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About King

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    The Virtuoso
  • Birthday 01/11/1990

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  1. I very much am. I'm still getting the feel for this place.
  2. Once again, glasses are proven to be the superior visual assistant.
  3. Paris smiled a charming, bloody smile at his lovingly submissive companion. He knew that the nymph could still feel the signet of her obedience, even as it sat safely in the prince’s armoire back home. She once described it for her lord as an errant memory; a thought that was always there dancing at the edge of one’s mind, but one she could never remember. It was against the counsel of his closest peers that the Lorean prince attended the Caelum festival with the signet noticeably absent, presenting the water spirit with, perhaps, her greatest opportunity to return unto the prince his cruelty and dark tendencies. And yet here she stood, beautiful and ethereal and enchanting, alongside her ever watchful lord master. The pair inspired a broad spectrum of reactions from those that caught sight of them, just as the Lorean prince had hoped. There were some that found the complementing outfits enthralling; masterpieces fit for the odd festivities of the Caelum event. Others, namely children much too young and those of a weak resolve to the likes of blood and gore, saw it as an appalling and grisly scene. And it was here, between the two extremes of smitten and disgust, that there were others that found the little antelope succulently enticing, no different than the proud lion at her side; predators that, at all time, sought newer, finer prey. It was whenever these menacing, hungry eyes befell the spritely nymph that the Lorean prince made a show of her ownership. Whether with a stroke of his broad hand over her cherubic, girlish cheeks, a rough, demanding tug on her plaited hair, or a possessive squeeze of her naked thigh whenever he found himself on bended knee, Paris was bold and explicit in every gesture. Gloved fingers worked through the elaborate assembly of her silken tresses, catching the tri-tipped ends of her left ear, pinned back by an ashen clip as they often were at social gatherings. Expressive as her ears were known to be, a showing of alarm or hostility—toward any in attendance—would, in no small way, earn her master’s ire. “Do you remember the city we passed on our way to the festival?” Paris turned his head north, scanning the mountain horizon. “It was at the mouth of a valley, tall and white? Yes, the one with the spires and bridges and those high, high walls. That is Umbra, the Red City, the birthplace of the Faith, the holiest of all domains within the Empire.” The stroke of his finger along her ear turned to one of longing; soft, slow. “I had hoped that the Lord Father might attend the festival—what an honor it would have been to be blessed with his presence. But alas, I imagine he has been rather busy since his Tethering to the Orisian queen. What an enchanting tale of love, theirs is.” The pair continued on their casual pace, the larger prince slowing his gait to allow his barefooted treasure a reprieve from her quick, hurried steps. More than that, he enjoyed giving those that cared a longer, more generous view of her beauty and excellence. Always searching for more glimpses, more smirks, and even sneers, it was little more than coincidence that settled the Lorean prince’s gaze on a blonde haired woman. Where he and his pet moved, she did well to adjust herself in the most subtle of fashions, as to spread her senses elsewhere, away from them. But Paris was a man of gesture, of action, of body language, and the woman’s mannerisms—from the flickering of the false priest before her to the slight craning of her neck or the forced turn of her head—all but screamed her discomfort to him. Curious of what ailed her, Paris decided to push the fold. Crossing over the courtyard and wordlessly stepping beyond her careful illusion, Paris took the seat beside the stately postured woman, the movement all at once lazy and elegant. He lounged like a young lion bathing in the sunset, high above the vast swath of territory governed by his pride. A fresh kill stood between his legs, but Paris sent her off with an encouraging wave, rather than invite her into the comfort of his lap as was his wont. “If you so wish,” he purred to his eager, spritely pet. “Twenty-five paces, water lily.” It wasn’t until the little antelope sauntered off to explore the courtyard, but still well within his reach, that the Lorean prince turned his attention to the blind woman beside him, a curious smile on his bloodied lips. “How are you and your convincing friend enjoying the festivities?” Paris spoke with a natural, inviting warmth to his tone—smooth as velvet with the roll of his accent; a stark contrast to the intense glare she had already made an acquaintance. Glancing then at the entity before them both, Paris studied it further. Why had she chosen this face, of all faces, to watch over her? “Is he someone of importance to you?” @Nox, @Art in Music
  4. Got your fingers burned by burning candles at both ends. Now, the tables have turned and now your demons are your friends. It's never the same on the way down. How does it feel when your feet finally hit the ground? When all of your bridges have burned down, and the sand castles you built are falling down?
