sonder
[ P ] Dancing On The Moon

Wisteria Serenity
Female 4 Mainlander College of Eòlas Herbologist
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posted 07-28-2021, 02:02 PM - Word count:
#1


DENY NOTHING BUT DOUBT EVERYTHING



In the dead of night, the woman travelled toward the southern outreaches of the land, edging toward her homeland yet once again finding her paws being guided away at the last second as she reached the border made of crossroads. Her ears flicked as she looked toward Melrose, a sure fire way to make it into the Red Wood’s gauntlet. Yet, it did not call to her any longer, perhaps it never had as her paws adjusted toward the peaks that lined the horizon, allowing a rim of the moon’s light to caress the sturdy form of mother earth and pour onto her cream and marigold frame. What led her that way, she couldn’t truly say as she made her way in and out of the shaky terrains. The goddesses? The Fae? She didn’t choose to question it as curiosity kept her eager to see the outcome of this choice, this path that sent jolts of electricity with each solitary step that could lead to certain doom along the icy stone pass. Chaos, the unknown, they were always fuel to her fire that blazed immensely with curiosity and brittle restraint.

The walls felt like they were closing in, warping around her world and shutting out the light as she took a turn into a large tunnel, a void in the middle of the night. The faint dripping of water made her shell swivel, tail swaying as she listened to each little bloop, not at all stopping her momentum nor her careful steps despite it. As light peaked out of the other end, she would finally slow, feeling the small shifts in her footing. Slick, no more moisture soaking her paw pads, colder. Taking in a breath, she took a step out of the rock tomb, letting out the breath into a mist as her eyes remained closed, feeling a gust of wind play with her fur. Tickling her fur to fluff up just a little at the climate change.

Slowly her eyes opened, scanning the landscape below. She had only been here once in the past when her studies were at their height but alas she felt like she remembered little of it. What’s more, it had been Summer back then, a window in the life of the water organisms as the water ran clear. It wasn’t like that now and it brought a childish twinkle to her eyes. “Curiouser and curiouser...” she hummed, taking in the moon and stars that rested upon the earth. It was surreal as she started down the cliffside, walking through a dream and into another world as she would not stop till she reached the edge.
code by claerie

Male 4 Lowlander Commonwealth Bodyguard
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fall on your sword

posted 07-28-2021, 04:08 PM - Word count:
#2



LA.
fall on your sword...

Time stretched in infinitely it seemed during his waking hours. A great void of nothingness quickly becoming routine. As a soldier every day held meaning and in his service he found purpose. Almost three years of his life, laughs shared with comrades, tears shed over their deaths, and blood shed in their memory. In retirement he was a bitter and broken man haunted by his failures.

The mirror lake held joyous nostalgia of innocent days with a future of endless possibilities. He was drawn to the echoes of the boy he had once been, chasing his ghost in the hope of regaining a piece himself in the warmth of deja vu. His paws traced the steps he had taken years before, following the familiar trail. Argent paused to rest at the top of a steep incline, breaths growing heavier. The inflation of his lungs pushed against his ribs, causing friction between broken bones and pain to flare through his chest. Gritting his teeth and grimacing he tensed his forelegs, pushing against the ground as he gathered himself.

Steel grey eyes were drawn to the reflection of moonlight shimmering its pale frozen surface. It seemed different from what he could remember. In the summer of his youth he remembered being able to see the bottom. The colder temperatures had dulled the clarity with a veil of ice, but it's mirror-like quality made it appear brighter than ever as if it were a diamond in frozen form. He descended the trail, lured by the glittering of the stars dancing on the icy lake’s surface.

