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King

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King last won the day on October 28

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About King

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  • Birthday 01/11/1990

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  1. No one knew what was in the chest; only that it was sealed, and to dare approach it, let alone open it, would bring down the full extent of the emperor’s wrath upon them. The imperial guards watched over the chest in their lord’s study as they would any charge, day and night, yet the fear of failure—real or perceived—added the edge they’d been missing, dulled during the long, prosperous peace that had stretched over the Dominion. Their eyes were keen, their senses sharp, and all were denied entrance without their lord’s expressed consent. Even light and shadow seemed rebuked by their vigilant watch, lest a specter take advantage of the in-between. The chest itself was nothing so spectacular, standing at the center of his desk, all papers, tomes, and scrolls cleared well away from it. Fashioned from the rare ronaan wood, it was dark as coal and smooth as glass, no longer than a foot across and only half that from front to back. It was deep but filled with a downy resting cushion, draped in deep a rich burgundy silk. It was sealed with a lock of iron, a lock of bronze, and lock that could not be seen even with the truest of sights. And it was in this unspectacular, thrice-sealed chest that Rafael’s daughter waited. When he was not in his study, carefully working to understand the strange magic placed on his child so that he might undo it, Rafael was overseeing the construction of the palace’s newest addition. It was far from the most grandiose room one could find in terms of sheer size, but it was without doubt the most important. Artificers, architects, masons, welders, and glass-workers from every corner of the emperor’s vast domain worked tirelessly to bring his vision to life. They worked their spells and wards into the foundation of the marble and glittering white concrete, into the walls and windows filled with sunlight, until the air was thick and heavy with them. It was a space grayed from the waking world and its fundament, existing neither here nor there, then or there, but only exclusively in the moment. And with every block laid, it became less of a room, and more the vault of Rafael’s design. But his patience had been thinned, as of late. “How much longer until we are ready?” Lisbon, master artificer and foreman of the vault’s construction, lifted his gaze from the blueprints at his station and eyed emperor. “We’re ahead of schedule, my lord. The men are—” “How much longer?” The irritation was audible. The foreman frowned, eying the plans before him. Even after pulling what remained of the Dominion’s talent from the gate network in Drakiss, the emperor’s task was monumental—perhaps even impossible. “It will be another fortnight,” he said. “At least.” Rafael nodded, eyes dark. “Work them hard, but do not exhaust them. I want no mistakes, Lisbon. Not a crack, not a splinter. This must be perfect.” “I understand.” “Good,” Rafael intoned. Impatient though he was becoming, he could not afford to overwork the builders. It would only hasten an inevitable failure. Quality took time, and though he may have felt as though he’d borrowed too little, the elder knew time was one thing his kind could afford to be lenient with. “Yes, very good. Keep me apprised of your progress.” Then he left in search of distraction. Some moons ago, Irene would have served as his diversion for the rest of day. Even when he possessed her by all definitions of the word, he never grew tired of their game of cat and mouse. There was something thrilling about watching her fight with all she was, trying so desperately to convince him—herself—that she didn’t want to be where she belonged. He never grew tired of hunting her down and dragging her back to their home, kicking and screaming, so that he might deliver a swift and righteous punishment for her insolence. But those days were gone now. Tenebre had seen to that. He was left with only his thoughts to occupy him, and many proved more troubling than the reality he faced. This is her fault, Rafael thought angrily—and then he decided that he would pay his dear Dollya a visit, when time permitted, to vent his anger and hatred for his dear cousin. It had been several months since his last trip to the Umbral underbelly, where the queen’s doppelganger languished in agony. For now, he sought a more wholesome alternative. “Find Lucia,” he instructed a hand maiden. “Tell her to come find me in the garden.”
  2. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    I or someone else would DM the council.
