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About Roen

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    The Devil
  • Birthday 11/24/1990

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  1. Roen

    The Official Aleksei Fan Club

    I like Aleksei, too.
  2. Roen

    Winter Lullaby

    Curling an arm beneath his sternum and bowing his head, Benedetto genuflected before Queen Irene as she swept passed, and only straightened she put a fair bit of distance between them. When her shadow no longer fell across him, the manservant turned back to the nursery proper. “As you wish.” He said to Raphael, bowing once again, though this time in deference towards the Elder Vampyre. Reaching inside and grabbing the brass knob of the door, Benedetto closed the way into the nursery and, hearing Queen Irene’s urging, hurried to catch up with her. In time, the dark-skinned man eventually took the lead. “Of course, your Grace.” He said, his brow glistening with perspiration. “My apologies. This way, please.” Gesturing with a gloved hand for her to follow, the manservant navigated the somewhat narrow halls of the villa. Rugs of red, white and black softened the floor beneath their feet. Doors lined the corridors on both sides. Each were different: some were grimy steel and looked like they belonged on the inside of a keep or a dungeon, others were painted wood, or glass, or burnished metal. None were locked, but there were a few that were either bricked up entire, or in the process of being sealed. Those projects were abandoned, though. Benedetto never thought to ask why. There were hundreds of doors in this particular corridor alone, and many more elsewhere in the villa. None were their destination, though. They were bound for the stairs, and the upper echelons above. Reaching into his lapel and pulling out a piece of square cloth, Benedetto wiped his forehead, and tried his best not to look over his shoulder to see if Queen Irene was following him. He knew she was of course. He could feel the cold of her at his back, like an ever present chill that hovered near. It made the hairs at the nape of his neck stand up. “Over here,” He said, rounding a corner and approaching an open doorway, the only one this side of the house. Firelight bled out from the room beyond, as did the heat of a hearth and the smell and sound of burning, crackling wood. Standing near the threshold and turning, Benedetto entreated Queen Irene with an invitation and urged her to enter. “Through here, your Grace.” He said, full of grave solemnity. “Can I bring you any refreshments?” He asked, though before a reply could be made, a voice within called out for the manservant. Benedetto stiffened, turned, and then peered inside. His dark skin took on a sickly pallor, then deathly, as he took in the full measure of what he saw. He then turned to Irene, and gestured with more urgency. “Please.” He said, with more entreaty than before. He stood a little further away from the entryway, and groaned involuntarily as he dabbed ais glistening forehead and shaved scalp with his square cloth. “He’s waiting for you.” Was all he said on the matter, his expression pained. Inside was a large room, spacious in the way luxury called for, but lacking in furniture. More austere than extravagant, it seemed more mausoleum or tomb than the abode of an Outsider, but it was not completely empty. Near the hearth in the corner was a table and a deep, latherbacked chair, which sat a pale man with long dark hair and full beard. He wore fine clothes of simple cut: a dark waistcoat with delicate gold trim, a pair of dark trousers, boots. His hair was bound and his eyes were intent, observing the fire that flickered across from him, guarding the room against the advent of cold. Elsewhere were other tables, shelves, and cabinets, and on these and in these and across these odds and ends were the trinkets and baubles of a life lived too long, accumulated over the years. Some were given to him, though most were left behind. There was a elegantly curving bow leaning against a corner; a cloak made of cobwebs and shadow on a rack; a pair of firearms, long and heavy and reeking of machine oil, on a table; a collar such as a dog might wear, with a tag long since faded on a hook above the hearth; items from the past that bespoke volumes of history. A dozen items, a dozen dozen of them lazily strewn about without care of reason, but priceless in their odd, singular ways. None were closer to where the Outsider sat than the small portrait of a woman with golden eyes and long, braided hair. It was on the table nearest him, next to a half-empty bottle of red wine and the empty glass beside it. Stirring, the tail that lay beside him coiling lazily, more characteristic of a feline than serpent, the Lord of the Villa spoke up. “How is my son?” He asked by way of introduction. He hadn’t seen or spoken to Irene since last they met in Veelos, and he was in no mood to rush the encounter here, lest things go awry. Benedetto slipped deeper into the shadows cast by the fireplace, as quiet and unobtrusive as a mortal could be, living in the world of gods, devils, and the vampyres between them.
  3. Roen

