Old 11-14-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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The Space Between

The space between
By Glad and Uggg

The space between was the proverbial no man’s land that existed outside the control of both the elves and the humans. Long ago it was land that had been fought over, both peoples claiming it at one time or another. That was before the dark time and the orcs, goblins, Ogres and trolls had united. Drawn together under one banner by the machinations of the Drow from the underworld, and a few of the ancient chromatic dragons, those wyrmes of pure evil. Such times had drawn humankind and elvenkin together, forces that had driven the host from the space between.

Now there was an uneasy truce between both the elves and humans, and they kept the space between as neutral territory. In practice this meant that those who weren’t accepted by society for one reason or another flocked to, or were forced to inhabit these lands. It was a haven for half elves, loners and at least one exile. This was the place of the dark elves. Not dark elves as in drow, but the elves that did things that polite elven society saw as unforgiveable, and deemed worthy of exile. Most were exiled for dabbling in dark magic, murdering others, or for having sexual appetites that the community could not tolerate. This latter was pretty rare, because as far as peoples went, the elves were fairly sexually liberal.

According to elven law, Valenthel. Vale, or Val, to friends, was exiled for the first of these reasons. He was suspected of the second, but no one had been able to make the murder charge stick. Dark magic was not something that Val would deny, though. It was his assertion that the council of elders failed to consider context, refused to hear his reasons. At the time, Val believed the end justified the means. The council disagreed and He was exiled.

His magic had helped coax the trees into a small home up in the branches. Valenthel sat cross-legged in the grass hands steadily carving the wand that would accept his magic. This piece of wood spoke to him and he knew that this wand would store spells of lightning. Its zigzag shape was perfect. Not always did the magic item identify what sort of magic it held merely by its shape, some were much more subtle and it would take a skilled practitioner to identify the nature of the magic within. However this one would show clearly what magic it stored.

Such magic items were prized by the militaries of both human and elven peoples. Such a wand could allow a non-magic user with the command word to cast magical spells. Forging the items was one way that Valenthel made his living. He sold them in exchange for supplies nature could not provide him to the elven emissary that came 4 times a year. He sold much more freely to the humans, some of which were even brave enough to come visit him. No elf save the emissary would come visit, and even that ambassador of sorts would have as little contact with him as possible. For someone whose people were highly social, this was torture. They might believe exile was more humane than execution, but Valenthel would strongly disagree.

So infrequent were his visitors that he was surprised when his keen hearing picked up the sound of soft boots on the trail. The steps were if he guessed correctly those of a human. They were too noisy to be any self-respecting elf. They were light though, not the heavy clomps of his typical male visitor. Surely it could not be a female, or child? He had had children come to visit him a time or two over the years he’d been there, the brave ones investigating the rumors of a monster living in the trees. He had avoided them in those cases, not wanting the humans or half elves that lived in the space between to start a witch hunt. Though outside the rule of law of both human and elven land, that did not mean that there weren’t rules of the wilderness, jungle justice, if you will.

The slender elf came smoothly to his feet. His black robes matching the hair that trailed down his back. He had once worn the white robes favored by the “good” mages of the elves, and he had also once worn the green robes of the elven military. They had given him the black robes upon exiling him. He could have worn any color he wanted now that he was on his own, but now he wore them as a statement, the proverbial middle finger to a society that he saw as turning their back on him. Piercing green eyes swept his surroundings, visually looking for a sign that might confirm what his ears told him, he would soon have a visitor. The wand disappeared into a fold of the robe, and even the long fingered hands disappeared, lithe grace hidden behind folds of dark material. The paleness of his skin contrasted with the dark of his hair and the robes he wore. He stood like that, just waiting, filled with the confidence that he could handle whatever came his way. Only time would tell if he was right, though he could not in that moment know how his life was about to change.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:30 PM   #2
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For a young human woman to willingly enter the space between was either desperation, madness or both. Miriam had desperation in spades and she could only hope that she didn’t have the other. Certainly those that would have cast her out thought she did. But then she could forgive them for that. They were people that she’d known her whole life and she could see their fear, it matched her own. She couldn’t forgive them for the branding though. No, that was unforgivable... but so was what she’d done afterwards.

The problem had manifested for humanity when the emergence of the dark races forced a closer arrangement with Elves. Magic did not come naturally to humans but proximity to Elves made for certain... anomalies. The problem began for Miriam when her status as an anomaly became apparent on her wedding night. She was a pretty young woman, a little on the short side but possessed of pleasant curves large breasts, long wavy brown hair and a flirtatious cheerful nature. Men loved her.

The rural community where she grew up had little on offer, apart from farming to feed the ever growing armies, so many of the young left to find more interesting lives in the cities. Miriam had other plans though. She had her eyes on James Miller from her early teens all the way through to when she was finally old enough to marry at nineteen. James was in line to inherit his family farm and would not be leaving any time soon and so neither would Miriam be. Except that isn’t how things turned out. Farming folk are simple people. As long as things don’t change and the seasons are generous they are happy people. Not tolerant though. Not tolerant of something different hiding in their midst.

Miriam was something different. From a very young age she’d been different. She possessed a magical soul. Its name was Mirma and manifested as an Imp. Miriam could see through Mirma’s eyes and seldom found herself in two minds about things but it did happen. That could result in awful headaches. Miriam’s soul was obviously a secret. It was a sign that she was tainted by Elvin magic and while such things might be tolerated in the cities... well...

“We’re decent folks round here!”

Her wedding day had been perfect, everything a girl could dream of. James had been so handsome and he couldn’t disguise the lustful sparkle in his eyes as she swayed her way through the crowd to take his side in front of the magistrate. Her wedding night had been something she’d imagined a thousand times growing up, oh to be with a man, to be with James. Her fantasies were never without a kind of nervous anticipation though. She would have no secrets from her man. After the ceremony and before the consummation (never thought of without a little shudder of excitement) she would reveal her soul. The thought made her feel both vulnerable and excited.

Mirma watched the ceremony from the roof of the baker’s shops. She watched as James carried Miriam across the threshold. Miriam was on cloud nine and her soul was rejoicing with her. It was time for the big reveal now. It was an idea that her mind had come up with and Mirma had some doubts about but minds could be so stubborn.

If it weren’t for the overwhelming fear and horror she would have felt a little vindication as she resumed her perch on the bakers roof afterward, just in time to see James drag Miriam by her hair, the same hair they had spent so much time that morning weaving flowers into, kicking and screaming out into the light of the wedding party still going on in the plaza.

James was furious and disgusted. That hurt much worse than the hair, or the ruined dress. The same dress Miriam’s mother and her mother before her had been married in now coated in the mud of his boots, of her disgrace.