  5. Paris smiled his charming, dazzling smile in approval of the girl’s choice. “Mm, yes, I thought you might choose that.” He touched her again—at the soft curve of her neck, the swell of her naked shoulder, the waterfall of her arm—in a light, loving caress. Still, her was skin softer than silk, glistening like morning light over the surface of a lake mirror. “I’m rather pleased, lovely. You’ll come to learn that your lord master despises the use of violence.” Though a natural talent in the art of harming others, Paris had learned, over the course of honing his unique skills, that pain was but a temporary solution, a medium that was no less ephemeral than the morning dew or the breeze on a sweltering summer day. The more he took the nymph to hand, the less she would fear her master; for the pain of a blade, of a flame, of bite, tear, or shock are consistent—varying in degree, of course, but consistent nevertheless. The nymph would learn, adapt; come to expect and brace herself for the horrors her insolence wrought. It would take time, surely, for Paris was a creative and evolving man, but he was not without limits. Yes, in time, she would fear him no longer, once she learned the extent of her lord’s cruelty. And fear—oh, there was no greater a weapon. Cold, subtle, and cunning, fear was the great predator, the bane of all prey. It was fear of the dark that first spurred man toward the light; fear of the unknown, the misunderstood, that raised their blades against brother and sister; and it was fear, whether she knew it or not, that coerced the nymph to accept his bargain. Fear of the quintessential pain the ring wracked her every fiber with; of the strange, threatening kindness that dripped from her master’s lips; of the unknown, that which he could to do her. Paris would not show his hand often, even if provoked, leaving her in a perpetual state of wonderment. But when he was forced to educate her, as he believed he would be, the Lorean prince decided it would be in the most spectacularly cruel of fashions. “Now,” he purred as he rose to his full height, towering over the girlish nymph once more as a mountain might a hill. “Come sit with me, darling. There are some things I would like to discuss with you. I’m sure you’re curious about your new home, no?” The Lorean Prince returned to the gaudy throne at the head of the Black Room, nymph at his side, and resumed his lackluster, unamused posture upon the seat. He caught sight of the nude creature’s uncertainty, a glimmer in her peridot eyes—was she to stand, to kneel, to sit as comfortably as she could on the elevated dais? Paris chuckled, offering her yet another polite smile. “Here, darling,” he cooed as he patted his lap. “You will sit here, always here, unless instructed otherwise. You belong to me, and I shall have every man, woman, elder and child that looks upon you know it with the utmost certainty.” It was when she was situated properly, flush against his chest and abdomen, that his curious, wandering hand returned to her flesh. Willowy fingers had worked through her silky, luxuriously dark emerald hair before he cast it aside, exposing a soft, pale blue thigh to his deceptively kind, caring touch. Tucking away pieces of her lovely hair, strand by strand, positioning her like so on his lap, the Lorean prince had put his treasured gift on display for the court eyes that still lingered upon her. Unashamed of her nudity, of her youngling appearance and the strange feelings such contradiction inspired within him (and, from the looks, that of his court), Paris adjusted her again, ever so slightly, so that the scarlet moonlight pouring into the room accentuated her deviant beauty further. “You are the first nymph I have had the pleasure of interacting with, in the flesh. I’ve read stories, heard songs, but yours is an elusive kind.” Paris sighed as he squeezed her thigh with a bare hand, thumbing higher—closer to her apex—when the pressure abated. “Tell me what you know of this world, spirit. Did your captors educate you any in the world you were soon to be thrust into? Do you know anything of my realm?”