  3. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    I could see it fitting too. Again, it's all about how your character proposes it to the council. Some of them are old school, sure, but there are a few that are more open to progressive ways. Plus, as you continue to mention, it would definitely be a sound economical investment (and profit is definitely a huge sell for these people). This is the AMA thread. You're literally facilitating its purpose. Ask as many or as few questions as you'd like, friend. The term "in the shadow of" is simply an expression to say at the foot of the giant outcropping. There are no major tent covers that cover the whole city, but there are areas (such as the bazaar or some communities in the housing districts) that have tents for cultural purposes. The city is relatively flat for the most part, with the exception of Nebu, which is built somewhat higher than the rest. So, from Nebu, you would be able to see the entirety of the city beneath you. The giant rock is called Wasi, which stands for guardian. There are direct mining operations controlled by the council, but there are areas of the desert not directly or officially under Dairut's control. But as they do not have access to everything, they do import ores and the like when necessary. The people of Dairut eat the same kind of things other people in Genesaris eat. Fruits, meats, vegetables. If you look at the lore page, you'll note that riverways are a travel option, specifically, the city has the beginning of an elaborate system. So, you can see they've begun harnessing the nearby river (in an obviously discreet manner). Think of this as sort of a foundation for players to build on - like the Egyptians who harnessed the Nile to start farming and the like. : ) Like most cities on the forum, you won't find "hard economics." If you want to start selling something in the city, as long as it makes sense, you've likely got the green light to write it into your lore. So, for example, if you're trying to sell snow balls in Dairut, that likely wouldn't mesh well logistically or culturally. But if you're trying to, say, sell a specific kind of fabric harnessed from a desert creature (pre-existing or one that you create and put in the Genesaris Creature Codex), you're more than welcome to. If you're in doubt, drop in here and I'll be happy to help.
  4. The eight rooms fly by all too quickly, with little vital information gleaned. Even with the furnishings shattered and the upholstered ravaged, Rune is able to learn a great deal about the people that once called this place home so many years ago. There were half a dozen children, no one like the other. Where one entertained themselves with science and mathematics, the language of the cosmos, the other buried themselves in civil law or liberal arts. It’s highly unlikely they’d have known anything, he tells himself. Better to move on, but first, the others. He makes his way into the hall, heads toward the staircase. The walk back reminds him how big the home actually is, and though preferring to operate alone, he’s thankful for the other two eyes that have joined him. It would take days, weeks even, to scour this manse from top to bottom by himself. It still might, even with the three of them. Leaning against the railing, he shouts down to the others. “Anything of note?” he asks, awaiting confirmation from both before continuing on.
  5. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    Nebu is for the elite, which your character would qualify as given the current information. Lore regarding slavery is outdated in some places, as the Genesaris government as it once was no longer exists. The continent of Genesaris has in recent years been carved up into various empires/kingdoms/political entities that do not associate with "Genesaris", so to speak. For example, the Carmine Dominion (the former Arcane East and Great North) do practice slavery and have strong ties to Dairut. Yes, the Valhatien Desert has a wealth of resources, from oil to rare diamonds and minerals. These contribute to Dairut's non-slavery related sales. If you would like for an airship port to be built, you're more than welcome to write that story out and put it through the canonization process. It may or may not be successful, depending on the pros and cons your character presents to the council. That being said, not all locations in Genesaris are meant to be accessible by airships. Dairut is a city that focuses on quality over quantity, and survives based on its pre-existing contracts and relationships with other powerful entities on the continent. As I believe it's written into the lore, not everyone even knows where the city is (a la "It can only be found by those who already know who it is" tropes). There are some strong mystical elements to the city and its immediate area, and having a big, shiny airship port can-- if not done carefully --completely undo that.
  6. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    No reason to apologize. Also, I see no reason why not! If you'd like, I can update the lore page with the name of your palace (if it has one) and the name of your character, as well. They'll likely be something of a prominent figure if they've acquired that much wealth, even if only in certain circles. Let me know if that's something you'd like to go ahead with. If not, happy writing all the same.