Unexpectedly, someone was already present. If not for the effort it had taken to journey here he might have excused himself and returned later. ”Something catch your eye?” he asked, both making his presence known and requesting an invitation to join her. Her coat bore the fire of the highlands, but the lowlander knew that blood intermingled. Her origins did not concern him. He held no such prejudice towards any of his fellow countrymen especially now that he’d laid down his sword.

code by claerie

Wisteria Serenity
Female 4 Mainlander College of Eòlas Herbologist
Undecided

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--
posted 07-28-2021, 07:11 PM - Word count:
#3


DENY NOTHING BUT DOUBT EVERYTHING



There wasn’t much in the way of snow to speak of but the chill in the air was something she wasn’t so used to anymore, finding her body letting out a shiver and she looked over the massive mirror that rested in front of her. As she looked down, she could even see the reflection of the mountains and foliage along the sides. Had it been hot and she been dehydrated, she may have thought it a mirage of her mind playing tricks on her but apart from the follicles tempted to erect her fur, she felt relatively fine and mentally sound. Glancing up, she spied no settlements nor other wolves along the horizon, for the most part it was even more barren than she could recall, vacant of another soul. Curiosity made her slowly raise a paw, about to place it upon what she was starting to see as a portal, that was until she heard husky breathing that broke the silence of her eutopia.

Not short after a voice followed after, her ear twitched to the shuffling of feet before she’d focus on the masculine tones, not a child nor an elder by any stretch of the imagination. Her eyes narrowed a tad, agitation rising for a moment before they would soften and her head flitted in his direction, a docile smile on her face as her ears fluttered down before bouncing back up as she let out a soft gasp of surprise. “Oh! You gave me a small fright. I had surmised I was the only one here. Silly me for such an oversight, you are quite the big boy, hard to miss,” she cooed softly, peaking at him with her bewitching lavender gaze as she drew her paws closer to her to appear even smaller. He was a larger specimen than she had anticipated and quite the unusual sight but she couldn’t say he was sore on the eyes as she took in the details of his appearance. He was the epitome of a blank slate, only a faint undertone of blue that made his gray patches look cooler and better suited for their current location. For a moment she thought him blind as she took in his cloudy eyes, quickly realizing they were not cataracts but they blend so perfectly with his darker visage. Someone had forgotten to slosh paint upon his canvas, leaving him monochrome.

He’d look so beautiful in crimson.

After one last pass of her eyes, she took further note that he seemed disheveled for such a muscular brute, his figure built and athletic. He on the other paw seemed far from the athlete his body made him out to be. “Yes, please. Do me the honor of joining me,” she invited softly, her tail letting out some sways as her gaze went from him to the crystal lake before them. “It’s...like a portal to another realm so similar to our own. So perfectly reflected; no distortions,” she added after a couple seconds as she returned to press her paw upon the surface, her imagination in a frenzy but her logical thinking knowing it likely just ice or extremely calm water unlike that of the ocean where ripples would disturb the image. So when something cold and hard met her paw, she felt no surprise but there was also a strange energy that sent a shiver up her spine. Nothing about this was ordinary, it was extraordinary!

code by claerie

Male 4 Lowlander Commonwealth Bodyguard
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fall on your sword

posted 07-29-2021, 06:04 PM - Word count:
#4



LA.
fall on your sword...
It seemed that he was not the only one bewitched by the wonder of the lake. The night sky was mirrored so perfectly upon the frosted surface it was like the stars and the moon themselves had fallen to the earth. The lady startled at his interruption, eyes betraying wariness upon first glancing at the intruder. Her features relaxed after a moment, seemingly deciding that he posed no threat to her. His lips twitched, one side curling up at the corner into an expression that was half grimace half sheepish smile. An apology danced on the tip of his tongue, impatient to redeem himself. Her choice of words caused his brow to arch in surprise. A big boy? He didn't consider himself to be a boy anymore and hadn't for a few years. Better to a boy than an old man. he thought and realised how true those words were.

"I didn't mean to sneak up on you," he said as a way of an apology. His silver eyes caught the light of the moon as he regarded her. Her voice held an odd quality when she addressed him and he couldn't tell if she was playing with him. The thought caused his brow to wrinkle slightly, but he dismissed his thoughts as needless suspicion. Her eyes lingered on his dark features almost as if she was drinking in each and every detail about his body. Her silence increased the intensity of her scrutiny and he watched her, wondering if he had berry juices on his face still. It had taken him weeks to wash the stains out of his fur and there was still a lingering fruity smell clinging to his fur.