  6. Pick up them shoes, I'll race your ass up all them stairs. Just grab a room, I swear no one will interfere.
  7. Long before the birth of the Blood God’s empire and well into its infancy, the kingdom of Lorean retained an isolationist’s view when regarding their neighbors and distant cousins. They were well fed from workable soil and thriving forests, rich with game; north of the Great Barrier nestled against the flank of the Cold Mountains to the east, they were well protected; while a strong working class, savvy nobility, and understanding between the two provided a balanced, stimulated economy. Lorean was not without its troubles, of course, but none ever so dire that they need reach out to a neighbor for assistance. They prided themselves on this, these ancient people, and for more years than any living Lorean descendant can remember, this was the way. But Paris Du Lion was unlike the Lorean kings of old. He yearned to educate himself on the larger world—not through texts, poem, and song (as was custom), but in the flesh. He could think of no better debut than the Caelum festival, an event so grand its heraldry had found its way north even of Mageside. Paris stood now, for the first time, further south than any Lorean noble had traveled since the brood wars. He stood beneath the same night sky as his home, yet it seemed brighter, alive with the warm and cool colors of the sunset, and all the more enchanting by way of the infinite number of stars that twinkled and gleamed into view. He breathed the same air, yet it tasted fresh, crisp and sharp like the first bite of a citrus fruit. The Lorean Prince saw the faces of tribesmen and tribeswomen, mythical beasts, children at play, the young and old—a humming, buzzing, dancing, drinking, laughing and singing swarm of different cultures, races, and bloodlines brought together this eve. It all brought a smile—one of triumphant knowing, no less—to his face, which failed to make the scene of his mouth any less gruesome or menacing. His attire was one of stark contrast to the gold and white theme of the festival, dressed in the noble trappings of his family’s insignia that were decidedly black. Paris wore supple leather that was darker than ink, and billowing, shimmering silk robes bluer than the midnight sky. Roaring lions marked his pauldrons—one of which was masked by the silk slung over his shoulder—and the breast of his chest as well, while he donned a full king’s headdress to complete the ensemble. The lion’s head and mane were, like the prince’s leather, of so dark a hue that the gaudy ornament appeared to vanish in the shadows, leaving behind only a pair of bright, predatory golden eyes. Its snout and fangs, like the Lorean prince’s mouth, were soaked in a redness that should have long-since dried but had, instead, remained wet and dark. It was all a fitting complement to the small, spritely creature at his side. The festival was to be the nymph’s first taste of freedom beyond the walls of the castle; a ‘test’, as Paris had called it, of all that she had learned during the short two months she’d spent under his careful, sculpting hand. “An,” he had decided to call her this night, in respects to the outfit she wore. “I trust you will be on your best behavior, yes? Remember what we discussed.” There were rules—always rules. Paris reached out and touched her painted face with a hand, gloved in the finest of moleskin, thumbing the corner plump, girlish lips. “Else, I’ll not be able to take you to the next festival that catches my interest.” @Nox
  8. Welcome to Valucre. Enjoy your stay.
  9. The Sitraic Faith “Those that would cast aside their brothers and sisters and forsake their faith become something less than beasts. They have no place in the heart of our empire nor in the eye of the Lord Father. Let them die and be forever forgotten.” — 13th Understanding, 6th Book of Insight The Sitraic Faith is the official and only state religion of the Orisian Empire. It is devoted to the to the worship of the Sauriel, the Blood God, and Immortal Emperor—reverently known as the Lord Father—as the ascended divinity and savior of the Faithful. Those who believe in the Faith’s teachings hold that the Emperor is a living spiritual entity and the one true divinity of a unified people. The Sitraic Faith is lead by the San’layn, also known as the Ecclesiarchy, who devote their lives to spreading the word and will of the Lord Father to every corner of the empire and beyond. Despite an almost fanatical and single-minded sense of loyalty to their deity, almost all forms of nonconforming faiths are tolerated by the Ecclesiarchy and their congregations (spare those that would intentionally and directly attack the integrity of the Faith or the Lord Father). As the Faith spans over a great deal of territory, there is a broad spectrum of manners in which on may practice their belief (the most common of which is blood sacrifice); however, all worship of the Lord Father must comply with certain Ecclesarchal values including, but not limited to: unquestioning political loyalty to the