He wiggles a silver ring off of his finger, with a simple red gemstone set in it - a bit like a class ring, though there's nothing inscribed on it. "I don't know if you recall me telling you... but I've come to my decision." He holds up the ring. "If you can bind yourself to me and somehow contain the bond in this? ...I'll do it."

Izira could not find her voice to respond. And even with Alain willingly offering she looked torn to not accept the offer. Not that life was so great with the blacking out and the getting cut up from time to time... waking up in odd places over and over again. But she had been having second thoughts of her willingness to ask Alain to make such a sacrifice for her. It was etched upon her face.

He lets her have that silence for a few moments... but then he reaches out and touches her arm, and says gently, "I want to help."

She bit her lip, before giving him a nod. "Okay. If you are sure." A swallow and she turned towards the inn, "Do you want anything?"

"Coffee, if you have any," he replies, following her in.

"Always." The inside of the inn was in better condition - no animals in sight, however. Izira easily moved behind the bar and fetched Alain a mug of the hot brew.

He raises it for a sip. "So how are we doing this?"

"There's a ritual. Nothing bloody, no... goats or anything." A forced smile, yes... I can be funny in the face of life changing events. "Words, time, breathing."

"Grain alcohol poured over our heads?" He raises his eyebrows, grinning a bit.

A smile, she shook her head. "No, sorry." Taking her seat across from him on the tender's stool behind the bar. Awkward silence from her...

Apparently he's waiting for her to make the next move. He sips his coffee and waits for her to say something.

"When do you want to do it?" The question coming out haulted and odd feeling.

"Well..." He rubs the back of his neck. "When can you? I'm free now - or I can come back another time. Or if you need a few hours to get ready, it won't kill me to take an evening off."

"It might take a moment to get ready... you could finish you coffee." She would have been up for waiting, but she also feared how long she would be in control of herself. Not that -she- wasn't in control those other times, it was still her... but a part of herself better kept inside... the knowledge and feeling of everything she had ever experienced.

He nods and, since he hasn't had an opportunity to before, rises to poke around the common room and take a look at everything while he nurses his coffee.

Izira vanished into her personal rooms leaving Alain to poke. The common room was fairly common, though lots of trinkets and books from various places sat upon higher shelves.

When she comes back, he's leaning against the counter, thumbing through a book, his coffee mostly finished.

It would be a while. She had to find stuff for the ritual as well as items for the spell to hide their bond. Also, the fire flared up for a moment and she had to fight to stay on top of things. Soon the floor of the library was set up. A tall pillar candle resting at the center of a silver bowl. The notebook laid out open to a page that had the words of the ritual. Izira returned, somewhat nervous. "Ready…"

He looks at her... and gives a squeeze to her shoulder as he passes by into the library. Surprisingly, while he's a little bit wary and knows he needs to be alert, he's not particularly nervous - after the trippy psychic experience with Sid, he figures it can't get much worse. The perils of RhyDin.

She followed him, approaching the candle and standing near it. "You will need to read the words shown here." Said as she indicated the notebook. "We need to keep physical contact and share our breath. Our lips don't have to be touching though..." Her cheeks only faintly colored, thinking Alain would think this all a ruse to get closer to him. "Just... our hands."

"Good, then Cassie won't be skinning me tonight." He grins a little, makes sure he can read the notebook from where he is, and holds out his hands to hers. "I should read that right now, or...?"
He wouldn't make a good mage or summoner, apparently.

A nod she put her hands into his entwining her fingers...but speaking before he could start. "When you're finished we need to focus on the breathing and our heart beats." Eyes closed, she was trying to be calm.

He breathes out slowly through his noses, preparing himself ahead of the ritual words, and then he recites them. The moment he's done, his eyes drift shut, and he clears his mind of everything but the two rhythms, of his breath and his heart.

It was a different rippling of the fire. Not a rising, but a reaching. It filled her and stretched reaching out for the other. Izira's heart was faster than Alain's, though she kept her breath matching his. At the first caress of the flame against Alain, Izira's heart thudded in time with his - her intake coming stronger as she felt both beats within her. It missed twice and then caught again. And Izira held firmly onto Alain's hands.

At the first caress, he shudders, but makes sure to keep in time with her the best that he can. What an odd feeling... but he forces himself not to dwell on it.

What an odd feeling... the thought echoed in her mind just before her felt her heart again beat in time with his, slowing - matching. The fire slipped further into Alain, sharing them as their breathing and heartbeats met. Izira felt a rushed of intimacy that she had never felt before, not from the few she loved and not from the many that had taken her in one way or another. As her heart matched Alain's more and more, it filled her with a freedom she had not previously experienced. A tear trickled down her cheek.

So warm... It's the cold that he's used to, making this all the more interesting for him. And then... a rush of intimacy? It takes him a few confused moments until he sorts out he's aware of her feelings. His heartbeat sounds heavier - no, that's hers in time with his...

Then the beats were matching. It was a rush, that every
thudthud came together. A beautiful music that her fingers longed to learn to play. The fire was in both of them, equally moving through their veins. She felt Alain's moment of confusion. Izira understood now why her father's people would wish to bond with their lovers in their adulthood. She longed for their lips to be touching, but did not move from her spot in this place. Only saw it in her mind.


There is a gentle ache, but a nonspecific ache - the ache you get whenever you think about love, regardless of the feeling. Still, the bond makes him think about love, and it's a struggle not to sigh, to keep their breath matching. And then, in their intimate silence, in the midst of their bond, is a voice. I'll take that. The heat that Alain feels washing over him fluctuates suddenly, as the shattered spirit of the archangel makes an impulsive grab for that power. Kael!