“SHOW THEM WHAT YOU SHOWED ME!”

Tears and begging but to no avail. His beautiful face held no mercy. Broken Miriam revealed her soul, her secret and they judged her harshly.
It was James that branded her face. That hurt so much that her mind fled. She had no memory of what happened after that but her soul did. It told her. It made them pay, Miriam knew it was true, she’d woken in the aftermath naked and covered in their gore. Her face was healed but scarred terribly, one whole rosy check was now a mess and her once beautiful smile was twisted. Now this would be her life... was her life.

Branded. Hunted. Searching.

She was searching for someone that could teach her how to protect herself and how to control her soul or to take it from her. There was only one place answers like that could be found, this place, the space between. With her body now hidden under a long ragged cloak, her hair cropped as short as she could manage with one of her many knives and her face hidden under the bandanna she always wore, she sat in her cave and her soul flew out searching.

Miriam had learnt some hard lessons in the six months she’d been roaming the space between. Lessons about predators and pray. Lessons about smiles you can’t trust and frowns that mean everything. She was not innocent, hell she had not been innocent since the night she fled the wreckage of her old life, that was blood on her soul, on Mirma's tiny hands but now she had a lot more blood on her own hands. That had been necessary to survive. She had developed strong survival instincts... and a guarded heart.

After hours of sitting silent and still she stirred. The movement reminded her empty stomach that it existed but there was no time to go hunting. Her soul returned at pace. Mirma had found someone. Miriam had a lot of walking to do. Then there would be negotiating, she was no longer naive enough to think she could find a teacher who wouldn’t demand a price.

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Old 11-27-2017, 06:34 PM   #3
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Valenthel spent most of his time lost in the memories, of times gone by. Time had taken seemingly everything from this once truly proud elven wizard. Now, it left the bitter remnants of pride. Gone even was his original name. Adapted. He had not gone by Valen, the name he had been known by for so many centuries since he’d lost her, his Elia. He had added the suffix to his name, changing it, bastardizing his identity. The way he had people address him was a reflection of how he saw himself. He had not become the evil that his people claimed he had, however he had dipped his toes in the proverbial dark waters, and found they little solace in their depths.

As he listened to the footsteps approach, he reflected on the last time a woman had visited him. Once upon a time the elven ambassador had been a female, volunteered her body to slake his lust during one of the fertility festivals. It had been his only feminine touch in more than 50 years. The woman had barely spoken to him. She had simply disrobed and offered herself to him.

He had vowed that if he ever got the opportunity again that he would be gentler, would not act so much the animal. He had almost been as a human rutting like a stag. Elves tended to be much more skilled and less…primal, but it had been so long. He was sure however that his treatment of her was why she’d never returned.

All these thoughts and more flitted through his mind as he heard the approach of the footsteps. Soon a small figure in a ragged cloak passed out of the trees and into the small clearing that Valenthel called home. The figure sure was slight enough to be female, but very little showed from beneath the hood to give away the person’s identity.

Valenthel stepped away from the tree, seeming to melt from its shadow. He had once been a woodsman, and not all of that skill had been lost to him over the years. He lifted his right hand, pale skin appearing from among the folds of black to lower the hood revealing himself to her. His green eyes scrutinized the form as it approached. “May I help you?” he asked simply. His words were accented but he clearly spoke the common tongue fluently.

His face showed very little of his thoughts, purposefully blank. It was not a welcoming expression, but nor was it hostile either. If anything the look he directed into the hood was a bit curious. This was certainly out of the ordinary. His hands had slid back out of sight, and it did not take a genius to know he was readying some sort of weapon, or magic, just encase. One could never be too careful in The Space Between.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:19 PM   #4
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Miriam was exhausted by the time she found the trail Mirma’s eyes had shown her. A bird’s eye view was a magnificent thing for scouting out danger but it wasn’t much good at telling you if a bushy thicket happened to be full of thorny brambles or not.

Still they’d found plenty of reasons to be grateful for their unique abilities over the last six months. The space between was full of roaming bands of marauders, bandits, slavers, cannibals or even just armed trader convoys. Miriam had been horrified the first time she’d witnessed through Mirma’s vision just how little difference there was between the traders and the bandits when they thought there was no one there to see.

They were near their destination now and not a moment too soon. Miriam had not eaten in longer than she could account for clearly and that combined with the physical exertion of the hike and the mental stress of dealing with Mirma’s terror had her near to breaking point. Now they were just minutes from their goal it was the third of those problems that had come to the fore.

Mirma had been very frightened by what she’d seen up ahead. She’d been scouting for powerful beings, magic wielders. Over the last six months their search had turned up several disappointing leads but none were what they required. Oh there were plenty of magical beings here alright. Elves that had been banished were common enough, almost all of whom had some degree of power or other.

There were also others like Miriam, Humans who had been tainted by Elvin magic and had some ability whether it be blessing or curse that had seen them flee civilization for this harsh world. None could give Miriam what she needed though.

She needed control. She needed to know that what had happened could never happen again. There was blood on her hands. Some they found might have been able to help but none were willing. Those that pretended they were wanted something in return, usually something very unsavoury. Others never even gave her the chance to explain, they just attacked. There was more blood on her hands than there had been before. None of those others had gotten the reaction from Mirma that this one had though. The moment the Imp saw him she turned and fled. It was so sudden Miriam hadn’t even had a chance to register what Mirma had seen.

Now as they made their final cautious approach Mirma’s terror was spilling over and it was all Miriam could do to keep walking. Up ahead was now revealed the most amazing building either of them had ever seen. It appeared to be a house built up in amongst the branches of a truly massive tree yet the closer they got the harder it got to differentiate between the house and the branches. What wondrous magic was this?

The occupant had been nowhere to be seen but as Miriam crept forward as silently as she could, Mirma clinging fearfully to the back of her cape he appeared. Powerful magic indeed! He seemed to flow from the very shadows! He was without a doubt the most intimidating individual Miriam had ever seen. Not so much through her own eyes, to her he appeared tall and quite handsome but maybe a little severe. He looked a little too perfect for the space between, how did he keep his clothes and hair in such immaculate condition? No it was through Mirma’s eyes that he was truly frightening. He was wreathed in power and Mirma took just one peak before ducking back down in fear.

Inside her dark hood and hidden behind her ever present bandana Miriam’s own scarred face mirrored her souls emotion. Fear had won out. Behind her she could hear the strange clicking as Mirma’s skin thickened into scaled armour. He spoke and though his words were calm his actions were threatening, what was he reaching for?

“May I help you?”

Miriam could feel her control slipping.

No...

This was just like last time.

No...

Mirma’s fear was turning to anger. They were never truly separate beings. Miriam was snarling behind her bandana, hissing and reaching for her knives.

