Dancing

Nov. 29th, 2006 05:55 pm
birthrightgreen: (dancing with Rainier)
It was a delicate dance that we danced, swirling around each other in perfectly complimenting colors. A Warlord Prince of any Jewel rank is dangerous. More than dangerous, deadly. A witch who wears the Gray is equally deadly. There is imbalance in it, by nature. Who leads? Who follows? His caste is higher. My Jewel is darker than his Opal. I am female. He is male. He is an aristo. I was a whore.

We moved cautiously around each other, fingers brushing first, then stepping closer. A brush of lips, a breath caught, and then I retreated. He followed.

In the end the patterns we trod circled around each other too tightly to be distinguished. He Served with stubborn determination, bending me gently until I accepted what he offered with a disgruntled snort. He’d get so angry if I wouldn’t let him that it really wasn’t worth the bother, as I told my family. Opal Jeweled or not, I grumbled, he was still a Warlord Prince and after several bruises from losing bouts with fighting sticks, I was getting tired of fighting even if my masseuse appreciated the business.

Then he offered to take over that position, warm, strong hands sliding over supple skin, and we started a new dance altogether.

AU/non-TM

Apr. 10th, 2006 10:29 am
birthrightgreen: (Dream of a Place Called Home)
Surreal wandered downstairs in search of breakfast, casually dressed in trousers and a sweater. She wasn't sure where Rainier was, as he'd been gone when she woke, but it seemed a good time to explore the house a bit more on her own. Her things had been delivered from the family townhouse, what few of them there were. Mostly clothes. A few books. The majority of what she'd collected in her life had been left behind in Terreille. Not that she regretted the loss, not really, but it was so much of her past that looking around she couldn't help feeling that she was back to that rootless existence.

Except that he wanted to buy a cabinet for weapons for her to practice with. Put up targets for her to practice throwing at, in his beautiful dance studio no less. And he'd told her she could redecorate if things didn't please her.

She still couldn't imagine that. The same impulse that had kept her from redecorating Daemon and Jaenelle's townhouse kept her from considering that here, even if it was different.

And it was different. Everything was different.

She flushed a little under what she was sure were the servant's knowing eyes as she helped herself to the rather bountiful breakfast they'd laid out on the sideboard.

He loved her. He'd said so.

She flushed more, mumbling her thanks, then focusing her attention on buttering her roll as the maid poured her some coffee before retreating. It wasn't like her to blush like this, damn the man. She'd been the highest paid whore in the history of Terreille. She'd seen it all and done most of it. She wasn't supposed to blush at the memory of three little words that had turned her world upside down.

There was guilt there, niggling. She wasn't supposed to love him, she was fairly sure. She'd made promises, rash ones. No vows of celibacy--she wasn't an idiot, and she knew herself--but promises nonetheless. Even if only to herself and he'd never asked for them and wouldn't be upset. No right to be.

They'd made their choices and they were the right ones and they were both happy with them and he'd be happy for her and want her to be happy the same way she wanted him to be happy. All she'd ever wanted was for him to be happy, so why did she feel like...why the guilt for taking a chance on her own happiness?

She left her food mostly untouched, sipping at her coffee as she got up and wandered to perch in the window seat, looking out at the street.

She loved him. A wry smile flitted across her lips. Both hims. Because of honor, family, and love itself, she'd walked away from one of them. She had a chance with Rainier, though, for something new. Something unprecedented in her life. Something she'd never really dared to hope to have for herself. And she'd taken that chance, agreeing to stay with him here. To make his home hers. But now there was a new layer to that. She should have known how he felt. He made it clear enough in every glance, every touch. But somehow it seemed too...improbable that anyone so...so something she couldn't put a word to, but someone like him...improbable that someone like him could love someone like her.

But he did. She could feel the truth behind the words. He wanted her here. He loved her. He wanted her in his life.

She glanced back around the room. This could be her home. He could be her home. Was...her home, maybe, already, without her consciously deciding that. She had a chance at happiness that she hadn't had before.

All she had to do was take it.
birthrightgreen: (Not that girl)
The tree did not make a satisfactory target. The knives stuck in it well enough, but it didn't bleed. Graysfang was astute enough to stay behind where she was hurling things and not present himself as a target, but he stayed close enough to let her know he was there if she should need him. Not that he knew what he could do, and his puppyish distress was palpable in the air.

She ignored it steadily, just as she was ignoring the ache in her arm. When it hurt too much to ignore, she just switched arms.

And it wasn't helping. She needed something...more. She needed a target. Something to kill, and the sheer unfairness of the fact that there was no one left almost made her sob with her own helplessness to vent any of the rage that had been building up since the night she'd taken the blade to her own skin to make the pain stop, if only for a minute.

Nowhere to put it anymore, and no resolution for her. Kartane's blood spilled, and those who'd raped her purged, and there was no one left to extract vengeance from, but the rage and the pain were still there.

Rainier had been good to his word. He hadn't told the family about that night. He hadn't alerted anyone, and the scars were almost gone. Long sleeves hid them easily. He'd worked to heal other things since, but...centuries of rage and self-hatred didn't just go away. Somewhere inside she recognized that.

She couldn't do that here, anyway. Graysfang wouldn't understand he couldn't tattle. He'd run for help, thinking it was an accident. And they were all here. She couldn't...they'd see the blood. And she'd told him she wouldn't do it again, no matter that the temptation was almost overwhelming. The physical pain had blocked out the rest for a while.

She could spar, but she pitied anyone who picked up the sticks...though another part of her whispered that she'd let them win, just so something else would hurt. She pushed that thought away viciously. She wasn't weak. She wasn't...she was strong. She wouldn't give into it again. Not the weakness of hurting herself, not the weakness of tears, not the weakness of needing anyone.