Ecclesiarchy and the various agencies beneath their rule, diligence in carrying out the Lord Father’s will, belief in Lord Father’s ultimate divinity, and conscious contributes to the empire’s overall well-being, no matter how little or great. In the current Genesar era, the Sitraic Faith has unrivaled power and influence within the Empire. Any and all heresy against it is punished with unquestioning, draconian severity. There are many that view the Faith as the empire itself, for it is the glue that binds the empire and its many people together, both in times of prosperity and strife alike. The precepts of the Sitraic Faith, called the Great Understandings, include the belief that all living beings are born into the world by blood and thus are bound together by that blood, the absolute exaltation of self-improvement, spiritual, immaterial, and psychological enlightenment above else, and that racism, prejudice, and xenophobia are a dire threat to the existence of all sentient creatures which must be eradicated by any means. Many of the Faith’s precepts trace their origins to the opposing beliefs the Lord Father once held during his time as a young knight, long before the rise of the empire. History of the Faith “Knowing his god survived now on the prayers of all, it was Cecil’s cunning that ensured the Lord Father’s rivers of tribute would never run dry. He wrote the Lord Father into the ambiguity of their laws. He wrote the Lord Father into their art. He wrote the Lord Father into their war. He wrote the Lord Father into their livelihood. He wrote the Lord Father into their hopes, their dreams, their fears. Soon, all the Umbral people’s efforts were in the name of their new god, and the seed of the Sitraic Faith had grown into a mighty oak tree.” — Verse 1:6, The Book of Insight In the beginning, the Sitraic Faith was little more than a zealous cult—known as the San’layn—loosely structured around the teachings of Cecil Anseleme. A man of unending loyalty and piety, Cecil viewed his then king as a god in his own right, a man of necessary vision and proper ambition to usher in a new era of enlightenment for those beneath his rule and the world at large. It is the belief of some that it was Cecil who encouraged the then Blood King to seek ascension as the solution to his strong mixture of troubles. In other accounts, it is said that Cecil was oblivious to his lord’s true intentions. By any tale, the young cleric’s faith and determination to serve the Lord Father are always regarded with a sense of awe-stricken admiration. Never has there been one more singularly dedicated to the cause of the Faith or more involved in the erecting of its infrastructure. The teachings of the San'layn were well received by the Red City's vampiric population and those that still claimed allegiance to the city-state beyond its high walls. As the newly minted Blood God tested the limits of his being, it was Cecil that wove an enchanting tale of blessings, boons, and favor that befell those within the city that gave tribute to their Lord and Savior. It was in this manner than the entirety of Umbra was indoctrinated in a matter of weeks. It was then, with an army of crusaders behind him, that Cecil turned his sights abroad to convert the non-believers-- or silence them. Many of the immediate threats to the Red City and its newborn religion were targeted first: vagrant packs of werewolves, savage beasts running rampant along the coast, rival warlords and warring tribes, and any manner of civil unrest that might upset the delicate balance of power. When Cecil could not reach these poor souls with diplomacy, he did so with the blade. And while the story of the Arcane East's consolidation under that of Carmine rule is told by the series of alliances and exchanges made between rulers, it was not without its battles. There were many conflicts along smaller borders within the empire, lesser kingdoms housed in the growing shadow of the Red City. These were bloody and excessively violent affairs, so vicious in their unfolding and high in cost of life that even the most warmongering of soldiers lost their taste for battle. In the times since the unification wars and the final establishment of the Carmine Empire (now the Orisian Empire), the Sitraic Faith has blossomed across the entirety of the Arcane East and beyond. It has rapidly developed into one of the largest faiths on the continent, if not the world, and guides the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each and every day. Religious Practices In spite of a vigorous determination and unrelenting practice of self-betterment, The Faith is an establishment of constant-- nearly excessive --jubilation. It is not uncommon for a number of extravagant festivals to take place at any given time, most lasting for days and weeks, some even months. These festivals are often enacted as a manner of prayer to the Lord Father, with sacrifices and offerings made in his name during each day and night of the event’s duration. The most prestigious of these events is known as the Feeding, an exclusively