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[Star-Crossed!] Sweet Red Tea!

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Really, the Bloodstone Marsh is not the place you'd expect to go on a first date. It's dangerous, it's muggy and worst of all, the atmosphere is relatively bland. Red Trees, Green Trees, Water and Grass. That's about all there is to see along the outskirts of the city of Mezthaluen. Despite that, there were plenty of sites to see within the city, and considering the dangerous nature of the surrounding area, a lonely soul looking for love might find the interior of the city quite charming. In particular, the quaint little corner tea shop, the Red Herring happened to be the go-to point for anyone looking to get together.

The Red Herring might have been the only tea shop in the city, for all anyone knew, but it was certainly one of merit, at that. The local trees had an odd red tinge to them, and although you wouldn't expect it, they also bore a peculiarly fruity taste when steeped for a short while. The owner made a fortune off of this knowledge, by turning the blended leaves into a dark red steeped tea, which he then served chilled. Served alongside a light snack, chips and perhaps lightly battered fish. The menu was quite limited, as far as eateries go, but that didn't bother the regulars too much. The simplistic, open decor and signature drink was all that most folks needed.

The Red Herring was busy that day, as it usually was. The air was filled with the gentle, furtive droning of casual discussion and pleasant chatter. Though it was hardly intimate, it made for a very urban meeting place, where you might feel at ease. 

Could love maybe bloom here, on the edge of Bloodstone Marsh?



Edited by Jotnotes

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It had to be a tea shop of all places. Asbel didn't like tea. He thought it was either too sweet or too strong. And sometimes even bitter. But he had to come here due to hearing about an ad. Something about lonely hearts or something. The stoic man didn't pay much attention to it but welcomed it as a break from his soldiering duties.

Eyeing the name of the shop he chuckled. The Red Herring reminded him of the city of Hydra in Athentha. He hoped to God they didn't only sell fish here too. That would bring back horrible memories of childhood when his father always made him go to the shops in Hydra to buy fish. Asbel entered the tea shop and took a seat. The chair was a bit dusty and oak in colour. It was a small nice little shop. 

"Seems quaint. Wonder if anything will happen here that doesn't deal with fighting. Or soldier things." Asbel said to himself as he picked up a menu. 

It was time for the soldier to find romance. Only he would be a stubborn fool. And it would take everything in the world to convince him this was a good idea. 

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Within a marsh swimming city of notorious dangerous outskirts, the exquisite and quaint Red Herring was a great place for a girl like Frankie to start any kind relationship. After hoofing it through the such dangers to reach the city, her heart was a little too pumped and reared up like a stallion to settle down just because the atmosphere demanded it. So after a quick shower, she made the best out of her time whilst waiting for her next adventure to walk through the door.

“Check this.”

A tea cup was rolled across an ascending hand and glided along the arm of her caramel skin. The rim skated perfectly up the mounds of her shoulder before Frankie popped it in a crescent over her golden hair caught its rims upon her other shoulder. Her hand descend with with a dancer’s cadence, allowing the cup to roll onto the table in a neat sway on placement napkin. In all her beautiful blonde glory, Frankie was standing in the midst unoccupied tables, entertaining the occupants by performing tricks with tea cups. She rolled them along the curves of her body in a mesmerizing fashion that tricked the eyes into thinking her curves were held their own gravity. Her body slithered within her own space like rivulets of honey under the amber light, tea cups dancing along her waistline and hips perfectly coordinated and seduced from the pull of the earth. Each time, even if they rolled low, she managed to return them to the placements on the table.

It was as she was doing this that she noticed Asbel stroll in, her oceanic hues brightening in an intrigued twinkle. The final tea cup was surfing along her thigh before she lifted the knee and lowered her back to reverse its direction.

Her golden locks fell like riches spindled from hay as her back arched and the last cup rolled up her navel to her breasts, catching under her chin as he straightened herself and allowed it to fall evenly between her cleavage. When she finished the servers at the establishment released a great breath of relief. The cups were fragile and expensive, Frankie didn’t exactly ask to entertain the guest with their equipment—nonetheless, the others clapped for her. This alone held their tempers.