    The Conception of an Empire

    The click of heels and the approach of a cold like death, the Outsider knew these heralds intimately. They were beloved, once upon a time; before the advent of truth, they were cherished. Now, her cool tempo inspired dread, dread and anguish and deep, enduring pain. He felt it as he rose from internal exile, bits and pieces he sequestered away for the sake of dignity and pride stirring like great, slumbering giants, reminding him of the sentiment he had thought to bury before journeying to this den of self-styled animals. Now it rose like gorge and bile, and tasted just as bitter, at her approach. Now she was before him, seemingly determined to draw from him the attention he staunchly refused to give her, both here and at the villa, where she had first unburdened her soul to him, and he hated her for it. He hated her for the demand, for the necessity of confrontation. There was nothing dignified about heartbreak. Roen turned his head, but it was not to ignore or otherwise dismiss Irene. She demanded his attention, and so he gave it, as whole and undivided as he never intended. Cold, yes, that is what he saw she aspired to be, as if his reaction towards her infidelity, preordained or otherwise was anything less than deserved. Offended by her arrogance, the Outsider curled his lips with distaste and disgust, the scent of her pride like tainted offal to his sense of decency, and frowned severely. I saved you, he thought as he looked for some semblance of humility on her otherwise pale, pretty face. I dirty myself to wash you of shame, and you dare to look at me so. There was none, of course. No humility, or regret. Not now, that he assumed responsibility for her transgression. Not now, when he played the master of puppets with no strings. He hated her for her infidelity, but he hated her more, in that moment, for her complete and total willingness to cede the onus over to him. A child, yes, the same one that had run from home was the same one that stood before him now, ignorant and proud. He saw the atrophy of emotion, the placid mask that fell over her countenance to conceal her hidden depths, and he almost reached up to strangle her. It was there, of course. The intent, the half articulated gesture. His hands twitched, his fingers curled, and there was the half-step towards her, as if he might embrace her where she stood and not break her neck before asphyxiation could steal the life from her, such as it was. His pretty orphan, his sheltered daughter - his ruin, and his bane. How wonderful it had been, finding and having and making love. How dreadful it was now, seeing the fruits of love. “No more dreams,” Roen murmured, feeling the distance return, the cool impassivity. There had been freedom once, in love. He had let it run wild and rampant and undaunted, and it had wrought many great things, left so unchecked. Now, it was a wounded beast, and it, like so many vital parts of him, slinked off easily, unwilling and unable to reveal themselves, lest they recieve more of the cruelty that wounded them at the start. Better to be reserved, Roen vaguely thought. Better to be callous. He had learned many things, loving Irene over the years, but this was by far the greatest lesson of all she taught: be cold to the world, and it could never hurt you. He applied it now, and felt secure if nothing else, hidden behind a sheet of ice. His attention sliding away lest her changing expression threaten to melt the frost and encourage vitality to return and bring with it the pain of suffering, the Outsider looked at something abstract and unclear, much like he soon started feeling himself, and frowned. He felt empty, and cold. His heart stopped beating, and the breaths he took only served to push the words out of his mouth, soft and dry, as if pressed of emotion; an automaton that concealed tragedy beneath. He could have raged at Irene, he could have denounced her and pulled at the frayed ends of her sanity until she unspooled before him, a heaving mess of sorrow and shame, but he didn’t. It was worth nothing but his own pride, and he had learned long ago the folly of an obstinate one. Whatever she was worth to him, his disgraced orphan, it was enough so that even now, at this sorry state of affairs, it was enough to leave her with relief. He did not trust her with sentiment, and he did not trust her with grief, for he knew her and knew her well. They belonged to him, now, just as they ever did. He knew how to tend to them, the Outsider. He knew how to nurture them. They were friends of his, the pair.. dear, valuable companions, and he’d take them home with him, when he was done here. “Of course, your Grace.” Roen said, his eyes following Irene but never alighting on her, his reply reflexive. He watched her go, then turned his head to Raphael to listen to his machinations, not having to pretend to be interested. But before the Outsider could ask the most important question, such as why Father Darkness should be killed or otherwise made indisposed of, the elder vampyre was moving away, presumably to follow his wayward cousin, wherever she may roam. A duty and privilege that was once the Outsider’s, now his to observe in another. And he did, of course. He observed, he watched, and he listened. He turned his head and sights towards the thrones, a pair of them seeped in shadow and misfortune. He frowned, sighed, shook his head, and left through the same passage he came, intent on returning back to his villa, and from there offworld through a portal, alone. It would be some time before he returned.
  4. Roen

    Winter Lullaby

    Benedetto, the villa’s major-domo and the Outsider’s manservant, was a tall, dark-skinned man with a shaved head and an immaculate goatee, only just recently touched by the salt of age in its course, dark black trim. He had gone once already this evening to the Outsider, and informed him that her Grace, Queen Irene Gabriela Du’Grace, had come to the villa under the pretext of seeing their son. Roen had nodded, seemingly unperturbed - and, uninterested - as his dark eyes smoldered where he sat, watching the snows outside come down to coat his courtyard in a blanket of white. Benedetto was a savvy man, and discrete. When the Outsider made no gesture to get up and tend to his duties as host, or even pay homage to the long-endured romance between he and the Summer Island’s monarch, Benedetto did not question or provoke. Instead, he left it at simple announcement, and made it clear to the staff, after leaving the Outsider’s study, that their lord was indisposed, but that her Grace had leave of the villa, such as it was. This was her home, as the Outsider made it abundantly clear once upon a time. So long as it was his to own and raise their children in, she was always welcome. It was in this way that Benedetto hoped to straddle the duality of his loyalties, both to the Outsider as his man, and to Queen Irene, as her subject. Benedetto considered this and other, more mundane things as he took to the villa, making sure it was well-lit, heated, and suitably comfortable for the Queen, who even now spent time with her son. That was, until word of her cousin’s arrival reached his ears. Not entirely unexpected, but still, Benedetto had his responsibilities, but when he went back to the Outsider’s study and announced the man, he endured a chilling surprise: Roen looked at him, and there was nothing there. No distaste, such as might be expected, nor anger, for the Lord of the Black City was known for his startling bouts of it. They were just eyes, two dark-red eyes beneath a broad brow, small and intense but otherwise lacking. Then the Outsider looked away to seek out the snow outside his window, a flurry out of a vision, or a dream long since passed, and spoke. “Tell her I’m waiting for her,” he said to the manservant, calmly and with gentle kindness. “Alone, if it pleases her.” Benedetto bowed, turned on his heel, and walked away. Descending the stairs and holding onto the wooden rail, his approach to the nursery was marked by light footfalls made with soft-soled shoes and the vague aroma of the scrupulously clean and slightly scented, his cologne a subtle fragrance of warm spice and aftershave. Standing at the door, Benedetto knocked on the frame and cleared his throat, announcing himself. “Excuse me, your Grace.” His voice was a warm, mellow baritone, like distant thunder. “But his Excellency would like to know if you would join him in his study. I will take you there, if it pleases you.” His eyes, a deep coffee brown, flitted towards Raphael, both steady and alert. “Can I bring you anything, my Lord?” He asked, then stepped aside, waiting for Queen and cousin’s reply both.
  5. I will post tonight.

