birthrightgreen: (With Baby)
It's not a title she ever expected to hear. It's one she worked hard to convince herself she didn't want to hear, because children were not something you wished on any whore. Everything got harder then. While living with Falonar, the same sort of resistance was there. I don't want a child, she had told him, even as her eyes watched Daemonar flying near the rafters.

A year ago, she changed her mind. Two months ago, the world changed.

Life goes on, and old habits reassert themselves. She started training as soon as she'd recovered from the birth and courtesy of the power it took to wear the Grey, she was almost back in fighting form, though her body was still rounded in ways it hadn't been before, and the fullness of breasts that were aching and heavy with milk tended to throw off her balance in subtle ways. Her body was hers again, and yet there was a sure knowledge at her core that it wasn't really, wouldn't really ever be hers again.

It belonged to the sleeping bundle in the crib in the nursery, with her bright green eyes and softly pointed ears that not even her father's blood added to her grandfather's had erased. Surreal hadn't expected that part of her new station. The fierce protectiveness, yes. She had seen it often enough in Titian's eyes to expect it. But the utter surety that she was no longer her own was unnerving in some ways.

In others, it was perfection.
birthrightgreen: (Gray-Jeweled Witch)
Dearest Sister,

When Samael explained the concept of a fan letter to me, I admit that I was stumped. Why anyone would write letters to entertainers is beyond me. Yes, they work hard at entertaining, but I can't say I've been overly impressed with most of it. There's a writer or two I might consider sending such, but most of them seem to be dead and they might not appreciate such a foreign opinion as mine.

But then it became perfectly clear. A letter to someone expressing appreciation and admiration for the things they do? Well, that could only go from me to one person, and that's you, sugar. You are the only person in all the Realms I can contemplate writing one of these letters to. Your strength, your dedication, your understanding of what must be; your care for each of us, your grasp of the necessity of sacrifice; and your willingness to be the sacrifice, to not ask more of anyone than you ask yourself--all that and more make you worthy of praise.

You are my sister. My friend. My inspiration. My touchstone. My guidepost. You have made our world one I feel safe bringing my daughter into. You have made the Blood once again a legacy I am proud to pass on to her. You have given us our very selves back, and that is something to celebrate. You have made my dearest friend happier than I ever thought he could be, and that alone would make me love you even if there was nothing else. You gave me a home. A name. A place to be myself and make a difference.

Thank you. I love you, more than these words can say, for who you are and everything you have done. I am ever at your disposal, whatever you need, and am always here to Serve.

Your sister,
Surreal

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.
birthrightgreen: (Everything has a price)
It used to be clients. When I worked, I usually worked all but 3 nights of the month and slept during the day. Nothing kept me from that sleep. Not fury at my clients, not guilt over my marks. I slept like a child.

But now it is the child that keeps me awake. I fear for her. I fear for her future, for what she will be. With my blood and his mingled, with all the things we bring. The coldness, sometimes. The anger. The bitterness. It laces through both of us and I fear what we could do to her.

I don't talk about it, because someone has to believe in us. Someone has to know that we can do this. That we have the ability to change, to be better for her. But he's so...He posts things. He talks about his inability to change and I think, No. This is not the man I know. The man I know wants to change. He wanted me. He wanted this child. And when he looks at me, and when he feels her move...it doesn't make sense, the words he says at other times. The things I know he does with others. The needs I can't fulfill for him. The places he goes.

I wonder if I am the same. If the face he sees, the face they all see, if it's something else. Another me and underneath is her. The girl from the streets who had no qualms about killing. The girl consumed by hatred and bitterness, planning her father's murder, her mother's revenge. That's not what I want to pass on to my daughter. That isn't the legacy I want to bring. I want her to grow up loved and happy and safe and at peace.

And I lie awake wondering how she can have that with parents like us.
birthrightgreen: (Dream of a Place Called Home)
I am generally a truthful sort. Oh, there are things I suppose I lie about, or used to, at least. My age. That I liked it when they -- fill in the blank with whatever you think a client might have done. That I didn't love the kill. That I didn't take pleasure in killing, though Sadi called me on that. I enjoyed the kill, yes, but I didn't kill for my own pleasure.

That I didn't find release in it. Have I said that out loud before? That sometimes the only peace I could find came in bloodshed. I can look back and tell the truth about that now, when I can find peace in so many other things.

