*Running Hot, Running Cold

Home of Izira Nyte and The Forgotten Layers Inn. Resting in an unnamed magical realm, the place is easier to find when lost if one is without the aid of a map drawn by the lady herself.

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Izira Nyte
Adventurer
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Posts: 102
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: At the Forgotten Layers Inn.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:20 pm

((Friday May 16, 2008 - Evening))

Because of the injury to his arm, Locke was a little less dressed up than he was usually. He didn't really feel like taking the time to put on a dress shirt, and besides, tying a tie was rather difficult with one arm. Instead, he wore a simple black long-sleeved shirt and dark blue jeans, with well-polished black Chelsea boots. His left hand held the map, with his messenger bag draped over the left shoulder. With a bit more ease this time, Locke was able to traverse between realms until he was in front of the Forgotten Layers Inn. Once there, he folded the map and placed it in his bag, before heading onto the porch and inside. The surprise at his knock last time was not forgotten, so this time, he simply opened the door and stepped inside.

Izira was seated behind the bar upon the tender's stool that provided a bit of back support. She wore a grey dress with a black belt with closed-toe black heels. The top of the dress was of a slight wrap style, with a modest v-neckline. A glass of ice water was on the bar top, but Izira's hands and attention was upon the large orange cat that was happily sprawled out and getting his stomach scratched. Odd behavior for a cat, perhaps. When the door was opened the cat quickly rolled into a sitting position and fixed the blue one with a look from bright green eyes. Izira smiled, "Locke, a pleasant surprise." Then a pause, her head tilted, "What happened to you?" Noting that his right arm was in a sling.

"Got a little too clever in the Duels a couple of days past. And took a little too long to see the healer. Decided, rather foolishly, to work my stint at the Inn before getting it checked out." A glance over at the cat, before he turned back to Izira. "Slightly separated shoulder. Should be able to take care of it with some rest, ice, and a little magic." He shrugged his good arm. "How are you faring, Izira?"

She listened to his explanation, keeping eye contact except for when she looked towards his arm. A smile, it seemed aside from being hurt he had everything under control now. "I am well." Her hand reached out, petting the feline who offered a loud purr without removing his eyes from Locke. "It has been rather slow, but I cannot complain."

Another glance over toward the cat, and he tilted his head curiously at him. Was he...watching Locke? Hmm. The ice elf scratched his chin, before shifting his attention back to Izira. "Good to hear. If I may say so, it is good to be in a place with some bloody peace and quiet, for once."

"You are always welcome to come for a stay, this is an inn - there are rooms. Get you something?" She stood up behind the bar, hands moving away from the cat. No fur had been shed from the feline’s coat. As Izira moved, so too did the cat. He stood on the bar top and moved as close to Locke as he could, sniffing at the air around him as he kept his visual. "That's Silas." Izira offered as an introduction.

It was a cutesy gesture, but Locke held his hand out to Silas for a paw-shake. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Silas." His head swiveled to follow Izira. "Whiskey on the rocks, plenty of ice, if you would be so kind." He flashed his best dimpled smile Izira's way, the bright white of his teeth clearly visible.

"My, my, my... not water for a change. Whiskey on rocks it is then." A twist of a smile watching Silas and Locke as she turned and got the drink together. Lots of ice as requested was placed into a glass with her best whiskey, the bottle kept out for refills. She set the glass before Locke but out of the way of the cat that was trying to ram his head into the offered hand and purring again.

He stepped away from Silas briefly, to set his bag down on the floor next to his stool, before he moved toward the feline again and petted him. His gloved palm was still cold, even through the leather of his black dress gloves. He spoke to Silas in a voice that was half-coo, half-paternal. "Friendly, aren't you, mate?"

~Oh, aye, I’m friendly.~

Silas’ mind voice echoed inside Izira’s head. A soft chuckle, she covered her lips and tried to offer a smile to Locke. Really, how could she explain that it wasn't his behavior but something Silas had said to her? She picked up her ice water. "He likes you." The feline meanwhile was starting to try to get at the gloves, trying to gently bite and tug at them.

"You really don't want me to touch you with my bare hand, mate," Locke said, warning Silas. He grabbed the glass of whiskey that had been offered to him previously, wet his lips with a small taste, and sighed. "Perfect, mate." Then, he took a bigger sip of the liquor, before setting the glass down once more. "Thank you most kindly, mate."

Again, Silas offered his secretive commentary. ~Mate, mate, mate. He’s making me frisky.~

Izira’s lips were pressed together, as though suffocating a smile. Glass of water given up, she reached over the bar and reclaimed Silas into her arms. Petting him as he watched Locke. She leaned over to nuzzle the feline's head a secretive move that allowed her to lower her voice and hiss, unnoticed, into Silas’ ear. “I’m going to put you out if you don’t stop.” Then offered Locke a smile. "You're welcome, Locke."

He swirled the liquid and ice around for a few moments, before taking another drink. "Is your cat usually that nice to strangers?"

~Oh, aye, put me out.~

"Not all of them, you should consider yourself special." Cat in her arms she made the way around the bar and made for the door, planning to put the feline out.

"Oh, really," Locke said, somewhat noncommittally. He swirled the beverage around, before a thought suddenly crossed his mind. Should he say something, or shouldn't he? With a wicked grin, he made his decision. "Read the Gangstar lately?"

Reaching the door and putting Silas outside, the feline meowed at her and trotted off.

~Have fun with the Blue One.~

She shook her head and turned to look at Locke as the door closed. "The gangster? That's the gossip column, right?" A shorter shake of her head and she came back to the bar, remaining on the patron side. Her water was reclaimed, "Not recently. The last thing I read was about Alain being a ladies' man a while back."

He waved his good hand in the air, laughing. "Oh, Franco just likes to make things up, or blow things out of proportion to sell a few papers. No worries, mate. Why, if one were to believe everything written up in there, they might think that you and I were a couple." He ducked his head a little and grinned slyly.

A pause, processing what it was he said. Her brow furrowed not because she was put off by the implication but more so because she was wondering how it was anyone would ever think that. "With what evidence?"

Locke shook his head, half-amazed at the surveillance skills Franco possessed. "The fact that you and I entered the Inn together...last Wednesday I believe? 'Dressed to the nines,' I believe was how he put it. I suppose he doesn't know that much about me. I dress to impress no matter where I go." A glance down at his relatively casual outfit for the evening. "Today notwithstanding."

"I wasn't dressed any differently than I usually am." She considered it. Alain said the inn had eyes and if one of those eyes were putting out false information perhaps it was for the better? She offered a light shrug, and sipped her water. "People will think what they think, right or wrong."

He chuckled, and then drank some more of his whiskey. "I don't think the world is ready for blokes and birds like us. People who actually have fashion sense, and don't dress like their bloody mums dragged them out of bed before school and threw on whatever they fancied best. But, aye, you are correct. We can't change the minds and hearts of others."

"It strikes me that the general idea for the women in RhyDin is that less is not less enough." A faint smirk, she settled her back against the bar. Considering that night, "Didn't you end up spending time with your..." A pause wondering for the description and went for the obvious one, "girlfriend that night?"

He nodded to Izira's words, adjusting the strap on his sling so that it was more comfortable on his right arm. "Aye, I did. Not a lot of time though. It was the first time I had seen her since Johnny and Sianna's wedding." He paused, sighing a little bit in frustration. "I have been terribly busy as of late, though, trying to practice and improve my skill for the duels. Sometimes, though, it feels like I'm beating my bloody head against the wall." The gloved left hand made a fist and lightly struck the top of the bar.

A glance at the hand as it struck the top of the bar. A brow lifted and she took a slow drink from her water before turning towards him, "Why do you do it then?"

"It is...somewhat complicated, mate." Was that...a cryptic reply? From the normally loquacious ice elf? Gloved fingers begin to drum at the bar.

"If you don't want me to drag it out of you, I won't." Water glass set on the bar, she checked his whiskey level.

The whiskey glass was about half-full, the ice cubes still solid and un-melted. "Sometimes, I am not quite sure myself why I put myself through it. The injuries, the beatings, the blood. I have moved up a rank in Fists, but in Swords? I seem to be hot and cold. One day, I can beat a baron insensate. The next? I am losing to a bloody neophyte."

"What is the gain?" Emptied handed with the water set aside, she just watched Locke when he responded and wondered about it to herself. Going through so much effort, and for what?

"There are...certain prizes. If you win enough. Baronies and Overlord-ships, Towers full of magics beyond almost all mortal comprehension, the Opals." A slight frown, at that. He had heard...stories about them, though he wasn't quite sure what to think of them. "Power, fame, notoriety, wealth. Plus, quite simply, it is a challenge. To see how I fare when faced with those who, by all rights, should obliterate me in single combat. And yet, there is nothing quite like the taste of victory, hearing that caller announce your name as the winner. It is...damn satisfying, if I do say so myself."

She fell oddly quiet as Locke spoke, not just a silence from listening but a silence brought on as the words he spoke awoke visuals in her mind. Magic beyond almost all mortal comprehension... a chill feeling touched the back of her arms. Lips were wetted before she could find her voice, not sure where his words ended and her mind had wander. A smile was offered, she hoped it looked understanding.

He grinned cheekily, as he tossed off his next comment. It was an attempt to make it seem less serious than it really was. "Plus, I rather enjoy a good ruck." He sipped more whiskey, shrugging his good shoulder once again.

"Or a bad one?" Offering, coming back to herself. She reached for her water again and brought it eagerly to her lips.

"The only bad ruck is one that you lose," Locke said simply. With little fanfare or warning, he lifted his left hand to his mouth, pulling his glove off with his teeth. He spat it on the bar next to the bottle of whiskey, before closing his eyes. That familiar chill breeze surrounded his person, as he held his palm up to the ceiling. Just above his hand, a small ball of ice started to form. When he was finished, he opened his eyes once more, letting the ball drop into his palm.

A quiet chuckle to his comment. His peculiar movements catching her attention, a smile forming as she caught on what he was doing. She watched with muted amusement as the ball was formed and the dropped into his hands. "Duels not the only practice you have been tending to?"

He tossed the sphere in his blue hand, grinning like a Cheshire cat. "Indeed. One need only remember that there is water vapor in the air, and I can pluck it from there like you might pluck an apple from a tree. A rather useful skill and one I wish I had thought to try before."

"Well, now you know." She set her glass back on the bar, the ice in it was gone and the water was warm to the touch. A smile in place, she seemed hesitant to mention working on the elemental project. Watching the orb of ice. Locke's ice had never bothered her before, but that chill on her back of her arms returned as she thought about the ice under her skin.

A few more tosses and Locke was soon bored with his toy. He looked to Izira, somewhat sheepishly. "Any place I can dispose of this?" He set the ball on the bar, and then slugged back what was left of his whiskey.

"Allow me." Her voice was quick, and her hand moved just as quickly. Touching the orb and allowing her heat to focus on it. In one moment the orb was there, the next it was a puff of shaped steamed that vanished back into the air. Izira's hand lingered there a moment, fingers flexing. She appeared to relax, hand brought away. Though, she didn't look at Locke. "Did you want a refill?"