No... Not like last time!

Blood everywhere, fear in their eyes, children screaming...

Panic!

“NO!”

I don’t remember that.
Teeth gritted.

“I... DON”T... REMEMBER... THAT!”

Mirma snarled her rage and Miriam attacked...

Whatever he hit her with, it must have been potent, the pain was excruciating and it was only seconds before blackness took everything else away except for her last thoughts as she felt fingers tugging at her bandana.

No... Please don’t look at my face...

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Old 01-17-2018, 11:26 PM   #5
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Vale had never really been what he would consider a violent person. Of course there were many who had branded him such. Those that did not understand the practicality of war. This was no war time, but reflexes honed on such a stage did not fade easily.

When the figure, he had guessed her to be a woman lurched forward almost as if to attack him, he reacted quickly. He let his magic flow and she stopped, all of the pain receptors in her body firing at one time. He knew from experience it felt like being hit by lightning. He did not want to hurt her, but nor was he going to let who ever this was harm him. Having that dual type nature, even right after striking her with such a powerful spell he was kneeling beside her supine body, fingers going to her neck to be sure that her heart beat and he had not caused lasting damage.

He was a bit startled to hear a light voice that had gone scratchy with disuse urging him to not look at her face. Such a strange request got his curiosity up and he reached for the bandana. His eyes saw a pretty face besmudged by dirt and sweat. Green almonds found the burn scar on one cheek. It was clear that she had been branded, however the scar only partially obscured one cheek, leaving her high cheekbones, slender nose and full lips untouched, and below that a graceful throat that likewise was untouched. It was clear that her inner eye saw something much worse than he did. He lowered the bandana, that was not something he could deal with at this time if indeed he ould help it at all.

He bent and lifted the form into his arms and carried her to his guest bed, not that he got many guests, even so, he had one just encase and it seemed like now he might be glad he had it, she would certainly be there for at least a short time.

Eventually she would wake, until then, he would seek the peace of meditation and tea.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:39 AM   #6
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Mirma was shocked at how quickly Miriam went down, the pain they were both experiencing was excruciating and distracted she was thrown clear of Miriam’s back and off into the bushes. Almost as quickly as it had begun the pain was gone but in its place Mirma could feel something much more frightening, a terrible spike in Miriam’s fear and simultaneously Mirma’s sense of the girl’s thoughts was fading. Desperate with anxiety Mirma scuttled to the edge of the bushes ready to leap at the terrifying elf creature that had rendered Miriam unconscious with such a devastating attack.

The moment she laid eyes on him though she knew she couldn’t do a thing. He was just so ominously powerful. Mirma cowered in the bushes as she watched him crouching over Miriam’s supine form. She wanted with all her will to charge out and defend Miriam but she could barely manage a whimper. The tall elf had lifted Miriam’s bandanna and was looking at her face. Mirma shook with impotent rage at this savage violation. In reaction to her emotion, her claws were growing and hardening; yet again she tried and failed to find the will to attack.

Now though something surprising happened, almost gently the power wreathed mage lowered the bandana back into place allowing the girl her dignity, hiding her scarred face. He lifted her with ease but again it was clear he was being gentle and without a backwards glance carried her off towards the base of the tree that contained the amazing house. Mirma could not follow directly or she’d give herself away, so moving as stealthily as she could and changing her body colour to green as she moved, she circled around the clearing till she could approach the base of the tree unseen... only she couldn’t.

There was some obstruction, some invisible wall or forbidding, Mirma could get no closer than ten paces to the base of the tree before she was turned aside. Hissing her rage she dashed back for the cover of the low bushes. Already she knew what she would do. As she scuttled her arms were lengthening as were her already clawed little fingers. No sooner had she reached the surrounding trees and she was climbing. Easily swinging from branch to branch and finding purchase with her clawed hands in the thick bark of the trees.

At about 60 feet above the forest floor the tree branches of the canopy were interlinked and she would easily be able to get into the upper branches of the tree containing the house... only she couldn’t, again she found herself turned aside. The very same barrier that blocked her below impeded her here as well. Miriam was in danger and with her unconscious Mirma had a single minded purpose which she would follow to the exclusion of all else. Her frustration was boiling up and stealth was thrown to the wind now. Howling her rage and defiance of the fear she still felt and yet again being thwarted Mirma turned to the air.

From her back leathery iridescent wings sprouted and as quickly as they appeared the imp was air born and beating hard for altitude. From a thousand feet she flipped gracefully in the air and tucked her wings. She screamed as she dived. Howling her will ahead of her, five hundred feet, terminal velocity, four hundred feet, three hundred, two, one...She felt the barrier buckle at her impact, buckle but not break, it gave and then she was turned aside, hurtling at speed through the whipping tree branches, still screaming but not in anger now.

Mirma left the thinking up to Miriam for the most part, feeling was more her thing. Right now she was feeling rage, rage and frustration and as she turned skyward again for what would be the second of many attempts the whole damn forest was hearing it! The house remained impenetrable.

.................

Miriam awoke with a start, only she knew straight away she hadn’t. This was clearly a dream; she was in a bed in a real room. Oh gods of thunder and rain it felt so real, a real bed! What a wonderful dream! Normally her dreams were nightmares, reliving the horrible moment the villagers branded her face or the terrible scene after she came to and they were all dead. This was wonderful this dream! Happily she rolled over to snuggle up to the pillow... and felt the scarred flesh on her bare cheek meet soft linen... This was no dream. Her eyes flew open and she was instantly tense and aware, her hand creeping for her knife belt... that wasn’t there!

She sat bolt upright and took in her surroundings. Her anxiety subsided, beside the bed in a neatly folded bundle was her cloak and her belt and bandanna were on top of it. The knives were not in their sheaths but as her memory returned she realized that was to be expected. She had been captured. she felt strange, detached, she knew she was afraid and angry but she wasn't 'feeling' afraid and angry. she shook her head but it felt like it was full of cotton wool.

Distantly she could feel Mirma but something was odd, while she could tell that Mirma was nearby and that she was unhurt but angry, she couldn’t communicate at all with her soul. Mirma was cut off by some kind of barrier, it was like being on either side of a sound proof locked window. Then she understood her emotions were on the other side of that barrier as well, trapped with Mirma. They could see each other but not touch. Mirriam couldn’t even see what Mirma could see. It was a strange new feeling looking through just one set of eyes. She needed to get back to her soul. Quietly she slipped out of bed and tied her bandana back about her face, priorities after all. She was dizzy with hunger, but she managed to get her belt and cloak on.

She knew now that it had been a mistake coming here, this elf was much too powerful. For a moment in her mind she felt again the terrible pain that had felled her. She shuddered and crept on silent feet to the door, her boots were there next to it and she picked them up but wanting stealth, she didn’t put them on. The door opened a crack at her gentle tug, not locked in then.