But generally, I tell the truth. I've been called abrasive for it, for not sugar coating it. Unless you are a client or a mark, what you see is what you get, and as I don't have clients or marks anymore...well. This is me. Who I am at the core and I don't think there are lies so pervasive to warrant discussion on their own.

[Locked from Samael and my family]

Well, perhaps there is one.

Does it really count as a confession of a lie if I'm too cowardly to put it where anyone I lie for would see? But it's a lie for a good reason, and I wouldn't hurt them for the world, so it is best if it stays here, between us and away from them.

"I love him like a sister, or a cousin."

There is nothing...familial about my affections for him. There hasn't been since I was a child. I have always loved him since the first day he swept in and saved us, loved him as a woman, not a sister. I would have done nearly anything for him, if he'd just asked.

But it's not a truth I will ever tell him. Not a truth I will tell Jaenelle or Lucivar or Saetan. Because no matter how much I love him, he does not feel the same for me. And he is happy. He loves and is loved by someone so very much more worthy of him than I could ever be. And I love her so, as well. Why would I ever disrupt their happiness with my truth? To love is not a betrayal, and I loved him before she was born. I can't stop it now, but I'll keep lying about it because I don't want there to ever be a question of my loyalty to her. She is my Queen. She is Witch. She is my Sister. And my loyalty and love for her, for our family, goes deeper than any passion for Sadi.

Besides, I have Samael, now. And I love him so very much. A woman's passion, conceived as a woman, and chosen deliberately, through trouble and trials, instead of a child's adoration deepened over time into something more heated and desperate.

It's different that what I feel for Sadi, but no less deep. I finally have a chance to have that love with someone. To have a family and a home of my own. To be the center of someone's world. This is how it should be. How it is. And I am happy.

Why would I let a truth out that could disrupt all of that?

If...

Jul. 5th, 2006 10:49 am
birthrightgreen: (Baby)
If Kartane SaDiablo had his way, I never would have been born. It was his habit, you see, to break a young witch, no more than 12 or 13 at the most, and keep her until he seeded her. Then he either terrified her into spontaneously aborting or had one of the Healers under his mother's thumb take care of it. Once the child was gone, he tossed the girl into the street to return to her family in shame or to find work at a Red Moon House.

For centuries that was his game and none of them escaped. None until Titian.

She didn't go home, and I've never known why. Perhaps the Priestesses at the Gates back to Kaeleer could not be trusted? Perhaps she thought her family would not accept me, though they have done so with open arms since my coming here. Perhaps she was ashamed, though she never showed such shame to me. She didn't go to a Red Moon house where they would have been reluctant to take in a pregnant whore, and he could have found her.

No, she ran and she hid in the streets. She whored herself for a pittance to keep us both fed. She taught me what she could to keep me safe. And she screamed her last breath to keep me safe, pulsing energy in the walls to warn me from our home when Kartane sent an assassin to finish that which he hadn't been able to. There was no reason to kill her except that she ran, except that she bore me, and she knew that was the risk when she defied him.

I never understood any of it. Not why she didn't go home where she would be safe. Not why he wanted me dead so badly. And most of all why she didn't just abort me and make her way to safety and away from him, able to slide into the shadows and rebuild a life with as few reminders as possible.

None of the men who took me ever seeded me. I was lucky, I suppose, though I always wondered if it was damage from the first time. But I swore if they did, that I would get rid of their seed. That I would not carry the child of my rapist to term.

Only now do I begin to understand. I feel the tiny flutter of life inside me, the consciousness awakening though there is nothing physical yet that should give such a feeling, or so they tell me. This child was conceived in love. Wanted by both father and mother. Her life will be safe in a way I never knew. But what I have come to realize is that none of that matters where she and I are concerned. Not who her father is. Not how she will be raised. Not where she will live. Only that she is there inside of me. She is part of me and I cannot dream of harming her. Mine to protect. Mine to love. That I will share those moments and duties with a man I love means that I am blessed, and that she will know the wholeness I would wish for her, but it does not effect my love for her one way or the other.

