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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    Wolfbane -- Year 210

    QOTY

    "She presses into him greedily, hungrily, and demands more. She does not know how to be gentle when she is with him—does not know how to quell the aching in her belly, the neediness in her touch. She would devour him whole. She would sacrifice herself completely. She would give and give and give—" --Tabytha, written by Laura


    [private]  I've got my heart set on anywhere but here - litotes
    #1
    she wanted what every young heart wanted — 
    for something beautiful to find her beautiful.
    Secretly, she is surprised when the lion comes with her. She had whispered her soft invite into the wildness of his mane but never had she expected that he would actually agree. She did not yet understand the connection that had forged between them; she did not understand the way her heart had seen him in a way her eyes never could, because she still doesn’t even know who he is. 

    But Lilt, in all of her young, unbridled naivety, didn’t care at all.  

    Whoever he is, she cannot help but to feel like he is hers; like a million stars must have lined up to make sure that their paths crossed on that cold, lonely mountain. Destiny was strange like that, she would come to find. More had gone into their making than her mind could possibly comprehend, but she does not have to consider that now.

    For now, it is just him and her, both of them alight in the glow of the stars and the moon.

    She leads him towards Sylva, carefree and unafraid. The moonlight pours a watery path, and she follows it until it is swallowed by the autumn-colored trees of her home. With a tip of her head she smiles at him, a bubble of excitement rising in her chest at the idea of sharing some place she considered special. Loess held most of her parents’ history, but for Lilt, she has only ever known Sylva. “We’re here,” she says, stepping easily along a well-worn path. “My mother is who looks over Sylva. She should be around here somewhere – I think she would love to meet you.” 

    There is no caution or hesitation when they round a particularly thick copse of trees and come nearly face to face with the star-dappled mare that has just emerged from the shadows. Lilt, oblivious, offers her mother a brilliant smile, but it quickly withers away, and the introduction she was about to make dies on her tongue when she sees the cool, frigid way her mother is looking at the lion at her side.

    With a calculated tilt of her head, and a simper that unfurls like fog across her lips, Starsin purrs in a voice that is far too sweet, “Hello, Lie. How kind of you to escort my daughter home.”
    l i l t



    litotes
    Reply
    #2
    LITOTES

    Lilt is easy, Litotes thinks, the tiniest bits of coherency returning to him. If he were his normal self, he would be asking himself—why do I give myself away so easily? Piece by tiny piece, he drops what remains of himself in a trail back to each mistake. He used to place those pieces of himself on the tongues of his lovers, and they would smile and feign a swallow; then when he was not looking, they would spit it upon the ground from where they were hiding it under their tongues.

    Oh, he used to think he was delicious and sweet, a fruit ripe for the picking.

    Litotes will try to love again soon (he is even loving now), a sweet realization that makes him look up with sparkling eyes. Lilt chatters about her mother, the lion understanding every few words. As the seconds pass he becomes more and more self-aware, even tilting his head at the mention of Sylva.

    Still, nothing could prepare him for the face that turns the corner before them.

    A face so startling that Litotes is ripped from his lion form, and the last several years of his life come rushing back.

    “Oh, fuck,” Lie gasps, as he typically does, golden eyes locking onto Starsin’s navy ones. She gives him a cold gaze, one that reminds him of his shivering nights locked in a cave. Starsin’s eyes are so cold that they kill his shock and sensory overload.

    Now, anger warms him.

    “Isn’t it, Starsin?” Litotes replies, a coy and vicious smile lifting his lips. He turns his head slightly, just enough to watch Lilt from his peripheral vision. He feels for her, and feels for all of the pieces clicking together in his head—but being faced with such a visceral piece of who he is so suddenly . . . he just can’t take his eyes off of Starsin.

    “Why do you look at me like I’ve done something wrong, Starsin? I thought you would have forgotten about me by now.” He shrugs, casts eyes teeming with anger and hurt up at the night sky. “You forget your feelings so well, I don’t know why I’m surprised to see you so . . . cold.”

    and let the cool air in, feel the night slip in
    as it softly glides across your back
    and i hope you leave right before the sun comes up
    so i can watch it alone
    Reply
    #3

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    He gets under her skin so quickly, like the sharpest of barbs. But then again, maybe he’d never really left. He’s just been sitting there all this time, dormant, like a cancer just waiting to reawaken.

    Ophanim’s heart beats inside of her chest, and somewhere, wherever he may be, her heart is twisting and racing inside of his. The way that it did when anger flooded her, when it didn’t just beat fast but it beat hard, like pumping the blood more aggressively would somehow serve as on outlet for all that pent up rage building inside of her.

    She has been craving a release.
    She has been a cocked hairpin trigger for weeks on end, just waiting for something to accidentally bump into her to give her a reason to fire. How delightfully perfect that she would turn a corner and run into her favorite target.

    And how wretchedly twisted that all this tension, all this anger, was far too reminiscent of the first time they had met.