Miriam couldn’t tell which way to go to find Mirma, her sense of the imp was all screwed up but the corridor she found herself in only allowed for two options anyway. Miriam was looking for escape, one direction lead to a set of stairs that led up. This building was in a tree, escape would be down, she headed off in the other direction and found herself on a balcony overlooking the tree tops.

It was a breathtaking view and thinking herself alone she let out a gasp and stepped back in wonder. From above, all of a sudden, she could hear Mirma’s voice approaching fast and screaming in rage. Miriam would have looked up but something else had happened that grabbed her more immediate attention. As she'd stepped back her back had bumped into something solid and warm and a pair of strong hands came to rest on her shoulders...

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Old 02-03-2018, 01:46 PM   #7
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After leaving the woman in the bed, the elf made his way up the stairs through the home to the kitchen. It was at the top to better allow smoke from any fire he lit to exit through the roof. Moments later he had a pot of water which he pored over the leaves in their wooden strainer, allowing him to steep the tea in the leaves. He made two cups, just encase his guest woke.

Carrying the warm liquid he returned to the lower level, light footsteps taking him to the balcony that overlooked the forest. He had been feeling the jangle of something testing his wards. Even as he hoped to clear his mind through meditation he wondered if he could figure out what it was that was testing his magical wards that protected the home from every angle of approach. Was this woman magi? Did she have a familiar? She had been armed with knives, but even magic users carried blades in The Space Between.

He heard something but still could not identify the source of the noise. He sat and began to sip at the tea, his mind wondering at the puzzle that had been given to him. It was not long before his hands resumed the work on the wand, the knife sending slivers of wood to the ground between his soft booted feet.

It was not but maybe an hour later when he heard a new sound, the tread of a footstep. The young lady had exited onto the balcony. She appeared to recognize the screeching noise that the elf had been trying to ignore for some time as she backed up looking skyward. As he rose to meet her, she backed into him. His hands came up quickly, the knife and wand having slid out of sight. Strong yet slender hands came down on the woman’s shoulders meant to steady her. “Awake I see?” he asked, “Do you have some sort of familiar that has been cut off from you by my wards?” he asked curiously, tone neutral as his eyes tracked upward following her gaze hoping to catch sight of whatever she was looking at. “Something has been testing my layers of protection since I brought you here.”
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:15 AM   #8
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Miriam would have made a complete fool of herself if she’d had any energy left whatsoever. His hands on her shoulders and his voice so close behind her were such an unexpected shock that she would have, under normal circumstances, hit the roof or at the very least screamed. The truth was though at this point she was so utterly spent and so close to passing out from starvation that all she could manage was a squeak of horror as she stiffened up in surprise.

What had he asked? Gods! Why couldn’t she think clearly? Something about family wards?

Miriam needed Mirma! Nothing felt right without that familiar presence inside her. She needed Mirma and she needed food. The situation was desperate and with tears in her eyes she threw aside every last shred of dignity and turned in desperation to the man behind her. As frightening as he was there was no one else. This was it, do or die- literally. She really was on her last legs.

He looked stern but also quite handsome in that almost too perfect elfin way. Despite herself Miriam noticed. It had been a long time since she’d been this close to a man without her knives in hand. But this was not the time for such thoughts. She needed his help desperately and it was time to communicate her desires. She searched for the right words as she pointed vaguely towards the sky.

“Help?”

Through her tears she could see what looked like confusion on his face but her strength was gone, she came down hard on her backside on the floor. Clearly she needed to be a little clearer.

“Sir, help please?”

Sobbing, it was the best she could do. Her head was filled with the sound of Mirma’s desperation.

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Old 02-04-2018, 10:06 AM   #9
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He frowned as she turned to him, clearly trying to communicate. Her words were broken and choppy. He'd never heard the elven language sound anything but beautiful, but somehow in her desperation it sounded crude and broken. Had she not realized he had addressed her in common, why would she strain to speak his tongue. It did not matter, clearly she was experiencing some distress.

He knelt beside her where she sat, one hand coming up to feel her forehead, finding her skin almost feverish, and an almost crazed light in her eyes. He was unsure now if she was sick, or injured. But he had seen such a reaction with no apparent cause only once before when a mage he once knew lost her familiar. She had not answered his question but it was worth a try. Even as he payed a slender hand on either of her temples, gently seeking to feel her aura with his gift, seeking energy. There it was, a strand of her being that went away from her body and looked to be severed, like a line on a ship that had snapped and was now blowing in the wind. He focused his mind outward now, feeling his own wards, and made a small hole, an invitation to whatever was out there. He didn't know what made him do this, how he trusted that something super powerful that he could not defeat wouldn't enter, but she seemed so distressed that he was willing to try this to see if it helped her. Still seeing her aura in his minds eye, he watched the line of power reconnect with something, and he slowly opened his eyes wondering what he might see, figuring if the familiar did not want to be seen he'd see nothing with his actual eyes.

"You need rest and food little one," he murmured in the common tongue of humans, his words gently accented with the elvish lilt. "You would have done well to stay in bed." Even as he spoke his eyes searched around to see if he'd actually spy what ever had come through his wards.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:47 AM   #10
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Time was flowing oddly or so it seemed to Miriam. It seemed only a moment ago she’d thought she was going to die from hunger. Now she was sitting on a stool in a warm kitchen with a full belly and a cup of hot tea in her hands. Mirma who’d been in a state of desperate panic not that long ago was now wrapped happily like a snake in two long coils around Miriam’s waist under the filthy cloak she still wore.

The warm tea and full belly were making them both drowsy but Miriam was only half way through telling her story so while Mirma rested she spoke on.

Across from her, silent and stern, sat the owner of the house and each time Miriam looked at him she found herself stumbling over her words so for the most part she looked down at her hands wrapped around the warm tea cup as she spoke. But in her mind she was picturing his face and the curious expression she’d seen briefly as the connection with her soul was restored and screeching her relief, Mirma came flying down from above to land invisible on Miriam’s shoulder.

Miriam had been in a strange state of mind at that time. Moments earlier she’d been confused and almost overwhelmed with fright as the tall elf crouched in front of her and touched her head and temples. But befuddled her mind had swung wildly from fear to amusement and she almost giggled then.

How could hands be warm and cool at the same time?

She’d felt a strange intimate pressure in her mind in the place where Mirma was supposed to be and moments later her awareness of the terrified soul above came flowing back and with it Miriam's clarity of thought. It was like waking up from an awful dream.

She sent reassurance and a summons to Mirma and looked at the man in front of her. He was looking to the skies. And it was then that she caught just a glimpse of expression on his handsome face. She blushed furiously when he looked back at her and caught her looking, that expression had softened his features a lot.