Her voice beckoned him to join her and he shuffled over, aware of his larger frame and the amount of space he required. Argent sat a polite distance away, far enough that she would not find his presence imposing if any doubts of his character still lingered.

She drew his attention back to the frozen lake and he leaned over to get a closer look. It did look a little like a portal, almost like he could reach inside and enter it. The night sky glittered upon the icy surface and he reached out with a big paw to touch the reflection of the moon. The ice crackled under the pressure of his weight and he jerked back in surprise. The lady, much lighter and more gentle than his clumsy brutish touch, examined the ice without a problem.

"I didn't know it could look like this," he replied, a look of magical wonder softening his weary features. "Look. We're inside it," Argent observed, amazed by how clean and perfect his reflection appeared beneath the ice. Turning his head from left to right then lowering and lifting his muzzle and watching his reflection closely (totally not covertly trying to check himself for berry stains).


code by claerie

Wisteria Serenity
Female 4 Mainlander College of Eòlas Herbologist
Undecided

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--
posted 07-29-2021, 10:09 PM - Word count:
#5


DENY NOTHING BUT DOUBT EVERYTHING



She noticed the slight stun on his face at her words but there were other reactions present before that. Just as her gaze surfaced over his own, she heard an apology upon his tongue but not exactly the most outright one, leaving her to question if he really meant it. His expression was one mixed with tragedy, as if disturbed by her or perhaps himself as a smile unfitting to his bulk nervously tried to take hold before the prior emotion could show. Shy. It caused her head to tilt just a little as she felt a haze of snow would make him look more picturesque and gentle yet ghostly, wishing to see his eyes on an all white background the more she soaked them in at this distance. “Maybe bellow from the mountaintops next time,” she teased lightly. “You’re fine, do not fret over it. It does not suit your darling heart shaped face.”

She glanced in his direction as he moved toward her, though he didn’t quite come as close as she had hoped, craving to drain him of his warmth so she might be a bit more comfortable. His figure seemed to shrink as he did not remain standing but still dwarfed her much smaller one, though she couldn’t say she found his presence daunting by any sense of the word. Anyone could be dangerous, it was a matter of whether they chose to be and it seemed he was making every attempt to appear the opposite.

Shortly after she had placed her dainty paw on the ice, she could hear a crack and pop a little further down, causing her head to perk up to see the culprit, blinking a few times dramatically as she looked at the cracks in the pristine surface. Had she been in a poorer mood, rage may have taken hold of her gem embeds but she couldn’t help a small giggle from coming forth at the reaction that came with it. It reminded her of the story of a man that accidentally killed a puppy because he didn’t know his own strength. At the same time it brought forth curiosity, glancing him up and down before falling back onto the fissures but it did not appear water pooled up to the surface before looking at her own paws; the darkest shade of ranunculus petals on her body. If his paw laid upon her own would it meet a similar fate? Fracturing the bone or would he be more careful with someone?

Thoughts were interrupted as he spoke up, nodding lightly in agreement, her tail sweeping behind her gently picking up old snow on the underside. “My studies never really brought me here, so my knowledge is rather inefficient at best. Now I wish it had. Going so long without knowing of it’s secrets is quite the sin,” she breathed as he stole her focus once more but this time redirecting it back to the subject, seeing his reflection within the broken pieces.