The voices echo in her head, the tug made for the power pulling her forward into Alain. The power from the fire flared, angrily. Twisting about the two as it went from being pulled to being on the attack. It was rooted to Izira and would not leave her, the being lurking in wait was found offensive and the fire sought to destroy him. Izira emotions twisting with the fire's attack. Still lingered her want. An echo of hate at what had reared its ugly head and worry.

There is a scream, not Alain's, not from his voice and not echoing in the air around them, but echoing between their minds as Kael tries to take what would have gone to Alain and is almost consumed by it. He falls silent to nurse his wounds, leaving Alain... still breathing, heart still beating, trying once more to match with Izira.

Izira's eyes squeezed tighter at the echoing scream. Hands holding Alain's in a manner that put their forearms against each other as well. Her power filled her, but no longer to the breaking point. A soft roll in from the power in her body, it was comfortable within her. Thumb lightly brushing against Alain's hand as the heightened sounds faded from her ears. Peace and the lingering want.

He holds onto her hands - uncertain about the ritual, he vaguely supposes they might be done, but isn't willing to make the first move on it, either.

She slightly moved towards Alain moving to kiss him, then suddenly her hands broke from his and she move quickly several steps back. Eyes open, she looked a little flushed and ashamed. But the lingering want was not dissipating. She wanted to be held and caressed. She felt wrong for even considering Alain the person to do that with after all he had done for her. Her eyes went down, hands clasped before her. A cold shower is what she needed. Still... she had to hide the bond first. It was then that she wondered how Alain faired. "Are... are you alright?"

Apparently Alain's more or less fine - he's blinking a lot and rubbing at his eyes some, but doesn't seem to be in any pain. He massages his right hand as if to check the feeling in it, shakes it out a few times, and appears satisfied. "I'm okay." He clasps his hand over the back of his neck, thinking to ask what she was approaching for - but no, he knows. He certainly knows now, anyway. "Sorry about, ah... Kael. He's one of the burdens I mentioned."

Izira moved to keep her hands busy, setting about the task to hide the bond. Anything to distract from the need, which she was unaware Alain could read from her. She bit her lip, visually looking to concentrate - inwardly trying to banish the thoughts she was having. Ten years!!! A little pile of herbs was set to burning, she looked for the ring.

It's back on his finger. After she searches for a little while, he figures it out, and takes it off to offer to her.

She freezes, watching him. Then hesitantly takes the ring. Think of something else, anything else. But the thoughts that rolled through her head were kinder versions of what had been cruelly done before. "Do you... feel the fire?"

He shakes his head slowly. "I don't know what happened - maybe it kind of... shorted out, when Kael touched it?" Which means a brushfire may have randomly started in a parallel dimension. Such is space-time. "I can... feel your emotions, a little bit. Not much, though."

She almost paled at that, somewhat recovered when he added 'not much' of course... she had just mentally gone over nearly every intimate scenario imaginable. She swore she would never do that (the bonding) again... if this was how it was going to end up for her. Perhaps she was lucky to be a female and the frustration was all that was bothering her. An inner ache rather than an outer one. She did turn red and turned so as not to be facing him. Then she did panic. Wondering what he was picking up, or wondering if he was just being kind and he could... oh dear gods no.

He watches her for a moment, and when he realizes she's blushing, he reaches a hand out - not to reach for her, but as a gesture. "All I'm reading off you, right now, is you're embarrassed and nervous... which I could otherwise read from your body language anyway."

A soft chuckle. "Yes, sorry. The bonding left me a little..." drowned in desire "out of sorts." She tucked a strand of hair behind an ear, and longed for it to be some other movement from another's hand. She forced herself to focus on the ring, working on the enchantment. A pause after speaking soft words... her mouth opened thinking the words she was going to say I need you... "Alain, I need you to touch the ring with me."

He watches her while she thinks and struggles with... Well, he's not sure exactly what. Desire? But then she speaks, and he tells himself he shouldn't be reading things off of her, anyway. Just let the little feelings slip by. "Okay." He reaches out and touches the ring.

The ring held in the palm of her hand, Alain reaching to touch it from above. That both of them were touching the ring was important, as it showed the magic what it needed to hide. Izira held it, finishing the spell and just as it was set - a flare came from the ring and into her - making her aware that Alain was perfectly aware of her struggle. She was a deer in the headlights. No words yet again coming, eyes wide.

He looks at her, and appears to be thinking for a while of something appropriate to say. All he says, finally, is, "It happens to everyone. You can't very well control what..." And then he's thinking about sex. Not as intensely as her, but still, flashes of lustful images through his mind. "See? I'm your average male. I didn't even mean to do that."

Weak smile. She didn't know how to tell him that she hadn't been with anyone in ten years. And that wasn't simply general companionship but being intimate as well. That while there had been a few tender moments in her life with another, that the lines of those who used her otherwise weren’t short ones. While it happened to folks all the time, it was a rare thing indeed for her to want this badly without first wading into the idea of it willingly. Of course, now she didn't have to tell him... or did she? She moved her hand to put the ring into his care and withdraw her hand from it. It was easier not reading him. "I guess... with what happened.... this must be the outcome." And Izira could only think to curse her need and that which kept her from stating it.

He replaces the ring on his finger. "Maybe it'll cool off with time." He pauses. "If that's the case... I could go now, and return tomorrow - see if it's changed any? If that makes you more comfortable."