    She only briefly flicks her gaze to Lilt, and for a moment there is guilt; because she sees the confusion on her daughter’s face. Confusion tinged with hurt, because she sees those pretty silver eyes staring at the pale stallion next to her – the one that had been a lion just moments before. She realizes, then, that Lilt had had no idea. She sorts through the tangle of thoughts and manages to string together something that makes sense; the pair of them on the mountain, and Lie never saying a word. Her intense blue eyes dart back to his, narrowing when they lock together. “You never even told her who you were?”

    But then he is prodding at old wounds, trying to pick open a scar she had thought to be long since healed. Above, the limbs of the trees begin to shake, their leaves rustling and the wood creaking, and all the while the star-dappled mare struggles to keep control of the urge to splinter all the trees around them apart. He always has had a way of being able to get to her, but she had been so sure that she was long past this point. “Forget you? I wouldn’t forget you, Lie. I don’t want to forget you. I’ve been here, in Sylva, moving on like I’m supposed to. And you? You’ve been locked away who the hell knows where, and you finally come back just to lure some innocent girl – my daughter – back with you.”

    She steps forward then, almost entirely forgetting that Lilt exists. She looks at him, doing her best to train her gaze on his eyes, to not let them trail to the silver snowflakes on his nose, or the familiar shape of his jaw. “So why don’t you just tell me, what the fuck you’re playing at.”

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )

    Reply
    #4
    LITOTES

    Oh, how fucking rich, is what begins to spill out Litotes’ mouth when Starsin offers her rebuttals. He stares at her with wide, roiling eyes as she speaks, opting to bite his tongue and keep the peace (for now). There’s enough anger for the both of them, but mostly there is sadness—a sense of betrayal and confusion. The mixture of complicated and erratic emotions brews into an overdone tea, now too strong and bitter for even the most potent sugars to mask.

    Litotes stares and stares, ears turned halfway down to his mane. He is statuesque, silent, considering. First his gemstone eyes lift up to the tips of Starsin’s ears, then slowly down to the soft curves of her lips, where he lingers for a few seconds too long. When Lie returns his gaze to Starsin’s, a clear—almost smug—confidence mellows his eyes. She drew closer to him and though it may not be in the way he desires, it is certainly enough. It has to be enough, for Litotes knows he cannot live with this ache any longer.

    “I couldn’t tell her—Lilt—who I am,” the cremello replies, tearing his eyes from Starsin and glancing at his companion apologetically. Lie offers no other explanation; instead, he stumbles on his words, finds that his confidence and fury dies with the realization that he doesn’t want to do this. He doesn’t want to do the next best thing (arguing to retain intimacy). Lie realizes very suddenly that this game of second-best is what sent him into hiding in the first place. He sits in his own stunned silence thinking how empty he feels when he throws venom at someone he wishes he could love.

    A muscle in the corner of Litotes’ jaw jumps when he turns his head to stare away from both Starsin and Lilt. The only sound is the trio’s shared breathing.

    “No game to play, Starsin,” Lie finally says. He turns to peer at her with soft, nearly empty eyes. “I don’t think you want to hear what I’ve been through these past few years, trying to move on.” He drops his gaze to the ground now, gritting his teeth against the desire to tell her how hard he has worked to move on from everything, not just her, and how she is the only piece of his history he can’t let go.

    Litotes sighs and closes his eyes, wishing desperately that he had remained locked at the Mountain’s base. He wonders if he tries hard enough, can he think enough at a fairy that they will take him from this hell? Or if he leaves, runs until his legs fall beneath him, will the fairies wipe Starsin from his memory, even if to rid themselves of one so pathetic?

    “Is this a mistake, Starsin?” Lie whispers, defeated. “I can leave.” Lilt matters to him even as he offers to go—the thought of her twists his heart, in fact—but now, freezing to death beneath the layers of ice he can never breach, he hopes someone else will comfort her.

    and let the cool air in, feel the night slip in
    as it softly glides across your back
    and i hope you leave right before the sun comes up
    so i can watch it alone
    Reply
    #5

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    There is a part of her that found this exhilarating. The vitriol that they spit so easily at each other, bitter and simmering, as if they had not once been lovers. As if he did not know every side of her, as if he did not know that her fortress of anger was sheltering every broken part of her. She could pretend she doesn’t know what he’s thinking without actually reading his mind, she could pretend that he actually is as irritated as he appears to be.

    Until he softens. Until the turmoil of emotions that had reflected in his eyes slowly dissipated into nothing, and she has to remind herself that she cannot fill them back up.

    She fades, but only slightly. Her stance is still rigid, her dark blue eyes unrelenting as they still stare directly into his. Lilt’s confused, upset thoughts are the only thing that draw her gaze away from Lie, and the glimmering silver of her daughter’s eyes – rimmed with the tears that she is fighting to hold back – is what finally extinguishes the last of her anger.