It wasn’t long till she was fixated by the moon, still feeling like this was her doing; their doing. Was it a different kind of fairy circle? Wanting to test it, she moved a little bit further away from the man before boldly going onto the ice, following her reflection and the moon with more than just her eyes. The surface hissed in protest but did not snap under her weight; even if it had she knew at the very least the depth would not pull her under, shallow enough along the edges to only fear her paws getting wet. It was not luck she tested but faith. She moved along the surface slowly creeping farther from the shore, almost looking like she was dancing due to the ice being slick, having to reposition her footing regularly to keep from falling on her face with each step. Normally she could find at least some traction but this seemed to be a whole other entity; smoother than any ice she had stepped on before.
code by claerie

Male 4 Lowlander Commonwealth Bodyguard
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fall on your sword

posted 07-30-2021, 04:56 PM - Word count:
#6



LA.
fall on your sword...
Winter transformed the playground of his childhood into a frozen wonderland. The brightest child could not conceive a place so magical. While he didn't hold the superstitions of his neighbours he could see how rumours of a fantastical nature could be born. The flame furred lady held his gaze, sterling and lilac regarding each other thoughtfully. The intent behind her gaze remained a mystery, but there was a hunger held within them. Of what hunger he could not tell. An appetite for knowledge could be just as intense as one for violence. One he knew intimately and had felt the rush burning within him on the battlefield. He still hungered for it. Her playful banter was a temporary distraction, one that made him let out an amused huff. "People would think a beast was up there," he remarked, realising that he could probably play a convincing abominable snow wolf.

The ghost of a smirk played upon his lips, but it didn't have time to settle. The woman was not quite done with her game. Her assurances did little to soothe having the opposite of their intended effect. His grey ears thrust towards her, practically jumping to attention when she referred to his features as darling and heart shaped. She may as well have called him cute. His brow furrowed, wrinkling the skin of his forehead. "I won't, he said, clearing his throat to disguise his surprise. The veteran ignored the sudden surge of warmth touching his features, deciding it wasn't remotely connected to what she'd said. His body was merely reacting to the cold.

It seemed that quiet contemplation and relaxation was not on the agenda for Argent tonight. The woman had noticed his fumble upon the ice and giggled. Not his finest moment, but Argent could see the funny side of it. It was her next words that held his attention. She spoke of studies, hinting at a connection to the college. She seemed unhappy that she had not visited this place as much as she'd wanted. It wasn't the easiest climb so he could understand reluctance to take time away from her education for private curiosities. "I used to play here as a pup in the summer. The lake was so clear you could see everything," he told her about his own experience, as limited as it was he hoped it would be helpful.

He watched as she contemplated the moon in silence with an oddly thoughtful look in her eyes. If he was the nosy type he might have asked what she was thinking. Without a word she walked precariously over the ice with careful dainty steps. Argent climbed to his paws, daring to follow until his claws tapped the rim of the ice. It would be too dangerous to pursue her, but the fear that the icy surface might collapse grew the further she ventured. "Wait! It's too risky!" he called after her, frustration and concern hardening his stern features.

He heard the hiss of the ice and followed her, not upon the ice, but around the edge of the lake. At least this way he could keep track of her if she were to fall through.


code by claerie

Wisteria Serenity
Female 4 Mainlander College of Eòlas Herbologist
Undecided

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--
posted 07-30-2021, 09:30 PM - Word count:
#7


DENY NOTHING BUT DOUBT EVERYTHING



His responses were rather lackluster, however it seemed he was trying not to be a stick in the mud which she could appreciate, if only for the effort. That was the best word to describe him in her mind, with how brief their encounter had been so far, stepping out of whatever comfort zone he had was apparent. She couldn’t say it was with any negative motives but she couldn’t say it wasn’t either as she would not break his eye contact once he held her own but a coyness would creep in her actions to shy away once it had; appearing more docile in the process. But what was it? That’s what she wanted to know, what made him this way, for every reaction had a cause in most unless their minds have gone looney, disjointed from reality. Something in one’s childhood, a profession. Why did he choose to follow her paw steps as she laid them before him? Equally so, what caused that slight intensity in his eyes before it fractured and he let out a ghost of what could be taken as a laugh one moment and the next act as though he was trying to hide it with more formality?