  6. Roen

    Tender Machinations

    “You know what I mean.” Steam moved like a blanket, bathing them glistening wet; she of slick marble, he of sun-kissed perfection, scored by scars. A dream, she had said, and for the first time he suspected he knew why: the world around them was dim, even obscured. Only they, these private, sincere lovers were clear to one another, and so only they could be trusted, believed in. This was real, though. He had assured his chosen, promised her, and she seemed at last to believe him, or at the very least secret the sentiment away, far for intimation. This was real, as was the concern writ clear on her pretty, pretty face. Reaching up through steam between bodies that nearly touched, Roen moved to brush her dark, inky strands away from her wet and sweetly colored cheek to better admire her face, and pressed his sentiments across more firmly, so she understood. “You are girl. My good, clever girl.” Dark and intent with both gaze and murmur, he moved to close that brief span of distance she set between them, setting them flush once again. “You are whatever I wish you to be.” The shower pressed down on them, a threat to drown his words against the veil of water that did more to make the pair iniquitous than clean. “But what is a father, if not lord and master?” He asked without expectation of an answer, looking at her as if she were being obstinate, willful. Roen leaned, swayed, urged her to retreat with him from the drench of hot water, and they moved from the downpour and into simple humidity, indistinct shapes tucked away in their own world far removed. And still he whispered, the devil at her ear, urging her down twisted, darker paths. “Lord and master, slave and pet, such names we’ve picked for ourselves where no one can hear.” He sounded amused now, wickedly so, as if a game were being played, or a private joke being shared. But there was nothing humorous in how he held her, how he set her back against the cool, damp surface of a wall, pinning her against it. Water was forgone now, and all that remained was heat, heat and humidity between them, thick enough he had to lean close lest all she became be indistinct and unsatisfying. “Do not tell your daddy lies, Gabriela.” He said, a hand on her flank and a hand on her bottom lifting her small weight higher, till she was all tippy toes against him. “I am your father,” he said, the artful press of his hips encouraging, demanding the parting of her thighs, the spreading of her legs around him. ’We should get ready’, she had said. He told her they were, and quieted her with a kiss that became more. He took refusals from that kiss, refusals and sighs and, in time, urgings that had very little to do with their world beyond heat and humidity and steam. The Everlinde swayed - or was it them? There was a seething and rocking, the roll of a current and violence. He bit her again, harder and angrier than before, and listened to her cry out and weep. She had tasted like blood and iron without, like clean shadow and a hunter’s moon. She tasted like his girl, and that was taste enough. Then, because she was his girl and these were secrets shared between them, he offered her a thing sweeter than pleasure: revenge. In the turmoil of need and the urgings of wants, he gave her a throat to muffle her cries into, and for the first time in a long time, gave her the intimate anchor she ever went without. On her tongue went the vitae of smoke and flame, an ichor ignoble and profound. It was the thrum of low-strung music, and grace despoiled. It was his blood, and in it was the touch of what was before and the fullness of what was now. He gave it whether she be greedy or chaste with it, and took from her the pursuit of satisfaction again, and again, and again, until he was spent, languorous, and powerful against her, like a God. Holding her, having her, filling her within and without, they spent time together untangling from one another and returning to the water to clean blood and excess off one another, their hands as much as on themselves as eachother. There came the cleaning of arms and legs and backs and fronts, of strange and simple and delightful hair washing, where they took turns admiring the length and cleaning eachother’s hair, for it was an intimate thing, and brought secret joy to themselves. In the end they returned to their room, each meandering to their son at different passes, checking to see that he was still as alive and beautiful as when they had left. He was awake, of course, and preoccupied with his toys. A quiet and studious toddler, it was his wont to be reserved, which caused no small amount of concern in his parents, but not so much surprise. Quiet and stillness defined them in different ways, so it was no far cry to expect it from their tender miracle. They each got dressed, one holding the baby as the other dried and properly affixed themselves for a public appearance, though a small, awkward glance stole a moment between them, for Roen did not insist on an outfit as he had intimated prior, but let his chosen dress as she chose. It was unexpected, this freedom granted, and neither knew quite what to make of it. In the end though, they waited together, this family of three, exiting their rooms only when, by some silent communication or another, Roen became aware of their nearing arrival at their destination. Then, letting Irene hold Philippe, they strolled through the Everlinde, encountering servants, armed men, and the vessel’s staff in equal parts on their way to the bridge. All were unfailingly polite to Gabriela and her child, but noticeably less so towards Roen, whom seemed to possess the ability to repel them, like a magnet to a similarly charged. He didn’t seem to notice, or if he did, he didn’t deign to show it. Rather, after giving Gabriela a small, gentle squeeze of her slender shoulder, he went to converse with the ship’s pilot, and from their conversation it could be heard: they were coming in for a landing. The Royal Family - Roen smiled albeit briefly at this adjective - was to travel ahead in a horseless carriage, while the bulk of the Everlinde’s discharge would follow in the rear. He nodded, the dreaded fiend, and issued a few small, standing orders concerning the safety of the crew left behind, as well as some directives should things go awry in whatever way. Seeming satisfied, he returned to his family, and assuring Gabriela that all was well, not so subtly hinted that their time - her time - aboard the airship was fast coming to an end, knowing that it would come as somewhat of a relief. Guiding her off the bridge, taking her away from those whirring instrument panels and strangely dressed and formal mortals, he guided her to the loading bays, where more technology awaited them: the horseless carriages he had been speaking to the pilot about. A car, Roen said of the long, slender vehicle that gleamed with polish and had no wheels. Black, tinted, a marvel of the future beyond their prized and simple Orisian shores, he told her that they would all be traveling in, as he put it, provincial style. This seemed to be funny to him, as he smiled and hummed at his words. So it was that the Everlinde touched down some miles out from the Shadowlands of Terrenus, and how the Outsider, the Black Queen of Orisia, and their son, made their way to Inns’th in their strange, horseless carriage, followed in turn by their retinue and all that the Lord of the Black City promised to the impoverished garrison to the south.
  7. Roen