"You need rest and food little one? You would have done well to stay in bed."

He was speaking the common tongue. That would make things easier. In a quiet, shy voice that surprised the normally confident young woman she replied.

“Yes please Sir some food would be much appreciated... only I’m sorry Sir we don’t have any coin left...”

Yes, he had been charitable. Thank the Gods of river and hill that Mirma had been so relieved at reconnecting with Miriam she’d forgotten her earlier hostility. Miriam would have died of embarrassment if her soul had tried to attack this Elf in his own home or even worse if Mirma’s hostility had spilled over and Miriam had attacked him herself.

But now coming to the end of her story she had to look up and meet his eyes. It wasn’t right to say this last bit without looking him in the eye.

“So you see Sir, we really need your help. We can’t pay in coin but maybe there is some other way? We could work for you... I can clean and cook but please Sir, will you teach us?

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Old 04-18-2018, 01:37 PM   #11
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He had not seen the soul at that time and even as she finished her story he had still yet to see the soul, though he now knew of Mirma’s existence and what she was. She was more than any familiar of any magi, but so much more. He had stayed silent through most of the story his green eyes reflecting only curiosity. They only grew stern when she refused food that her body so clearly needed. That first moment his slender hands had held the cup of soup to her lips, unwavering until she drank. Once her strength seemed to return he had moved back across from her and had not spoken much since.

“You are elf touched,” he finally spoke. “One affected by the proximity to my kind. It is a rare gift, though one that is dangerous,” he explained, “Dangerous if not mastered as you are learning.” His chin was now cradled in one of his palms as his eyes studied her. “It is difficult to say what causes the condition. Some say it is the spirits of our fallen that attached to humans during the war. I have not researched it enough to give you many answers but yes you need taught.” He as yet did not say that he would teach her but left it more vague saying she needed to learn needed someone to teach her.

His other hand lifted his tea and he sipped. “Do you know of me? How did you know to seek me out?” he finally asked his eyes intent on her still examining her. She had retreated behind the hood of her dirty cloak, he wished she’d be rid of it so he could see her face, did she not realize there was beauty under the grime, despite the scar?
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:39 PM   #12
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“Sir, I searched with my soul. Mirma found you. Your power stands out like a beacon to us.”

It felt so strange to speak openly of such things, just one more of the many strange feelings this day had brought. Humiliation was of course the primary emotion. Self loathing was familiar but normally Miriam’s self loathing was a solitary affair. Today for the first time in longer than she cared to remember she was in what appeared to be civilized company, a fact which brought with it humiliation to match her ever present self disgust.

She had come into the presence of this powerful, handsome being at her absolute lowest. Filthy, starved and desperate, she’d attacked him, she’d collapsed in front of him and on her knees she’d begged him for help. What a bug she must appear to this man. What a slug. But most humiliating of all was the secret excitement he elicited in her. How shameful it was to know that secretly this vulnerable feeling was pleasant. To have her walls so lowered for the first time since... since the events she didn’t want to think about. Humiliation! To know that, secretly, Mirma was rubbing herself in slow gentle oscillations against Miriam’s waist, responding in her primal way to the feelings that Miriam hardly wanted to acknowledge she was having.

It made her hate herself all the more. Knowing there was absolutely no way this beautiful powerful creature could reciprocate her attraction. For the sake of the gods, he’d seen her face! He must surely feel nothing but disgust and Mirriam knew in her head and in her heart that it was justified.

She also knew that he had not, despite his gentle generosity, offered the help she had begged him for. He had answered some questions, he had acknowledged she needed help but he had not offered it. In her heart the spark of hope was dying but she had come here as her last resort.
Inside she knew that if he turned her away all hope was lost. She’d thought about this situation often. She knew how she’d do it. She’d considered a cliff but the thought was too frightening. A deep pool of water like a pond or lake would be better. If she could scrape together a few coins she’d get drunk first, that would probably make it easier, then in the cool water of the space between she would wash away her ugly mark on the world. Everyone would be better off.

Miriam tried not to jump as Mirma buried her sharp little teeth in her soft sensitive side. Mirma hated these thoughts, though she’d gotten used to them. Such thoughts were never far from Miriam’s mind, in some ways they had become a comfort, a promise of escape.

Normally these thoughts would be the beginning of an inward spiral that could last for hours or days but those beautiful green eyes were not letting her turn her mind completely inward. They were probing at her. Again and again she retreated further back into her hood but in this small warm kitchen there was no real escape. There was only so much ‘hood’ and those eyes were inescapable. He was looking at her. Behind her bandanna she was blushing again... and again her feelings had swung back the other away. Shame... joy... despair... excitement... humiliation... arousal... She felt like her mind would break.

Unbidden tears came to eyes and in a moment of crazy... when all those feelings were upon her at once she pushed her hood back, pulled her bandanna down, looked him square in the eye and gave it one last shot... her last chance.

“Sir, Please? I beg you... I have no hope left...”

She was losing the fight against tears.

“...Anything! Sir, anything I have, anything I can offer, anything Sir, for some hope? For a reason to go on living...

Please help me?”

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Old 04-18-2018, 06:17 PM   #13
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The elf sat watching her grow more and more agitated again. He had given her some answers but had not directly addressed her concerns. He was unsure what to say. He had been in exile for more years than this young woman was even alive. There were risks involved. The normally placidly calm elf rose to his feet and began to pace. He went to refill his tea but took his sweet time getting there and back. When he sat again his eyes returned to her now exposed face. The slanted almonds of his green eyes studying her.

“Little one, it is not as easy as you think it is.” He finally said softly. His voice caught on the name he called her. Why had he called her that? He had called no one that since his Elia. He cleared his throat his eyes boring into her anew as if trying to discover something about her that might have triggered that type of response. He finally shrugged it away, almost as if a cat twitching its ears or tail, perhaps a horse shaking off a fly.

Slender hands came out to rest over hers. “Save your pleas. I have not even refused you yet.” He said his tone a bit sharper but it was somehow clear that he was not chastising her so much as himself, possibly for his words to her a moment ago. His touch was much gentler than his words helping to assure the woman the biting tone was not aimed at her. “I could tell you things about myself litt” pause, “Lady Miriam that would make you turn around and leave. Well, or try to kill me. My own people cast me out, deny me contact. I am isolated from the elven magic’s and people. Even the humans fear me.” He was unsure why he spoke this much why tell her this at all. His thumbs idly stroked the backs of her knuckles as he spoke. “So I am a bit shall I say wary of accepting you outright. I have not even lived with anyone for more years than you’ve been alive. I cannot make promises if I do not even know if we can get along.” He tried to explain. “I can agree to let you stay and we will revisit the subject once we see how we get along. In the meantime you will be safe here, and my powers will help to shield the both of you. Your soul is powerful, but I do not believe I am in danger from either you or her.”