There was a weak, almost sad smile. "That would probably be for the best, yes." Underlying her desire was sadness. A regret that her life hadn't magically changed instantly after the bonding, she was tired of being alone... truly. "You know the way out?" He was kind, he had helped her... the fire shouldn't overwhelm like it had before. Still with other aches, her heart stabbed a little.

He nods slowly... "I'll see you tomorrow evening." Another pause. "Let me know if anything happens - I'll do the same." He fingers the ring thoughtfully, watching her a little while longer... and then he steps out of the library.

Izira watched him move out of sight. Keeping in check. She noted that the fire wasn't bothering her at this heightened emotional moment, but couldn't bring herself to be grateful for it. She waited quietly for a while, giving Alain time to get away, before tilting her head back and letting out her various frustrations into a loud scream.
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The Return and The Gift

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:22 am

((From RDI 3/1/08.))

Hand gently placed against the door to the inn, Izira made her way into the building. A long black ladies trench protected her form, covered toe - black heels in view below the hem. Her hair of various hues—reds, browns and copper—was smoothed away from her face, kept in a stylish bun at the back of her head. In one hand she carried a glossy black gift bag. She moved clear of the doorway before looking around with amber-brown irises.

The inn had a number of people in it and sure enough one of those them just happened to be Paladin, standing behind the bar and slinging drinks in his spare time. He noticed her, his expression stilling before introductions with another person pulled his attention away.

Izira gave Paladin an easy smile, making her way towards him and the bar - though, mindful always of others, she avoided standing near anyone else. While Paladin introduced himself to another, the black gift bag - about the size of a couple loaves of bread - was set upon the bar. She stood, keeping her coat about her as it was not her intention to stay long.

As soon as he was free, he moved down the bar to stand across from her. "Izira," he declined his head in greeting, studying her closely while seemingly trying his best to make it look like he's not. "A fine evening to you..."

Somewhere in the inn a voice called out to Paladin, asking after a dartboard. He indicated its location without looking away from Izira "Corner."

As she was somewhat studying him, she caught the slight gesture of him studying her but only perked a silent brow at him for it. But quickly the brow was lowered as she smiled kindly to him. "And to you sir.", sliding the black bag towards him.

He glances at the black bag, then up to her. Perhaps finding nothing wrong, he relaxes a bit. "Thank you. May I ask the occasion?"

She reached a hand out, tapping the edge of the bag. "A return and a gift for… inconveniencing you."

He nodded in acknowledgement. "You didn't have to trouble yourself, but thank you very much." He draws the bag towards him with light fingers, turns it, running his hands over the packaging.

It was very basic, glossy black paper on the outside and white on the inside. The robe was folded up and set in the bottom and upon that was a white box. The box too was plain. Contained inside it was a not so plain male ring, silver with a dark red jewel. But if someone thought the jewel was the gift, then they were not paying close attention.

Down the bar a man had taken a seat. Fingers tapping the bar, he inquired, "Somebody working?"

Paladin nodded to the man. "Evening, sir." A quick smile sent back towards Izira before he moved towards the man. "Help you?” Owning an inn, she knew how it was when working behind the bar. She gave him a nod as he moved away.

“Tea, any old sort will do.”

He nods, picks up the kettle - it whines in his hand, the water churning at a near boil - he fills a mug, snags a tea bag, passes it on to the customer. "Milk, honey, sugar, lemon?" He was quick at his work, Izira thought with a smile as she waited and watched patiently.

"Milk, honey." The man answered, then continuing, "Harasho, spasibo." He pauses. "A linguistic transformation has been taking place within me. While that may have seemed minor there, to me it was a big difference."

Paladin tilted his head to one side, seeming not to quite follow what the man had said. He slides the milk jug and a container of honey across the bar.

"My story has ended, you know. I've slain the dragon, rescued the princess, and am in the process of living happily ever after. I have no idea what to do now, I mean in the day-to-day."

Again Paladin tilted his head at the man. "You live your life. That's all any of us can do. Thus the living happily ever after."

It was starting to be an amusing exchange. A quiet chuckle, Izira covered her mouth and looked away from the man Paladin was tending to focusing instead on some well made mugs sitting behind the bar. Though, an ear was kept open to the exchange.

Another man had come to the bar, speaking to himself. He was too far for Izira to hear, but Paladin must have for he poured out another shot of the pure grain alcohol for the other, sliding it along. Then moving back over to Izira, he was stopped about halfway between her and the determined conversationalist as the man spoke up again.

"Small-scale agriculture is satisfying, in that I've planted most of my pumpkins and triticale. I was adamant about the pumpkins, and being a city boy it's fascinating to dig around in the soil and feed the chickens." The man paused a moment before continuing, "But that's only a few hours a day, and rising early like I do it gets done quickly."

The other, who had gotten the shot, spoke up as well, “Aye Paladin! Can I ‘elp ‘miself?"

Paladin was multi-tasking. Listening, replying, and opening the package from Izira. Calling back down to the man who had addressed him by name, "I don't work here, anymore than you do." Nodding to the man, the response earned him a wink from the other. Izira remained silent, not wishing to interrupt and add her voice to the many making requests upon the stand-in tender. He had pulled out the box from the bag and was looking at the ring that was enclosed.

"I grew up in a one-bath one-non-bath with two parents and two siblings. Walking around a couple hectares and being like, 'this belongs to me,' that's a great feeling.", chimed in the determined conversationalist.