  7. Rafael carefully cupped the underside of Darkness’ hand, as if the gentlest breeze might cause the precious seed to spill over the edge of his palm. “Yes,” the elder agreed, the relief in his voice only rivaled by the pain and anger quietly lurking alongside it. He endured Tenebre’s barbs with grace for the sake of his daughter, now not even inches from his grasp—but he did not brush them aside or ignore them. Try as he might, he was far too vindictive for that. So instead, he held onto them, scorched them into darkest corners of his mind with the promise to revisit them when time and advantage allowed. But for now? “Oh my precious Fatima’s life and soul,” he parroted. Taking the small walnut-shaped seed into his hands, Rafael ruminated on the Dark Father’s praise of Irene’s thoughtfulness. Not completely heartless? Was he mad, or did he simply choose to use such provocative language? There was no heartfelt sentiment in her ripping their child from within her, invoking foul magics to twist and transform her into this unnatural shape. It wasn’t for Rafael that she hadn’t simply had the child killed, but her own conscience. She was every bit as without a heart as he’d claimed, and in time, he would ensure Tenebre was well-aware of it. But those were plans and schemes for another time; a night when his beloved Fatima was safe and sound, well on her way to life. “Thank you,” Rafael whispered, scooting away from the darkened silhouette. He rose from his knees, still cradling his daughter in his hands. “I will remember.” Remember the embarrassment, the indignity, the shame of this cursed day. Yes, Rafael would remember those that had rallied in their cause against him—Tenebre, Irene, the Mutator—and their audacity to lay foul hands on his child. Long after they’d believed themselves safe, their transgressions absolved, the elder would remember. Beaten though he may have appeared, he was not broken, not without his claws and fangs – he would have his vengeance. “Your daughter will never hear from, or see me, again.” Their agreement concluded, Rafael turned from Darkness and began a slow trek away. There was nothing more the entity could give him, and his pride could nary endure another quip. It would take time to understand the spell and reverse it, but not a soul would sleep in the Palace of Versilla until she was free. Already, his mind mulled over names of famed artificers, wizards, and warlocks that called the Dominion home. They would all of them be summoned to the capital before the sun set, and those that dared refuse would find themselves worse for it. “You’re safe now,” he whispered down to the daughter in his hands. “I’m here, my dearly beloved. My precious Fatima.” Were he in a more stable place of mind, it may have perturbed him that Tenebre had taken the initiative in naming his daughter. It was a common practice amongst their people to divine names for their children from the deep of the abyss, as had been done for the first Rafael of the House Bartolome. And though a traditionalist by all means, for his firstborn, Rafael had wanted to try something different. It was to be an endeavor he and Irene shared together, something that might serve as a means to bring them closer together. But as he cradled his daughter in his hands, frozen in her stasis, he could think of nothing more fitting, more beautiful, than the name resting on his tongue. “I’ll never leave your side,” he promised her. “And I swear, they will all regret this offense against you. Against us.” There was work to do.
  8. Thanks for the follow.

  9. dvsn

    I think it's about that time big bro. 

  10. “Yes, yes, of course!” The words spilled from Rafael’s lips before he realized what he’d said, and were Tenebre any less than what he was, he might have taken the weeping elder at his admission. But instead he stood in shadow and emptiness, a black hand, cool to the touch, eased under Rafael’s bearded chin, allowing time for his request to truly sink into his child’s mind. The words echoed in Rafael’s mind, and as his sobbing subsided, his eyes red and weary, he came face to face with a choice he never in his long life believed he’d be forced to make. To possess one was to lose the other—and to reject Tenebre’s offer was to risk losing them both. Rafael’s expression darkened with the realization laid before him, the sinking feeling of loss welling in his stomach. Not the loss of life or love, or of his wife and child, but failure in the game—defeat. Irene and those she consorted with liked to believe themselves clever, but often times, their antics played into the elder’s hand. Even when he appeared bested, the outcome proved favorable to his many, ever-changing schemes. The wolf was the crest of his family by birthright, but many had come to associate with the elder with a spider, great and terrible in the way he weaved his webs. But if the elder was a spider, Tenebre’s meddling proved a devastating wind. If he was a wolf, then Darkness was a cruel poacher, come for his pack. And for all his might, all his scheming and manipulating, Rafael was powerless to stop him. Closing his eyes, basking in the heart of stillness, Rafael breathed deep of the moment. He loved Irene, and for more years than anything else in his life, he’d done so totally and with the obsessive ferocity of a madman. More than anything, he’d loved her. But that had changed with the conception of their daughter, bringing the elder’s concern elsewhere. What he once did to ensure Irene’s understanding was now to ensure their child’s future; mannerism and habits he once thought unbreakable lay shattered at his feet, slowly being shaped into something new, better. With time, Irene would learn that his love and affection were a blessing, not the curse she believed them to be, but their child—he was determined their child would know from the moment they opened their eyes and took their first glimpse of the world. “Yes,” Rafael repeated, nodding as he opened his eyes. Still red from tears, still weary with pain, but there was also determination there. No matter how deeply he loved his dear wife, there existed no part of him that could forsake their daughter to the cold abyss of Tenebre’s shadow. “Give me my daughter, Father, and I will leave yours be for all time. I swear it.” He knew of those that feared deals with demons and devils, but to one such as he, what was it to parlay with such foul creatures? It was a deal with a creature older than time, an entity only comprehensible because he willed it to be, that chilled the elder’s spine and slowed his heart. “On the blood of my life and black of my soul, I swear it.”