    Tender Machinations

    At her glance, Roen dropped a slow, knowing wink in response to the artful lift of her delicate brow, a gesture so incongruous with his severe facade that he hoped it might startle, and gestured again with his extended hand, imperious in his demands. What a vibrant personality she had, his chosen. His rebel-princess, his darling orphan-girl, time and distance had ever put a wedge between their warring, conflicting hearts, but no more. Now the time they spent was being spent together, and the distance, once so vast he once thought there would never be a bridge between them, had shrunk, so much so that with glance alone, she was able to speak a volume of thought. They were close, now, this lord and his lady, close in ways that went quite beyond what was physical and dare say emotional. Before, they had been stark things of black and white together, incapable of nuance and so without subtlety. Now the edges of them were being colored in, their frayed edges smoothing, twining, coming together like an alloy, or even song. Day by day, he listened more to the secret turnings of her mind and heart than the words she spoke, and day by day grew more satisfied, more contented with the clever, subtle girl that lurked beneath the stoic calm of wounded royalty. Fascinated now by the suggested shape of her through the thin veil of steam that rose between them, Roen’s eyes lowered to seek out her nudity, and he sighed at it, at her, a more desirous sound he could not make. She joined him beneath water, as lithe and beautiful as before but dappled wet and glistening, and he watched, seeking out the familiar contours of her, now different. Her hair was like splayed ink across her shoulders, her face more streamlined, rosy and delightful. They had never bathed together, the two. They had never done anything so rustic or familiar as being naked in water with the other, so vulnerable and exposed. He wondered if she liked baths, or if she fancied swimming. He wondered if she knew how. So many questions he wanted to ask, to indulge in this new sense of companionship he felt with his chosen. So many wonderings to color in the delight that she was, only now being rendered, now that they were together at last. There was a time a place for such things, though, and now was neither then nor there. She was a distractible thing, his pale, glistening girl. With her arms around his neck and the press of her front against his, Roen had to stifle the very human chill that threatened to squeeze him by the base of his spine and rub upward, and forced himself into some semblance of relaxation and gentle satisfaction. What a base and tiresome thing he must appear to her, he thought. So anxious for love-making, so firm between them both, she had quickened him with innocent affection such as this, the simple holding on, as if he were an anchor she willingly tethered herself to. Like a stag in rut, he mused to himself, somewhat abashed at the visceral reaction she prompted. Abandoning discretion, he chose instead to focus on her, and her alone, hoping that perhaps the problem might take care of itself in due time. Clung to, Roen held her in turn, his arms lifting, moving, wrapping around her slender, trembling figure and pulling her that much closer against him, flush. Chest to chest, body to body, his sex trapped between them and heavy against her belly, Roen gingerly passed a hand up and down the curve of his chosen - his beloved’s - back, and stroked her as he might a feline, touching the small of her back just above the swell of her ample bottom and up, to the midcenter of her spine. Up and down went the wandering pads of his adventurous digits, indulging and delighting in the simple play of her cool, wet skin beneath his labor-touched fingers. “Truly,” he told her at last, having taken a moment or two to compose his thoughts, keeping them on proper wording and now the slow, idle shift of her against him, so erotic, so electrifying beneath water. “This is no dream, my beautiful girl..,” he trailed off, shaking his head slightly from side to side. Dark hair plastered his forehead, his face. He took a quick hand from her to smooth it back, his eyes a dark, somber red, like the deep coals of a hearth; not at all the outlandish fire so well-known, but subdued, a smolder. Then his hand was on her again, but instead of joining the other on her back, it was moving through her hair to twine fingers through it, feeling its heaviness, its luster. He tilted her face upward to look up at him, a sight so familiar, like the dream they remembered so well, when she had wept at the realness of it all. When it had mirrored so closely the secret desires of her heart. He leaned in close, leaned to touch the tips of their noses, one cold and the other warm, feverish, and he spoke low, whispers passing between them. “We’re really here..,” he said, promising it with a kiss against the sweet, plump swells of her lips. Quick and soft, the sound of it was lost in the rush of water that wet their crowns, in the low, heady thrum of the airship surrounding them. “No more lies, no more games..,” breathless, low, quiet and smooth, he was tense against her, trembling briefly, like a man impassioned, inflamed. Then the fingers in her hair grew more adamant, and soon her head was being drawn back, her lips, mouth, her throat bared, vulnerable to him, naked. “Mine at last, and mine forever.” Quietly he encircled an arm around her hips, and quietly still he kissed the edge of her mouth, her chin, the line of her jaw and down, down the slender column of her neck to the pale, tender skin of her throat. Yes, here was where he wanted her, where he could feel the beat of her heart against his lips and tongue, where he could kiss the steady thrum of her and feel it quicken. She had thought herself a beast of burden when they had met the Terrans, a workhorse, a slave, but the truth was quite different and all the more profound: he was the horse, the slave, and the beast. Try as he might to avoid it, try as he may to send his mind elsewhere, there was no denying the truth of things: he found her irresistible, and while things might not advance to the violences of rhythm and and sighs, he could not help but show her however briefly that she was, in his world, the sum of all his earthly whims and desires. That she was first among his pleasures, and his last. And because he was beast and slaved, he could not help but bite at her, to pretend he was something he was not and display a degree of dominance typically reserved for the elders of her own kind. More than this, though, was the desire to consume, to tear at her, to squeeze. But he was gentle in his biting, her lord, considerate in the way he caught her throat between his teeth. He didn’t want her to scream, to cry out, to weep with savage pain. He only wanted her to flinch, to jump, to sway her pretty hips and so maybe delight him more with the subtle feel of her against him. He only wanted to satisfy himself, and that deep, primal longing that could never, ever be satisfied, no matter the length of time they spent together, wrapped up in one another’s world. His to have and his to touch and his to rule, but his to love, love most of all. And this was love, regardless of how it was shown, regardless of who cared to quantify. He loved her, this beast, this monster, this man. He loved her fully and he loved her deeply, and he wanted her, wanted even now, even already having and possessing her, he wanted her still. “My sweet orphan..,” he murmured against alabaster skin made dimpled by his irreverent hunger. “This is no dream. I am father to you, father to our son..” Up her neck towards the lobe of her ear, the hand in her hair loosing, the arm around her hips more drape than clutch. “This is your life, now.. and you will make it a happy one for us all, my good girl.” A kiss at the lobe, the breathy sigh of her lord and master. “No more dreams, just this forever nightmare..”
  8. Roen