"You could write your memoirs," Paladin suggested idly back. "There's still your work with the Security Division. You could work your way through the library of Teas'n Tomes, from fiction to nonfiction and back again." He gestures at the bar behind him. "You could take up bartending." The ring was twirled idly in his fingers, his gaze studying the stone... then slipping sideways, to Izira, questioning.

Seeing his gaze, she glanced from him to the talker and back. Lips sealed while the two exchanged comments. For she knew the moment she started to speak she was likely to but cut off.

"I still do a great deal of reading, but I'm no kind of writer except for some calligraphical recitation, and even that I only learned recently. And I'm done getting shot at, now and forever."

"I can't blame you for that." He tilts his head at Izira and nods. She smiled, figuring he caught that she didn’t care to split his attention. Looking back to the man he said, "I'm sorry, I'm neglecting my friend. I hope you enjoy your tea." Then smiled slightly, "It is good to drink tea and think of concerns."

“I wonder if they’ve got any scumble!” The man who’d gotten the shot earlier cried out, then laughing loudly.

"Feel free, feel free.”, softly heard from the talker while the other was laughing.

"Clear bottle, bottom shelf, no label." Paladin pointed, for the laugher, then slides the rest of the way down, across from Izira… following her as she moved further down the bar. Ring twirling in his fingers, he gives her another questioning look again.

Once at a good distance she leaned forward speaking softly to him, "I'm sure you can tell it is more than it appears. I put an enchantment into the ring for your use - my way of thanking you further for any troubles I might have caused. The ring will show you whatever you need to see, no matter the time or distance. Do know, that the power of it is not limitless... but it should last you a while depending on how you use it."

He nodded, closing his fist around the ring, and murmured back. "Thank you, Izira. This... is a princely gift. I will treasure it."

She smiled, pulling away from the lean. "Then I am glad."

Another nod, he slipped the ring into his pocket. Then unslinging his backpack, which seemed to appear out of nowhere, he opened it up and tucked the robe away into it. The packaging the gifts came in was neatly bundled up and tucked away in a drawer beneath the bar.

Izira noticed that the laugher and talker were now engaged in conversation.

"What's scumble?"

“Scumble is a spirit made from something similar to apples!” Declared the laugher to the talker. "So I'm told."

Paladin interjected absently, "Mostly apples," Before his attention returned to Izira as he slung his backpack on his shoulder again. "Will you be staying a while, m'lady? Or may I walk you out? I'm afraid I must away now."

"I will accept an escort." A nod, she stepped away from the bar and alloing the conversation of the other two to fade from her thoughts.

Paladin quickly leapt the bar, landing lightly next to her. He didn't offer his arm, but kept his steps along in time with her. Opening the front door, he bowed her through. She spoke to Paladin as they moved through the door, "You'll be happy to know,” The door closing behind them as they exit and shutting the winter chill out, “that I will not be having any more incidents.”

"That's good to hear." He stood on the porch a moment, the icy breeze stirring his coat about him. "Your problem, I take it has been... resolved?"

"It has, sir." The happy smile she wore unmistakable.

I'm glad to hear that." He returned her smile with one of his own, and nodded. "I hope things continue to go well for you." He looked down the street and back to her, "I suppose this is farewell, then, until we meet again." He touches his fingers to his brow in salute and starts down the porch stairs.

"Until then." Her smile following as he made his way off. She lingered on the steps a moment before setting off towards home.
Last edited by Izira Nyte on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Alain's Request

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:27 am

((Played out in IM 3/4/08.))

The familiar sound of Alain's Vincent Black Shadow approaches the Forgotten Layers, and dies as he cuts the engine.

Izira sat on the steps to the porch of the inn. Black, covered-toe heels. A soft dress of white, with a black belt cinching her waist. The skirt ending just at her knees. The soft curls of her hair framing her face. She smiled softly at Alain's arrival, but didn't stand or wave.

Alain removes his helmet and rubs at his hair some, but tries not to fuss with it too much in front of Izira. As usual, dressed like a detective, in a grey trench coat, shirt and tie. He lifts a hand to wave as he approaches their ring on his ring finger.

She stood, still smiling. Unable to help the feelings his presence stirred in her. Perhaps the bond helped and hindered. Having felt him approaching, she'd come outside to meet him. But it was something kindred to a school girl crushing on a guy far out of her league... Izira knew this. "How have you been Detective?"

"I'm okay. Keeping busy. How are you feeling?" His memory of their one kiss flashes briefly through his mind, and he pushes it away as he steps closer. He fishes out a cigarillo and looks questioningly at her – ‘Mind if I smoke?’ the look says.

"Better. Much." A nod to him, that said 'go ahead'... She hadn't felt anything of his memory of her stolen kiss. She did her best not to think of it. Knowing she'd shame herself once again in front of someone she cared for. Running a hand over her arm. "Healed up too."

He looks up from lighting his cigarette at her eyes and nods - "That's good. Real good." Smoky exhale. "I was kind of worried it wouldn't work... Whatever Kael did, I don't feel much different, except around you."

Izira watched the smoke of the cigarette, the lines of his face, his eyes. Like a painting - you can look, but you can't touch. At least now she could move about RhyDin, not that it proved very useful. A look of confusion crosses her features, "Around me?"

"You know - the empath stuff." He gestures with the cigarillo. "It's sort of like an AM radio - comes in fuzzy."

A slow nod. Looking off down the road he had driven down, "I don't really feel anything from you... but... I knew you were coming."

"It's fainter than it was last time." He turns some, taking a lean against the porch railing, looking out at the landscape before them. The lines on his forehead thoughtful. "I wanted to ask you something."