"If you would be so kind." Locke struggled for a moment, but eventually managed to force his hand back into the glove. Without missing a beat, he jumped to another topic of conversation. "So...when are we going to create those dragons or lanterns or whatever it is you wish for me to help you with?"

The whiskey bottle was lifted, a good portion poured into his glass. Bottle sealed and set away again. "When do you think you would next be able to visit?" It was obvious 'now' was not an option, or at least not one she was up for at the moment.

"Monday, perhaps? Before Fists...Or, perhaps, if you make it worth my while, I might decide to skip all that loathsome violence and spend the day here." Locke winked at Izira, then, and had a strange thought. Had he ever winked at her before? Hmm. For good measure, he decided to wink again, even if there was no rhyme or reason for it.

She blinked in return, once again at a lost for words. Surely, he meant nothing by it... he had that girl, after all. But then again what would be worth his while? Izira hadn't been speaking to him long enough to truly know or venture a guess. And Alain? She couldn't very well blurt out that she was with Alain. Firstly, telling everyone would defeat the point of it being a secret for the time being and secondly, if that wasn't what he was getting at... which she didn't think it was, she would look like an utter fool. Her smile wavered, "What is worth your while, Locke? I fear I'm at a loss..."

And as quickly as he had broached the subject, he pulled back, still grinning mirthfully. "Food. A drink. Perhaps a cold bed to rest my bones, if necessary. If I get knackered with the magic, as I am wont to do." He took another slug of the liquor, waiting for her reply.

"Food, drink. Of course." A hand vaguely gestured towards the stairs, "There are plenty of rooms upstairs." A pause in her speech as she looked at him, taking in his mirth with the smallest of frowns. "Ice can be supplied as well."

"Speaking of beds, I do believe it would be ill-advised for me to walk back to the city at this hour. I am feeling rather knackered, still, and a bit stiff and sore." He touched the sling, needlessly, for emphasis. "Would it be a bother to request a room tonight?"

"No bother." Said as she stepped away, space put between them as she relaxed a little. She felt silly, she was jumping at ghosts. Going behind the bar, she looked through the rooms and snagged a key for one of the suites. "Is there anything else you need before I show you to your room?"

He stood from his stool, and then kneeled to pick up and shoulder his messenger bag. With a bit of a grunt, he rose, adjusting the strap on the bag. "Well...is it going to be all right if I adjust the temperature in the room to be a touch...colder?"

"The only one in there will be you." Another pause, "I mean, yes. It would be fine, Locke." Key in hand, she didn't keep her face on him long enough to see an expression if one was given. Moving towards the stairs, finally giving a glance behind her before heading up the stairs to make sure he was following.

He followed behind her slowly, walking up the steps with the usual bounce in his step. "You mean, there is no else here presently?" Locke asked, with a touch of confusion.

"There are a few others, for Alain's village. Workmen. They will be gone in a few days or two. But they are in different rooms," On a different floor. "And what you do to your own room will not extend beyond unless you leave the door open." Climbing the stairs before him, feeling just a little self conscious of the movement of her body. Her grip tightened on the key. They went up to a third floor, and Izira stopped and the first door to the left in the hallway that topped the stairs. The key inserted and the door opened, revealing a plush sitting room complete with a cold fireplace and a private bar. "It is a bit more than you need, but there is a full private bath and more space to enjoy yourself."

He nodded to Izira as she opened the door, and then whistled lowly to himself at how nice the room was. His own place at the Red Dragon Inn was...unembellished to say the least. And not very well lit, to boot. This...was much nicer. The smile that crossed his face was a bit softer and more genuine, and he almost set his hand on her shoulder as a gesture of friendliness. He pulled back quickly, though, letting it dangle by his side. "Thank you for letting me stay here on such short notice, Izira. I shall endeavor not to make things to difficult on you or the rest of your staff." Which, come to think of it, he had never seen. Hmm...

She didn't correct him. Aside from when the villagers were helping in the kitchen it was just her and the inn that managed things. Her own smile soften as well, inwardly she felt back for the route her thoughts had gone. "Think nothing of it, a place to stay is what an inn is for. Do you need ice to be brought up?"

"If you would be so kind." He stepped into his room, then, setting his bag down on the floor out of the way. Locke spun around in a circle, the better to see all of the room with.

She gave a nod, "I'll be back in a moment." And, after setting the key on a table by the door, slipped off back down the stairs. The room was nicely put together, and didn't sacrifice comfort for style but managed to attain both. The furniture of cool grays and blacks with glass topped tables for stands and at the bar. Curtains were thick and wouldn't allow sunlight in unless it was desired. Many lamps set upon tables, into the walls and from the ceiling to allow for whatever kind of lighting might be desired. To the right double doors opened to a bedroom fitted with a king sized bed, writing desk, nightstands and two personal dressers. The full bath just off from there.

If she hadn't been coming right back, he probably would have worked his room-chilling spell right then and there. Instead, he walked into the bedroom and sat on the bed, slowly removing his sling from his arm with a slight wince of pain. He let the injured appendage hang down by his side, tossing the sling to the nightstand with his left hand. Once that was done, he shuffled into the sitting room, to wait for Izira to return with his ice.

She could be heard on the stairs first, before appearing at the door. In either hand she carried a large three gallon bucket full to the brim of ice. If she looked like it was an effortless task, it was because the buckets had been spelled to ease the load for the carrier. "Room service." She said with a quirk of a smile.

He gestured toward the private bath with his good hand, the bad arm dangling limply by his side. "If you would be so kind as to fill up the bath tub, mate?" He assumed a lean against the wall, grinning. He could get used to this...

"I should set something up so that an ice bath would be easily accomplished without the hauling." Spoken more to herself even if it was aloud. She moved through the sitting room and the bedroom into the bath and filled the large tub up with the ice. There would be more than enough room for Locke and his ice as the tub was big enough to emerge in without spillage.

"What did you have in mind? A spell of some sort?" Locke stepped over to wear the bathroom was, peering in to watch as Izira dumped the ice into the tub. "Thank you most kindly, mate." He stepped back, once she appeared to have finished, in order to let her pass back through.

"A spell, yes. Not too hard to accomplish." She smiled moving out from the bathroom. "I believe you are set."

"At the risk of sounding repetitive and redundant, Izira, thank you. I greatly appreciate your generosity and hospitality. I will see you in the morning, most likely? Before I head back into town, correct?" His head tilted a touch, curious as to what her response would be.

She nodded slowly thinking, "Is there something you enjoy having for breakfast?"

He shook his head no slowly. "I usually just eat cold fruit for breakfast. Or cold cereal. No bacon, no sausage, no pancakes, no waffles..." A sad sigh escaped his lips, before he tried to cover for it with a smile. "Whatever fruit you can scrounge up will be aces, mate."

"I think you will find yourself pleasantly surprised." A smile, she moved off towards the door. "See you in the morning, Locke."

He switched over to his melodic, sing-song language and accent, then, as he spoke his final words of the evening to Izira. "Tenna' tul're, Izira." He shut the door softly behind him, the locks clicking into place soon after.

Izira made her way down the stairs with the two buckets in hand. As she made the landing on the main floor Silas was spotted back inside and sitting in wait on the bar’s countertop.

The feline’s tail twitched. ~I like him.~

She sighed in response, putting the buckets away. Without further comment from either of them, Izira went into the kitchen to slice an array of fruit and chill it for the morning meal.
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Izira Nyte
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 10:09 pm
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:26 pm

((Saturday May 17, 2008 - Early Afternoon))

It was early afternoon as Izira sat behind the bar, attention broken between reading supply lists and sampling the remaining fruits from that morning. A chill still faintly within the slices. Her hair was pulled back into a French twist. A white blouse with black skirt the simple attire for today, paired with open-toe black heels. One of the forms she was looking at caught her eye and she set it aside as she stood up from the stool.

The scent of Alain's cigar greeted Izira's nostrils before he pushed the front door open. Bright blue eyes scanned the inn and when they found Izira, a smile formed in them. He felt in a good mood today. He found a good place to ash his cigar and made his way over, his attire better suited to work in RhyDin than work in Espérance - shirt, tie, shoulder holster, slacks, and nice shoes, with a small satchel over one shoulder, packed with modest supplies. Knowing him, more books than anything else.

She had been ready to move down into the cellar and had stopped at Alain's entrance. A smile lighted her face at his arrival. "Alain." The simple way she spoke his name said volumes to her feelings for the man. Moving away from the cellar door and to the break in the bar to meet up with him, she greeted him further with a soft kiss.

"You smell like spring," he breathed the moment after the kiss, the back of his hand lingering in her hair, and kissed her once more, and smiled. "I have missed you." Indeed, already he felt his heart beat a little faster, just being near. Conscious restraint kept him from scooping her up into his arms.

"And I have missed you." Moving her hand down to entwine into his with a light squeeze. "How have you been since last I saw you?" The contact with him, with her eyes watching his. She was concerned about his work and the weight it put on him.

He had despaired at one point... but improved again. She felt in his thoughts the encouraging words of a new friend, a Norseman. Acceptance…that his fate was what it was. And resolve to live well or die well as fate would have it - expressed simply in that touch as hope. He put out the cigar, perhaps to retrieve later, and lifted her hand for a kiss and another squeeze. "Well. Things are slow for the moment... so I can have more time with you."

She was pleased with what she found, Alain not immersed in despair. Izira was also in high spirits having had company over breakfast. Her look became playful, watching him over the kissed hand. "Won't your other lass miss you?"

"I'll send her a fruit basket or something," he smiled in reply, and held her gently by the wrist and palm to kiss more - one on the heel of her thumb, another on her fingertips. His thoughts and emotions ran their usual course - Izira, love, desire went in a loop and then an offbeat note - soda. Alain had a new business in mind, and he'd been thinking about it almost nonstop on the way over.

She could almost see the thought formulating in his mind. Her kissed hand moving to stroke against his cheek, "Soda is it? Esperance near finished and you're already onto your next quest... it's a wonder if I will be able to keep up with you Alain." Leaning towards him and placing a kiss to his other cheek, then her hand was placed into his again. "Do you mind accompanying me into the cellar while you tell me of what it is you have in mind for a soda business?"

"I've always been an opportunist," he replied, and moved to follow her into the cellar, his satchel abandoned on a table. He held onto three of her fingers as he followed two steps behind her. "I'm not sure, really... There's the root beer that Amber brews, and the Coca-Colas that the Bloods import from Earth, and that's not much at all. It's more than just an open niche, it's a wide open market. I'm thinking something light and fizzy and tasty, something with broad appeal... something people will automatically serve when anyone asks for a soda. So ginger beer is out, root beer is out, and cola is out because I can't compete with Earth natives' nostalgia for Coca-Cola..."

"Perhaps something organic and with fruit. It is spring." She offered as her feet landed softly on the cellar's hard floor. Low lights came on, exposing the area around him. The cellar appeared to be more a catacomb of crates and bottles than an actual cellar. A few steps further into the room and she halted, considering where the item she came down for had been. A fingertip from her free hand tapping against her lip.

"It needs to be light... so lemon-lime ought to do the trick..." He released her hand and also looked around, though his was no search, just curiosity. "No corn syrup, either - real sugarcane. All organic ingredients, easier and less expensive to acquire in RhyDin, and probably more palatable to native RhyDinians and non-Earth non-natives than Coca-Cola is..."