Questions, questions, they were unlimited yet she rather keep the mystery. There was no fun in knowing everything immediately, she much rather crack him slowly; unravel the pages one by one. For now, so long as he kept her curiosity.

The laughter had died down but the smile remained ever present as banter continued about the oddity of this place, taking in his experience to try to satisfy her lack of. Childhood, she didn’t like thinking about the time so far gone, it showing only briefly in her gaze with a hollowness. That glimpse into vulnerability, it did not feel good as she redirected her mind to the information he gave her. A child, so he couldn’t have traveled far. “I take it you are a native to this ecosystem then? The Lowlands, I mean,” she felt the question needed not an answer once they fell from her lips. “All the puzzle pieces falling into place,” she whispered to herself, taking in his personality to his appearance, she felt daft for not noticing sooner. It all made perfect sense! What a pity, half the mystery was shattered the moment he would, she presumed, he would say yes.

In her own little world, she did not react to movement on the bank of the lake, her sole focus was on what was under her, much like a curious child seeing their reflection for the first time. Admittedly she forgot all about her new companion as she took a seat once a bit further than she realized before she could fall. Stared up at the real moon’s glow above and her many accompanying stars then back down to the reflection. This was no fairy circle, she had concluded as she took in the slight differences and the lack of impending doom she may have felt had she stepped into one.

She’d quickly glance over her shoulder to the sound of a panicked voice breaking past the barrier that had absorbed her mind, feeling like a bubble just popped from around her and suddenly the air felt extra cold. “What is life without a little risk? It would be rather boring, no?” she called back to him, pulling herself back up to her feet with some difficulty, legs shaking under her lithe frame. There was a sharper, louder crack and she looked at him knowingly, well aware what was about to happen as the false land quaked. “I’ve been a bird in a cage my whole life. So why don’t you come dance with me and spread your wings too,” she invited warmly, reaching out a paw toward him with a smile that had no fear in it just as she vanished from sight, swallowed by the ice leaving behind a giant snowflake made of cracks along the surface. There was no scream or gasp for help, the air above was quiet as if she was never there from the start.

Perhaps it was best she was left to dance alone.
code by claerie

Male 4 Lowlander Commonwealth Bodyguard
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fall on your sword

posted 07-31-2021, 08:44 AM - Word count:
#8



LA.
fall on your sword...
The retired captain was no socialite, more of a wallflower than a social butterfly. His awkwardness presented itself as stiff formality and as a result he had few friends. It was against his nature to present himself any differently. In the army he didn’t need to be charming, he only needed to be good at following orders. His current companion showed no signs that she minded his company and although her teasing made it a little harder for him to relax he did not blame her for his reactions. It was nice, he supposed, to share the mirror lake’s frozen beauty with someone else who he could exchange ideas with. Her obvious joy and wonder at their world reflected back at them was enough to stir warmth in his chest. Passion was infectious and he found that it lifted his spirits from the dour mood that had haunted him. It was rare that he could escape the mood swings that had afflicted him since he was injured and for that he was grateful.

His recollection of his childhood encouraged her to ask about his origins. She pieced them together quickly without any interference from his part. Her sharp mind was no surprise to him considering her suspected affiliation with the college. ”I grew up in the lowlands, but I’ve travelled around Rionnach,” he explained. The army had him posted in many different places before the war came and he was stationed in the highlands on the frontlines. He thought he saw her lips moving afterwards, but couldn’t make out any words. He respected her privacy and pretended he hadn’t noticed. It was none of his business.

Argent grew more unsettled when the distance between the woman and the edge of the lake increased. She paid no heed to his warning even as she proceeded on unsteady paws. He paced anxiously by the seam of the ice, lifting a paw and cursing under his breath when he once again returned it to the earth. Her weight alone might be supported upon the slick surface, but the addition of his would endanger her. ”Bloody hell,” he grumbled, growing more frustrated by the feeling of helplessness that overtook him. ”Don’t move!” he barked when he heard the ice begin to fracture beneath her. Her paw reached out towards him beckoning him to join her and he felt his heart lurch when she was swallowed by the gaping winter mouth and gone in an instant.