Finally as if realizing that he held her hands he withdrew his touch and claspt his mug again. His tone lightened and became a bit more teasing, “I do require my house guests to bathe regularly, and they must eat.” That last was added so she would not find a way to refuse the food he would offer her. The former, well, pretty she may be, but she still smelled as if she did not often feel safe enough to get naked and bathe properly. It took a lot of power in the space between to afford such a luxury.

He recognized some of her demons; they mirrored some of the demons in his own heart. Perhaps they could explore them together, could find something of a peace between them at the very least. It felt somewhat strange to again have a woman in his home, it had been so long. He dare not tell her he was unsure about letting her stay because he was unsure he could control himself around her, that would not sound professional what so ever.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:23 PM   #14
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For a moment her eyes widened in surprise. And then like a dam breaking it burst from her. Laughter! Gales of crazy-mad laughter, genuine happy laughter and despite the fact that tears also flowed Miriam felt the tension flowing out of her.

His lovely eyes had widened in surprise as well. Gods she must look the loon but in this moment of release she could hardly bring herself to care.

She’d offered him anything and he’d asked her to take a bath. Gods, how badly did she want a bath! When was the last time she’d had a real bath? Bathing in the space between had been a quick, cold and furtive affair, sometimes little more than a damp rag in a private moment. Her last real bath had been the day she was married... the day she was branded.

A Bath! Yes please Gods?

Mirma let out a happy cooing noise somewhere down near Miriam’s waist.
The elf had remarkable patience, quiet and dignified in contrast to Miriam’s half mad outburst.

“I’m sorry Sir, I must look a fright, I must smell... I’m so sorry. It’s been so long. I guess I’m in a bit of a state. Please direct me to facilities, I will of course bathe. Perhaps if there was something I could wear in the interim I could wash my clothing?”

Mirriam self consciously ran her fingers through her matted brown hair only to find to her horror that she couldn’t... the sticks and leaf litter that was tangled in it was almost as abundant as the hair itself.

To him she must look an animal, the self consciousness that washed through her suddenly marked the end of the brave moment that had seen her throw back her hood and bare her face moments before. Her smile vanished as quick nervous fingers began to tug her bandanna back into place. How stupid she’d been to expose him to her ugliness like that.

He was wonderful and generous and she’d repaid him with selfishness, forcing him to endure her face. Still he’d seemed almost tender. His hands on hers had been a wonderful secret thrill, one that Mirma had, of course, reacted to. There were no secrets you could keep from your soul.

Safe again inside her hood and hidden away Miriam blushed furiously at the happy, naughty feelings she wished she wasn’t having and distracted herself desperately with fantasies of soap and hot water.

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Old 04-19-2018, 10:39 AM   #15
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Val was silent through the laughter, a slight smile flirted with his lips at first but generally he was impassive. He recognized it for what it was an emotional release. Often when so overwhelmed the mind would cling to a small humorous moment and let out the pain in laughter. There was a part of him that wanted to go to her to give her a shoulder to laugh and cry on, but it was not time for such a thing yet. She would not be accepting of his touch, and he couldn’t blame her either. Val saw himself as unwanted, after all he did not even go by his name anymore, had so altered it.

He saw her retreat back into herself. “I will be sure to find you something, even if it is one of my robes. I would not make you walk around naked while your clothes were being cleaned.” He had to mentally school himself so that images of her naked did not come into his mind, or at least did not fill his eyes with heat.

He rose and gestured her to follow him. “We will start with the falls, it is cool this time of year, but it will take some work and a refreshing water source to get some of the grime away. As he spoke he led her to the steps that spiraled around the trunk of one of the trees supporting the house.

Down a path that lead along a stream they went. He led her through a gap in some rocks to reveal the source of the sound of rushing water they could have both heard for some time. It lead to a small waterfall that fed a pool. “Would you like assistance cleaning your hair?” he asked finally turning to face her again. He was not sure how to not make what he offered sound like a sexual overture, even though it wasn’t. At least not yet, but rather was simple kindness.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:11 PM   #16
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Mirriam left her boots in the house and padded bare foot behind the tall elf as he led her down a remarkable spiralling staircase and for a few minutes along a forest path that if he hadn’t been leading her she would never have even noticed was there. In her pocket she had the bar of soap he’d handed her, a comb she’d found in his guest room and gingerly she carried a neatly folded robe. The fabric was so soft against her grimy palms that it was all she could do to stop herself from pawing at it and bringing it to her face to take in the long missed scent of clean fabric. Filthy as she was though, she felt ashamed of the urges. The quality of this robe was too good for the likes of her.

At first, lost in such thoughts, she barely registered the sound of water falling but as they made their way through an almost invisible gap between rocks the sound suddenly washed over her in much greater volume. She looked up startled and as she raised her eyes to the scene in front of her it took her breath away. Water cascaded in a thousand sparkling diamonds over slick, black rock. Tumbling with the grace of dancing fairies before each drop kissed the surface of a large dark pool creating a silver rim that bordered the depths. The noise was like a soft wall that you had to push through made up of a thousand secret chatterings. There were whispers hidden in it but so many that they became a roar.

The pool itself was bordered at the back by the cliff that the water flowed from and that same cliff face curved around each side of the grotto like a mother’s arms. The rocks on the near side of the pool were dark and rich with soft green moss that delighted Miriam’s toes and had a wet forest scent to tease her nose. Around the rim of the cliffs above large trees leaned out, their branches intertwining to create a canopy through which the light could barely penetrate. The light that did get through seemed to have lost its sharp edges, it trickled like golden honey creating a dappled pattern like a cats fur on the still surface of the pool.

It was a little paradise. Paradise that Mirma had already discovered. The imp had of course, flown ahead and though Miriam had registered her soul’s delight she’d been too engrossed in her own dark thoughts to take a peek. Mirma was making sport in the water, diving in with her limbs sleek and webbed, chasing little silver streaks that moved like lightning in the depths. The imp was as comfortable in water as she was in air.

“Would you like assistance cleaning your hair?”

The Elvin voice was a beautiful sound, like one of the thousand secret whispers of the falls and yet addressed to her it somehow made itself known over the hubbub. She wasn’t startled, though for a moment she was perhaps a little entranced. Then the meaning of his words registered and under her grimy mask she felt her cheeks flare red hot. Her reply was a stammered rasp, her voice an affront to the sanctity of this place.

“Uh? ... NO! ... I mean... I’m sorry. No thank you. I will be fine.”

He had the grace to withdraw.