"There was a salesman once, offered me a sampling of a peach soda. It was nice, but it was winter and not a good season for it. If you had a selection, like those flavored waters? Though I find those things too sweetened to enjoy." She took several steps deeper and then turned right. Passing levels of crates each marked with an item number. Some spaces had more, some had less. Izira stopped with a smile at the storage spot that had three wine bottle sized boxes.

"All three of these?" he asked, eyeing the boxes. He was still mulling over her remarks, though. "If I do lemon-lime, we should concentrate on just that one flavor... but if we do multiple flavors, they should all be strongly flavored, distinctly colored drinks."

"Perhaps I could find a way to contact that salesman..." Thinking aloud as she picked up one of the boxes, the other two were to stay behind. "No need to carry them all up."

"I can get that for you," he offered.

A smile, she shook her head. "I have it." Moving back into the main pathway and towards the stairs.

He followed her up. "If you can find the salesman, maybe you can put him in touch with me," he grinned, "and he could start selling my products."

"Don't you have someone selling your lagers?" A glance back to him as she headed up the stairs. The box was set down on the countertop, as she let Alain close the cellar door after them.

He shut the door and turned to her... tightening his lips a bit. "Sort of. I only tend several hours a week, maybe ten if I've got nothing else to do - I take care of most of the other responsibilities, but I'm slowly training Lanta for them."

"I will send a salesman your way." Opening the box carefully, inside a bottle was surrounded by strips of packaging. The bottle was eased out of the box, silver-blue and covered in a thick layer of frost. "Perfect."

"What is it?" he asked, peering at the label, hand hovering on her back.

The label was silver with black script, unknown. "The salesman called it 'Glacier.'" Glancing over her back to him.

"I'd say ice wine..." He frowned at it. "...but isn't that just winter-harvest grapes...?"

Her look was amused, she moved away to the private cupboard behind the bar. Unlocking it and removing the bottle of Dragon's Breath. That was held in a black bottle with a red wax over the top. The other bottle put away and the cupboard locked once more. "You don't travel the realms much, do you?"

He examined the bottle of Dragon's Breath now - somehow it seemed more... ominous. "Besides coming here? Just a few times..."

"You should try to get away more." Turning and watching him with the black bottle.

"Did I ever tell you how I got my motorcycle?" He squinted at the label.

Unlike the other bottle, there were no markings on this one. Izira leaned against the back of the bar, willing to let Alain inspect the bottle as he pleased. "You didn't."

"I was in the Red Dragon Inn when one day when the Nexus took me..." He handed the bottle back to her, retrieved what remained of his cigar, and leaned to re-light it. "...and found myself sitting in an apartment with someone banging down the door. There were keys on the coffee table in front of me, so without much idea of where I was but figuring I might need them, I grabbed them and went down the fire escape as half a dozen gun-wielding thugs tore the apartment apart. I found the motorcycle, a rare and beautiful Vincent Black Shadow, parked in the alleyway, tried the keys, found it worked, and spent the next half hour escaping from men with Uzis on Japanese motorbikes in a city I have never seen in my life. Eventually I escaped down an alleyway, it grew darker and narrower... and then I burst through the closet door of the Red Dragon Inn on my new motorcycle." He chuckled. Smoke escaping his lips in several short puffs as he laughed. "Besides this place, that was the last time I left the realm, and I am wary of doing so again, even willingly."

Taking the bottle in hand, she tapped the side of it with the tip of a nail. "I think it would transgress a bit differently if done willingly, unless you are completely incapable of keeping yourself out of trouble." A lifted brow. Then she smiled and shook her head, "Someone's missing their bike."

"After killing the bad guys for him and shaking them off his trail, I think he and I can call it even," he grinned at her. He tapped his cigar over an ashtray. "And whether or not I can keep myself out of trouble is up for debate." His look grew playful, and he beckoned.

The bottle was abandoned as Izira approached Alain, hands slipping to his sides as her lips moved to his own.

He savored each kiss at first, and when their kisses deepened, his arms encircled her. He nibbled at her lower lip, eyes open every so often to make quite sure no one's looking - she can feel him thinking about that.

She kissed him softly on the neck. "A good time to relocate." Then slipping away from him but for a hand placed into his own as she pulled him back towards her private quarters.
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Izira Nyte
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:29 pm

((Monday May 19, 2008 - Early Evening))

Early evening, the thinning population of the inn was becoming even more noticeable with the lack of any sort of dinner crowd. The workers had either going back into town or to the village to join their new friends in a meal. Izira did not regret the lack of people, it suited her. She had more time to think, to try to find what was causing that itch of need under her skin and what would make it go away. Alain's visit had been pleasant, but there was still that tickling sensation that she was ready for something. Silas' only offer of help was to wait, soon she would find what she needed or it would find her. It was cryptic and unhelpful in her opinion. Fingertips danced over the keys of the piano, creating a music that was a soft hunger of want. The want translating in the listener's ear to whatever was true for them. Izira's want was a mystery unto itself, but she played further anyway. From the door the view would be mostly of her back. Hair pulled up from her neck, a white top that clung to the edges of her shoulders was paired with a charcoal grey skirt and matching heels. No jewelry adorned her flesh.

Silas was there, perched beneath the piano bench. His paws all tucked under the roll of his body, bright green eyes watched the door.

After the prior evening's events, Locke was...conflicted, to say the least. What did he want from his life? A steady girlfriend, a nice place of his own, a job that wasn't as dependent on random chance and the willingness of others to play cards with him? Or was his old life, as dangerous and deadly as it could be at times, something he wanted to return to. He couldn't fight that evening, and he hadn't seen 'Lanta on duty in the Inn, so restless legs decided to go elsewhere. Back to the Forgotten Layers Inn. The outfit he wore was one of his favorites, even though it might not have matched perfectly with his pale blue skin. The usual black dress trousers, patent leather Oxfords, and simple belt were combined with a crimson button-up and solid black tie. His right arm was still in a sling, and his left arm had his messenger bag draped over his shoulder. A few trips in, he was starting to find his way through the rifts in worlds faster than before, though he still needed the map. Once he had arrived, he swiftly walked up to the porch and opened the door. Hearing the piano playing, though, he decided to lean against the door frame and watch Izira play.

~You have company.~ Silas' voice intoned within Izira's mind.

~Someone that requires me to stop playing?~ She asked back, head tilted just so with the question. It might have looked like she was considering her keys as she continued to play.

~The Blue One, he looks willing to wait.~ Silas' eyes stayed on the man.

~Good of him.~ She smiled, reaching the peak of intensity of the keys.

~Have I mentioned that I like this one?~ Silas' tail flicked back and forth.

~Sh. I'm playing.~ The notes carried from the piano, filling the small room with music. Even knowing the notes she played, the emotion it carried raised goosebumps over her skin. It was enough to take her breath away. And then the climax of the notes was reached, the music slowed and faded away to silence. She exhaled a slow breath, finding the calm within, before turning towards Locke with a smile. "What did you think, mate?"

Locke couldn't clap his hands, so instead, he slapped his chest lightly. "Aces, mate. I didn't know that you could play the piano. I...rather liked the song." His posture straightened, as he stopped leaning against the door and walked further inside, shutting the door behind him. "How are you faring this fine evening, Izira?"

"It is one of my talents. I am glad it pleased your ears." Turning further to face him from the bench where she was seated, "I fare well, I suppose. Yourself, Locke? Is your arm doing any better?"

Silas unfolded his legs from his body, stretching out with a wide yawn before settling back down onto his hind legs. His tail curled about his form.

"A couple of days, and I will be right as rain once more. And it won't be too soon. The only exercises I have been able to do are running and leg lifts, things of that sort. I miss-" He paused, a bit suddenly, as if deciding against using one word and choosing another, instead. "I miss being able to exercise my arms as well."

She only lightly raised a brow, though she didn't allow her mind to follow any sort of trail on what he might have been ready to say. Standing up from the bench she made her way towards the bar. "Hopefully those days will go by fast for you and you can return to... exercising your arms." A smile towards him, "Would you like a drink? I've brought something special up for you from the cellar... I do not know if it will be to your taste, but I brought it up nonetheless."

The feline followed after Izira, though breaking from her as she neared the bar and making for the man with a meowed cry. The feline's call a lower tone. ~Wonder what else is to his taste.~

~Silas.~

The cat sat down in front of Locke, canting his head at the man.

Locke crouched, to pet the cat on his head with cool, gloved fingers. "And how is our fine, furry, feline friend faring this evening?" he asked Silas. Kneeling, he looked up at Izira. "Certainly. Just as long as it is something that you can serve with ice." Locke started to skritch under Silas' chin, then.

Silas went silent under the attention purring loudly and moving under the man's hand. Scenting him.

"This drink doesn't need ice." Said with a slight knowing smirk. She moved towards the private cabinet, unlocking it. Mist fell out of the now opened door, the frost that had only covered the bottle when it had been put away now stretched out below it as well. Izira's delicately lifted it up, showing Locke the silver-blue bottle that was covered in frost. A hand moved to clear the silver label with black script. "Glacier."

An eyebrow arched, as he continued his ministrations to Silas' head, now focusing his attention on the feline's ears. "Glacier? Never heard of it, mate. Do you know what is in it?" The bottle...certainly seemed cold. His lips curved into a smile, thinking about it. "I will give it a try, I suppose."

"Brave man." Taking down a crystal flute, like the one she had poured the Dragon's Breath into. Special containers that had been spelled to hold drinks of a more magical element. "Braver, perhaps because I do not actually know what is in it. 'Icy things' is what was told to me. Given the appearance of the bottle, I am inclined to believe." The cork was the same color of the bottle and upon removal was revealed to be formed like an icicle. "Clever."

Silas, stilled, and then moved to hop from the ground onto the top of the bar and look at the open bottle.

Locke followed the cat to the bar, slipping the messenger bag off of his arm and onto the ground next to his stool. He sat down, attention divided between Silas, Izira, and the bottle of cold liquor. "Icy things isn't terribly specific, is it, mate? Though I suspect it will take a lot more than a mere bottle of booze to freeze my innards. Pour when ready." A sweep of his hand toward the bottle accompanied his words.

And so the drink was poured, the liquid coming out clear as water. As the liquor filled the flute, the outside of the crystal started to frost over. Izira stopped pouring with the flute half full. "I wonder what it would take to make an ice elemental cold." Setting the bottle down on the counter, incase more was wanted.

Silas' tail flicked again, he had thoughts of his own… like what it would take to effect the Blue One in other ways, but he knew those thoughts needn't be shared not even with his mistress.

He watched the glass ice up with amusement, clapping a hand against his chest. "Aces! That is a new one to me, mate. Never seen a liquor freeze a glass on its own." He lifted his left hand to his mouth, using his teeth to pull it off. Tentatively, he poked a blue finger at the frosty flute, sighing involuntarily at how cold it was. He wrapped the rest of his digits around the glass, brought to his lips, and took a taste sip. He shuddered, as if a cold chill had traveled through his body. "...wow." His next drink was bigger, longer, although it wasn't quite a gulp. It tasted faintly of various mints, some of which he couldn't immediately name: he knew, at least, there was peppermint and spearmint, along with a slight hint of spiciness he couldn't quite place. It went down cold, leaving his throat soothed, and unlike most drinks, which warmed the belly, this one made his stomach feel chilly.