To feel such a thing is to know, finally, why Titian did as she did. I would do anything for this child. The streets again. Separation from my family. Hiding forever. Whatever it took to raise her whole and healthy and safe in this world. I finally understand my mother, and I hope that wherever she is, she knows that.
birthrightgreen: (Heaven knows what a girl can do)
I think that by now everyone who knows me knows the answer to this one, sugar. The breaking of a witch. The abuse of a child--physical, emotional or sexual. Rape in any form. The abuse of a witch, forcing her to kneel and stripping away her power.

It was done to my mother. They tried to do it to me, more than once. The feel of fists and the terror of being violated, the helplessness of that feeling stays with me, even now after all this time. It sticks in my throat, and when I see or hear about it happening to someone else, I can't stop the spike of fury.

No one has the right to take such a thing from anyone else. No one has the right to do such a thing. And those that do will not hear a thing when I find them. All they will feel is the thrust of my blade the moment before their hearts stop.
birthrightgreen: (Another Day with Daemon)
OOC: This comes out of AU RP, not canon, and definitely not TM-ish RP. But it just...fit the prompt, so I let her go with it.

When I awoke the next morning, I ached all over. That warm, pleasant ache that radiates from your core into each muscle. My shoulder blades were raw, but then the kitchen floor isn’t carpeted. My wrist throbbed from the small puncture wound, and my neck had more than one bruise on it.

It was … I just lay there, taking account of each hurt, pulling it to my heart and cherishing it. He’d known what I could take, what I craved, things Falonar had never understood about me. Things born in shame but which made me now what I was, a perfect counterpart for that part of him. I rolled over, the soft sheets sliding over skin as gently as his hands had, after.

Open. Vulnerable, in a way I’d never let myself be. The emotional aftershocks of it were still making my head spin, even as remembering it brought a wave of heat to my cheeks. There should have been shame. Regret, as my fingers danced over the empty space in my bed where he’d never laid and never would. But I couldn’t muster it up. It would come, I was sure. Later and wash over me and hurt more for the knowledge of how for the first time in my life, I’d felt like I’d come home. Like I belonged.

My fingers danced over the mark on my wrist again. I did belong. He’d marked me. His. Physical proof of what had always been. Then. Now. Forever.

I could wait.

Comfort

Jun. 1st, 2006 02:30 pm
birthrightgreen: (Deadly)
It's a welcome feeling when my fingers curl around the handle. Familiar. Comforting. I remember the first one she handed me, the first time I wielded it, trying to imitate her movements, jerky, off balance. I was frustrated. She was patient. It didn't help in the end, not really. She was still gone, though I carried it with me, the bone handle cutting deep into my palm where I clutched it too tightly. It was crude, that first weapon, and I couldn't call it to my hands when he bound them and held me down.

I was too stunned at the next. Too frightened of the one after. In too much pain with the fourth. But then came one, and my body was adjusting to what they did to it. It still hurt, but there was the ability to think under the pain, to hate. To rage. To call it in and wrap my hand around it and plunge it deep into his back until he bled as much as I did the first time.

There were others, and people learned. They talked. The plotted, but no one cared enough to stop me. Then he came and there was training and there were teachers. It became a dance in and of itself and separated from the basic needs of survival it became a release. Grace and beauty under the brutality of the movement. Anyone can watch a fencing match and see the beauty, but the grace in the movement of a smaller blade is often lost. Far too often it is used for only one thing, though there are some who can see the beauty in the patterns it can trace on skin as it slices it away. Precision in the cuts. A twist of the wrist. The sure knowledge that the thin blade has done damage no surgeon can repair, slicing a triangle in the heart that can't be stitched closed.

A beautiful instrument ornamented, decorative and deceptively harmless looking, but it delivers death, swift and sure. It's always with me, and there will be none who take what I'm not willing to give ever again.
birthrightgreen: (memories can hurt)
It wasn't a chance encounter I had alone that brought her into my life, but one my mother and I had together. A client had been generous the night before and we were in the market buying much needed food. A woman came by, lost. She was hungry and cold and quite obviously trapped in the Twisted Kingdom with her mind shattered. Titian brought her home. We shared what we had bought with her, even though it wouldn't last as long that way. I remember we even had meat. Titian gave her the larger bed and slept curled around me that night and the next and the next, working on the streets themselves when she had to, or taking clients to a room for rent.

Her name was Tersa.