She remained standing on the stairs watching him. A flicker of worry. She kept it from her face but maybe he felt it anyway. "You can ask me anything you want, Alain."

"What if some people moved in nearby - not too close, but... ten or twenty miles, maybe?"

A little blink. Well, it was nothing personal. "People, Alain?"

"Refugees. Over one hundred and fifty of them."

"That's... quite a number of people. Is... is there room for them?" Looking out into the surrounding area. This place was strange. Beautiful, yet strange.

"I don't know... The realms between here and RhyDin are pretty sparsely peopled, when there's anyone at all." He takes his cigarette from his lips and rubs at his brow. "They're from my homeland. I owe this to them. Someone's agreed to give me a mining engineer for survey work, and if I can find gold, silver or tin... I think I can give them just enough capital to get them on their feet to start a mine, build a village around it... and maybe make a decent living." He frowns. "They've had... a very hard time of things. Where they come from, there's very little left - just war and misery. I need to help them."

He didn't really have to explain much, once he said they were his people and he owed it to them - Izira was willing to lay down whatever she could for him. From her heart and mind to Forgotten Layers to the land. She didn't know it, but Alain's needs would be met. "Of course, Alain. Anything you need—just let me know." Her smile apologetic for not agreeing right off.

"I appreciate it. If we're lucky enough to find anything, we'll bring as many of our own rations as we can... but we may have to resupply here, if you have anything." He looks over at her. "We'd pay for it, of course."

"I will meet all your needs that I can." A nod. She smiled and pushed away the flicker of longing. It was not lustful this time, not overpowering. Just a soft note of want.

He smiles a bit, and takes another puff, looking out at the landscape again. "You think they'll follow me?"

"Who wouldn't?" Her thoughts out before she could think. She softly blushed, smiled and held a hand to her forehead looking down with a soft chuckle.

He looks surprised, and then grins. "Well... maybe you're right. Maybe I can show these people some hope." He tosses down his cigarillo and stomps it out.

Looking up again, her smile bemused. "Alain - the giver of hope. I'll be sure to have a plaque made in your honor."

He gives her a playful push and points at her - "You'd better not. I have a very strict no-plaque policy." He folds his arms, lifting his chin defiantly.

Chuckles soft, a hand placed on his shoulder as she leaned towards him. Her voice cheerful and teasing, "Now that will only further encourage me to do it."

He raises his finger again. "No plaques - can't have my enemies reading my name wherever they go." He grins. "Honestly, I'm hoping I can somehow make this whole shantytown disappear with little more than a murmur."

She moved away, leaning against the opposite railing of the stairs. "If it's in the area around here... that might be entirely possible."

He nods, and looks out... frowning slightly. "You know... I suddenly got a good feeling." He looks back at her and points out towards the northeast. "When I come tomorrow, I'll search out that way."

"You're coming tomorrow?" Snuffing out that flicker of hope as quickly as she could. Looking off where he pointed. She just nodded.

"With the surveyor," he says with a nod. "We'll probably drop by in the evening to solicit your hospitality and a decent meal."

"Anything you would want served in particular?"

He doesn't think about it for long. "A cheeseburger with everything on it. Pickles, peppers, and pineapples - the three P's."

"Course, how could I forget... fries and a shake too?"

"Chocolate malt." He grins.

A nod, "Got it." Hands on the railing at her sides, staying in place.

Sexual tension? Somewhat. He bows his head with a smile. "Dinner tomorrow - I'll see you then."

"See you and the surveyor then." She agreed with a nod, verbally reminding herself he wouldn't be alone.

He waves as he goes back to his motorcycle, and leaves.

A wave as he went off, watching his departure in full before returning inside.
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Mornings with Hope

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:29 am

((Cross Posted in Hope))

As Alain and his people came to Forgotten Layers to start work on the village for the refugees, Izira opened her inn to all those who would care to take shelter there during their hours of rest. On the first morning, as many went straight to work, Izira made available a large bunch at the inn for the afternoon. And though, Alain had told her to only expect a few, Izira made food enough for that and many more. It was a good idea on her part, for many more there was to feed. Perhaps Izira saw something Alain did not—that many people would come to aid him in this task of his. She was but one woman among those many.

Morning of Monday March 10th

Alain, already fully dressed, jacket hoisted over his shoulder, creeps quietly from his room in the peaceful early morning hours of the Forgotten Layers Inn. He can hear muffled breathing, snoring, and the occasional cough, but not a word within earshot, nor any light in sight. Depending on the dim pre-dawn light to get around, he makes his way to the bar in the common room to start a cup of coffee. He sets his jacket and his tool belt on a table and rubs at his bared arms - black undershirt, work jeans and boots are as stylish as he's getting today.

It would be a while until Izira appeared. When she did it was at the heals of a large orange tabby that sneaked out as she opened the door to the kitchen. Izira seemed to have been up for a while, long enough that her hair was dry and she was dressed. It was a white blouse that covered her bust and arms - a black corset and skirt starting just under her bust and ending just above her knees. Simple black heels as was customary for her. Today her hair was pulled back into a bun - though, a few wisps of curls escaped. Her smile as soft as the pre-dawn light. Perhaps the wait was due to her knowing it was Alain moving about the inn and not sure about going to see him. Imagine her, hiding in her own inn. But it had been her plan to make another spread for those going to work another day... and so, since he'd hear her in the kitchen anyway, she showed herself. "Morning."

"Good morning," he answers her softly - a tone that might be taken in another context to be intimate, but he doesn't want to wake anyone, yet. His smile matches hers, one of the gentle expressions only dear friends can elicit from this man. "I thought I smelled something good in there... Do you want any coffee?" He crouches a little, holding his hand out for the tabby while looking up at her.