She lifted the bottle, her expression please that he liked it. "More?"

Silas hunkered down again, watching the pair.

"Yes," Locke said, a bit more insistent and forceful than he intended. It was... amazing. He held the flute out toward her.

This time she filled it up as full as she could without risking spilling. "I have two more bottles down in the cellar. Didn't bring them up since I wasn't sure if you would care for it. But they are yours, should you wish to leave them here or take one or two with you." The bottle set aside again, within the same frosted circle on the bar she had picked it up from.

His cobalt irises went wide as saucers, as he heard her offer to give him the other bottles of Glacier. He couldn't help but sound a touch suspicious with his next words. When had anyone ever been as generous with him as Izira had been? He honestly couldn't remember. "That is awfully generous of you. Are you absolutely certain you want to give those bottles to me, mate?" He took another sip once he was finished speaking, shivering with delight.

She leaned against the bar, away from his space and considering him before answering. "You find my generosity off putting?"

Silas flopped to his side, continuing to watch the pair.

He flipped his blue hand in the air, in what was supposed to be a dismissive gesture. "Not exactly, mate, though I am a touch confused as to why you are being so generous with me."

Her expression went from thoughtful to a frown, as though the answer was not immediately there. She was a generous person, wasn't she? Thoughts of giving of herself seemed to roll down the same track that led to that itch she couldn't find. Eyes looked away, forcing herself to answer the question as hand. Partially if not completely true. "You are a friend. Besides, the bottles have already been paid for before my exile and the... person... who bought them never returned. It seems death does that to one." A smile, though it was a little thin. "What say you, Locke? A fresh bottle to take home?"

Inwardly Silas had watched the trail Izira's thoughts had gone down, pleased. Bright green eyes returning towards the Blue One.

He drank deeply from the glass as he considered her words. When he was done with the beverage, he set it down, his lips curling into a tiny smile. "I consider you to be a friend as well, and I am sorry that I do not have as nice a present for you. Thank you. I will take a bottle home with me, and leave a bottle with you." He glanced sidelong at Silas, once he noted the feline's eyes on him, but did nothing otherwise, save for drumming his bare fingers on the bartop.

"Then I shall return." Easing the bottle towards Locke, she stepped away from the bar and opened the cellar door. A glance given between Locke and Silas. "Don't let him bother you." Was said before her heels took her down the steps into the cellar and she was gone.

Silas, heaved his body just so, laying almost on his back and watching the Blue One as his mistress left them alone.

He waggled blue fingers at Izira as she went down into the cellar. "No worries, mate. These are enough of a deterrent for most blokes and birds, I suppose they will work for those of the feline persuasion as well." Once Izira was out of sight, he focused his attention entirely on the glass of cold liquor in front of him, drinking from the glass at regular intervals. His fingers still tapped rhythmic patterns on the wood.

The feline did a side crawl towards Locke, remaining on his side.

He turned to his side to look at Silas, lifting his fingers to wave to the kitty as well. He reached for the bottle of Glacier and started to examine it, the frigidness of it soothing to his skin.

Twisting back onto his stomach, the cat reached a slow paw towards Locke's bared skin.

Locke withdrew his hand quickly, shaking a finger at Silas. "What did I tell you before, about touching me?" Locke's tone of voice was still somewhat playful, though. "Not a terribly good idea, mate."

~Trust, Blue One. Trust.~ The feline's head canted, bright greens watching him closely.

At the sound of someone else's voice inside his head, he jumped a little. For all the years he had spent in RhyDin, most of them had been spent in parts of town that were...more mundane than the regular crowd that spent time at the Red Dragon Inn. He had only seen dragons when they were flying in the skies, had really only seen the effects of magic second hand in the spell lamps and wards that dotted certain buildings. Who-who was talking in his head now? A glance down at the cat that seemed to be studying him. Nah...it couldn't be him. He called out to the Inn, looking around to see if anybody else was present. "Whoever is speaking in my mind, I would ask that you kindly refrain. My own voice in my mind is plenty enough, thank you."

~This is not trusting, Blue One.~ The cat came to sit on his back legs as he regarded the man, ~And how do you expect me to talk to you when you don't understand Cat?~ The voice was male, older though still youthful in tone it carried an edge of ancient knowledge.

Locke's eyes narrowed to dark blue slits, as he regarded Silas further. "How do I know it is you speaking to me, and not someone else somewhere in the Inn making me think it is you speaking to me?"

Laughter boomed into Locke's mind, full of amusement. When it died down, he continued to speak. ~I have met few who were wary enough to doubt me. Good of you, Blue One. What will you have me do to prove myself? I am already sitting. Should I lay down?~ Here the cat returned to rest on all fours. ~Roll over?~ The feline did that as well. Then returned to sitting on just his hind legs. ~Or maybe you would believe a cat is more than a cat if you touched him with your icy embrace?~

He shrugged his good shoulder, "One does not make it as far as I did in my previous career choice without being careful and cautious when appropriate. Blokes talking in my melon seems a good time to exercise discretion." Locke seemed amused as Silas laid down, rolled over, and sat. "I have an idea. A test, if you will. I am going to whisper something. If someone else is sending these words into my head, they will not know what I say. But, if in fact you are the source of this conversation, well? You should be able to repeat the word I speak to you." He leaned in closer to a furry, pointed ear. "Banana cream pie."

~I much prefer the key lime, but to each his own. Banana cream pie then.~ The cat stood and walked by the Blue One, sitting in a place that would allow him to give an ear towards the cellar and an eye on the man.

Locke followed Silas' gaze to the cellar as well, before turning back. Only his eyes reflected the surprise that he had otherwise managed to tamp down on his face and in his speech. "You're not quite what you seem, are you, Silas?" Locke paused briefly, to sip from his flute, before returning his attention to the feline. "Why are you talking to me?"

The smile could be heard through his voice, wide if he had a human face to look upon. ~I've taken a liking to you.~ Far as answering that he was more than he seemed, well - that was obvious.

Locke smirked at Silas, bemusement evident in his tone. "Oh? And why is that? Certainly there are far more interesting blokes and birds out there than little old me." There was definitely a touch of false modesty in what he said. He knew that he was unique, and that others knew he was unique. His bare hand went up to sweep over his spiked-up locks of white hair.

~Far more modest... blokes... as well, but few that venture into this realm.~ His head canted, hearing Izira nearing the stairs. ~Question is, are you the type who can keep a secret, Blue One?~

He looked almost insulted at the insinuation he thought Silas was making, putting his hand over his heart for a moment. "Can I keep a secret? I wouldn't have been a very good thief if I couldn't." Locke pretended to zip his lips shut, grinning when he was done with the gesture. "Your secret is safe with me, mate."

~Very good. Not a word to the Lady.~ The Feline said, hopping down from the bar and nudging the kitchen door open to vanish behind it, just as Izira was starting to appear in the cellar door.

A box carried with her, an apologetic smile to Locke. "I should have checked the inventory before venturing down there." Setting the unopened box on the bartop, she shut the trapdoor to the cellar once more.

He had been expecting Silas to say more to him, but once he saw Izira come upstairs, and ran the cat's words through his head once more, he realized what the secret was. He grabbed the glass and gulped down a large amount of what was in the glass, feeling the cold sensation slide down his throat and into his gut. A pleased sigh escaped his lips, as she set the box on the bar. "No worries, mate."

A glance around, not spying the feline. She supposed it was just as well. A smile to Locke, as the box was slid towards him. "Feel up to working on the lanterns? Your room is still available with an added amenity of an 'ice' bath option." Only took a few days that, and a few... mishappenings. It was fixed now, at least.

Locke polished off the rest of his drink, and then smiled his dimpled smile at Izira. "Certainly, mate. I have no hard and fast plans for tomorrow." He stood up, bending over to pick up his messenger bag and drape it over his shoulder. "Will we be breakfasting on fresh fruits again in the morning? He started to head toward the front door, stopped suddenly to look over his shoulder her. "Ready, mate?" He would not step outside until she had gone first, and he had held the door for her. Even injured, he wanted to be chivalrous.
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Izira Nyte
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:31 pm

Izira's Journal from Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ten more days and it would have been a full month without checking in with myself. Where does the time go? Alain is still up to his business, working for men better not further mentioned. Part of his cover involves him playing mate to other woman. I put my trust in him and believe he will not hurt me. Silas remains disgusted but at least he has stopped talking to me about it...mostly.

Locke has been for a visit, several times. Last night we finally made good on the idea to create ice lanterns with living flame visuals within. They are beautiful. I am still amazed at what we were able to create together. Though, I do not think that my pride half compares to that of Locke’s. We made enough, I let him take one back with him along with the bottle of liquor I gifted to him.

It was odd, he questioned me as to why I would give him such a gift and even now I am not completely sure. I told him it was because he was a friend to me, but even the truth in that answer does not seem to cover it. Am I a giving person? These thoughts awaken more questions within me, about my own willingness or need to sacrifice myself for others in one way or another. There’s an itch that echoes deep inside of me, demanding to be scratched. I don’t know what will satiate this undefined but persistent need. Silas is no help, he only told me cryptically that either I would find my answer or my answer would find me.

He is up to something, but I don’t know what.

Eva is gone. She sent me a letter telling me she would be away for a while. This was several days ago, perchance her return approaches. With luck she will come to visit me.

Until then, I wait.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:32 pm

((Saturday May 24, 2008 - Afternoon))

The tick of time passing was an aggravating sound to Izira’s ears. Every passing moment she sat there at the bar was wasted. When she got up and moved, attended to the tasks she had to do, she felt no better by it. What was it? She had been doing this dance for years without feeling this way. Even with the occasional takeover of her mind through the power of the flames, she had never felt this ache of a pendulum swinging back and forth above her. What was different?

~Alain.~

Amber-brown irises flicked towards the cat. Silas sat perched just around the corner of the stairs, watching her as he was half-hidden from her view. There was a flicker of flame in her eyes and in response she felt Silas’ amusement in her mind.

~I forget, how are things going with your little dicktective’s job?~

“Not a lot going on.” She responded, already knowing the cat knew she had no details. The muscles worked at the back of her mouth, she tried to force her teeth away from the tight grit they were developing.

~No mention of who he’s working with, what plans he is making, what meetings he’s made?~

“No.” Izira felt her anger rising. It couldn’t get the better of her anymore, but she was fueling it on herself. Eyes becoming brighter with the flames, she forced herself to look elsewhere. Towards the walls, towards the trinkets of time and other realms, into the silence that had been stretching and starting to slowly suffocate her.

There was no response. Heartbeats passed by and when Izira looked up the cat was gone. Again, she tried to ease the tension in her jaw. She leaned back in her tending stool, nails stroking against the fine grain of the counter top of the bar. Slowly she took in her surroundings, the inn as it had always been. There were no towering walls…no stone prison had been erected about her as she slept. But still, she was being hidden away one way or another and it was starting to grate her, right against that itch that had crept and awoken inside of her.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:36 pm

((Wednesday May 28, 2008 - Night))

It is night, and Alain walks in. He is dressed lightly for a nice summer evening. A silent sigh escapes his lips as he passes through the door, and he begins to look around, footsteps slowing.