“Waiting for someone?” Her voice, deep yet very feminine came to Asbel—for Frankie traveled to his table and folded her forearms on the wood. Leaning over, she nested her breasts in her arms and canted her head at him. One of her hands caught the cup as it tipped over, and settled it on the table.

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The cup of water that sat in front of Asbel was lifted to his parched lips. The water tasted good as he had been walking for a while now. It was good to relax even though the knight didn't know how to relax to be honest. He was a man of stoic emotions. That he kept himself guarded since many past events that changed his friends and kin alike. His eyes watched the woman dance with the cups. She did know how to use that body, he'd give her that. Though he didn't smile, didn't laugh. Placing the cup down, Asbel noticed the woman walking towards him. If he wasn't beet red before, he was now. His hands were clammy now, sweating almost. 

Another thing he wasn't good at, women.

As the woman bounced her way towards him he could feel his mouth become as dry as a cotton ball. The water did nothing to soothe this dryness. Asbel tried to distract himself from over thinking. Or even thinking this whole thing was a bad idea. But that was the thing about the man, he finished everything he started no matter the harsh reality of things. 

Waiting for someone?

The voice was deep and feminine. Something he hadn't heard in a long time. Most of the women he met were possessed demons with un-charming voices. 

"One of my commanders set me up on a blind date. And they haven't shown up yet. I don't get why they would meet here but I came nevertheless. My commander things I don't do enough social things. I had no choice in the matter. Pardon my rudeness, I am Ser Asbel Abel Ryssa Van Josef Hessian. Asbel is just fine though. And you my dear? I am afraid this might be a bad idea."

Asbel was not good at talking either. Small chat especially. He was always brutally honest about things he talked about. The man sighed as he took another sip of water. Not his best first impression. It probably would have been better meeting on the battle field. 

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Frankie canted her head slightly to the left, blond hair sifting over the hump of her nude shoulder.

"You do seem....out of your element, solider."

Her nectar lips curved an inch up as she observed his demeanor. Beads of sweat shone upon his skin under the light, elevated heaves of breathe waved the fabric of the attire stretched across his torso. Underneath those sinews, she imagined his heart beating at an elevated pace and pumping hormones of anxiety to the tips of his digits. Her blue eyes shifted down and watch those fingers fidget with diminutive trembles over flushed palms. Gradually she rose back to his face, the shine of the ocean in her eyes never ceasing.

“Commander, eh? I’ve fancied a couple of them in my day. One not too long ago actually…” She rolled her shoulders with a fond hum in her throat, as if still working out the knots from the experience. “Usually its old the old farts that try to set up romantic meetings. The younger ones like yourself…”

Her voice slowed to a cadent lull so her fingers could dance forward and touch the tips of his nervous ones, perhaps to feel the tremble herself. “Well, they have more interest in the fight.”

Men were such beacons of strength, and soldiers were the top in those regards in her mind. It was a marvel to see such strength shutter against the wind of her voice. 

Sliding her hand back, she moved into the opposite chair and leaned onto its beck legs. The scent of the sea perfumed the air as she flicked her long hair once over her shoulder. She spent many years on sandy beaches. Crossing her arms under her breasts, he gauged him a second time.

“Though…blind dates are a little risqué. Maybe it does suit you, Ser Asbel Abe-ol Resy--Whatever." She laughed. "I'm just going to call you Asbel. Name's Frankie. Just that." She winked and put two fingers in a playful salute upon her forehead.

"So, what did your commander say about this blind date that gathered your interest enough to show? Surely you have more balls than to just say 'yes sir'? I mean...this is your 'love story.'” Her tone was sarcastic in the ending words.

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Asbel said nothing as he tried to swallow the lump now forming into his throat. He had never been around a woman who flaunted herself so openly and confidently.  Usually the people he hung around were fully clad in either uniforms or full suite of armor. It was Frankie's question that got to him. His commander had said little about this blind date indeed. And he hated not having the full information about things. 