vampiric masquerade held annually within the Red City. It is preceded by a nearly month-long period of fasting by the vampiric nobles of the empire, wherein they abstain from the partaking of blood. During this time, “vessels” -- mortal civilians of the empire elected to serve as the event’s feast -- are groomed to service these lords and ladies’ pleasure during the night of the Feeding. Those of the Sitraic Faith also practice a betrothal ceremony, known as the Tethering, which serves as a prerequisite to any religious marriage. A ritual to symbolize the promise of unifying mind, body, and soul by blood, the Tethering requires the betrothed couple pour their lifeblood into a chalice and drink from it, thus inviting their shared essence to fill both vessels. Those that partake of the Tethering are considered bound in the eyes of the Ecclesiarchy (with many of the Faithful considering this to be the true marriage of beings), promised to forsake all others. The Deep and Sitra Ahkra As it is taught in the Scriptures of Insight, the Deep is believed to be the fundament of all things; the great void from which all that is, isn’t, was, and will be first emerged. It is seen by the Faithful as a plane of being that underlines the prime material, also known as the Waking World, and all of its sibling immaterial planes. It is from this primordial foundation that the Lord Father carves the Great Understandings, and thus the Deep is viewed as a sacred place of blessings and enlightenment for their patron deity. It is also from the Deep that Sitra Ahkra, the final destination for all souls of the Faithful, was created. The afterbirth of the Lord Father’s ascension, this nightmare realm is a scar on the Deep bound to his will. Both heaven and hell to the Faithful, it encompasses both the Maelstrom and Islah, the Eye. It is the source of all Sitraic faith-magic within the empire, contrary to popular belief that such is derived from the Lord Father himself. The Maelstrom is inhabited by the souls of the wicked, the damned, the unfaithful, the sinners, and the faithless slain by the Faithful. It is a boundless, ever-changing landscape of raging black oceans, thundering red skies, and crumbling earth torn asunder. Inhabited by eldritch horrors of the Lord Father’s design, these angels patrol the seas and skies and stalk the broken shores, preying on the weak and weary. But every so often, they stumble across one who is worth redeeming - a soul that, with the proper encouragement, may see enlightenment. With enough time, a soul lost to the Maelstrom risks becoming corrupted by the endless violence and chaos of the realm. This defiling manifests itself in the demonizing of the afflicted soul, rendering them as little more than mindless terrors. More threatening, however, are the creatures born of the very fabric of the Maelstrom, itself. As a realm of purely spiritual and psychic energy connected to the lives of millions upon millions of people, the Maelstrom is unsurprisingly sensitive to the raw emotions of the Faithful in the Waking World, and even more so to the countless lost souls that find themselves in its tempest. When these like emotions, typically negative, gather and swell within the seams of the Maelstrom for too long, they eventually burst and give form to what is known as a daemon—a powerful entity able to pass through spaces between realms and lead demonic incursions into the Waking World. Protected from all this, at the center of the Maelstrom, is Islah, the Eye. If the Maelstrom is the hell that all Faithful fear, Islah is the venerable paradise they all tirelessly seek. Throne World of the Lord Father, Islah is said to be an obsidian city of eternal peace, happiness, and understanding, bathed in the inverse light of the ever watchful Oversoul. It is the resting place of Sitraic heroes, martyrs, prophets, and forge of the great holy relics used in worship.
  10. “Shinguri,” Paris purred, testing the spirit’s name on his tongue. He found it ripe and succulent, sweeter than honeydew and satisfying in every manner of the word. “Mm, what a lovely name that is. My name is Paris…” the prince’s words trailed off as he continued to stroke her dainty arm, often pausing in his caress to cradle her tiny hand in his much larger palm. The spirit’s curious skin shimmered in the light, as if wet, but was dry to the touch. How terribly fascinating. “… but you shall, from this moment forth, call me lord master.” The prince paused as he caught sight of her full, charming eyes falling to his pocket for the second time. He raised a finger and pressed it into her cheek, returning her gaze to his with a stern drive of the digit. “You needn’t worry about that, little one,” he promised with a handsome smile, half-hidden by the gruesome mask he wore. “I’ve no interest in torturing you, Shinguri. I paid a considerable deal of coin for you, and I’ll not see my investment ruined.” Dropping his hand to his pocket, he gently patted the impression the signet made against the fabric. “This is to be the nature of our agreement: “Whatever life you once