Silas of course moved eagerly towards the attention. His master lingering near the door. She gave a nod to the comment on the scent of breakfast, his people seemed eager and willing to eat... and she was ready and willing to feed them. Her smile cracked a little at the offer of coffee, "Actually I don't like it much." Now how many times had she had it with him? She nodded towards the kitchen, "I have some juice in there."

He seems briefly surprised... but understanding dawns quietly, and he masks it well. He rubs Silas for a few moments and straightens to pour himself a cup. "I'm not really sure how you survive without it..." He takes a seat at a table, his chair turned more towards the bar so he can speak to her. "Do you drink tea?" His first sip is careful.

As he moved, she moved towards the bar - leaning against it. "Tea, yes. Coffee is just... "She didn't really continue. Thoughts wandering to the wizard, her standing to his back holding the coffee ready for him. She smiled in apology. The cat wandering off to amuse himself with attention gone. "Would you like your breakfast now?"

"You expect me to say no?" He grins slowly.

"I expect you to tell me what you want." She chuckled, leaning over the bar top.

"Whatever's ready. There's little I won't eat." He watches her, his grin steady, and scratches a stubbly spot on his cheek.

A nod as she considered, "I'll see what there is then." Standing upright and vanishing into the kitchen. It was a while before she returned and when she did she bore a tray full of good things. True, he had his coffee, but she also supplied a glass of juice and a glass of milk. Seasons scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon - not too crisp, toast and jam. A small cup of cut fruits - all of that set before him. "Here you go!"

He blinks at the offering, and smiles. "You're too good to us, really..." He picks up a piece of toast to spread some jam on it, but looks up from it at her and nods to the kitchen. "You want to grab yourself something to eat before the others wake up?"

"I've been picking at things while cooking." She confessed with a smile, "Don't worry about me." Making her way back to the bar. "Do you need anything else?" Was spoken over her shoulder.

He shakes his head. "I'm good, thanks..." Alain can be very subtle in many ways, but his appetite is the same it was when he first arrived in RhyDin, and the same it's been since his teenage years - ravenous. While maintaining decent manners, he demolishes the meal pretty quickly. "I'm hoping to get the last surveys done today," he says to her, well before he's done.

Sneaking into the kitchen long enough to grab her glass of orange juice. She returned in time to hear his comment and back into leaning against the bar. Happily watching him enjoy his food. "What after that? Building?"

"We'll get the sewer piping started, and at the end of the week, start laying some foundations - leave the herdsmen to mind the livestock and keep building those pens." He spears some egg and a piece of fruit, pulls it off with a piece of toast, and eats it. He never really separates his foods. "By next week, it should start looking like a proper village."

"That's amazing Alain." And she sounded to truly mean it.... about what he was doing, not what or rather how he was eating. Of course, that was mildly interesting as well. She'd never considered that combination. Juice in hand, though forgotten for the moment as she watched and spoke with Alain.

He grins. "I won't be amazed until we get all the infrastructure finished before summer." Aaaaand, he's finished. He returns to his coffee. "The people can afford to continue living in tents until they have their own homes built... The weather will be warm enough for plenty long."

"With so many helping you, I think it a very likely goal." She moved from the bar again, leaving her drink behind and moving to gather his plate. "Do you want anything more?"

"No thank you... That should last me until after noon." He takes another sip of his coffee, thinking a moment. A few moments more, and his notebook comes out - money, resources, labor, and other calculations related to this project. "There's another wealthy noble that's taken an interest in our work. It'll certainly help if he makes good on it."

She set the dishes in the wide sink behind the counter, "Money isn't much of an issue is it?"

"The problem is making sure we convert that money into the labor and resources we need, and that they're made available by the time we need them."

"Let me know if you have either running short. I would think someone I do business with would be able to find a way to help you. At a fair price, of course." She smiled, business was still business for some.

"What kind of resources do they have available? What we really need is someone who knows a lot about converting magic into power - like electricity..." He hears noise at the stairs, and looks up in time for one of the refugees who's been working there the last two days place his hand on his shoulder and greet him, speaking in their odd mutual dialect of French. They exchange words for a moment, and Alain says something that makes the man chuckle, who then looks up at Izira and bows his head, deeply grateful to this generous woman.

"I think I might be able to find you one such as you speak." Spoken to Alain as she gave a kind smile to the man. "Tell him I will have a plate out for him in a moment." And into the kitchen she slipped again. She had been paying attention to the people, there were many of them - but she focused her attention... knowing something as simple as a favorite breakfast gave more energy to the people than perhaps even the food did. Alain had thrown her off though with his willingness to eat anything and everything - well, there were others such as him and she feed them that way as well. Returning with another tray of what the man had fed himself the previous days.

Merci beaucoup, the man says, and tucks into his meal. The others begin to stir upstairs, doors opening, people yawning and chatting quietly in a mix of English and French, and Alain looks up at Izira. "I think I'll go ahead and get the horses ready and get the tools together." He collects his belt and his coat, and pauses once more to smile at Izi. "Thank you for breakfast."