    Tender Machinations

    Oh, you dreadful girl. With her eyes closed, it was easy to miss the look of profound tenderness that smoothed over the harsh and angry lines of her lord and master’s face, when she took his hand and pressed his palm against the delicate curve of her cheek. Downy soft, warmed by gentle proximity, he felt it as cool and as reassuring as he ever did, save that it was her own initiative that found it there, and not his expressive tactile need. She was so small in his hand, he felt in that small, quiet moment of vulnerability. So small, so incalculably precious, and beautiful, too. But beautiful for this initiative, which had caught him off-guard and so disarmed him entirely. She was dreadful, his Gabriela, dreadful for the way she made his heart ache and his body yearn for the simple act of gathering her up in his arms and squeezing into her the wealth and meaning of what it was to be indescribably loved. Before, he had warned himself against the lure and temptation of love-making. Before ever she opened her eyes to the world he bound her to, his mind had drifted towards the carnal, the debased. He had wanted her shoulders, her back; he wanted the cool clasp of her body and the gentle, breathless sighs he could ease from her prettily parted lips. That was lust, he had reasoned then, scolding loins and need alike. He had intended to be responsible. Now, though, as he withdrew his hand watched her head tilt and her hair become a curtain that hid all that was divine from him, he reconsidered what was lust and what was love, and the narrow divide between the two. Now, he wanted to catch her face again and finish the kiss that suddenly felt woefully inadequate. He wanted to lay her down, wanted to feel the way she raised her arms above her head in supplication, offering herself to the intents and attentions of a lover. She was vulnerable, he knew. Vulnerable, and his. He could kiss the valley between her breasts, her belly, could make her squirm and needy, and could make her loved, right now, right then. Loved, yes, not lusted after. Slow, gentle, with the tenderness she showed, returned by his adoring hands and adoring needs. The rustle of sheets, the glide of skin across skin, he could imagine even now the press of her dainty heels against his flanks, urging him into a pace, into a gallop. She flushed a darker shade of pink, color blooming across her face in ways it rarely ever did, and his heart gave a quick knock. No, she was no mind reader, his chosen. She was blushing at his self-invitation, but she did not refuse him. He scowled, her devil. With his deep-set eyes and severe eyebrows, his was a face made for the expression. Not a rustle of sheets, no, something more adventurous and less liable to disturb the sleep of a toddler. He was tempted to look towards the crib at the merest thought of their boy, but her warm, molten eyes lifted, and she caught him with a look. Oh, how he loved it when she met his gaze, when she was unafraid to be defiant. His timid girl, his reckless girl, she could never know he adored her for her spirit. She never broke, Gabriela. She could only be made to bend. “You are a child.” Gentle, his voice carried through the space between them and no farther, burgeoning on the edge of reproach. Moving with a casual slowness, he pushed against the coverlets of the mussed up bed and rose to his feet, his shadow passing across his seated, lovely girl. “My young child-queen, it is my hands that will bathe and dress you from now on.” He looked at her, and at the mention of dressing, his hands ran counter. Touching clothes he had fabricated as surely as he did the mortal facade that had looked at her, he turned in the act, as if preoccupied by the undressing, and gave her his noble profile as clothes were discarded as both unnecessary and crude. He wore many, the devil, and didn’t stop until he was standing in a pair of briefs that hugged and cradled him. Absently, he dragged his black nails across his chest, scratching briefly at the line of hair that stretched down his sternum to his belly and vanished beneath the hem of his boxers. “This isn’t a dream..,” he murmured. He twisted slightly to regard her, his hand moving down his chest. They said he was invulnerable, the Outsider. They said he was unkillable. The scars he held told a truer story. Favoring her with a delicate furrow of his eyebrows, he leaned towards the bed and tugged at the sheets that hid her legs and her perfect nudity beneath, and dragged them away until she was as lovely as nature intended. Without pausing to ask or give her the consideration to do so, he gathered his girl, pulling her towards him as easily and effortlessly as if she truly was the child he named her to bed, and lifted her up as the bride he always intended her to be. Letting her lean against his chest, her hair spilling over his arm and nearly touching the floor, he took her away from sleeping son and comforting sheets and padded away, bringing her with him to the modest and modern bathroom, part of the master suites aboard the Everlinde. No, this wasn’t the dream he had forced her to endure all those months ago, far from. This was real, and this was her life, so long as he willed it. But he remembered the last time they dreamed together, the last time he showed her a sliver of future as he imagined it. So he kissed her hair and he hummed his gentle little hum while lights turned on of their own volition, dim and quiet above their heads and illuminating the sterile white tiling of the bathing room. “No, not a dream at all this time, my little girl..,” he was saying, somewhat amused. She really was little, he mused. Slight, delicate, almost child-like were it not for the fullness of her hips and the swell of her chest, but still, young. Young where he was old, while silver touched the edges of his temples. There were no doors to the standing shower, just a wide faucet above and a drain near the center. Austere, perhaps, but spacious. Roen set her down gently, loathe to let her go even when the pads of her tiny feet touched the shower floor, and extended a hand, touching at the controls that controlled the water. All in a rush, warm water steamed out from the head, but they stood apart from it together, only getting wet by virtue of the splash. Soon, steam began to rise. The temperature was immaterial to him, but his girl ran cold. For her, he kept the shower hot, to make her blood thaw and give her some semblance of heat to make her feel alive and vibrant. He did not want to see ice on her lashes, pretty and surreal though the sight tended to be. He edged away, his hands moving, dipping towards his boxers, tugging them down and freeing himself from them, as careless as she tended to be when disrobing. They were discarded and he was free, nude, manicured, then wet, saturated. He was beneath the head, beneath the water, and his hand was out, gesturing for her to draw near, to be with him, his eyes intent beneath the squint of his brows. Too long you’ve wandered in winter, far from my fathering gaze..
  9. Roen