It made his job harder. 

Yet, he had grown suspicious when his commander had given him time off. Asbel was much into his work as the first in command of the Jupiter knights. He had to take it serious because his commander was a hard leader. Falling out of line was not an option. And when he was personally called into the office yesterday he didn't have a good feeling.  But in the end it was just setting him on a date. His collages even thought he needed to find a woman.

Even if it was short and sweet.

"He didn't say a thing about it. I should just take some time off and relax. I figured I see where they were sending me on my off time. I rather be fighting something than sitting here. I don't mean to be rude but I am not one of those relax types. How about you? What brings you to uh, come on dates?"

Asbel grabbed his glass and took another sip of the water.  The knight looked at Frankie as he was trying to size up what kind of person she was. He sometimes got it right. Most of the time they surprised him. She looked so out of place here. The marsh didn't nothing for her flawless complexion. And those eyes. They hid secrets, had to with a body like that. It was a good thing she wasn't meeting a demon from his homeland or she'd be in trouble. 

Sighing he placed the glass down. Asbel didn't know what he was going to do. He wanted to be on the battlefield, not here where anyone could trick you into bedding you and stealing your money. Of course he had brought little pocket money. Asbel would not be staying long. Yet this Frankie seemed to pique his interest. He just wished his hands would stop shaking.  Asbel cleared his throat as he looked at her. He wondered what she wanted in life as she looked like the type to have never seen the battlefield. Probably living day to day on her looks. He didn't know but didn't judge either. He was lucky to be born in the family he had been. Under one of the greatest knights born to his land.

"I guess I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My comrades think I spend too much time on the battlefield. That it's the only thing I think about. Only care about. So, I decided to take a trip out here. Nothing special. But I don't know, I mean there has to be other fine gentlemen here you can entertain. Why me? I wonder this."

Asbel asked brutally honest. He never saw himself as something special. He knew of his lineage. But he never treated it as anything to be so thought about. He just lived a normal soldier's life.

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Frankie’s hand compressed harshly and suddenly into the surface of the table as she stood up from her chair. The porcelain teacups shivered and the pearls decorating her wrist oscillated around them with a subtle ring; the wood groaned as the lotus-eater beauty leaned across it. Her tidal irises became intense with esoteric thought, gold vines curtaining a countenance as devious as any scapegrace of society. The table was small and she cleared it easily, getting within a few inches of his face in moments.

“I don’t date, darling.” Her breathe was sweet, permeated in a minty flavor Asbel would taste as she moistened his lips with its fever alone. “But I do fancy the company of those that interest me. And I’ll let you in on a little secret.” The attention of the restaurant occupants was on them. She didn’t care. Something carnal and conceited within her purred with sick pleasure as the they all held their breath and blushed when her lips touched the rim of her male companion’s ear shamelessly—her voice drew to a low whisper.

“Soldiers pique my interest the most. All that strength and lust for war bleeds easily into licentious passion when you have a woman's naked body within your arms. That same....animalistic and lascivious tendency on the battlefield can exist under the sheets. It’s only caged by your hesitance.”

The back of her hand stroked the chiseled mold of his chin, feeling the masculinity down to the rough itch of his shaved follicles. When she pulled back to gaze at him again, that ocean in her hues held the same profane instinct and sin the drove Poseidon to take Medusa in the temple of Athena.

“The female body,” she traced her curves with the stroke of her finger. “Is key to releasing it. See it within yourself, Asbel, and every woman will find you as irresistible as I do.”

And then she pulled back, tossing her hair in a wave back over her shoulders and standing up straight. Mutters whispers around them. Their discomfort only fueled that indocile fire that burning through her nerves and generated steam between her thighs.

“Good luck on your date.”

She walked around the table, clearing him with a brush of her fingers on his shoulder. Eyes of the restaurant were on the sways of her hips and the runnel of her tresses. When she reached the doorway of the establishment, she paused to lean her back on the threshold and turned her attention back on him.