  11. Tenebre’s talk of rest did little to soften the blow of this treachery, lesser still to extinguish the fire and fury of the hatred burning within him. Rafael had spoken these words before at Irene’s betrayal, whether of her duties or his heart (often times both, for the two aspects of her life were so tightly entwined it was nearly impossible to discern them), but never had he meant them with such raw and unabashed sincerity as he did now. Her previous transgressions against her husband and throne, they seemed childish when compared to her latest ploy—mere growing pains, hardly worth his acknowledgement. “She’s taken my son from me,” he repeated in a growing panic. “My son! A thousand years I have waited for this one moment in my life and she has destroyed it!” he screamed, his accented voice shrill and keening. Like a foreboding storm looming on the horizon, that terrible, oppressive presence the elder was known to possess slowly built itself to strength. It stilled the breeze sweeping through the garden, and so too the fluttering of those pages as they danced toward the ground. Rather than snow, soft and weightless, they now fell like dead leaves, damp and heavy, gathering in piles on the ground. It was the darkness Tenebre had placed in him at birth, perhaps as an experiment or, perhaps the eldritch being had grown tired of carrying it himself. But it was undoubtedly different from the cold, dispassionate black that swept over you in the presence of the Dark Father. This was twisted and agonizing, polluted with anger and obsession and madness, and pain as pure and potent as sunshine. He turned away from Tenebre then, too proud to let Darkness see the tears sparking in the corners of his eyes, threatening to spill down his cheeks as they blurred his vision red. “I will not rest,” he promised. “I will not sleep until she is found and our child is returned safe.” He could not bear the thought of closing his eyes and returning to those dreams of wife and child, so intense he many a nights believed them real. How could she do this to me? he asked himself, pacing about the sepulcher grounds. How could she do this to me? “I’ll rip her heart from her fucking chest!” he screamed angrily in his native tongue, sinking his fingers into bark of a long, narrow tree. With a grunt of fury, he tore it from the earth, root and stem, and then hurled it well beyond the garden walls—so far that neither heard its crash. …she… The word was the eye of the elder’s storm, and Rafael turned to face the entity, his tear-stained face wearing a softer expression. All lords and rulers desired a boy by right of their lineage, hoping to ensure the future of their legacy and house. Indeed, they—or perhaps only the elder—were quite invested in the child being a boy, but any that knew Rafael were well aware he couldn’t have cared less. Boy or girl, his child would be loved unconditionally, an emperor or empress to continue the rule of his bloodline. What have I done to deserve this from either of you? he thought, stumbling toward the likeness of his wife. But it was not violence he visited upon her when she was in arm’s reach (for what good would it do?) or more vile, harsh cursed. Rafael debased himself as he’d never done before, throwing himself down to his knees, coiling his arms around her long, pale legs and pressing his face into her thighs. “Please,” he begged in the home tongue, sobbing. “Please, do not let her do this to me. Father, please, do not let her take this from me—our child is innocent. If there is any love left for me within you, please do not let her do this.”
  12. Indeed, it was rather strange seeing a wolf’s face producing human speech. Growing up, Paris had often wondered what it might be like if certain animals—lions, wolves, bears, tigers and the lot—could speak their minds. What it might look like, sound like, to have a person’s voice coming out from behind those razor sharp teeth. Watching Okina now, it was almost comical seeing such a tall, imposing creature speak in his tongue, and the crown prince could not help but chuckle in growing amusement. “Yes, I would rather like that,” he said as she pawed away bits of the boy’s flesh from her face. Paris assisted in the endeavor, swiping away some of the flesh that had managed to make its way down to her breasts and stomach. “It isn’t every day that I get to see a lycan’s transformation.” Neither Solomon nor Helaine requested help from the other two, more than content to occupy themselves with good conversation as they loaded the bodies into a heap. The knight was accustomed to the grisly work, and Helaine’s days of pilfering about the ruination left behind by marauder raids also made her a worthy candidate. Moreover, the she-cat had developed something of a wild curiosity with her sparring partner—and all the manners of battle he’d yet to teach her. When she was not lounging about the palace, serving her prince, or demanding attention in that fickle way cats do, she was in the training yard, pestering Solomon for yet another lesson in the spear and shield or sword. Paris took his seat closer to Okina than before, gathering up one of her massive paws in his hands. “So much power,” he said as he fondled her fingers, spread them, weighed her palm and found it daunting. “It’s incredible to think that all of this… raw… untamed power is lurking just beneath such a pretty surface.” The intrigue in his eyes was so heavy, so thick, that it darkened the jade to a rich emerald. He carefully ran his fingers up over her arm, squeezing the taut muscles beneath the fur. “I wonder then, if you were a pureblood, born as you are, which do you consider your true self? The wolf or the mask, darling?”