"You're welcome." She offered softly, before picking up the tray from the sink and moving to set the food out for the others. Her eyes lingered on Alain a moment before she disappeared behind the kitchen door once again.
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The Marriage of Figaro (1)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:36 am

((Cross Posted))

Izira moved about the inn, dressed in a soft charcoal grey dress that was fitted with a black ribbon about the waist and a line of small black buttons up the center of the torso. Her black heels softly sounding against the hard wooden floors of the inn’s main room. Upon the bar was a small stack of mail, each item having found its way here in one form or another—the various bits gathered to be sorted through when she had the time. Her hair was collected into a bun, the usual rebellious wisps curling to fall against her face and neck. A pen stuck into the bun for safe keeping. She moved easily behind the bar, getting a cup a tea readied then adding in a bit of cream and honey. Silver spoon stirred the contents together then lifted to the lady’s lips to sample. Perfect. Spoon returned to rest against the saucer, tea lifted and sipped with a quiet smile of enjoyment—Izira turned towards looking through her mail.

There was almost nothing of note within the pile, several forms for placing orders and a few letters from people seeking a certain item from her stock and requesting permission to visit the inn along with a number of daily papers from various locations that would be perused later in the day. It was a small blank envelope that caught the lady’s attention, pulling it from the pile carefully. Outwardly it was inspected but revealed nothing of who had sent it or what it contained. Danger was momentarily considered before curiosity won the moment and Izira slid the flap of the envelope open to reveal—a ticket to the opera.

It was an unexpected treat and, it seemed, fairly short notice as the opera was to be performed that very night. Still, Izira smiled widely at the thought of a night at the opera. It would be good for her to go out and with the lights low for the show the lady would not have to be nervous about catching anyone’s attention. Now all she would have to do is decide what to wear.
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The Marriage of Figaro (2)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:38 am

The dress was a mixture of a drape and a weaving. Something that had been made for her several years previously, fortunately for her that her body hadn't changed much during that time. The top of the dress was done in black—strapless with a slight sweetheart line, the bottom a smooth deep shade of gray that flowed down to her feet. Strappy black heels, finely worked silver jewelry and her hair done into an up-do that complimented her natural curls... finished her attire for the evening.
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The Marriage of Figaro (3)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:39 am

"Jean!" Alain slaps his thigh, and his dog, now nearly fully grown, comes wheeling back around through the small clearing at a sprint, stick in his mouth. Alain's dirty, his arms covered with a fine layer of dark dirt, hands wiped mostly clean with a now dirty handkerchief hanging out of his pocket. He laughs teasingly at Jean as he snatches the stick and starts a game of tug-of-war.

Izira had gotten more of a walk than she had planned, even with the help from the magic of the realm. First going to the site where the village was being worked on and then being pointed in the direction where she might find Alain by one of his many people. She was dressed in a soft charcoal grey dress that was fitted with a black ribbon about the waist and a line of small black buttons up the center of the torso along with black closed-toe heels. Her hair was collected into a bun, the usual rebellious wisps curling to fall against her face and neck - a pen still stuck into it, forgotten. She carefully made her way into the clearing, watching where she was walking in those heels. "Alain?" She called out uncertainly.

"Over here, Izi!" he calls, laughter in his voice. He manages to tug the stick free from Jean, who starts barking, but stops to take chase as soon as Alain releases the stick - sending it flying way off. He turns to smile at Izira, walking her way.

Warmth showed in her smile at seeing Alain and Jean at play. It was hard not to get a contact high of enjoyment in the presence, even if she wasn't already excited about her day. Of course, work came before play and she thought it best to let Alain know that she would be away from the inn in the evening to see the opera. But business could wait a moment, she gave a crooked smirk in Alain's direction - noting the dirt that covered him. "Hard at work or hard at play?"

"You think this dog isn't hard work?" he replies with a grin. Jean returns, but instead of trying to take the stick from him, Alain rubs at his ears a little, so he drops the stick and wanders over to Izira. Snuffling at her and then remembering her. "Just starting my lunch break..." He sighs softly, looking out at the clearing and the mountains that surround them. "God, it's beautiful out here - and Jean loves it."

There was just a grin in return to his first comment. Her eyes traveled from him to the approaching and then sniffing Jean and obviously lowering herself down to give the dog a good rubbing. A soft chuckle at the wonder from him about the land, bringing her eyes back to Alain bust just watching him quietly.

He looks over his shoulder at her - "Had you ever been here before?"

Looking around, "Places like this. A lake... deeper in the mountains, once." whatever memories came along with that comment were a mixture of bitter and sweet.

"I just can't believe it'd gone unnoticed..." His grin returns. "Even I didn't notice a lot of this, my first time through here." He kneels by her to rub at Jean's coat, and smiles over at her again. "If you've come here to work, I'd have to recommend against those heels."

She smiled only a little embarrassed of the heels, if she were here to work—though she wasn't. A shake of her head before speaking, "Actually I came to tell you that I would be out of the inn tonight. I didn't know aside from dinner if anything would be needed before I went out, since you are the man in charge - I came to ask."

"We shouldn't need anything else - but with the lady of the house gone for the evening, we'll have to throw a keg party," he teases. "Where are you going?"

It was a soft shove against his arm for the keg comment, but she brought her hand back to Jean as that was a safer contact. "The opera! There was a ticket enclosed with my mail this morning."

"Huh. Who from?" Alain's become an excellent liar - even with their bond, nothing is betrayed.

"Not sure." She considered it quietly, then wondering if she was foolish for accepting a gift when the giver was unknown she further explained, "I figure it might be from a salesmen or one of the few regulars. A few of them would be likely to do such a thing, giving a gift and then later stepping in with a price. I'm not worried though, I can handle those mugs and a night at the opera is definitely worth the trouble." Another soft chuckle, she looked at him sideways, "Do you think that's foolish of me?"