envisioned for yourself is no longer of any consequence. Your past is no longer of any consequence.” Despite her youthful appearance, the spirit understood—Paris was confident of it. “You belong to me now, Shinguri, and all that matters is how you shall spend your present and future: in pleasure or pain.” Again he thumbed her cheek, stroked her neck, caressed her arm and streamed her emerald hair between his fingers. “As you can see, I can be gentle. I can be kind and loving, for it is within me to cherish that which belongs to me. But I can be dark and cruel when provoked—” Paris plied his fingers from her soft blue body, and from will alone conjured at his fingertips a wisp of electrical current. The spark flashed in a bright, blue-white light that left the air humming long after it had vanished. “—in a manner most suitable for a creature of your nature. Thus, the quality of your life here in Lorean is directly in your control. If you will promise to behave, to mind yourself and adhere to your lord’s every wish, I will seek no reason to punish you, and you will know neither pain nor anguish. And, if you remain faithful to me, in time, I will return to you what this ring has taken, so that it may never be used against you again.” The Lorean prince was patiently awaiting his cherub’s answer when a tall, narrow figure made its way over to them. It was a woman wrapped in the beautiful white silks of a lavish wedding dress, the fabric splattered at the breast with scarlet, the darkest of which settled over the heart. Her raven hair was still neatly dressed, pulled back in an elegant ensemble; her jade eyes were made profound and sunken with makeup; and the remainder of her hawkish features were powdered ghostly white, completing her imitation of a corpse. “Paris,” the dead bride cooed. “Lovely as she is, don’t you think you should have some attire fetched for her?” Paris smirked. “Does her beauty unnerve you?” “Quite the contrary. But it would be decent.” “I have no interest in being decent, least of all in the privacy of my own home,” the high prince replied. “She is not a person, Meridith, and you would do well not to let her appearance fool you. She is property—an object; living, breathing art that I, and our guests, shall appreciate in all her glory and naturalness until I see otherwise fit.” Paris returned his attention in full to the spirit, his gaze intense as he brushed aside more of her hair, exposing the fullness of her neck. “Shinguri is exactly as she should be.” The bride frowned, but spoke no more on the matter. Pleased with this, the Lorean Prince returned to stroking his pet, favoring the curve of her neck now. “As I was saying, do we have an accord, little spirit?” He smiled—a gesture equal measures menacing and comforting. “What shall it be, hm? My affection or ire, water lily?”
  11. Paris had watched the unveiling of his gift in wide-eyed interest, every mechanical click of a gear or whirl of a flowery petal sending a lance of shocking delight crackling through his spine. He could hardly begin to imagine what manner of exotic gift the Council had bestowed upon him, but was certain, in no small way, that it would be worth his time spent waiting. The noble left little to imagine of his surprise—more of a mute disbelief—when, after such a grand unveiling, there was naught but a bowl of murky water left standing at the top of the contraption. But ChoShun Wex was an agile man, quick of wit and action, and before the Lorean prince could voice his immediate displeasure, the mage stirred the wonderful creature hidden within the bowl’s depths. Paris leaned forward, his gaze intense, scrutinizing, as the murk of the water revealed itself to be a river of green hair. When the creature pressed its innocent, cherub features to the glass, the Lorean prince smiled. He leaned closer still, as if to reach out and touch her through the glass, until to press any further would be to rise from the edge of the throne upon which he sat. Again, the mage saw his lord’s will, seemingly as plain and colorful as the imperial suite through which his procession had just traveled, and beckoned the timid creature forth. The cherub resisted valiantly, and Paris found himself smiling in approval of her strong—or feral, as Wex had described—spirit. But as the mage stroked the ring upon his opposite hand more vigorously, the water spirit wailed, her expression pained, and submitted to the will of her interim master. Even her emergence from the liquid was an elaborate affair, and Paris watched, breathless with rapidly rising excitement and nigh-uncontrollable eagerness, as she presented herself to the company of the Black Room. The mage’s arrival had garnered a modest portion of the masquerade's attention, while the elaborate unveiling snared even more, several of whom were kin to the prince. Now they all stood, dressed in the shadows and scarlet light of the Black Room, as the water spirit stood in only her iridescent emerald hair and nudity. “That ring will control her, my Lord. Even in her most feral of moods.” Paris eyed the ornate