    Tender Machinations

    Almost as if he had delivered a fright she was too composed to actively show, his chosen moved into awareness with a quickness he was disappointed to witness, but ultimately understood. In his grasp, she had known many evenings of being torn from slumber by his needy, expressive hands, and while the act itself was not always so dreadful in the end, it never failed to be a surprise she had to recover enough from to enjoy. Without his hands on her, without his lips on her breasts and his weight bearing her down, threatening to drown her in a fever above if not silk below, she looked at him with a narrowed, almost suspicious glance, and he resisted the urge to lift his eyebrows, or do anything of the sort that might be seen as condescension, or worse. He looked normal, simply put. Expressionless, if not casual and unassuming. He only looked at her, quiet and calm, but understatedly satisfied with what he saw. She could never know or ever suspect, and he would never openly admit to such high drama, but the truth was, he was very deeply satisfied with the view she presented him, or rather the thematic intimations of it all. The prose that she was a drop of cream in an ocean of smoke and blood was not lost on the fiend, but there was more, so much more. The first light of her eyes, it was his to have and to own. He consumed her waking thoughts, her time, her life. Her mind, body, even her very soul, they were here, now, in this very room. The latter was evidenced by her first, impulsive query. “He’s fine,” Roen replied, soft and simple at the crib while his eyes drew slowly away from her rising shape to that of their son’s, still peaceful in the shadow of his father. Oh, but he kept her in his peripherals, the devil. Always in sight, always ready to be made to suffer beneath the weight of his gaze, she was lovely from afar, a thing of tragic beauty and sinuous movement, a predator in every gesture. He watched her settled there, bare breasted and lovely, her hair untamed but somehow perfect in its wildness. Oh, but she had known an embrace before sleep took her, had ridden an angry sea as it seethed and roiled beneath her, calming only when it had spent itself out in the fullness of a storm. She was lovely, beautiful, but lucid, so very, very lucid. Watching her out of the corner of his eye, giving her the decency she espied within herself by not looking while movements threatened to distract him, Roen reached into the crib and laid a soft, comforting hand against the cheek of his son, and watched with all the tenderness a new father could muster while mother and chosen equipped herself to better endure the stare and attentions of lord and master. Little could she ever guess that hiding herself was never an answer for his insatiable attentions. Rather, she lent creativity to his imagination, and soon his mind was drawn to what lay hidden beneath silk sheets and coverlets. The irony was not lost on the Outsider, but he had sense enough not to comment, or worse, act on it. There was a time and place for such things, and while there was indeed a bed on hand, their lives could not be spent in dalliance, no matter how tempting. Still, he let her know. After lifting his hand out of the crib to make sure Philippe was properly settled in with blankets up to his chin, Roen turned his attention fully back onto Irene, and he sighed, just drinking in the sight of her, pale and beautiful and truly all that he wished to see, such was the weight of his ardor. Then she did something unexpected, and Roen felt struck by something far more enduring than ardor, but genuine affection, and even, though he would never say, trepidation. He looked and she blushed, her cheeks turning rosy even as he watched, but his darling had a strength to her, and character. She never averted her gaze when he looked, she never withered beneath his appreciation or his unspoken longings. She always met him, as if she were being defiant or proud, but tonight there was softness to her, tonight she relaxed, flushed, looked almost demure, even if she were not, and he couldn’t help himself. Moving around the crib without needless necessity but with the deliberate calm of a well-known lover, he went to his chosen as she sat neatly on the bed and reached out to her, taking a pale cheek in hand. Cold, but not so cold as typical, some distant, far away part of him whispered. Thinking little and less of rewarding her for how prettily she blushed or how lovely he found her when her shoulders shifted with the language of the easeful and worryless, Roen leaned in and pressed his lips to the perfect shape of her mouth and leaned in, kissing her quickly, kissing her kindly. A strange kiss, not the harsh and vulgar display of claimant, but something more, or perhaps even something thankfully less. He tasted her lips, tilted his head to part them, to have more of her cool mouth, but before it could be said he was searching for more, to transition a simple thing into something extraordinary that might take her breath away, he set his forehead to her’s and parted from her, eyes shut. Then, with a hum, he shook his head slowly from side to side, which had the inadvertent effect of touching the tips of their noses together - his warm, her’s decidedly, delightfully cold - and spoke quietly between them. “We’re not so close as that, dear heart.” He stroked her cheek, drew away to open his eyes, to look at her, but didn’t deign to smile, or show the gladness he well and truly felt. No, he was lord and master, here. She could never, ever know the thrall she had him under, his strange and predatory girl, mother to his child. It was enough to have his lips on her when she did something that pleased him, to give her anything more would give her strength above him, and when she was strong, she would leave, and that was something he could never, ever abide. “But close enough..” He amended. “You should bathe. The Everlinde will be setting down in several hours, and from there we’re riding into Yh’mi. The skies are too treacherous above the Shadowlands for a safe journey.” His hand moved from her cheek, his gaze wandered, downward and meaningful. “I’ll join you.” He said, more statement than question. His eyes lifted back up. “And then I’ll decide what you should wear.”
  10. Roen