Tersa spoke in ramblings that we didn't always understand and one day she disappeared. But then another she came back. She'd stay for a week, two, sometimes a month and then she'd be gone. I liked to sit and talk to her, a child's mind and games fitting well with a madwoman's and she seemed to enjoy playing with me. She'd watch me a great deal, and mutter to herself about power and fragility and protection.

I didn't realize my life would change then. Didn't realize it was changing. She was a woman we took in occasionally. Helped with what we could. She brought me little trinkets she found, bird feathers and once a honeycomb.

And then one day she brought him, and nothing was ever the same again.
birthrightgreen: (not always rainbows)
I'm going to assume you mean romantically, sugar, and not marks that might have escaped my attention in my other profession. Of course, truthfully, no one's ever gotten away in either one. I'm not unprofessional enough to let a mark get away, and my romantic past is somewhat limited.

Falonar, no matter what the bastard might claim, did not "get away." I walked away, and I've no regrets about it. I didn't love him. He didn't love me. The sex was mediocre. I left before it got even more boring. And before he could try and find a way to leave me.

I'm happy with Samael. He makes me happy. He understands me and I understand him, and we fit in a way I've almost never fit with anyone before. There's nowhere I'd rather be, and any talk of people getting away...

Well. You have to have someone before they can get away, yes? And I've never had anyone else besides Falonar, who we've established I've no regret over not being with anymore. Samael, for all the confusion his world can still bring, is far, far preferable in every fashion. And so, if I've never had anyone else, then there wasn't anyone else to get away, was there? No. And so there isn't. One that got away, I mean. Because I never had him anyone else. And besides, anyone else would be far better off where he was and who he might or might not be with and...fuck. Nevermind. Cross that out.

No one. There's no one who got away.
birthrightgreen: (Rose and the Pearl)
My childhood ambition was to survive, sugar. That was about it. To survive the cold and the hunger and the never enough food and the knowledge of what those men were doing to my mother so we could have food.

Then Daemon came, and for two years I was spared that, given a new ambition, one fit for a child. He saw to it that I had teachers. I was trained. I learned Craft and walked away from my Birthright Ceremony with a Green Jewel. I was just a witch, and I didn't know for sure what it meant except that somehow I could try and make things better for my mother.

And then she was gone, and my ambition slid back to survival. To survive what they now did to me. To do what was necessary to be able to buy food. To strive to try and find a place to sleep that was warm when the snow flew.

By the time Daemon came again, I was no longer a child.
birthrightgreen: (I don't regret the choices I've made)
Well, now, sugar, that depends on the people you're asking. Family and friends or acquaintances and strangers? There's a wide chasm between the perceptions there. With family and friends, generally what you see is what you get. With others, let's just say I learned a long time ago to hide behind a smile and to let myself appear to be whatever it was they wanted me to be. It was part of the job to create the fantasy, the illusion, and I was very good at it.

What they actually perceive? Probably they look and see a whore. They all know what I used to do. My name is too well known in both Realms for that to be secret. And that gives them general ideas of what they think I should be. Weak and passive, to let men use me instead of taking my own pleasure. Easy, that I'll spread my legs for anyone and anything. Avaricious, to sell my body and take money for sex. Manipulative social climber, to have talked my way into one of the most prominent aristo families in Kaeleer. I've heard whispers some think I slept my way in, that the males want someone on hand, should their wives turn them away.

I used the first two to my advantage for 350 years. I can't snub my nose at them now. I was stronger than most of my clients, but it wouldn't have done to let them know that. They had aggressive, dominating females at home they served. They took from me what they couldn't get from them. It was how it was. It was how I made my living. I don't regret it now. Everything has a price, and that my reputation follows me is the price I paid for staying alive and taking what control I could back of my life.

My family and friends don't see that, I don't think. Don't perceive me that way. They all know of the second occupation that the first was a cover for. They know about the knives and the poisons and the blood and the death. Maybe not the details, but at least in general. Daemon knows most of the details, though even he may not know about my fondness for the witchblood as a weapon.

My family would tell you I'm stubborn. Snarly. Opinionated. Difficult. Hopefully, they'd tell you I'm loyal as well. Prickly sometimes gets substituted for snarly. Someone told me once he thought I wanted to be male. He almost lost his balls for saying it, which he would have said proved his point. My family knows nothing could be farther from the truth.