“Or you can ditch it and come with me, soldier. I’ll show you the true art of blending work and pleasure.”   

With that she disappeared into the sunlight. What would come next would be on him.

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Asbel's face turned beet red. This Frankie was something else. Something he wanted to try. Yet he didn't think that was wise. But no one else was here that would be interested in him. As she made her way to the door, he stood as he knew that no one else was going to come around. And this was his chance to try something new. And not to be a stuffy knight forever.  Asbel came up to Frankie then as he looked at her once more. His eyes trailing down her body. Even if it was for one night, what could it hurt? 

"Alright then Frankie, you have a place to show me this new fun thing you show off with that body of yours?" Asbel asked. Not sure if she knew what he meant. "I mean it couldn't hurt could it?"

Asbel looked down then as he shook his head. He was hesitant, unsure what she planned to do with him. Maybe she was one of those types that robbed you after they slept with you. Maybe even killed you. But he would be fine, he was a soldier after all. He stood there shaking his head at his own awkwardness. This was a first for him, and this Frankie didn't seem too bad. He was letting his fears get the better of him.

How sad.

Asbel then chuckled as he leaned against the wall. He was slowly starting to relax and he hoped that this wouldn't get him killed. Of course he hoped some kind of battle happened. 

"You fancy soldiers eh? Why on earth would you do that. They are the most of serious of all people. It sounds like you only like that because you can use tricks to capture them in your bed."

Asbel laughed nervously then.

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Frankie stepped in to the sunlight on the outskirts of the tea shop, her cocksure grin spreading deviously as she turned her eyes over her shoulder and stared upon her new solider. Catching his eyes on her curves only complimented her confidence.

“Oh honey, anything in life can hurt. You just gotta be fearless. Live life on the edge! Break the rules and revel in it.” She purred under her voice and rolled some golden hair over her shoulder. “ For example, I indulged in three crump cakes, two kettles of tea, and these delicious mint cucumber sandwiches before you arrived…”

That sly grin spread by a moment.

“And told them that my date would pay.”

“HEY!!” The disgruntled voice came from the establishment as a large gruff man slamming the door open. His plump breaded face was a deep crimson surrounded by a salted beard. The denizens of this town were hardened due to the brutality surrounding their walls, and the man’s tolerance to thievery was demonstrated by the display of a butcher’s knife in his left hand.  From his size and flush alone, he was like a sailor that spent his entire life drinking and lifting wine barrels. “I’LL CUT YER ARMS OFF FOR STIFFIN’ ME!”

Frankie rose her arms and waved her hands, back tracking a bit. The man’s response seemed over the top before she explained it. “Well…I might have snatched loot from the tip jar too.” She patted the fat pocket rounding her butt cheek. “I mean I did dance for it.”

“UGH!” The man rushed out the threshold with murder in his eyes. Asbel was guilty by association and the man had no hesitance in turning his cleaver onslaught upon him as well if he didn’t get to running. Frankie, all smiles, turned tail and ran off in a sail of golden locks. Feeling the adrenaline from cartwheeling on the naughty side of morality, her heart racing was nothing but encouragement.

“How about a little courtesy for the vagabond, ya ol’ grouch!”

Ringing with laughter and displaying impressive skill, Frankie leaped upon the tops of trashcans. They rattled and wiggled, but she remained balanced, turning and winking before jumping a second time with a hand to the roof edge. She pulled herself up but not before swinging her legs and kicking the trashcan into the running man’s path. He went tumbling with a series of curses.

Upon the roof, Frankie sat on the tiles and laughed hysterically. She slapped her nude thigh and rubbed the tears from her eyes. If Asbel made it to the roof top with her, one way or another, he’d find her in that state. When she spotted him, her stifled her laughter behind a hand.