The lady was not in sight. Truly she wasn't even there. Hadn't been for a while and the sense of the inn was of a lack from that presence. The inn was not empty however. At the bar sat a man. Six foot four when he stood straight, though for now he had an elbow to the bar top and leaned against it. A pipe of dark wood held in his other hand. He was a man built like a redwood tree, tall and thick and solid. His hair walnut brown, touched with golden copper. The short hair of his head slightly curled. It reached down the sides of his face and around his chin and mouth, building a beard of medium thickness. Bright green eyes danced from a face that was a youthful look thirties. He wore a white shirt that was untucked over tan pants, sandals worn upon his feet left his toes exposed. "The lady's out." The man said after a pause, by the time he voice it - it was probably already apparent.

"So I saw," he admits, but doesn't explain it. The man looks familiar, but he can't place it. He looks around a little more, and then back at him, shrugging his backpack down to the crook of his elbow. "Do you know where she went?"

"To escape from everything that isn't giving her what she wants." He said with a smile and a quiet chuckle to himself. He, of course, was one to be accounted in that group. But not the only one. He brought the pipe to his lips and took a sucking puff, blowing out smoke in the form of an 'o.'

He's about to thank him and head out, but he doesn't get the answer he expects. He raises his eyebrows at the man. "...Alright. Who are you?" Ironically enough, the man's arrogance rankles him a little.

"Occupant of the inn, sir." Standing up to his full height with the pipe in his mouth. He removed it after taking a few steps foreword and looking at the other. The pipe was pointed towards him, "What is it, you think, that women want?" His tone seemed genuinely curious, whether for the answer in general or Alain's personal view was unclear.

"Depends on the woman," he answers, believing this to be the Gospel truth. "But I'd say the best of them want love."

"Love." The man repeated with an amused tone. His pipe went thoughtfully back into his mouth and his attention moved towards the various items Izira had left on display on the shelves around the common room. "It is the idea of love, not love, women go after." Turning back towards the man, he waved off any forthcoming response to that comment. His voice becoming pointed in his next question, "Is the lady out there looking for love?"

He almost answers that he should hope not unless it's at his place, but stops himself. There are other things to protect - namely, Izira. "Who are you?"

He watched the man a moment and then bowed his head with a cant. "Call me Jeremiah." The pipe taken away from his mouth as he introduced himself and returned when he was righted again.

"Alain," he replies, though he suspects this man already knows. And as he hasn't figured out he’s speaking to the human form of a feline called Silas, he doesn't say what's on his mind. "I couldn't tell you what she's looking for. All I know, it could be the groceries." Suspecting this conversation might take long, he finds a place to lean and light a cigar.

Pipe taken from his mouth, he tapped the mouth piece in the air near him. "The lady is looking for peace."

He aches. It breaks his poker face when he does, for just a moment, and he rubs at the back of his neck as he quickly covers it back up. "Funny, that - me too." He shifts in his lean, arms folded across his chest. "You and the lady talk a lot, then?"

Pipe back in his mouth, he gave a nod to the question. A slow, easy nod of conceding that the man had it correct. Then he blew out another 'o' in the smoke. "Do you know why the lady is unsettled?" His green eyes watching the smoke ring rise into the air.

"I have a theory or two," he answers elusively, still playing the game a little. He wonders how he can word it without giving it away. "...But I think—I hope—if she hangs in there, it'll turn out alright in the end. Things have a way of changing."

He gave a solemn nod, then another. He considered it aloud. "Theory." Taking several slow steps, that put him looking away from the man at an angle. Without turning around he stated, "I have fact."

"I'm listening." He finds a place to tap his cigar.

Jeremiah turned his attention towards the silver bird cage. It was empty, but unlike other times, the door was shut—keeping the ravens from returning to it. "What would you call a woman who lived in a castle, did only as she was told and knew only what others sought fit to tell her?"

"...She's not the only prisoner," he mutters around his cigar, narrowing his eyes at the man.

Then man turned towards Alain, amused. "Is it your interest to hear what I have to say or to talk about yourself?"

"Get fucked," Alain says plainly to him. "You already have your conclusions, so stop pretending we're discussing your argument and tell them to me."

"I do have my conclusions." He said stepping to the bar, the pipe settled into a clean ash tray. "But I would give you a history lesson first." He cut behind the bar and took down a bottle of good whiskey with a singular stout glass. "Not everything begins and ends with you."

"I didn't come here for a lesson from a poor teacher, and I certainly didn't come here to get lessons about myself," he says to him, a bit heatedly. "And I still don't know just who the fuck you are to say all this, so I've only got so much to offer..." He points with his cigar. "So if it's all the same to you, I'll be leaving."

He poured his drink completely calm. If there was heat in the words the other spoke they did not seem to reach him beyond their meaning. Without looking up from his slow steady pour, the man said, "I have been with the lady for nearing eleven years. I know everything about her." Setting down the whiskey bottle on the bar top. "If you want to be wise, you'll listen. I was not speaking metaphorically about castles." He moved towards the ice box, taking out a single cube and placing it into the poured liquor as he finished his comment.

He stops Alain, for the time being. He lowers his backpack again and resumes his lean, but says nothing. The man doesn't seem like a spy...

Good. He had the man's attention. "A girl in a castle, who only does what she is told and only knows what was deemed worth her knowing. How to dress, how to cook, how to play music and sing, how to please a man." He paused there, sure to have gotten the other's attention with that word. Continuing his list, his words became touched with a darker tone, "How to serve, how to feel, how to think." He looked up towards the ceiling. "What would you call a girl such as that? One man called her Pet." His eyes lowering towards Alain. "There is quite the gap in your history of the lady."

It hurts him, though he doesn't play it, as he knows strongly the other won't care. "I know you said to listen... but I think it's important you know I don't want to do that to Izira." Half of the ache, though, is the simple knowledge that this happened to her at all. "...Who did this to her?"

"A man. A dead man. Who he was is not important, only that he was." Jeremiah lifted his glass and took a drink, enjoying the taste. Then he set the glass down on the bar. "A scar. A memory. A slow suffocation she feels while trapped in these walls, kept away from those she would be with and unaware of anything that is going on. If I told you the lady was back with that man, working on some ploy to stop him at his game and then told you it was going 'well'.... would that satisfy you?"

He's forgotten his cigar, and starts just in time to catch falling ash and brush it away into the ashtray. Waves of emotion roll under the surface, but he keeps it under control. "...No... it wouldn't. If she couldn't be stopped from her mission, I'd want to know more than 'well' or 'poorly'." And then, suddenly, he lets out a short laugh and looks at the man. "Goddamnit, Silas, I thought you were a spy at first."

A snort. And his voice took on a dark thread, "A spy could not find his way here." His tone implied that the person would find much worse before setting foot near the inn. He picked up his drink once more, "I told you, call me Jeremiah."

"...Good to know, Jeremiah," he says, to the bit about the spy. He sets the cigar back between his teeth, looks the man up and down once more, marveling silently at the ability of shapeshifting, in spite of his own little newfound skill... and then returns to the prior conversation. "Do you think I can set things right?"

"No, Alain, I do not." He leaned on the bar, speaking frankly to the man. "You smell of women, their scents on you reek of lust. I'm not saying you are with all of these women, but you're not just shaking their hands either."

"You've given me a history lesson... an important one. I'd like to give you one as well, much more recent, pretty brief." He then gestures to the bottle. "Mind if I have a glass?"

"Have your say if you think it will change my mind." He took down a glass and put it before Alain, "Need you any ice?"

"Two cubes, please."

Moving to the ice box, two cube were taken and put into the glass. With the glass before Alain, Jeremiah leaned against the counter with his palms at the edge of the bar. A nod indicated Alain to have his say.

He pours slowly, screws the cap back onto the bottle, and takes a sip. "The law firm I've infiltrated - run by demons, and that's not just a jab at lawyers - would not have trusted my behavior in the year that preceded this past March. Relative to how I normally was, I behaved. I was with one woman, and even when the relationship failed, I remained with one woman. I refused contracts that morally offended me, no matter how much money they involved, and worked for free when it was something I believed in." A rattle of the glass before he sips again. "Not the kind of man DCH would hire as their chief of security... so the Bloods, my allies, made certain... changes, to the surface of my psyche. Read my thoughts if you're able, and unless you dig very deep, you will find alternating thoughts about indulging greed, lust, and a hunger for power. Someone they think they can control and who will have no qualms working for them. ...Sounds easy enough, but it isn't. DCH has eyes in the Red Dragon Inn—image orbs, constantly gathering information—and they've been fed information I keep a cadre of women, and I need the lawyers' money they pay me with to keep my cadre happy. So women in the know have been playing as casual lovers in public, while they mean nothing in private." He takes a drag of his cigar again, and frowns. "If these men knew what Izira meant to me, they'd use her against me. They might try to kill her, or worse."

The rest of the information was taken in and considered. A nice answer, all wrapped up. Though, it didn't completely explain the lust of those women he picked up on and what measured as 'nothing' to Alain. All of that was ignored for his last comment, which made him smile and chuckle. With the same knowing voice he had used when referring to spies getting to the inn, if less dark, he said, "They might try."

He rubs at the back of his neck. "...That's not a gamble I'm willing to take with her. They might fail, they might succeed. Izira's powerful, but so are these men. Even if somehow she was resistant to all possible harm by DCH... the case would fall apart if the community caught wind of who I really am, and it would put an entire network in serious danger." He gestures with his cigar again. "The demons keep blood contracts... they've bound the souls of innocent men and women... and my mission won't be over until every last soul has been set free. It's the right and just thing to do and it'll break their power on top of it all."

He scratched his beard, bright green eyes kept on Alain. His tone was casual. "Souls of innocent men and women." Deep irises waiting for how the other would respond.

"The fact that the one name I know personally is a woman is irrelevant," he replies simply, folding his arms. "I don't know what you're taking from all this, Jeremiah... but it's a sense of duty, not a sense of lust. ...Frankly, I'm not sure I'll survive it."

Again, he considered silently. That he was thinking was obvious. His drink lifted and drained, he moved to place the empty vessel into the back bar sink. A he did so, without looking at Alain, he asked. "If I asked you to leave Izira, would you?" It was a curious question, wondering how much resistance would be met.

"I would not," he replies simply.

A nod given, he turned back around towards Alain. "I could blackmail you." The tone was simple, factual. Words stated as if the idea wasn't new to him, but there was hesitation as well. A desire to not have to take that route. "It would be better, however, if we could come to an agreement instead."

He pauses at the mention of blackmail. Were he an animal, his hackles would rise and he'd begin to growl, but fortunately those instincts remain dormant. But Jeremiah continues, and Alain takes a slow sip of his drink. He decides not to mention the blackmail. "What kind of agreement?"

"I will refrain from being a thorn in your side and give you a chance to keep the lady in your life, if you make two sacrifices of your own. I cannot watch you beyond this realm, what you decided here and now with me will speak levels of your character and how far you will go for her." Moving to stand once against closer to the bar, his bright green eyes studying Alain as a negotiator would watch the calculating felon—waiting to see if he'd lower his gun or continue to resist.