    The Conception of an Empire

    “I’d rather not.” Wilting Hræðilegr until it was a ribbon he was able to tuck away much like the impulse to break character, the Outsider flicked his attention away from Irene and her weeping to lay his gaze on her cousin, Raphael. Gesturing vague negation with his free hand, the Lord of the Black City made his sentiments on the matter abundantly clear: he didn’t want to discuss love, sharing, attraction or choice. The mercenary discussion concerning Irene was an uncomfortable one, as was the unexpected pregnancy that precipitated it. He simply wanted done with it all, now more than ever. “My only cares at this point are the Summer Isles and the heir that will one day rule them. As far as I am concerned, your cousin’s mind, body, and soul belong to you. A more beautiful pair I have never seen.” Lazily, the Outsider turned his eyes elsewhere, his attention distracted and unfocused. “I am not interested in anything more than this..,” he said, more to himself as a whisper than a declaration spoke for outloud. “I want to be left alone.” Then, remembering where he was and to whom he was speaking to, the Outsider flicked his attention back to Raphael, firming it upon the elder. The Outsider straightened. “So long as she attends to her motherly duties, I am satisfied well enough. You both know where I can be found.” Shifting on his feet and pulling his hand out of his pocket, the Outsider opened a time piece, inspected the hands, then clicked it closed and put it back. Unbound by time indeed, but even at his coldest, the Outsider was slaved to theatricality, no matter how inconsequential. Body language made it clear: he wanted to be anywhere else but here. “As I said, I have business to attend to offworld. The Heaven or Hell event is set to begin, and I have an appointment with a rival.” He looked at Raphael keenly. “Again, I will help you in your endeavors, whatever they may be. And I trust you to watch my son while I am gone. One family, yes?”
  11. Roen