The tree, however, wasn't working either. She wondered, almost idly, if Daemon was right that she wouldn't just kill for the pleasure of killing. Where did you put the rage, when there was no one left to hate?

She wanted her mother.

She pulled her knives out of the tree with a snarl, then threw them at another tree. Again and again and maybe the exhaustion would set in and then she could stop.
birthrightgreen: (Corset by mirrorqueen)
My father? He had no right to such a name. She denied it, and I never called him so. But all right, sugar. If that's what you want. Let's talk about the man who sired me.

Women rule in Terreille, and the whole concept of Protocol has been perverted. It used to be a balance. District Queens served Province Queens who served Territory Queens--the strongest and the best, chosen by the dark Jeweled Blood of the Territory. Males served the Queen their heart led them to. The Blood looked after the landen, and the land flourished and it was good. Caste, social standing and Jewel rank worked together, a triumvirate of power and position that kept our people always in a dance of power and protocol and in balance. The strong protected the weak.

Or so I have been told. It is not so, now. Males, even privileged ones, are no more than slaves. Frightened, weak males strip any weaker female of all her power and frightened females ring strong males before they can become a threat. A strong Queen could challenge and change this, but males bed them too young and they rise from their Virgin Night broken and useless. No threat to the SaDiablo reign.

Kartane SaDiablo. Only son of Dorothea SaDiablo, Red-Jeweled High Priestess of the Black Widow Coven and ruler of Hayll. Most of Terreille has fallen into Hayll's shadow, into Dorothea's shadow. She perverts everything she touches, and her son is no exception. Weak-willed, cowardly bastard, he took his ire out on the weak, the helpless. Darkness forbid that a Queen could rise, strong enough to challenge Dorothea's rule. Any such she saw broken, and her son soon became one of her favorite instruments.

He was a pretty boy, I've heard tell. A broken man when I finally saw him, caught in the web that Jaenelle wove around Briarwood, but a pretty boy. His mother thought so as well. He was naught more than a child when she took him to her bed to pleasure her. They say that sort of thing can break a man. He couldn't stop her, so he took it out on those weaker. Servant girls speared so viciously they had to send him away because the other men complained they couldn't use the girls. He hated whores. The gossip in the houses was that he could only rise to the occasion if he caused pain, and only the lower houses allowed the games he wanted to play. He was banned from houses before he found ways to just dominate the young girls without marking the goods. But houses had rules, and he didn't have absolute power.

So he took to playing his mother's game. Find a witch, young, still a girl. Spear her, hard and vicious. Break her web of power and drive her beyond herself. He'd keep them sometimes. Make them play his game until he seeded them. Sometimes they aborted spontaneously. Sometimes he gave them a brew to drink. When the child was gone, he tossed them out to go back to their families or a Red Moon House or the gutter.

My mother escaped his depraved games. She'd worn the Green when he broke her past herself. She couldn't use more than basic Craft when he was done the first night. She escaped and she whored for her keep so Kartane couldn't find her and destroy the child she gave birth to. His child.

Me.

His mother's pawn found her while I was at school. Slit her throat. I ran, so they wouldn't find me.

And then I trained. I killed. Planned men's deaths carefully and cruelly and sent them to it.

Dress rehearsal, sugar. For the right place. The right time. For my meeting with my father.
birthrightgreen: (memories can hurt)
I couldn't save her. I tried to get there in time, but I wasn't listening hard enough. I should have gone as soon as I knew they'd taken her instead of waiting. I should have...as soon as I felt Sadi break the Black, I should have gone. Should have known.

But I was too late and they'd already done to her what should never be done to anyone, let alone a child. They'd taken her innocence. Shattered it. Shattered her. And not just with...they used something on her. Something that ripped her, and all I could see was blood.

I killed the man inside her, but the Uncles were coming and I didn't take the minute it would have taken to finish the kill. I left him there to make the transformation to demon dead and come after her again. I failed there, too.

Always finish the kill. I knew that. Sadi taught me that young, but I didn't. I left her, I left all of them, still in danger.

I wove a death trap for those who came after us into the altar. Tried to give Sadi time to do what needed doing. But even then, I couldn't hold them. There were too many. He couldn't go with them, because no one had time to show me how to do what needed doing with the candles. He had to hold together to do it, drained as he was already. Because I took too much time. Wasn't quiet enough. Made my kills too noisily. Whatever.

She shattered.

He shattered.

I couldn't stop it, and I couldn't fix it. All I could do was watch.
birthrightgreen: (putting up hair)
She wasn't nervous. She had nothing to be nervous about. It wasn't like it was a romantic evening. They'd just worked so hard on the case, working to catch the rabid witch who'd been slaughtering innocent males. And they had, with Jaenelle's help. Now Jaenelle and Daemon were back on their honeymoon and she...

She was here in Amdarh, back how she had been, nursing the bruises Falonar had left. So, why, exactly was she changing her dress? The one she had on was perfectly acceptable. She was going out dancing with a friend. She could use a friend right now. What she couldn't use was a male thinking he was just going to sweep in and carry her off.

Not that he was probably thinking that, but she was suspicious.

He was a male, and years of seeing them abused by her own sex still hadn't made her trust them as a gender. Then again, she didn't trust most people.

With a growl at herself, she finally settled on a black dress with enough slink to impress and a enough swirl to make a statement on the dance floor, no matter how elegant and formal. Hair pinned half up, the rest left down. If people stared at her ears, so be it.

She was ready. It was going to be fun. She kept repeating that. Fun. With a friend.

Just a friend. He wasn't expecting anything. He wouldn't be that foolish.

She just wished she knew what he wanted.

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