He considers a moment, and answers, "I don't think you'll have any problems - it's not foolish at all. It could be from the opera house. Businesses give away a lot for free when they're just getting started. Raises awareness, encourages word of mouth..." He then laughs and shakes his head. "Jesus Christ, I've turned into a businessman."

"Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." She followed with a little wink. Course, it was probably already known to many and that face she didn't point out directly. "I even have a dress picked out for the event."

"Not the one you're wearing?" Alain is, after all, only a male.

Giving a glance down at her dress, "No, not this one. It's the opera after all. I should try to look nice." She grinned. "If you get back to the inn before I go or are still around when I come home you can see it.... if you wanted."

He smiles... but then looks away, as if catching himself. There is a fine frown on his brow, but still he answers, "I should be back to the inn around sunset to talk to the others, then head out. You can show me then if you're still around."

Izira knew she would probably miss him. Ah well. It wasn't like it was anything special, or that he would be overtly impressed with the dress or anything like that. He was Alain... and she.... she was just herself. Aside from the inn and the realm about her, what else did she have to offer? Nothing he would want or need. Her voice softer, "I'm surprised you're not going. You strike me as someone who would enjoy a little more culture from time to time."

"I have a few things to take care of in the city... and as soon as they're done, I'm sleeping." He cracks another smile and bops Jean playfully on the snout to rile him a little and then rub at his ears. "I'll have to go to the opera house another time, when I have less on my plate."

"At that rate you'll never be able to go." It was half a joke and maybe even half a little sad truth. Her hands went towards her lap as he played with Jean.

"Believe it or not, it comes and goes. After the Silver Mark got on its feet, and before I started with Esperance, things were pretty calm... for the most part." He winces just a touch as he remembers the Krysira incident, and his left hip aches with the memory. But that wasn't something he'd planned for much. "Next week, I'll probably be here a little less, and make sure I'm caught up on my work in RhyDin."

"That's unfortunate. I like having you around the inn." And quickly adding, "Your presence seems to liven everyone, that is—the refugees and those working for you."

He catches it, though he plays that he doesn't. He grins. "Then I'll have to make sure and swing by enough to marshal my troops." He looks over at Jean. "I might leave this guy up here, just for a couple of days - you think you can lead them, Jean? Eh?" Jean barks happily.

"He can lead them, but at what?" Petting Jean again, she had a playful smile again.

"At stealing a shovel and leading them on a wild goose chase, apparently." He chuckles, shaking his head, and moves over to a tree to collect his lunch. Which makes Jean suddenly ignore Izira and move over, snuffling at the paper bag. "You'd think he was starving, the way he goes after food..."

Izira followed the two, slower and staying at a distance. "Or his stomach is a bottomless pit. Maybe one of those rare endless stomach breeds."

"Something his owner didn't tell me about Eurasiers." He tosses Jean a bit of jerky to keep him busy for a while - it's nearly as tough as leather. He sprawls out under the tree, rather boyishly, and tugs on an odd little runed tag tied to the string that seals the bag. He tears it, and Izira can probably feel the fire magic at work - hot air fills the bag until Alain unties it, and it releases with a whoosh. "Pretty neat, huh. A few of the diners in town have started working with pyromancers to bring in takeout customers." And he pulls out a bacon cheeseburger, nice and hot.

"Impressive." She took a seat near his feet in the grass, careful with her skirt not to flash him. She inspected it from far away for the three P's. And her stomach made a little growl. Moving a hand over her stomach, "Guess Jean's not the only one starving."

"Steal some fries if you like," he says, nodding towards the bag. Big bite of the burger, though he feels a little bad eating in front of her - but his break will be over soon. The burger does, in fact, have pickles, peppers, and pineapples.

She shook her head, "But thank you for the offer. I will grab something back at the inn." Still sitting by him, she looked off back into the surroundings and just taking them in.

As usual, his eating pace is pretty goshdarned fast. Wait, is that burger gone already? Jean looks on jealously, and Alain folds his arms: "You know it'd make you sick to your stomach." Jean just wags his tail, and Alain tosses him a french fry.

Izira almost thought to ask after Cassie, but couldn't bring the words to her lips to do so. Honestly, she didn't want to hear how wonderful his relationship was going. And she couldn't bring herself to be friend enough to ask anyway. Instead, enjoying the silence and watching the way the breezed moves through and over things.

After giving three more french fries to Jean, his lunch is finished. "I swear, by summertime, this dog is going to be round." He gives Jean another playful swat on the snout, following up as usual with a good rubbing.

Looking back towards Alain, "Only if you stop running him around." Seeing the food finished, she knew he would be leaving and that she should to. Though, she'd willingly give up a night at the opera to stay in the place and talk to him into the night. "I think he will be safe from becoming too round."

"You haven't seen the way 'Lanta feeds him." He grins. "She thinks I haven't seen it, but I have." He crumples up the wrappers and puts them in the brown bag, as well as the remains of the weird rune thingy, and balls it up to throw away back at the site. "You enjoy yourself tonight, and let me know how it goes."

"I will. Enjoy... whatever you have to enjoy today, Alain.", standing and watching him a moment. She was being foolish, a night out was a good idea. It was a chance to meet new people, maybe? A chance to distract her from impossible longings.

"I'll enjoy honest work and, with any luck, a full night of sleep," he replies with a smile.

A nod. "Seems good enough. Take care, Alain." She felt to be lingering an awkward moment before finally turning and making her way back to the inn.

"You too." He watches her thoughtfully for a moment, and then turns his attention to Jean, leading him back to the site.
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