    Tender Machinations

    But the depths of Hell are not shy, and perhaps the darkness was but a shield, an illusion of my eyes so my mind would not see what I knew bodily - primordially - I should not. And in those eldritch depths, where my eyes strained not to see, stared eyes like ruby, a gaze I knew then and know now I will one day meet again. -- Origin Unknown, Author Unknown The wrongness of the creature, the impossibility of it, drove the Everlinde’s previous navigator, and several other crew members, insane. It was the geometry, the navigator complained, the only one articulate enough to form coherent words, now that she was subdued from her hysterics and restrained. Medicated, she wept drowsily into her shoulder as she, her arms otherwise crossed over her chest, strapped down by the padded sleeves of a straitjacket. “It is all wrong.” Sniffing, she closed her eyes and shook her head from side to side, as if to deny all that she knew and the terrible implications of that knowledge. It was made up of more than three-hundred-and-sixty degrees, she was trying to explain, desperate to be understood by a sophisticated mind. It was as if it, the creature, encapsulated more than traditional dimensions, occupying more space yet not, or even transcending it. Feeling rationality turn feeble, she could only cry more, whimpering about the hame of shadows and the loveless light. The other crew members were not so forthcoming. Turning violent and deranged over the course of several days after first contact with the creature, one man had be relieved of duty and confined to quarters, with guards posted outside his room. On their second day of isolation, the crewman demanded the lights in his room turned out, complaining about the ‘tricks of the light’. On the fourth day of the Everlinde’s trip to Yh’mi, the man had put out his own eyes with instruments fashioned out of his bunk, and cried inconsolably when, on realizing things were amiss, their guards turned on the lights in his room and called for the medical officer. It took three men to subdue the blind man who complained about light, but they were unable to keep him from biting his own tongue off and bleeding out in his room, whimpering wordlessly. The stress and fatigue of mind, body, and soul these events put on the crew manifested themselves in subtle, strange ways, but they were mortal men and women, and the capacity for man to deal with the strange and the unknown knew no limit, so long as it was a constant and anticipated. Now those that stood with the creature on the bridge balked less at the presence of the vaguely humanoid shape that towered over them, glistening at the edge of their vision. The edge of their vision was all they could manage, their eyes refusing to ever alight on what they knew to be their Lord and Master. Rather, their minds spun fabrications, little lies and rationalizes that helped them cope. When they looked at the creature, at how it distorted before them, they likened it to a trick of sight above an open flame, of how the world shimmered and shook above fire. Light refraction, their minds reasoned, clutching onto something tangible, it was just light refraction. The shadows that touched the creature, that kept it half-hidden and unrevealed, the crew were thankful for these, these illusions. It was the light that horrified, of how it illuminated and distorted. Darkness, shadow, these things saved their minds and so their souls, and with time and acclimation, they were able to perform. It helped that the creature wandered away from the bridge every night when the sun began to set, giving the crew all the more sense and reason to worship the coming dark. It moved from their field of vision, the creature that loomed so tall, broad in the way a man was broad, but larger so. A giant, slick as if covered in sweat, but shiny, like its limbs and torso were covered by some natural plate, or carapace. But they never looked too close, never dared. Its eyes were always there when they peered too intently, those terrible, wicked eyes, so large and red, so clear amidst the seething sea of lying light and comforting shadow. Two, and a third high upon its face, at the center peak where its recurving horns descending and jutted out. They never looked too close when the creature left the bridge, its heavy, hypnotic breathing following with it. They never looked to see where it went, never checked the cameras to see where it would go, but they knew - they all knew, each and every that served aboard the Everlinde, where the creature went, to whence it ever returned at the dying of the light. It sought the shadows, the beautiful darkness, and there was no darkness in all the world more beautiful than that of Irene Gabriela Du’Grace, daughter of the Great Darkness itself. They did not see as it changed in the halls, as it took on the mortal guise that loved and was beloved. They did not see when the monster took on the trappings of a man. A handsome man and darkly so, with deep-set eyes and long, dark hair bound loosely by a gem-spattered ribbon. Shorter, less broad than the monster it - he - had been, the man furrowed his brows with the concentration of a fiend, and devised for himself clothes, apparel, and felt for himself the comforting embrace of fabric as it clung to him, brought about by what he had ever titled a vulgar display of power. No, he did not show ability often, this man, this monster, he did not revel in the esoteric or the profane. Not like this, not when he was wearing a lover’s face and thinking with that lover’s mind. He was Roen. The sentiment was as refreshing as it ever was, this transition easier, more fluid than when it had been in Kadia, long, long ago.. Roen sighed, Roen stretched, Roen touched his wasitcoat and pulled at the fabric that had been crafted from nothing the span of a few heartbeats ago. Heartbeats, yes, those too he listened to, felt. A tap, a rhythm against the breastbone, the details of the body came easier, more readily to mind, he hardly felt the touch of the True Matter, the plague that lurked beneath. It was there, but it was just an echo, now, a sweet complaint that was calmly ignored, especially in the face of the sum of all his worldly pursuits. And it was she who he went to, now, when she was but on the verge of waking, when she was ready to receive him. The day belonged to him, as did the world and all he surveyed, but the night, the night belonged to her, as did his focus and attention. So it was that he entered her room - their room, aboard the Everlinde - while she was still abed, resting away the stress of being onboard an airship, and filled it with the fresh-cut scent of him, strong now, so soon after coming off the cusp and fullness of being. Peat and spice, citrus and quenching iron, fire, blood, the touch of brimstone, his was the scent of Perdition if not Hell, and it was all that was inviting and repulsive about oblivion. It clung to him like a desperate lover, as did the feverish warmth of his limbs, as he approached the bed, a modest affair of dark coverlets and smooth, satin sheets dyed in his colors: black and red. And she, laying among it all, a drop of cream in an ocean of shadow and blood. Just a small drop, she was bound and trapped and coiled around his bedspread, but enough to make him sigh with a love for her, and a desire. Oh, the weeks and months had been kind to them this time, had afforded him a privilege of living with her and growing fonder with the turning of the evenings. Oh, there were days where the cruelty would come, when the jealousy and the anger would set them at odds, and those were the worst of days, the very best of times; but there was a child between them, now, sleeping soundly in his crib beside the bed, and he forged a somewhat delicate peace between his two monstrous parents, dulling the edges of their tongues and diminishing however slightly the weight of their disdains and tempers. He did not like it when they raised their voices, so he ever saw to undermine them with his own, one far more shrill than either mother’s or father’s. Gabriela hadn’t stirred, and if she was awake, he hadn’t the knowing or the forethought to find out. Letting her enjoy at least a few moments of quiet wakefulness before he consumed her waking thoughts with the full of him, he journeyed instead to the cradle and loomed over, peering somewhat owlishly at the small - but growing! - bundle of clothes that had brought such unexpected joys and consequences to each of their lives. Ah, but the love he felt for the boy, it was worth an eternity of tribulation, even several. It was a smolder equal to or greater than that of his adoration for his mother, but the burn of it was quite different, and much unlike any Roen had felt before. He sighed with the weight of it, and leaned heavily on the crib, privately content, distracted from the course that led him to this room, but not for overlong. His gaze drifted, his attention wandered, and though he fawned over Philippe, his eyes had gone elsewhere, searching for the drop of cream again. He was feeling fresh, the devil. Vigorous, even. He wondered, considered.. Philippe was still asleep, there was time yet.. the touch of a thigh, the press of his lips to an exposed shoulder, the urging of quiet while a baby rested and satisfaction was taken.. Roen canted his head, closing his eyes briefly to the wayward thought. “Are you awake?” He asked instead, opening them to look her way. It was a terrible thing, being in love.
  12. Roen

    General chat thread