  13. “Gone.” The word echoed in the hollow drum of his stomach, growing louder as it worked itself through his limbs and into his mind. It wasn’t the first time she’d run away, even when there was no need to. It wasn’t the first time that she’d betrayed him, took it upon herself to write into place his destiny with her own hand. But it was different this time, and Rafael realized each and every time the word throbbed in his mind. There was a finality to the Dark Father’s words that bordered death, and he spoke of deals, life, and freedom as if to clarify her living status. So why did it feel as though she’d been ripped from this mortal coil, leaving not even a trace of her on the wind? Why did he feel this growing pit in the bottom of his belly, widening, deepening, swallowing him whole from the inside out? It was the loss of his child, of course. This was no mere unraveling of blood ties or oaths spoken, no cleaving of love, obsession, or friendship. For all the cruelty and violence he’d inflicted upon Irene, he loved her in his own way, more than he’d ever loved another living soul. It wasn’t until her pregnancy with his child that he’d come to love another as passionately and fiercely, perhaps even more. For the elder was not like these other men and women of the realm, fortunate enough to bear children from other realities and other worlds, to know the bliss of true parenthood. The child his petulant, vindictive wife carried was his first and only child born of flesh – over a millennia of patiently waiting made manifest. And now, for all his effort to do right by her, by their son, she had ripped that away from him. Truly, there was no creature more selfish or hateful than his darling Irene. Could Tenebre see the hate brewing in Rafael’s eyes like a storm on the horizon, dark and foreboding? Did he notice the way his hands tightened on the book, fingers with the strength of ages tearing through its hard cover and sinking into the pages below. The way he grit his teeth, set his jaw in frustration? If he were but a decade younger, he might have torn the Dark Father’s vessel into pieces for this—though it would do the ancient entity no harm, of course. But to see his wife’s likeness, taunting him with her crimes, it was nearly maddening. Yet to see her was to think of their child, and though Tenebre had ignored her pregnancy (likely in an attempt to drive home his point regarding the unborn infant), Rafael could not unsee it, and so to do any harm upon her, real or otherwise, was to threaten that life he wished nothing more to cultivate. “Gone away from you, from me, from everything and everyone. I cannot tell you where she is, I do not know. That was part of the deal. One true life time, one real life devoid of our influence...and then she’ll be ready...and then she’ll fulfill her true destiny.” “She will never be gone from me,” Rafael hissed, pieces of the book falling from between his fingers. “Never.” He threw the rest against the ground with such force that it nearly exploded, chunks of paper and hard back bursting into the air. “She does not get to erase the past simply because she does not agree with it. She does not get to just throw her hands up and walk away from everything because she desires something else. Those days are over,” the elder shouted, his voice so very far from the cool emptiness of Tenebre’s. He was darkness, cold and older than time itself, but his son was a star of roiling emotions, raw and unbridled hatred the most prominent in these moments. Oh, how truly and bitterly he hated her now. “She does not get to do this with impunity—she does not get to take my son from me!” Rafael hadn’t noticed he’d dug his long, glass like nails into the swell of his palm until he felt the warm rush of blood over his fingers. “I will find her, Tenebre,” he promised—warned. “Even if I have to tear apart this entire cursed world to do it. I will find her, and I will drag her back here, kicking and screaming if I have to.” There was violence in his eyes, and it took all he was not to rip the Dark Father’s pretty head from his soft, rounded shoulders. “And when I am finished with her, she will beg for death—and I will deny her.” Deny you, he left unsaid. “Her anguished cries will become a testament to my peerless cruelty, and the halls of the palace will run black with her blood.” He would never forgive her for this, Rafael promised himself. Never.