He charged towards the ice, rearing up on his hind legs and slamming his forepaws against the crater his paw had already made. The force vibrated through his legs and shook through his ribs causing the fracture to burn with pain. Ignoring the ache in his chest he worked harder, creating a big enough crack in the ice for a wolf of his size to fit through. Like a seal he crawled on his stomach and flopped into the icy depths. The freezing water saturated his thick fur deep enough to burn his skin and cut deep to the bone like daggers of ice. In the inky blackness of the water he searched for her. The silver glow of the moonlight illuminated her fiery form floating freely several metres away from him. With each foreleg paddle he felt the ache of his rib complaining at the force of the movement. He kicked with his back legs to push himself closer, and lunged with his jaws to grasp her scruff. With her safely in his jaws he pulled her close and tucked her under one of his forelegs, holding her tight against his chest. With three legs he managed to carry the both of them through the still water towards the crater he had made in the ice. Argent nudged her with his muzzle, using the force of his head and forelegs to push her onto the bank beside the lake.

He pulled himself out and flopped on the ground beside her. ”H-Hey,” he called out to her, gently pushing her side with a paw.
code by claerie

Wisteria Serenity
Female 4 Mainlander College of Eòlas Herbologist
Undecided

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--
posted 07-31-2021, 09:17 PM - Word count:
#9


DENY NOTHING BUT DOUBT EVERYTHING



His calls were a wasted breath on his part, even if she didn’t move like he instructed, there wasn’t anything he nor she could have done to stop what followed. Cold, isolated, feeling like the mistress of ice had their talons on her, cutting into her flesh with each passing second that was in an hourglass that stopped. Everything felt stuck in time as her gaze flickered in the water, bubbles surfacing from her muzzle and past her lips, that smile never quite going away. Death wasn’t something she feared but it wasn’t something on her mind either. She knew the danger she was in as the world was black with an abundant haze of blue toward the surface above. Where she had left cracks, bits of the moonlight came in gradient panels, brightest by the ice but quickly tapering to nothing the further in the depths it went. Shifting under the water, she adjusted herself in search of the cracks he had caused moments prior to her hijinks or what she’d call research, knowing it would be the weakest spot with the most grip for her paws at the same time. Her best way out.

The dance would be suspended, certain he wouldn’t follow after her invitation. Why ever would he? It wouldn’t make any sense; she was nothing to him, a him she didn’t even know the name of. Strangers.

That smile of hers faded as she could hear something echo in the water, making her shift around a bit more frantically in search for the sound but the movements only depleted her oxygen more. She couldn’t find the other set of cracks, bubbles starting to foam out of her mouth far faster as her lungs burned brightly in rage, demanding fresh air. Pain increased as the cold settled deeper and deeper into her flesh, feeling though meant her nerves weren’t dead, frostbite had not taken hold yet. Numbness would be a far worse sign. What direction was which, her head felt dizzy as adrenaline was nipping at her to find a way out, something her mind wasn’t as set on doing so proactively. The experience was interesting and each sensation was different.

Ah ha, the exit! She started to head toward a bit of shattered light but each swipe of her paw became more and more labored till movement felt like a war. Her muscles were starting to contract, the heat headed more toward her organs rather than her limbs. True fascinating but expected. Even meditating in the ocean never amounted to this much loss of control of her body, feeling like her neurons were misfiring signals to the rest of her body. The world started to fade, the ability to keep water from filling her lungs was becoming harder and harder to manage. Then suddenly heat crashed like a wave, feeling her body being wrapped up, temporarily causing further pain from the vast difference in temperature. Ice and fire.