The pool’s cool waters were a delight. Alone and feeling safe Miriam stripped and though at first a little nervous she was soon able to relax with Mirma keeping a careful watch from the tree branches above. It took quite some time but in the perpetual twilight of the grotto she could not track the sun to determine exactly how long. Eventually though she felt adequately clean to pass as human again. Her clothes too had been soaped and scrubbed with sand before being laid out to dry. They were well beyond ragged but at least they were now marginally clean. Her hair had taken much effort and the combing had been a small torture but the results were worth it.

Lying now next to the pool waiting to drip dry in the warm air she took a moment to reflect. It felt odd being naked but Mirma would give her plenty of warning if the elf were to return up the path. Looking down at herself through Mirma’s eyes she hardly recognised her own naked body.

She’d always been an attractive girl, up until they burnt her face anyway, but she was short and she’d been a little plump. Six months of living hard, near starved, in the space between had seen her loose much weight. She was lean, going on unhealthily so and she had muscle in her legs that she hadn’t had before. She thought of all the miles she’d covered on foot and tears came to her eyes. Her journey was shaping her into a new person, a hard hungry person, she wished it weren’t so. She wished she could go back, take it all back. She wished she could have had the normal life as the farmer’s wife.

Her mind was wandering these fantasy paths as the light began to fade and reluctantly she began to gather her things. The elf was a tower to her barn and so his robes were much too long but she was able to hitch them up and tie them at knee level to prevent them dragging on the ground as she walked. There was nothing she could do about the long sleeves. The fabric was so fine that even when she rolled them up they quickly unraveled again covering her hands. She was also a little uncomfortable with how much of her shoulders were left bare in the large neck line but there was nothing to be done about that.

She tied her damp bandanna back around her face and gathered the rest of her clean but still damp clothing. She knew she must look ridiculous but there was little else for it, with one last backwards glance she started to follow the trail back to the amazing house in the trees.

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Old 04-19-2018, 05:37 PM   #17
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A slight shrug as she declined his offer of assistance. Funny that he would have even thought she might accept. He should have known better than to even ask. He had felt an urge to grow her hair back for her, even it up with his magic, she seemed like she deserved long locks of hair not the crudely hacked off mop she had currently. He wanted to show her the good his magic could do. He had no real idea why he had even had the urge and with that shrug put it out of his mind. “Find me when you are finished.” He said softly and turned to leave.

He made his way back to the spot where she had found him when she had woken up, on his treetop balcony, which did overlook the pool but he could not get more than simple glimpses of her through the trees and rocks, and nothing revealing, more a sense of movement than anything else. His hands worked on his carving. He was done with the rough shape now; now his hands were shaping the more intricate details, beginning to carve the runes of power. He sought within himself releasing his inner magical essence to connect with the potential power in the wood, changing it with his magic even as he carved the runes of power. It was almost a meditative act for him, and served to distract him from thoughts of his nude guest below.

He came out of his concentration as she came out onto the platform. His eyes lifting from the piece of wood to find her. She was startlingly different. Her skin was pale under the tan that had been given her by the harsh son of parts of the space between. And unmated her hair was longer than he had initially thought, but still very ragged clearly her own work. His lips frowned when he saw the bandana wrapped still around her lower face. Her eyes were clear above it though. The frown turned almost to a smile and was that a note of pink in his cheeks when he took in how the robe exposed much of the pale skin of her shoulders, neck, and cleavage. He let his eyes travel back to her face quickly. “Take it off.” He said suddenly, not unkindly but in a tone that allowed for no argument. “It is nothing I have not seen and barely mars your beauty. The scar does not offend me but that silly wrapping does, be gone with it.” He stepped forward hand tilting her chin up so his eyes could meet hers even as his other hand moved to untie the bandana. “Better,” he breathed now able to look upon her beauty more fully once he had tugged it free. “There is no room for shame in my house. If you are to be my student ever, you must cease with this ridiculous hiding. You are who you are. After exile I could have worn whatever color robes I wanted.” He stepped closer tilting her head back further to keep eye contact, fingertips gentle along her cheek. “But I owned the black robes they forced on me, I made them part of who I am. If they were a part of me no one could hurt me with them.” It was clear that her education was going to begin now even if he had not formally accepted her. This first lesson was clearly a life one, not one of magic.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:35 PM   #18
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Mirma was fat and bloated with the fish she’d been chasing in the pool. She didn’t need to eat, seemingly nourished somehow through Miriam but Miriam had always insisted that if Mirma was going to hunt, she would eat what she killed. It just wouldn’t do to have a soul that killed for fun. What kind of person would she be if she let that happen?

The torpid Imp wanted to cling to the back of Miriam’s borrowed robe but her claws would likely tear the fabric so Miriam left her soul sulking at the bottom of the spiral staircase and began the climb back into the tree house above.

The robe was of a kind of fabric she hadn’t come across before. It felt sensuously soft against her skin and she loved the feel of it moving over her body though that was making her feel very self conscious as she walked out onto the balcony where the Elf had resumed his position in that sunny spot he seemed to like.

His eyes on her felt a little hot and she was hyper sensitive to the fact that he was unabashedly looking her over. His frown was not lost on her either though. Of course what else should she have expected... still... it hurt.

She felt herself flushing with anger as his eyes left her covered face and wandered where they didn’t belong. He still wore that cruel frown but now he had a little half curl to his lips as well. Mockery! She let the anger fade into her background miasma of self loathing, it was a product of pride she knew she no longer had any right to feel.
Super sensitive to his expressions and uncomfortably aware of the feel of the robe on her body it was no surprise that at first she misinterpreted his next words and the shock froze her.

“Take it off.”

Mortification! Then horror as his actual meaning dawned and frozen as she was she couldn’t bring herself to resist as his supple fingers gently brushed through her hair and he slipped the knot holding her damp bandana in place. She may well have been less afraid if he really had meant the robe. His fingers on her chin were soft and his touch gentle but the contact was burning in her with an intensity that made her want to gasp.

She stared back at him sullenly as he looked at the ruin. But his voice still had the same entrancing power she had noted when he spoke to her by the pool. She couldn’t help but listen to what he said, she couldn’t help but respond to the commanding tone he used.

“It is nothing I have not seen and barely mars your beauty. The scar does not offend me but that silly wrapping does, be gone with it. There is no room for shame in my house. If you are to be my student ever, you must cease with this ridiculous hiding. You are who you are. After exile I could have worn whatever colour robes I wanted. But I owned the black robes they forced on me, I made them part of who I am. If they were a part of me no one could hurt me with them.”

Miriam didn’t understand what he meant about the robes, she guessed it was something to do with Elvin culture but all such thoughts were just sparkles on the surface of her mind now anyway. She couldn’t doubt his veracity and he’d said something that tore the world out from underneath her.