  14. “What a curious creature you are, Rafael.” It wasn’t often that he was caught by surprise. Always on the move, always plotting, always keen of his surroundings, it simply wasn’t in the elder’s nature to be caught unawares. Irene had, on many occasions, noted how uncomfortable it made her when he would surprise her. Many times, it was without effort—but there were a few, when he’d seen her gazing absently out a window, or perhaps when she’d finished bathing and thought herself to finally be alone, that he’d enjoyed sneaking his way behind her and confirming his presence with a touch here, or a gentle kiss there. She’d never taken kindly to it, of course. It was a betrayal of all that she desired, loving and wanting him, and so she denied herself the rightness of it. But Darkness was not his wife, his servants or knights. It was not the wind in the trees, the streams in the forests, or the creatures that dwelt in the night. It was the deep cold of winter; the vastness of an empty home. It was the pit between stars, older than existence itself, and uncertainty of the dark unknown. It was shadow, always there, always watching, listening. That it had taken on Gabriela’s indeed furthered his discomfort, adding to the unease already breeding in his stomach. Tenebre had seemed forgiving of his favored son, though that forgiveness was never something so gentle. It was a cruel forgiveness, one that said, you will be my play thing as penance—now entertain me. “I have never denied who or what I am,” Rafael finally replied, keeping his eyes fixed on the sarcophagus. He didn’t want to see Tenebre wearing her skin, not when he still longed for her. But it was hard to keep his gaze from straying, all but impossible not look upon the beauty of Darkness’ vessel. She was, indeed, perfect, and the longer he stared, the more he remembered the softness of her skin against his lips, the sweetness of her smell, or the long, silken tresses of hair streaming between his fingers. “It is because of me that your children have not yet plummeted into extinction. Because of me that they’ve found themselves a new home. I allowed my vices, no matter what form they might take.” Rafael felt no remorse for his encounter with Dollya, or the poor fate he’d resigned her to in the aftermath. If she’d had any other face, any other shape, she may have yet found another way in this life. But it was not to be, and now she rotted away beneath the keep of Umbra, utterly broken to his will—kept to motivate the legions of the Dominion, as many were. “That does not mean my love for Philippe was any less pure or worth,” he argued, only slightly offended. Darkness didn’t seemed bothered by his reply. “My goodness, wasn’t she beautiful?” Why is he talking like this? “What do you mean, wasn’t she?” “To think this face will give in to death and the sickle of time, rot and decay...I never thought I’d see the day...I suppose I should be glad for it, but I feel -- well, I suppose, I feel a touch of sadness. There should be some sadness, shouldn’t there? When the world loses something beautiful?” Rafael turned to face Darkness fully, concern and confusion rich across his face in equal measure. Of all Tenebre’s games, it was not like him to tease about something so severe. Though, it was not as though the dark father was none prone to dramatics. Seeking to quell the unrest in his chest, the elder reasoned with his father. “She’s left Orisia,” he said. “It was… necessary, even if not ideal. I’ve come too far this time to let her ruin things. There’s too much at stake.” He could almost feel her swollen belly against his palm at the thought, his unborn child, so far away from him now. “There’s no need to be so—” “Haven’t you noticed yet? Gabriela is gone. Your unborn son, he’s gone too -- but there will be no grave for him.” Rafael blinked, confused. He ran the words through his mind again, over and over, in the matter of a few slow, staggered heartbeats. What? The confusion made way for disbelief as he turned his thoughts toward their bond. He’d made an effort not to strum those invisible chords between them, the ties that bound their blood together. And so he ignored it on most days, giving Irene the freedom she craved. All it would take to prove Tenebre’s words a lie was a simple thought, a touch of his mind and all Darkness’ lies would unravel. So why, then, did he hesitate? Why did he not immerse himself in the feeling of his wife and unborn child? Was it fear, he wondered? Could Darkness be telling the truth? No, he decided. He’s lying. And yet it was gone—completely and utterly. Irene had pulled this trick before, blanketing their bond in so much darkness that it had become invisible to him. But things were different now. Just as the child in her womb had made her immune to his influence, so too were his senses beyond her parlor tricks, insofar as the child was concerned. It was his flesh, his blood growing inside her. There was no force capable of severing those ties. No force, spare for one. “This is your doing,” Rafael said in a low, threatening growl. “You and that little—” he bit back the insult, caging the venomous words behind his thin lips. You ungrateful, selfish, insolent little cunt. How dare you… how dare you! So it seemed he had, indeed, overestimated her. Even with the world at her feet, she felt compelled to cross him – to involve their child? I’ll bleed her for this, he swore to himself. I’ll bleed her dry. “Where are they, Tenebre? She does not have the right to involve our child in this. That isn’t right. Please, tell me where they are.” And though his voice was even, his pose relaxed, Rafael hands were curled in furious, trembling fists. I’ll kill her.
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