Again, he has to bite something back, but he pushes Jeremiah in the direction he's most curious about - "Let's hear this deal."

Leaning forward on the bar, speaking frankly with Alain. "It's the bond. It works to keep the fire from overwhelming her, but something that happened that day made it unnatural. It isn't good for her, isn't what it should to be." He titled his head towards Alain, hoping he was paying attention—close attention—to what he was saying. "Two things I want from you. First, I want you to give me your okay to block you're being able to use that bond to get into her mind. This is a kindness and a cruelty to you."

He remains silent... nodding a fraction, to say that he's listening, though he does not necessarily agree.

"Second, when the time comes, I want you to surrender the bond to another." He stopped, gave Alain a considering look.

There is a long pause. He rubs at the back of his neck with his thumb, then looks back up at him and asks, "Why?"

"Two reasons. One, I'm still not fond of you. These two sacrifices force you to work harder not to let the lady slip from your grasps—and I tell you—she is slipping. Second, it is what Izira needs. A natural bond, one that her gift benefits from." In his voice, the scales tipped closer to doing what was best for Izira over what made things difficult for Alain.

"You've brought up the reason I don't trust you." He taps his cigar. "You're not fond of me. This whole thing could be one big ploy to split the two of us up. You've mentioned blackmail... a lie wouldn't be such a big leap, you have to admit. I want to be with Izira, and if she does indeed need to be helped, I will help her... but I didn't survive this long in the business by throwing my trust around carelessly."

"Lies to do not suite me, Alain. I am a creature of truth. The truth is not always pretty, but it is real." A grave nod. He turned to the side, hands clasped behind his back. His body rocked in thought. "I'm not the bad guy Alain. I'm not even a bad guy. My sole interest is to do what is best for Izira. Consider my words, consider if you find a chance for the two of you to be together. There is. Nothing comes easy, but with effort... " Tapping his hands together he turned towards Alain, "And even if it is a ploy to split you two up, Alain... consider which is more important: your desire to keep her, or my desire to make her whole again. You say this business you're up to involves saving souls? Very well, so does mine."

There are half a dozen things he'd like to say to what he's said, but again, his parting remark has him curious. "Dealing in truths can get us pretty far. You have my attention."

One hand was one the bar. His eyes upon Alain. Inwardly he measured how much to say, how much he could say. Thick solid fingers drew invisible lines on the bar top as he thought. A yielding nod finally given before he spoke. "This realm has been home to many lost souls. Souls in bodies worn and broken from various histories. Taken in and sheltered but unable to completely heal that which had been broken. Time passes between those who come into this realm and in the time between we sit in dust and wait for another chance to become whole, to be freed. Izira is the host now. Her fractured soul is mingled with the realm, tied to us. If she can pull out of it—become whole—the cycle will cease. It is in our best interest that Izira finds that wellness." His voice was somber, tired. The time he has existed wearing on him more than anything else could. He knew they could be close, he also knew that everything could be lost just as easily.

He lets out a long, quiet sigh, taking it all in and processing it. He lets a silence hang over the room, and he's looking out across the room as he speaks. "I'll do it. But I think we need to be honest with Izira... at least about the second part of our agreement, if not the first." He shuts his eyes, massaging the bridge of his nose. "I feared the bond for so long... but once it was established, I grew to love it... I do not think she will take the idea well."

"When the time comes for the second part, we can discuss what should and should not be shared with the lady." Inwardly it was his hope that it would fall out in such a way so as not to be obvious. "Let us refrain from burning bridges we haven't reached. You agree to my first term?"

Part of him still doesn't trust Jeremiah. "...Reluctantly." He looks over at him. "My brain's been addled enough already these past few months, I'm not looking forward to any more of it."

It was agreement enough for him, Jeremiah held out his hand. "Then let us shake on it."

He finds the offer odd, and if experience means anything, something odd will happen upon the handshake. He stares at his hand before he offers his own for a firm shake. "Deal."

It was a firm shake, indeed. But there was nothing to be felt. He wasn't a man of show. The block was set, simple as that, and the only thing that would really give it away would be the lack of it in Izira's presence. Jeremiah offered another concession, "The lady has taken a job tending at a place known as The Great Helm. If you wish to find her, I suggest you try there."

He nods his thanks... and then moves away to collect his backpack. "...You know... I should look into a new line of work. The business of freeing souls doesn't really agree with me." Pack hoisted over his shoulder.

"Try doing it as long as I have." was his tired reply.

"How long?" he asks curiously.

"The span of forty-seven lives." Said as he picked up the bottle at the bar and put at away.

He raises his eyebrows. "Like I said. New line of work." Cigar clenched between his teeth again, he exits.

Moving to the bar and picking up the man's abandoned glass. He held it in hand as the other left. Once the door was shut behind him, he spoke. "Good luck Detective." Then set the glass in the back sink. Perhaps Alain had won him over a little.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:43 pm

[[June 2008]]

The days had gone by, hadn't they? It seemed so long ago since she had been at her home, feeling unrest growing beneath her skin. Silas had given her nothing, nor had Alain with the business of his current case. It progressed, nothing happened yet. What was that supposed to mean? Anger and annoyance had driven her from her home, if people didn't want to include her in their plans she would just withdraw herself from it. It had worked for a while, in a way. The Great Helm had offered solace. Peace. The slow and more often empty than not inn had become a place for her to get away from her troubles, serving there as a tender. It was like home, yet not. Quite, the patronage sparse but she was free of those binds that were slowly closing in. She had seen Rena there, met a friend of hers who had told an amusing tale. She had seen Locke once, but the visit had left her saddened. Then Alain had come... she hadn't really expected that. He was busy. Rarely going out to see her, his time there spent more in physical pursuits than telling her anything of his days. But he came with an apology ready, and again when Izira felt everything start to sway the sea was suddenly settled. Everything would be alright. It was something she was telling herself.

Peace was about her as she sat on the small wooden bench in the park, placed within a little alcove of sheltering trees and blossoming flowers. She had brought along a quarter loaf of bread and was scattering the crumbs about for little birds that gathered near her feet. The breeze in the air carried her hair to brush against her face. A calm and settled look fixed within amber-brown eyes. Her top was black, off the shoulders with a stretched-wide v-cut collar. A twist at the center accenting the dip between her breasts. The skirt was a deep charcoal gray, covering her leg down to the knees. A short slit to either side. Black closed-toe heels finished the outfit. In the days that have passed since leaving her home, her eating habits had not been what it should. It was starting to show, however slightly, the weight she was losing. Not enough to be alarming, but noticeable still.


Alain's smoking. In public he's done everything to keep his cards close to the chest, show his hand to no one, but in public and private he has been going through about half a pack a day or more. His black tie is loosened over a white shirt, top button undone, and while his grey slacks look classy, he appears tired and disheveled. When he sees Izira sitting there in the park, feeding the birds, his heart twists. Attempting to reassure himself, tell himself it's for the best, anything of that nature is meaningless at this point. He knows what he's decided to do, and with his hands in his pockets, he makes his way towards her.

It is the movement that catches her eye, turning her attention from the birds towards whoever might be joining her in the park. She had not been expecting Alain, but it looked to be a pleasant surprise. "Alain..." Speaking his name, that one word carried the love she had for him. It showed further in her eyes. For whatever doubts festered when he was away, they fled like shadows from the sun in his presence. She stood to meet him, the remainder of the quarter loaf set aside on the bench.

"Hey..." He smiles, a touch, and draws closer. There is a sadness and hesitation in his face, and a few feet from her, he breathes a sigh. "I... I'm afraid I have some news that I don't think you'll like..." The smile fades in a moment to a frown.

Her smile falters, steps stopping her at a distance from him. Concern etched its way across her face, but she couldn't find the words to ask him what he wanted to say. Only waited for him to say it.

He removes the cigarette from his lips, held carefully as he rubs two fingers into the back of his neck for a few seconds. "I looked for several ways around it, and couldn't find any... it's come down to a matter of life or death." He scoped out the park as he entered, so he speaks freely. "As part of the case, there is a woman I will be unable to fake it with, who I will have to sleep with."

She stilled further, blinked. Looking at him again like she couldn't get him into focus and then looking away.

Alain looks at her when she turns her head, and cannot help but think in passing that she is still beautiful when she is angry. He looks away as well, after that particular thought, and puts the cigarette back between his lips. "I'm sorry. I know it hurts you... and there's nothing I can do to stop it."

"Who is she?" She had known, she had been warned that it might happen, but really she hadn't thought it would... that it could.

"Lisa Jefferies. Her soul is bound to the lawyers. They read her mind and nearly killed her the other day, and it... complicated things." He's staring at a few children playing out in front of a house about a hundred yards distant.

"You haven't told me of her before..." She turned her eyes back towards him. "Why do you have to..." She couldn't even form the words. They felt like bile rising in her throat.

"She was assigned to sleep with me and gain inside information for the lawyers. I had hoped to find some way to fake it, but she refused to cooperate with anyone, and I didn't see her again for a while. Thought she was a non-issue, and had other things to think about... But Mister Howe disliked her disobedience, and had 'ridden her soul' to watch our conversations. He..." He begins to describe exactly what had been done to Lisa, and thinks better of it. "...he tortured her, and left her to me. I had her healed, and looked at every alternative I could imagine, put my heads together with powerful mages... There was no other alternative but to heal her, and tell her everything we knew before Howe figured out she was alive and started soul-riding again. I'll have to sleep with her, and also spread disinformation to Howe through her." His brow furrows deeply.

She tried to wrap her mind around his words, a bit of bitterness now that he hadn't really kept her up to pace. Now it felt like everything was out of control. She had hoped to be his silent partner, not just in general... but for help and guidance. Now a choice had been made. He had talked to others... he hadn't spoken to her but to let her know. There was moisture in her eyes, turning away again to keep it from showing. "But... she knows... it... doesn't mean anything?"

He shuts his eyes, tilting his head back towards the heavens. "...It honestly depends on how much or little she cooperates in terms of working against Mister Howe." The deception of an honest and innocent person. He wants to scream, but he merely tightens his lips instead.

Her head tilted backwards, eyelids closing and chasing out the tears that ran swiftly down her cheeks. A few escaping, before she managed to bottle it down. The force of emotion grew beneath that forced block and she worked to keep it at bar, unable to find her voice to reply to him.

"I think this case has turned me into a monster," he admits quietly. "I..." He considers, and turns back to her, looking at her. "I don't know when this great big awful mess is going to be over, and I don't even know if I'll be alive when it's through. And this whole time you're waiting, staying out of my way in the public eye, watching your step when that burden should only be on me... and getting hurt by all of it."

Her head sunk forward, a tremor running through her body. In her mind she walked the paths where his words could lead. He was going to be with another, was there worse news to come? Pulling her head up, she turned towards him again. The pain drawn clearly on her face and in her eyes. She swallowed hard and another tear fell free of the growing well in her eye.

"I can't ask you to wait for things to get better anymore... because I don't know that they will. I'd like to say that once this case is over, I can free myself of every obligation and let go of my desire to get involved, and give you what you deserve... but I don't want to lie to you, Izira."