[locked from the family]Sometimes, I wonder though, who sees beneath that. I'd like to think the family does. Oh, I'm not saying I'm not prickly and stubborn and difficult. I am, and there's no getting around that. But even that's not all I am. But I don't let them see that. Not the tears. Not the aching loneliness. Not the desire to for once have something and someone I can call mine. To have a place that is mine. To build something rather than just destroy. Life instead of death. Sometimes, they catch glimpses, but I wonder just how much they know. If they don't, then that's all on me...and I don't know if I want them to see.
birthrightgreen: (naked portrait with flowers)
I don't even have to close my eyes, sugar. This one's easy. Or maybe I should close them, just to ease back the tears. I don't cry often, but this...when I do it's often this.

My mother. Every second of every day. There's this ache in my chest that won't go away, no matter how hard I try. A hole there, that's never been filled. And I can try and fill it with lovers and with blood and with dangerous escapades, and even with the thought of a child, but the hole won't be filled.

I missed her all my life. Missed her when I was forced to the streets as she had been. Missed her when I was training in the Red Moon house Daemon had me apprenticed to. Missed her as I traveled Terreille, searching for her people, where she came from. Missed her as I stood on a garden path in Challiot and had a little girl tell me that Titian sent her love.

I missed her as I stood in the Hall, on the other side of Uncle Saetan's study door and waited to go through. I missed her when I left to go back into Terreille with Daemon, wishing I could see her before I left, because there was a chance, albeit slim, that I would be killed, the final death, sent back into the Darkness and not even able to join her in Hell.

And since coming back...since knowing that even that chance is gone...that even when my time to die comes and if I make the transition to demon dead...

She won't be there. She's gone. Utterly. Completely. Fed back into the Darkness to help save us all and I understand why she went. I do. I would have made the same choice in her position. But that doesn't stop the ache. The knowing she's gone. That I'll never talk to her again. Never see her face. Hear her laugh.

She'll never see my child. Won't be there to hold her, or him. She won't be there the nine months I carry the child to tell me about what she felt when she carried me. To encourage me. To listen to my fears, and my joys, and share hers.

And I know I have family. I'm not alone, not like I was the first time she was taken.

But I miss her. I want to see her again. To be with her. We had so very little time. It's not fair, and the mere fact that those words can be torn out of me who's known for nearly 400 years how unfair the world is, who sees how it's not been fair to those I love, who's seen some of the darkest things to ever be done to people...I get the irony, sugar. It's not something I say often. Life isn't fair, and I know that well.

But it's the cry of a child, lost in the dark. It's not fair. I want my mother.

Nearly 400 years, and I haven't been able to silence that child's voice. The more recent loss just makes it louder, and cuts the joy with a bittersweet edge.

ooc: Obviously, we're having NO respect for timeline or plot continuity in TM RP here, but really. What else is Surreal going to say? And given our lack of a Titian, in game, I think it's one that cuts across all versions of her.

Fortune

Apr. 10th, 2006 09:11 am
birthrightgreen: (I don't regret the choices I've made)
It was a small fortune that lay there in the middle of the bed. A lucrative week at Deje's Red Moon House, and an even more lucrative contract performed to the client's satisfaction. My fingers sifted through the gold, watching coins trickle through my fingers. They sparkled against even the warmth of my skin as I sat next to them, running them through my hands again and again. The price of skin. The price of blood. The price of sex. The price of death.

Everything has a price.

I was worth a fortune, in the bedroom and out. I could command any price I wished for my services. A fortune.

I sold my talents and as I studied the gold I wondered if that was what I was worth. Golden skin, golden coins. Cold against skin, like a blade, and just as deadly in their own way.

Everything has a price. Even me. I hated those coins, but I scooped them up and vanished them to join the rest of my small fortune. I could quit. I could retire to a small house in a small town somewhere. Get a cat. Maybe a dog. No more nights on my back. No more days with a blade in my hand.

But the blade was the joy and the men between my thighs were the price I paid for it. The gold piled up. I bought what I needed, though truly most of my wardrobe had been provided by grateful clients, and what I took away from a house was mine to keep. I saved for that day when I could walk away. When the debt had been extracted. When I could rejoice in that fortune. Revenge was better than gold.

There was a debt to be paid that the largest fortune in the world would not satisfy. A debt that the blood that stained my hands would not erase.

Once it was paid to my satisfaction, in screams and pleas for mercy not given, then I could retire. Then I could rest.