“Did you see him roll?” She burst out into laughter again, tumbling her body across the rooftop in mimcry. “UGH!” She finished on her back, her locks sheeting her lush curves and shining sweat turning her sun-kissed skin into a honeyed nectar glimmer. “Ah…never gets old, running from the angry.”

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Asbel stood there for a moment as he heard a man yelling. Turning around he saw someone screaming about stolen goods. It could be possible as he turned back around to glare at Frankie. So she had convorting into something not chivorous. He sighed. So it would be up to him to try and solve this amicably. So reaching into his pocket he tried to dig out the little pocket change he had. Though having a lot in Athentha when he came here and transferred the money into Genesaris coins, it was less than he hoped. 

"Sir I am sure we can solve this peacefully? Here's the--"

Frankie set the man rolling into motion. He slammed his hand into his face with a look of dismay. Didn't people do things with reason and use their heads here? What a world outside his own. It frightened him. And so without another word he followed the girl. As she pulled him up onto the roof top he sat there catching his breath. The glare once more shot at her. 

"Are you insane? He could have killed us. I mean I could have paid him. I don't get why you did that. I don't get this place at all. Such a headache."

Asbel shook his head as he sat next to her. Already was here for an hour or two and Frankie was turning him into a criminal. This was not what he signed up for. Shaking his head, he looked at Frankie again. She was as wild as Rin and he hated that. He didn't like wild. But he might as well continue with the ride. At least his comrades hoped this would change the stoic knight in his ways. 

Asbel didn't want to change. 

"Frankie, do you do this all the time? Steal from people instead of honestly getting it? Or this a one time thing? It's just I don't understand why you stole from him. This place is confusing and giving me a headache. Know some place we can rest a bit. Some place you won't upset someone?"

It wasn't that he was angry with her. Nor blaming her. Asbel was just frustrated. A blind date turning into a wild ride. Was it his commander who told the girl to do this? He didn't know but he was certainly going to ask once he got back. And he vowed never to go on a blind date again. 

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"Frankie, do you do this all the time? Steal from people instead of honestly getting it?"

Frankie immediately released a long and exhausted groan at the man’s words, as if he were a professor giving a boring lecture or a parent chastising their adolescent. Her brunette brow quirked and she slouched the corner of her mouth to the side before rolling her blue eyes.

“Or this a one time thing? It's just I don't understand why—”

 Before he could finish, the blonde beauty was upon him in an instant. She straddled him, her curtain of locks shielding the indecency of her bikini cupped breasts sinking upon his sternum and nude thighs squeezing his hips. Her febrile eupnea filled the inch of air between their lips with heat and her hand compressed flat with its palm upon his still racing heart.

This is why," she said between their elevated breathes. "Do you feel that? That invigorating feeling of your pumping heart rushing blood into every orifice of your body…” Her tone was lowered to a whisper, but still every emphasis of her seductive syntax pursed those coral lips to brush ever so smoothly and softly over his. “If you stop thinking around the world around you, you’ll see how utterly good it feels to just live.”

She pressed her forehead to his, bangs teasing the deep blue of her irises as she glazed into his countenance. In the silence their torsos rose and fell heavily together, felt in rising grind of their bodies and heard through the exhales of their mouths. Synchronous and surrounded by sweet heat like the cadence of sex.

“Live for the moment and understand how alive you are. Live for the rush. That’s was passion is, baby. If you get too wound up in the rules, honesty, values, and the consequences of your actions, you’ll never be able to handle me soldier. So you can bend over for the expectations of society and take it in the ass back at teashop. Be full of pathetic apologies while you’re at it. Here.”

She reached into her pocket and removed the money she stole, dropping it on the tiles beside them in a clang of coins.

“Or you can still come with me.” She paused and grinned. “In more ways than one I might add. But I ain’t got time for burdens, babe. You either want this freedom or you don’t.”

She stroked a single finger along his jaw line. “It’s up to you, but this is your last chance.”

Pulling away from him, she stood up and swiped her hand once over her shoulders before continuing across the rooftops towards the edge of the town. Perhaps she was unlucky and picked up the wrong kind of soldier, she supposed she’d find out depending on his choice.