She tried to give him a hopeful smile, but it wavered and died quickly. "Alain..." It was a weak plea, hardly making it over the lump that had grown. Several more tears slipping away.

The aching frown returns to his face, and he drops the cigarette, putting it out underfoot. "I can't do this to you anymore, Izira. I'm sorry."

That was it. There wasn't more to say about. The lump hardened into a rock, sinking from her throat to her stomach. He was walking away. The tears in her eyes vanished under the sudden flare of brightness. Pain vanished from her face and all that was left was a resolved mask. She stepped towards him, a hand going out to find that ring that hid their bond. Unaware of the block that had been put on his end, her gift seared into the ring and broke the bond between them. Now what had been blocked but was still there was entirely gone, a void. Her hand remained above the ring. "Fine."

He looks at her for a long moment, words threatening to bubble forth, a range of anguished emotions in the face of her cold resolve, an ability he'd always prided himself in. His eyes flicker around her, and then back to her fiery gaze, and the only words he can find are, "I'm sorry. " He looks at her another moment as he takes one step back, then another... then turns around and walks away, hands returning to his pockets.

The fire was alive inside of her. There was too much. Pain a living thing that twisted with the fire that became more and more powerful within her. Bond broken, she had it all once more. She had accepted that. Madness would be a welcomed bedfellow to her broken heart. Eyes gazing unseeing at his retreat. So be it.

((Tegan and Sara - Call it Off))
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:44 pm

[[June 2008]

Izira slept…

Ice surrounded her, skin going numb as the magic touched element sunk deeper into her flesh. Everything she’d known was gone, done with her. She’d been abandoned. She accepted the cold to fill the void she felt inside. She sat for days, surrendered to the icy encasement. Eventually indignation won out. How dare He. How dare He leave her like this. How dare He leave here to die when she had only ever done everything He wanted her to. Fire had taken over then, erupting through her and the block of ice. Torn asunder, ice flew everywhere only to melt in a matter of moments within the consuming heat. No mercy. There would never be mercy for the man that betrayed her. All He held dear would be left in ruins. She would accept nothing less than his slow death.

Time.

Memories.

Freedom.

A new betrayal.

Izira had reclaimed the potential of her gift to overwhelm her once more, drive her to madness, all for the sake of destroying the bond that held her to Alain. He wanted to walk away? She would not allow him to take anything of her with him.

Anger came first.

Ice came later.

It came seeping from forgotten parts of her, a chilly comforting companion. It didn’t come to fill hollowness, but to cover the pain that heartbreak had left in its wake. When it came, it brought her from rest. The cold tickled her, mingling with the natural fire gifted to her at birth. They were opposing elements, working as one within her… protecting her.

Watching an outspread hand, Izira felt waves of searing heat and freezing cold pulse over her skin.

She smiled, though it did not reach her eyes.

This was new… and yet… not unwanted.
Last edited by Izira Nyte on Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:45 pm

[[June 2008]]

Morning light filtered through the window in the small room Izira had taken up. Almost three weeks had gone by since she left her realm with no thought on returning. She had only wanted release, freedom from the plots of men that were too big to bother with giving her details. Kept at a distance all for what? Safety? The soft light played over her skin, flesh fitted tighter to her body than it had before she fled. Her right hand lifted closer to the window, wrapped in white bandages that were spotted with blood. More blood then there should have been, if she hadn’t been flexing it all night. Her fingers wiggled and only the slightest pain remained in the hand. Izira wondered how her hand looked under the dressing, but didn’t bother to remove it. Perhaps if she ran into… her mind fogged, the name dancing out of grasp. With effort she recalled after a while of thinking, Kacey. Not her actual name, a nickname. But that was the woman who bandaged her hand. There was something else that the woman had said, something about Izira going home. No, she was not going back there.

Silas was there, with his silence games. Alain was not there, but that village of his was. The thought of it prickled her skin with irritation. The thought of Alain made her teeth clench and anger filtered through her. He had been there last night, talking to some woman. Flirting. There was no remorse in his eyes, no care. Her gifts had gotten the better of her, breaking down the integrity of the glass she was holding in a death grip until it shattered under the pressure of her silent rage. He fled and was followed by yet another woman. Was it really all for her safety? She was starting to think not. When she could think, when her thoughts weren’t so fuzzy and hard to reach. Broken glass punctured her hand, pain only slightly rooting her thoughts in the moment. It had been unintentional. Perhaps a bottle would have been better. Perhaps a bottle wouldn’t have broken. Of a surety, a bottle would have kept the vodka tunneling into her system without need of pesky refills. That was the game. Drink enough that the liquor got ahead of the fire. Drink enough so she could actually feel it, for a moment at least. No luck.

Everything from the previous night felt distant, like a dream she was recalling from so many ages ago. There was a woman, Piper, who was friends with Eva… but how long had it been since Eva had been seen? Cassandra was there, offering tea and sage advice on what to do with the hand. Izira had ignored the tea, the advice wasn’t needed as the other woman had already started to tend to the hand. Could I hurt her? Izira had wondered of Cassandra. Would Alain have told her anything of us? Or did he keep his little secret well tucked away? No, hurting Cassandra would not make Izira feel any better. The lady had never done anything cruel to her. Izira knew she might have done worse in return. Of course, she was paying for it now, wasn’t she? Rena had also been through, but Izira hand was wrapped and she was ready to go. Not home, though. She was going back to The Great Helm to work a few hours into the night, catering to the slow gathering of dust upon unused surfaces.

It hadn’t happened that way, no quite. A man had come in. Vinny—of a reputation that did not precede him. He was friendly enough, mildly flirtatious. Izira didn’t like that he complimented her face and considered what damage she could do to it. It would be a pointless attempt, however. The scars would never stay. The other annoyance lingering at the back of her mind was that she still recalled being goaded by Pryce to throw a party at The Great Helm so as to bring more people in. That, on various levels, was not a task she wanted. It was also something she would do anyway, because business meant work… work meant a job… and having a job meant never having to go back to her realm again. She fixed Vinny his drinks, she gave a disinterested ear, and she drank water while waiting for her shift to end. It ended and she came back to her quiet little room in the city.

She felt the fire, so much of it once more, roaring within. The ice helped calm it, but not greatly. Izira knew it was only a matter of time before she started to completely lose her mind again. Blackouts, random fires, becoming a stranger to herself… how long until it all started to happen again? This time Izira would not look for a hero. This time Izira would handle it herself.

One way or another...

Lady Death would see things through.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:51 pm

[[June 2008]]

Alain is deep in the woods right now, a compass in one hand, Jean's leash in the other, and a rifle over his shoulder. After he first realized the way to the inn had been "lost," he decided it best to be prepared, and is trying to make his way to the Forgotten Layers heading west, with a road running north-south for miles to his east as his means of finding his way back. Jean appears on edge, ears high, nose twitching rapidly, knowing instinctively that something is wrong with the forest. It's dying, and while Alain cannot feel it the same way Jean does, he can see it all around him.

Indeed, the trees were weakened. A number of them have gone grey with death, barren branches reaching in unheard pleas. The way to the inn was lost. Not even the compass would guide him there, for tears had a way of sending people away from where they weren't wanted. Izira's will, even with her gone, outweighed all others. Jeremiah sensed him, though. Plodding around through the woods with his dog and a gun. It had been weeks since Izira's flight from the realm. About the same amount of time since he had spoken with Alain. The logical reasoning would be that Alain did something. The man came like the wind, one moment nothing and the next he was walking down on the man. Bright green eyes alive with fury. His un-tucked white shirt fell over tan pants, sandals worn on his large feet. He seemed almost larger than he had the first time. His walnut brown hair with copper tones in disarray. Even the beard looked hectic. "What did you do?" He demanded in a growl.

Jean lowers his head and begins to growl, but Alain gives his leash a tug. He doesn't move for either weapon (honestly worried about bears or random monsters), but a revolver is still at his hip within easy reach. "What I deemed necessary for her well-being." He looks around at the trees, and then back at Jeremiah. "Given you suggested it yourself at one point, I did not think breaking off the relationship would result in... this... but she dissolved the bond almost immediately."

"I suggested breaking off the relationship, aye. I did not suggest you break her in the process." A hand moving out to the surrounded woods, proof that something was wrong. Then his hand came back to him as his eyes darken. His words low, "What did you do?"

"I told her I might have to sleep with another woman at the beginning of our relationship, for the sake of my undercover work. That time came... and I realized keeping her in my life like this would only hurt her more." He looks around at the woods again and back at Jeremiah. "I did not anticipate a break-up would be her total unraveling... If I had, I probably wouldn't have done it."

He paused, his eyes taking in Alain. "You... told her. You told her you were going to sleep with someone else and then broke up with her." His tone a harsh cut, he might as well have been calling Alain an idiot. "You idiot!" Taken care of then.

"Only so much a man can do with a situation like that, Jeremiah - my hands were tied." In spite of what rolls under the surface, he is keeping a cool expression, the light in his eyes extinguished. "This," he gestures to the woods, "had become an inevitability, in hindsight. The longer I'd waited, the worse it would have been. Imagine what would have happened had I waited until after the case was resolved, to tell her I wouldn't recover? The realm probably would've burst into flame."

"Longer you waited? Why even take her in the first place? Now she's gone and I can't leave to get her back her. You... You... will get her back here." Jeremiah didn't care about Alain's excuses or thoughts or feelings or anything about the man except to fix what was wronged and beyond his reach.

"Because I thought I still had a chance," he answers plainly, and gives Jean's leash another tug to bring him back under control. "I can't promise anything - she didn't seem too keen on the idea of being here with you before we broke up, and she's not likely to do what I tell her. But I'll do what I've always done..." He begins to walk away, though backwards so he can look at him. "Scheme. Deceive. Sooner or later, there'll come a way to send her back here."

"Sooner, Alain. Not later." His voice carrying the tone of a warning. Time was not on their side.

He pauses, sensing the urgency in his voice. "I'll do what I'm able... but I'm little more able of bringing her back here than you are, Jeremiah." Then he turns his back on the man, disappearing into the woods with Jean.

Calling after him, "I don't care if you drag her back half dead. You get her back here!" Though no response came in return.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:52 pm

[[June 2008 - Original Post made by Alain]]

Alain took the next step almost immediately, as soon as he arrived back in RhyDin and formulated a plan.

A letter. Correspondence was the only safe way to do it. His heart would not twist out of the knot it had been in all afternoon and would not let him think, but a few glasses of scotch relaxed him and sped the process while his other hand hovered over an empty page, pen held loosely.

One question after another came to his mind, and as always, he pushed each away, refusing to address it - for he knew the answers would not set him at ease in the least. Would it really have come to this anyway, without the case? Would he never recover from his "behavior shift" for his undercover work, as he now suspected? Would she ever recover from him?

Would Izira and the Forgotten Layers ever recover from him? He slapped his empty glass down on the desk with a thunk, his face twisted into a scowl as he rubbed at his forehead with shaky fingers. He had been foolish to ever try to begin with. Izira was a woman he thought he could save, one he thought needed saving, but he had opened her heart only to fail to protect her from himself, and the toll his work took on those around him.

He steadied his shaky right hand, propping his head up again, and spoke sternly to his empty study - "This isn't helping, Alain."