She felt her bottom lip start to tremble as his words played through her mind again... and again.

Your beauty

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Old 04-19-2018, 06:54 PM   #19
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His eyes missed nothing. He saw the tremble of her lips. He wanted to kiss that slight pout, to make her face light up, but rather he resisted. Instead he took another half step closer, his lean frame now towering over hers. And then his hand slid back to the back of her neck and into her hair.

He did a surprising thing then, he tugged gently at the back of her head, pulling her head to his shoulder and chest. He could feel her tremble. He should perhaps have held himself on guard for her to try to stab him or something for daring to touch her, but he did not. He left himself vulnerable to her. How could he teach her it was safe to be vulnerable here if he did not take a chance and trust her himself. “You need comfort little one, accept what I offer freely.” He murmured in elven. He cleared his throat figuring that she had not understood the words he had spoken without thought. “Please accept the comfort I offer,” he repeated in common, the words somehow seeming more awkward that second go round, not that the words were awkward in common, but more that he felt silly for having spoken them at all but did not want to leave her to worry perhaps he had insulted her in elvish.

His left hand began to stroke her hair, softly, gently. His right still held the now long forgotten wand he had been working on.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:23 PM   #20
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At the bottom of the stairs Mirma shot bolt upright. She’d hit the fifth step at speed before Miriam’s terror began to resolve itself into a gaggle of other less alarming feelings. The imp slowed her headlong charge as she realised that Miriam was not in fact in any danger. She paused for a moment longer, assessing the situation above, before returning to her sunny spot near the bottom of the stairs, hardly paying any attention at all to the splintered mess her claws had made of the bottom four steps.

Miriam’s pulse was beating like a drum in her ears. In those ridiculously long sleeves her fists were clenched white knuckle tight and her spine felt like it had been nailed to a wooden pole. His gesture had been gentle but far too quick. Every defensive instinct in her body had tried to trigger... and they’d failed, every one.

All those life saving defences she’d built up over the last six months had tried to send her diving clear of him, hissing and preparing to fight or run. Instead she’d stood shocked and still as his hand ran softly through her hair, taking liberties with her person. His lean fingers brushing her scalp took her breath away.

And then he pulled her in against his chest and she didn’t care anymore. She didn’t care that he hadn’t asked. She didn’t care that he was the most frightening man she’d ever met. She didn’t care... she didn’t care...

She was sobbing.

She couldn’t even concentrate on the soft soothing words he spoke as great waves of grief, pain and shame flowed from her in a wave of tears. She hadn’t cried like this since she was a child. She hadn’t felt this safe since... before.

His hands were stroking her head and it was the most wonderful feeling ever. Slowly tentatively Miriam reached out and wrapped her arms around the tall stranger who so suddenly and so abruptly had become her everything. He felt so solid, so real. Her every hope and desire rested in the hands of this man and instead of terrifying her it felt safe. She felt safe.

Her sobbing had been incoherent but now she found she had words. Parts of her that she’d thought dead were reawakening.

“Thank you”

At the bottom of the stairs Mirma was rolling in the grass in ecstasy as she felt feeling come back to the other half of her being, the half that had been painfully numb since the night she’d killed her family.

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Old 04-19-2018, 07:56 PM   #21
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He was aware that he had moved too quickly. He knew he’d taken liberties with her. He didn’t care. If he had it all to do over again he would do it the same way. She needed this even if at first she resisted.

He let her grief pore out, not trying to stop her. He made some soft cooing noises whispered soft words like there there. It had been so many years since he had held his Elia like this, since his own brother had terrorized her and he had held her as she sobbed. He couldn’t not think of her in that moment because it was so similar. Pain it turned out was universal, and be it human or elven pain it still hurt and deserved to be comforted. He never stopped stroking her hair.

The short uneven strands played over his fingers as he pet her hair. As he stroked he let his magic flow into her. Each stroke of his delicate fingers lengthened and changed the locks of hair, urging the strands to grow. It was a simple magic for him taking what was there and adding to it. Nevertheless it was his gift to her. His hope that she could feel hole again. He could not take the scar away, but her hair he could give her. When she finally spoke coherently he let his cheek rest atop the now flowing mass of hair. “You are most welcome little one. I am sorry if I have frightened you.”
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:49 PM   #22
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Long after she’d begun to regain her composure she stayed where she was. It felt nice... and that’s okay isn’t it? For the first time in a long time she was letting herself feel nice. For so long a sense of unworthiness had ruined anything that might bring pleasure. Tastes had been ash in her mouth, vistas had been scanned quickly for signs of danger then ignored, sunshine had been warm but never pleasant, water- life bringing and cool but no cause for joy. Now though there was this... this.

He spoke and his words reverberated in his warm chest. He called her little one, as he had several times already and somehow that made her feel special and he didn’t push her away not even when he must surely have felt her sobs subside.

‘Your beauty’

His hands ran over her head, his fingers stroked her neck, his fingertips delighting her wherever they touched. She even felt a little tingling in her scalp, not at all unpleasant.

Eventually though she knew the moment would grow awkward and so not without regret she freed herself from the embrace. Now feeling a little vulnerable with her fingers picking awkwardly at her clothing, itching to find that bandanna and cover her face, she looked up and up. He was so tall. She didn’t really know how to break the silence. She knew she was blushing furiously. She really wanted that bandanna but he’d taken it from her and she doubted she’d ever dare to gainsay his word. He’d told her to remove it, so it would remain removed.

She gestured awkwardly at the damp patch on his chest.

“Sorry,” and then quickly so she wouldn’t chicken out, “I have something to show you Sir.”

Mirma was already on her way up the stairs. There was an odd moment of surprise as Mirma came out onto the balcony and they both saw through her eyes for the first time that Miriam looked different. Her short cropped hair had grown out, miraculously so... Those odd feelings as he’d stroked her? Again Miriam felt a little awe.

Mirma’s form was not set in stone. She was about the size of a large cat and for the most part she walked on two or four limbs and looked like a child but with pointy ears and no hair. She could change though. To Miriam she felt solid but others could pass right through her, even to Miriam she had no weight at all. If she wanted to fly she sprouted wings, to swim she became sleek and webbed, in fear she grew armor and in anger- claws. People didn’t see her or feel her contact unless she chose and that is what would happen now.

For the second time in her life Miriam was going to bare her soul to someone. She stammered a little bit as she gestured towards the top of the stairs. She felt exactly like she had as his fingers pulled the bandanna from her face.

“Sir, this is Mirma...”

His eyes widened. Mirma blew a raspberry

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Last edited by Uggg : 04-24-2018 at 05:09 PM.
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