Edited by Fallen Joy

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Asbel stood there as he heard Frankie's words. His last chance to either remain the same man he always was or change. It was a big decision to make and he didn't know if he wanted to do so. But this woman before him was something else. And he was not what he wanted to do as he stood there. the stoic knight had always lived a life where he did his duties with honor and pride, that he loved his job, even became his job. but his comrades thought he needed this to become more than his job.

And then she was on the move again. He decided to follow her, as he wanted the change. Wanted to start a new life with some girl who could leave him at any moment. Frankie didn't look the type to just settle down and want to be one guy. 

Asbel, for the moment didn't care. 

Standing up, he followed behind in his silence not showing much emotion as he always did. He knew that this would take him away from home but maybe that was what he needed. Of course if this didn't work out he could always go back home. There was no problem with that was there? Asbel shrugged as he shook his head. 

He wasn't a risk taker but it was better than nothing.

Asbel followed Frankie as he made up his mind. It was time to start living as they say. Time to begin again and make a new life to find a better road to travel than before. This wasn't the best idea but it was time to go. 

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The sound of his boots clanking on the rooftop tiles brought a grin to her luscious lips and Frankie turned her blue gaze over her shoulder.  A hand rested on her hip as she gave him a bright-eye expression of approval.

“What’s that I’m talking about. Let’s go, babe. Try to keep up.”

And with a single wink, she ran forward in a swirl of gold. Her grace flaunted its grandeur by the dance of her athletic speed and soundless stride across the ceramic tiles. It was nothing magical beyond the motions of her trained body. When she reached the edge of the roof top, she planted her toes, loaded those honey baked thighs, and sprung across the gap in a twirl to land on the neighboring side.

Continuing her run, she repeated this across the town’s edifices, not missing a beat as she skipped top to top with her solider in pursuit. It wasn’t long before the gates of the town’s edge marked the end of their journey and she leapt over the boundaries. Civilization disappeared at her descent, sinking under tall fences behind her as she landed into the soft moss with her palm and knee. She now stood in the  marshy outskirts of the city, cheeks flushed with thrill and heat as she waited for him to join her side.

When he did, she approached her soldier with a glint of arousal flickering briefly within her gaze. She loved seeing men work their bodies. However she buried whatever impulses she had and only brushed a bit of sweat from his brow with her index finger.

“Before we start the fun, I need your help in obtaining something. It’s called a Bloodstone. Said to be within this watery, sweet smelling place. Been swimming through this muk for days, but think I’ve found one. Need two people to reach it though. What do you say, baby?”

She stepped forward, poking her plump rear out and crossing her arms so could lean on strong surface of his chest and rest her chin in her forearms.

“Be my date?” She smiled in jest. “I’m pretty into getting wet and dirty.”

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Asbel said nothing for a moment as he listened to Frankie talk. He tried to think of something but the words didn't come. And then she asked for him to help him find her a bloodstone. Now that was something he could do. However, he looked at her and grabbed her arm. As he pulled her into an embrace he knew what he was getting into. This woman didn't stay with anyone too long. So he could end up getting his heart broken. But at the same time, the rush of being with someone for the first time in his life was amazing. 

"Sure. I'll be your date."

Asbel said as he leaned in and kissed her. It was a long and passionate kiss as his hands wrapped around her body. Feeling every curve of her body as he kissed her. As he let go, he wondered if it was wise to let her do this to him. In a way it was changing and corrupting him yet not as harmful as a demon. Then again it was a woman. And they did say woman were demons in disguise. He looked down as he eyed her form, taking her all in and then wanting to take her. It was like she cast a spell upon him on the rooftop and all he wanted was her. Anything he would do for this woman. 

"I don't know what you're doing to me..." He breathed heavily as he looked at Frankie. "One minute I want to remain a knight and the next I want to take you right here and now. I don't understand."

Asbel shook his head as he tried to think but it wasn't happening at all. 

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