signet with a disinterested glance. The sapphire jewel at its center was alive with movement, glistening whenever the water inside its hollow center caught the scarlet light. “Thank you, my dear mage,” the Lorean prince purred. “But, over time, I have learned to appreciate the more archaic means of breaking a spirit that does not wish to be tamed.” Ever one to meet a challenge in stride, he pocketed the signet without so much as a second thought to the matter. The high prince rose from the throne and crossed over to the nymph, revealed in their proximity to being well beyond twice her height, and inspected more closely. “Look at me,” he demanded as he took her by the face in a single hand, inclining her head to better expose her girlish features. His touch was stern, but not unkind. “Yes, that’s much better. Let me see you by the light.” She was a marvel, most certainly—everything the Council had promised him and more. “I would like to make a deal with you, water spirit, but first I must know your name. Tell me, won’t you?” ChoSun cleared his throat. “My Lord, her name—” “My dear mage,” the Lorean prince demurred, uncharacteristically kind. “As of this moment, the spirit is no longer your concern. It would be wise not to interrupt me again.” Agile Wex bowed his head, the meaning made clear. “Now please, I invite you to enjoy the festivities before making your journey home. Eat and drink your fill; enjoy the warmth of a woman in your bed for the night. You are my guest and every Lorean hospitality shall be yours to savor.” With a dismissive flick of the chin toward the mage and his procession, Paris returned his intense gaze to the nymph still captured in his hand. Lowering to one knee, though still head and shoulder above the dainty creature, he brushed aside several locks of her dark green hair, drawing his knuckles over her cheeks, down her neck, over her small shoulders and down the length of her downy arm. “Your name, little spirit,” he whispered this time, his accented voice sensual and inviting. “I shall have it now.”
  12. Excellent writing. Keep up the good work.

    1. Lady Etude

      Lady Etude

      Oh, how kind of you thanks so much!!

  13. Shakarri’s rage was an infectious thing. It reached out from her at the height of its swell and took hold of those around her, inspiring within them a fury of similar heat and intensity. Even now, in the depths of his exhaustion—physical, spiritual, mental, and even emotional—August could feel her in his veins, moving slow like magma, welding his bruised muscles and overworked tendons with tension. She shoved him with both hands and he fell back a step, and when she shoved him a second time, expectantly, he fell back another. August tried breathing, slow and steady, but found the heat in his chest fed off it. There was no calming this maelstrom of emotion, this rapidly building ire. I’ve had enough of this. He could have struck her; she was close enough. He could have grabbed her by the hair as she had just done, pulled her close and whispered venomous barbs and degraded her. There was a myriad of actions August could have taken in that moment to express his displeasure with her, and all of them would have undoubtedly made the situation worse. This was their relationship—like the birth of a planet, violent, chaotic, and unpredictable. In time, the molten rock would cool, the tides would calm, and the storms would disperse. But tonight was not that time. “I don’t care!” he shouted back at her. In a blur of motion, he swatted the bow from her hand with such force it nearly snapped in twain as it slammed against the floor. Grabbing the leather of her shoulders, he lifted her to the tips of her toes and shoved her back hard, forcing her against the edge of a table beside them. “I don’t care if you think I’m an idiot or a fucking moron for what I did. This wasn’t about some stupid title, it wasn’t about status, and it damn sure wasn’t about the Wavemaker or imperial business. It was about you!” They had never been shy about their relationship (strange though many considered it), and Sivoy had never been modest in his interest—and pursuit, even—of Shakarri. And while she did nothing to encourage the young hunter on or provoke his advances, the unspoken tension between the two men had continued to grow at an alarming rate. Sivoy believed August unworthy of such a woman; August believed Sivoy much too envious. August throttled Shakarri hard by the two handfuls of her leather vest. “You are mine,” he seethed with rage. “Do you hear me?” He shook her again. “You are mine, Shakarri, and now Sivoy fully understands that I would rather die before seeing another man believe you to be his. You know very well what he believed, and I showed him otherwise.” Though the storm of his fury seemed abated, August retained a strong grip on her vest. He took a single step back, surveyed the beautifully wild woman head to toe. “Now say it,” he demanded with an unfamiliar sternness in his voice. She pursed her lips, defiant. Her lover would not relent, not this night. “Say it, Shakarri.”