The detective considered a drink at the Red Dragon, to relax over a bloody mary, a cigarette, and his usual nightly 'recon,' and remembered that Locke would be on duty as the bartender.

His face relaxing by degrees, he put his pen to the page and wrote.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:55 pm

[[June 2008 - Original post made by Locke DeVestaio]]

Alain had slipped Locke a note while the ice elf was working his usual shift at the Red Dragon Inn that Wednesday, under the pretext (and hidden in a wad of paper money) that he had no silvers to pay for his drink. Locke had deftly palmed the piece of paper and slipped it in his pocket, waiting until his shift was over to read it. While he was changing out of his work outfit, he scanned the letter. And frowned. Izira was in great danger. Needed to return to the Forgotten Layers Inn? Why? Why did Alain care? How was he supposed to do that? He sighed, then returned to his routine. It looked like he would be going out once more this evening...

Rather than his two-tone, black and white outfit, Locke had worn a pale blue(nearly the color of his skin) with white vertical pinstripes button-up, a darker navy blue tie that had a white diamond pattern on it, and black trousers, belt, and dress shoes. There had been others present at the Great Helm as well: Zara, whom he'd seen earlier while tending; Erin, who was apparently taking a break from calling and working at the Stitch; Eva, the doctor who had tended his wounds when he had been shot in the Inn previously; and Lesty, that insufferable pink-haired vixen who had sullied his good name in print. And, of course, Izira, tending bar. Something...seemed off, though. So, on the pretext of conversing with Doc Eva about the scar on his hand, Locke asked her to join him in a booth to speak privately. He didn't pull the curtain closed, mainly because he wanted Izira and the other occupants of The Great Helm to see him actually pretending to talk about the scar. He slipped his right glove off, resting the hand on the table. The flesh was marred, with a ghost-white handprint that covered the top of his hand.

Eva took the seat across from him, angling so she didn't block the light. Leaning over to look at his hand, her own hand reached out towards him as if to touch it. "That's... unusual, Locke."

"Word of advice. If you ever find yourself face-to-face with a demon who is baying for your blood, don't ruck with him or her. Run. Like. Hell." He lowered his voice, leaning across the table, using his gloved left hand to shield his face from the rest of the bar. "That's not why we're here, though."

"We're not?" Her eyes moved away from the scar, to him, a brow lifted. "Oh..." Body turned somewhat away from the bar and towards the scar, looking back at it while waiting for him to speak further.

He held the right hand up, palm facing toward Eva. Having seen both sides, it would become quite clear what the scar was. It looked like someone with a very hot hand had grabbed hold of his own. The scar traveled under his pinky, ending in fingers a short ways into his palm. "I have been tasked with an important duty. Regarding her. You seem to be a good friend of hers, better than I am, so I figured that I would enlist your assistance."

She saw the scar fully, understood what it was. Finally getting that he's talking about Izira, she let out a quiet curse. "Jesus Christ... she's in trouble... isn't she?"

Locke kept a quiet tone as he continued, "I am not certain. All I have been told is that she needs to be...convinced to go home. Why she wouldn't want to, or why it's so bloody important that she do so, I haven't a tube." He stared at his hand, intently, as though that was still the topic under discussion.

She knew his hand would be cold, almost painful, to the touch. But she reached out to touch his hand gently, wanting to feel the shape of the scar. "Who told you? Who asked for your help?"
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:57 pm

[[June 2008 - Original post made by Locke DeVestaio]]

Where the flesh had been burnt and blackened previously, the pale blue-white scar that had replaced it was smooth and cold, but not frigid like the rest of his skin. It was only cold merely because of its proximity to that flesh, the truly magical nature of his chill weakened by the damage. She was able to touch it much longer than the rest of his skin. Even so, the old habits kicked in. He flinched at the touch. "I was specifically told not to tell anyone who gave me the note."

She stroked over the scar with her thumb, ignoring his discomfort. She'd touched him before, when she'd remove a bullet from his arm, so she can sense the change in temperature. "I don't like that kind of secrecy... as a rule... but... there's definitely something changed near her home... something... not good. Now that I've seen her though..." Eva's voice trailed off as she frowned. Then, gently pulling her hand from his, she looked up at him. "I don't know what I can do."

His eyes shut a little, looking down at his hand. He could add another person to the list of those who didn't seem to have a problem touching his skin. Although...this was a scar. This was slightly different. "I haven't been there in quite some time, honestly. I wouldn't have the foggiest what, if anything, is going barmy there." A sidelong glance, and a groan, as the pesky pink-haired girl seemed to be staring at their booth. Deciding against subtlety, he waved her off with his gloved left hand and successfully deflected her attention away. He murmured quietly, as he turned back to Eva. "Something is loused up, innit?"

She had followed his eyes but looked back to Locke before nodding. "Trees... looks like it's a drought or disease or something... but the winter was just fine, you know? Plus..." This part had her cheeks flushing, "Couldn't actually find the Inn. Got lost in the woods." She sighed and shrugged. "Thought it was just me." Shaking her head, she then leaned back in the booth. "This is my fault, I should have gone to see her as soon as I got back into town... then maybe at least I would have been there for her."

"I haven't tried to go there in quite some time. Haven't seen Izira in quite some time, now. Been so bloody busy with work and all that rigamorale." He shook his head, sighing softly to himself about some thought he was keeping quite hidden. "I've been a piss-poor mate to her. To a lot of people, but her especially, I suppose."

Eva cursed again, more viciously. "I could seriously kill that damn..." Just shaking her head, too angry to make the words come and too cautious to say something she might regret. She pushed a hand through her hair and let out a long breath. "I'll do what I can... I promise. Thank you... for telling me..." Nodding her head to Locke, and then looking back to the bar, as if she's ready to return in that direction.

He slipped the glove back onto his right hand, covering the blue-and-white skin and scar with black leather. He stood up from the booth, but did not look back towards the bar. "No worries, mate. We're all friends, right? You, me, Izira?" The slight cant of his head was accompanied by a questioning look.

She slid from the booth herself, looking back at Locke and then nodding to him. A faint smile formed on her lips. "Yeah... we are..." Nodding again, she then started in the direction of the bar.

Locke had known Eva was fairly close to Izira. He wasn't too close to the lady himself, though they had been decently friendly and had some deep conversations. Despite his charge, he knew he might not have the time to grab Izira and take her back home. That was why he told Eva about the note. With luck, having her help would take the pressure off of him. He waved at those gathered at the tavern, before he quietly walked toward the door and slipped out into the night.

((Edited and adapted from live RP))
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Lost Things (1)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:00 pm

[[June 2008]]

How long had it been? The days were starting to blur together, one after the other. Izira barely slept and when she slept she didn’t dream at all. Head put down upon her pillow, eyes closed and her mind was engulfed by void. No thoughts, no memories. Her mind was blessed with darkness and nothing. It was as if each night Izira welcomed her own death and woke again to life every morning that followed.

Her dreams were not missed.

Pain was also gone. Her right hand no longer showed any signs of the damage that had been done to it. Skin once more pristine and unblemished, Izira watched the morning sunlight glow gently against the skin. No scars, no cuts, nothing. The hand balled into a fist, squeezing tightly. No pain. She remembered there being pain when it happened, but now it was gone. What was it Eva had said to her?

”You could just say it... you could just say that you're hurt... that he hurt you.”

Izira watched as white expanded over her knuckles, fingernails bit into her skin and left angry red marks. Nothing was felt.

“I will not.”

She tried to remember that day, the day her lover left her. He had found her in the park. She had been feeding the birds, small flighty things that sung sweet songs in the trees that surrounded her. There was the memory of being happy and suddenly everything had changed. He was going to be with someone else, there had been pain. Dimly, Izira recalled the pain but could not even awaken a shadow of it in her heart once more. Then he was leaving her, leaving her to the pain. The distance he was creating alive in the bond they shared. It had been the bond that sparked her anger. He would leave her broken hearted and watch from a distance. Consequences had been known, she accepted them. It was madness, wasn’t it? There were be too much power inside of her and she would lose her mind. She didn’t feel lost.

She didn’t feel pain.

Hand unfolding, she took in the four crescent shapes dug into the palm of her hand. Each small curve colored red with blood. Curious. She brought the flat of her palm closer to her mouth, head tilted ad eyes closed as her tongue licked out against the surface. The blood tasted of metal and felt cold against her tongue. Something new, though she couldn’t fathom the cause. Eyes opened, gazing down at the palm. The cuts were already done clotting and no further blood appeared. The hand was dropped away to her side. A slow exhale, her eyes moved towards the curtains.

There was something else different. Her mind, her memory, felt dull and half asleep at times. Faces were familiar, but names—new ones at least—took time to recall. It felt like fighting through a muck of jumbled thoughts just to recall a recent occurrence. A woman who ordered tea, a man with glowing red eyes, a woman with teal-colored hair, a manlike machine, Eva and Locke speaking. Would those cloudy memories be needed, would they mean anything in future days? She didn’t know. She didn’t care either. Instead she put her mind on things that were easier to think about, tending at the Great Helm and planning a party. Someone had said they would help her, hadn’t they? Izira wasn’t sure…

She was starting to forget.
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:01 pm

[[June 2008 - Original post made by Luna Eva]]

Lady Death

Eva stood in the dusty center of a dry creek bed and turned around. The potent summer sun beat down on the back of her neck. She wore her hair pinned up to catch a breeze, but the air was completely still. The trees on either side of the bank were brown and dead. The entire realm was a tinder box. Just the tiniest of sparks and the whole forest would go up in flames.

She kicked a rock, then bent down in the dust. At her feet were the dessicated remains of a small fish; just a skeleton now, its bones sun bleached. She picked it up carefully, examining the dead creature in the palm of her hand. There had been life here once. Maybe that's what Izira had meant when she referred to herself as Lady Death. That she was the cause of all this death.

The forest was quiet. Nothing shuddered. Nothing creaked. Nothing breathed. The silence was as oppressive as the heat. Eva knew it with more certainty than she ever had. Izira needed to come back. She'd been skeptical when Locke told her, but now she felt it in her bones. Izira needed to come back here - but not only for the realm. For herself too.

Eva tossed aside the fish skeleton and straightened up. She climbed out of the river bed, rocks tumbling beneath her feet, then settling again into silence. It would be easy to place all of the blame on Alain. For doing what he did. For hurting her. But Eva knew that all of this didn't belong to him. It had to do with Izira's power. She'd seen it flash in the girl's eyes. Seen the flames. And seen the scar on Locke's hand. Izira was out of control. The bond she'd had with Alain, the one that kept her power in check, it was gone. Eva was terrified for Izira. Maybe that's why she was so cold. Because any rise in emotion brought the fire. Maybe it was easier for her to control it when she was numb.

Eva followed the creek bed in the direction of home, occasionally pausing to glance at her map. She didn't know much about magic. Living in RhyDin, she'd been forced to acknowledge it, of course, to acknowledge that there were things beyond her ability to understand. Science was her god. But science couldn't explain what had transformed Izira into the Lady Death.

So the question she kept circling back to was this: how could mortal, powerless Eva help Izira to control her mystical abilities and bring her back home? Eva had no idea. But one thing was certain. Eva was going to get burned.
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