But until then, I'd continue to pay the price and earn the fortune and make each slice of the blade a promise for what was to come.
birthrightgreen: (Heaven knows what a girl can do)
I was an assassin, sugar. Am an assassin, even if I'm without clients at the moment. I understood danger. Danger understood me. Admittedly, I did what I could to reduce the danger as often as possible, of course. I'm not an idiot. I'm not a thrill seeker. Usually. When things were bad with Sadi, I avoided him. I liked to kill from afar, so no one could tie it to me. A death spell, usually, more than my knife, for all the blade's my favorite weapon. I admit there were some rooms that got splattered, occasionally. Sometimes... *shrugs* It happens.

But the most dangerous? Sugar, that's easy. I went with Daemon into Terreille. To Dorothea and Hekatah's camp. I wanted to help. They were--are--my family, too. Those bitches had them. They'd sent us proof of that in the form of Uncle Saetan's little finger. I couldn't just sit there and do nothing. But danger? You'd best believe that. They'd already captured and confined Lucivar and Uncle Saetan. They'd held Daemon for 1700 years. I could have killed Dorothea one on one. Could have sent Hekatah to her final death. I was stronger, and I wasn't Ringed, but I couldn't take them both out at once, and had no way to do it otherwise without alerting the other and signing everyone's death warrant.

Daemon found me before I had a chance to slip away. When I realized he was going, I told him to take me with him. He said I could be useful, but I had no idea what exactly he'd need me for. All the way to the outside of Dorothea's camp he was himself. Sadi. Then he changed. Darkness help me, I thought I'd danced with the Sadist before. I hadn't until then. I've never seen anyone change so quickly. I thought. I thought what he wanted me to think. I fell for the act. I doubted him.

He needed me to be convincing. Sugar, believe me. I was. )
birthrightgreen: (Kindred)
I'm not sure about the "intentionally making a fool of myself" bit, but I did what I did intentionally and knew I looked a fool doing it, so I'm going to say it's my journal and that's how I'm interpreting the question.

It was shortly after Winsol. I was still contemplating the move to Amdarh, still not sure what to do about Samael, about Daemon, about...anything really. I'd wrapped the gifts in paper that I bought in New York, a city in the other Realm, other world. Something to share of what I'd seen with my family.

It had snowmen on it, and I was intrigued. It's not that children in Kaeleer and Terreille don't make snowpeople. They do. Beautiful ones. But I never got the chance. Not much snow in the slums of Draega and a child whoring herself on the streets doesn't have time for such things.

Looking back, there was only one time I can even say I played in the snow. I was 20 and had decided to take some time off--just a week or so--and get away from the Red Moon houses. The court Daemon was serving at was busy with their preparations and he was able to slip away as well. We met in Shalador at one of our hideaways. Well, his hideaway that would become one of mine. There was snow and it was hard for him to get me off of the sofa in front of the fire with my nice book, but he managed it by promising to cook dinner for the next three nights. We went for a walk, and I'd gotten a bit ahead of him when something hit me from behind. He'd thrown a snowball at me and I just...stared at him. The Sadist was throwing snowballs? Of course, at that time I'd only heard the name. I was a child, really, still. Hadn't even made my Offering yet. I scooped snow up and threw it back. The bastard put up a shield, smirking. It was war pretty quickly though, and he finally dropped the shield to give me a fighting chance. We went back inside only when our fingers were too numb to do anything else. Two whores laughing in the kitchen on holiday from their lives. He made me wrap up in a blanket to not catch a chill and brought me hot toddies all night.

But since that week, 'til this Winsol...it wasn't really something I'd done again. I looked back on it as a bit of childhood that was stolen from me. A Winsol gift from my friend.

So when Daemon suggested we make the snowman on the Hall's grounds, I sort of stared at him. He'd been humoring a child then. We were both adults now. I mean, if he wanted to take Daemonar out to build a snow man, that was different. But no. He tugged me outside again, with the same eagerness he'd shown that week so long ago.