That imagination of hers going wild in the time it took from then to suddenly being on the surface, still till suddenly gravity made her start coughing and gasping for air. The world zoned in and out repeatedly, vision clouded as her head rolled toward the pressure being placed on her side, water clogged ears gently flicking at the sound of a voice though she couldn’t fully make out what it was saying. Make out who it even was. The scent of berries slowly filled her nostrils, laced with less pleasant memories but as she blinked the last of the lake from her eyes, a figure started to take shape from the mist. Greys and white, dusted in the moon’s light. A silent joyous laugh started to break up the rasp of her lungs as she struggled to breath normally, unable to believe he was drenched there next to her.

“You actually j-j...oined in...my d-dance. Was it f-freeing? Come now, you'll f-f-reeze to death,” she whizzed, using her lessened strength to shift to her belly and crawl closer to him, pressing into his side with her small frame, not shy about using him for warmth nor offering what she had left to him. She made a viable effort to shake the heaviest of the liquid off herself before gently attempting to tend to him. A healer’s hand, instinct, a mother’s impulse or maybe guilt? Whatever the case, she would gently go to sap off the liquid with her tongue rhythmically from his fur where frostbite would sooner set in; ears, nose, around the eyes, paws. Never once thinking about treating herself beyond using him to starve off hypothermia from getting a chance to take her any further. Her whole body was vibrating, her ears curving back as she raised her left paw shakily to try to direct his face toward where she wanted, if he’d follow. “It’s not wise to chase a siren’s c-c-ca-call, a red lake may have been your f-fall. Either you are a self-sacrificing knight with a heart of gold or you're mad… though w-we are all a little mad. It’s…. what makes us mortal. That and... emotions,” winded; breathy, not adding any distance as she paused her attempts to groom to look at his steel colored eyes, curious what might take hold of his features. There were so many to choose from.
code by claerie

Male 4 Lowlander Commonwealth Bodyguard
Royalist

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fall on your sword

posted 08-02-2021, 08:37 AM - Word count:
#10



LA.
fall on your sword...
Argent lay splayed upon the earth feeling more like a mound of ice than a being of flesh and blood. It was like tiny shards of ice were flowing through his veins spreading like a disease and freezing him through to his core. His chest heaved with the effort to recoup the oxygen and energy his body had expended during his daring rescue. The expanding of his lungs pushed against the fractured rib and set his chest aflame with pain. A pained grunt passed through his lips, eyes narrowing and lips tightening in response to the unpleasant stimulus. His gaze remained upon the woman, more concerned for her than the temporary discomfort that he suffered. She coughed, and he was relieved to hear that sound. It was the sound of life, of breathing. He watched her closely as she recovered from the shock of her ice bath, flicking her ears and looking over at him. Good. She was alert. The laugh that bubbled up inside of her startled him, head lifting from his large paws and ears trembling with cold as they were held erect. It was the shock, he suspected, nervous energy spilling out from her near drowning.

There was little that made sense to him of her character, the way she behaved was a complete mystery. What she intended with her dance upon the ice he was not certain, but whether it was intentional or not he could not leave someone to die. He had little time to negotiate the amount of physical contact he was willing to allow because suddenly his space was invaded. He let out a surprised grunt, eyes growing wide at her closeness. Argent could not refuse her his warmth because doing so would doom them both to hypothermia. His body froze still, growing as tense as a solid rock as she pressed against his side. Hyper awareness of her touch made the hairs that brushed against hers stand on end. His stunned stillness allowed her to reach over and lap at his ears, sending blood rushing to the extremities she was attempting to clean. ”I-I’ll be fine!” he blurted out, jerking his face away from her. His breathing grew much harder, features blazing feverishly hot with embarrassment.

A minute of silence filled the air, Argent’s breathing slowly softening while his gaze remained fixed upon his paws. ”M-Maybe so, but I-I wasn’t going to let you d-die,” he responded, finally glancing up at the woman with resolve in his steely gaze. He didn’t quite consider himself a self-sacrificing knight. His armor was not shining and resplendent, but rusted and sullied with the blood of his king’s enemies. ”W-What made y-you go out on t-the ice?” he asked, still shivering although he couldn’t deny that he was warming up.

code by claerie