Do you know how ridiculous people look rolling snow balls around on a lawn to make them bigger? Graysfang got involved as well, thrilled to be able to play whatever game we were playing and knocked it over more than once. We broke to play snowball fetch with him, and I, ex-whore and assassin, was chasing a wolf around a yard trying to retrieve the snowman's nose and eyes. I tripped, falling flat on my face in the snow and Daemon almost fell over from laughing at me so hard. That degenerated into a snowball fight of our own because such an insult as laughing at me had to be repaid with snow down his back. Graysfang pounced us both and there was wrestling and possibly tickling. We were both soaked through by the end of it, warming spells or not, and we looked a sight. My hair was bedraggled and falling all down and my trousers were muddy and covered in bits of grass that hadn't quite been covered yet. Flushed and sweating and panting for air and Daemon...immaculate, never a hair out of place Daemon was not in much better shape. We both looked like fools. Grown-ups playing like children and making a mess of the lovely carpets when they tramped back inside. I knew it. I had only to look at Daemon to know what I must look like.

And I just...didn't care. It didn't matter. I'm not sure I'd ever had that much fun.

We got back down to business when Graysfang finally collapsed in exhaustion and by the end we had a snowman. In a nice dinner jacket. With a snifter of brandy in his hand and a look about him that sent us both scampering inside before anyone could see who'd made the snowman on the lawn that looked like the High Lord of Hell.
birthrightgreen: (Everything has a price)
Home. It's not something I've given that much thought to in nearly 400 years. I had a home once. It wasn't very big. Just a few rooms, really. But it was safer and warmer than anywhere we'd been before. There were teachers and there was my mother. And then it was shattered.

I've lived most of my life without it. Hideaways here and there where I stashed my things, my money. An apartment, a town house, somewhere to go when I needed a break between jobs. But never for long. I spent most of my adult life renting rooms in this or that Red Moon house, taking appointments, earning a living.

[locked]
It's small. Nothing too elaborate. Just room for the two of us. Maybe the wolf. An extra room for guests. A smaller one for a child someday. There are books everywhere. Art on the walls. A fireplace with a rug in front of it and a comfortable couch. A decanter of brandy on a side table.

There's laughter. And there's love. There's healing. No demands. No shadows of the past. There are debates over philosophy. There's room to practice, to grow our Craft. A kitchen full of the best cookware. A round stone just for kneading bread.

It's warm. Close enough to town for the diversions, just outside of it enough for peace. No one knows who we are. No reputations follow us. It's safe.[/locked]

Home wasn't something I had the luxury of dreaming about. It wasn't for girls like me.

It still isn't.
birthrightgreen: (memories can hurt)
I know what most people think of me. At least most of "society" as it's made up both in Terreille and even still here. They look at me and see my former profession. Whore. Not enough of them know of the other to see that side. The males away from the Coven get this look in their eyes, sometimes. Speculation and lust combined with something darker. What would I let them do to me? What could they get away with? And ought they do such to someone under the protection of Saetan SaDiablo? They generally decide that the latter risk outweighs the potential for what they could get away with, and thus they tend to leave me alone.

But I move through them here, looking for those that might be spies for Dorothea. Looking for anyone who threatens Jaenelle. And all I see is their eyes following me with the same thought and I know that the poison that's corrupted the Blood of Terreille has come here to Kaeleer. What I'm not sure of yet is how deep it runs, or how we can stop it from ruining the Shadow Realm as it has the Realm of Light.

The one person I'm unsure of, as always, is Daemon. Perhaps it's silly to be unsure. Likely it's my own guilt still niggling there. We seem to be back to where we were all those centuries, as if our efforts for Jaenelle and my care of him, when he'd let me, while he was in the Twisted Kingdom healed the old wounds. But you don't live in fear of someone for 50 years without lingering repercussions. You don't do something so incredibly stupid that it costs you your dearest friend--your only friend--without lingering doubt.

Not even I can be that cold inside.

I know what I did was wrong. We've never discussed it. Always things more pressing. People to help. Our jobs to do, such as they were and are. And he's happy now, with his chance with Jaenelle. They're still so unsure sometimes...I don't want to be in the way of their healing each other. So, perhaps it's best I'm in Amdarh away from the Hall, or at Sam's Tower, away from Kaeleer.

I don't know what he thinks. What he remembers. I don't want the coldness, the darkness that we let--that I let come between us wound the chance he has now at happiness. I don't want to tear the family I've found apart, or have any of them looking at me the way others do.

I don't want them, or him, to look at me and think what I see in the men of Amdarh and Little Terreille's eyes.

Whore.
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.

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