    The sigh that she emits is a heavy one, and her chest does not feel lighter having released it. When she looks back to him there is the faintest remnants of her own hurt and confusion, but with a single blink her expression is wiped clean, and she says in a clipped tone, “I don’t care if you stay, if Lilt still wants you to.” She holds his gaze captive with her own for a heartbeat and a breath too long, before she turns to go. She could leave it at that – she should leave it at that. But that bruised and injured part of her, the broken part that wanted to drag everyone into the deep dark with her, makes her glance over her shoulder to add icily, “Just stay out of my sight.” She leaves them there, then, letting the fog of the Sylvan forest swallow her up once more.

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )

    Reply
    #6
    she wanted what every young heart wanted —
    for something beautiful to find her beautiful.
    She hadn’t known that a heart could break in a single moment.

    The shock of Lie not being what she had thought, initially, was quick to wear off. The shock is overpowered by her confusion as she tries to understand the sharpness in her mother’s voice, and though her eyes look for his searchingly, his attention is locked on Starsin.

    Lilt, lovely and naive and meek, has lived such a sheltered life, and has only ever known love. She has never before been the victim of her mother’s unforgivable stare; she has never before wanted to shrink until she disappeared, has never been so close to wondering if she could shatter herself into dust and let the wind take her away. She doesn’t understand the history between her mother and this man that she had unwittingly brought home. She doesn’t understand all the stepping stones her mother’s anger was built on, and that the anger is not really directed at her, or even Lie himself.

    But in this moment it doesn’t matter, because all she can do is try not to wilt beneath her mother’s biting tone.

    Starsin leaves, and though guilt blooms in Lilt’s chest – and she thinks she should go after her, that this was a choice she was supposed to make and of course she should choose her family – she is frozen next to the pale stallion. Abruptly, she steps to stand in front of him, blocking the view from where her mother had disappeared to. Her face is a storm of emotions, and she wears them plainly, hardly anything at all like the impenetrable wall that her mother could be. She looks at him, knowing that she is staring into the face of a stranger. She doesn’t know him, and she knows him even less than she had when she first met him, and somehow looking at him still felt like it was supposed to be home.

    Her foolish, naive heart, now suffering from its first bruises, still desperately wanted his.

    “I don’t want you to go,” her throat aches with the effort to control her tears, the ones that gather in the corners of her eyes and slip down her cheeks. “But if you leave, I’m going with you.”
    l i l t
    Reply
    #7
    LITOTES

    Oh, so dramatic—Litotes feels dramatic, wishes he could eat every single word that just came out of his mouth. He can’t help the way Starsin draws out both the hardest and softest sides of him, can’t help that his emotions go from high-flying fury to depression in the trenches. They war against each other, French and German soldiers muddied and terrified as bullets fly past. Blood spills and eyes roll back. The French, depression embodied, drop like flies in their rain-soaked bunkers, while the maddened Germans creep closer and closer.

    Starsin drops her bombs, and the anger bursts like a heart attack in Lie’s chest.

    Stay out of her sight, he thinks derisively as Starsin holds his gaze for a beat too long. The way her eyes grew cold and the way she can’t break away from his face told him otherwise, told him that she misses the Litotes that made her laugh when she was alone. Satisfaction wants to ease his mind, but the spite wraps cruelly around his tongue.

    “Coward,” Litotes spits when Starsin turns to leave. Fog swallows her whole and all he can think is She can’t even face the consequences.

    Lie feels nauseous as he distantly watches the thick mist his once best friend left him for. He wants to cry, not because he regrets the name-calling (not yet), but because he genuinely thinks whatever the pair had left just went up in flames. Maybe I should go after her, he thinks absently, incapable of fully grasping the idea. Maybe I should tell her how much I still care, that thought being the one to jerk him from his reverie.

    Lilt appears before him, beautiful silver eyes glittering with tears that long to fall. He briefly thinks she would be pretty even when crying, tears leaving streaks that would glow beneath the moon. The way she gazes with the innocence of someone incapable of hiding what they’re thinking . . . Lie’s heart falls from his chest. He admires that, the way she betrays who and what she is without a thought. He envies it, even as he wants to tuck her to his chest and tell her how sorry he is. Even as he is reminded of the way his stomach spun when they first locked eyes.

    “I know,” Lie murmurs, not because he knew Lilt would follow him, but because he doesn’t want to leave her here as much as she doesn’t want him to leave. “But I don’t think I am welcome in Sylva,” he whispers, heading drooping just enough that his gaze breaks with Lilt’s. Lie wants to draw closer to her, to touch his nose lightly to her cheek in a sign of contrition. “If you want to . . . spend time together—” he doesn’t know what to call it, not yet, “—I need to tell you what your mother once was to me.” Still is, he thinks, though he immediately realizes that is not true. They are different now, very different. The only thing they truly share is their desire to know what could have been.

    “We should stay the night here, though,” Lie concedes. “I’m tired. And I can tell you what happened when we’re settled.”

    and let the cool air in, feel the night slip in
    as it softly glides across your back
    and i hope you leave right before the sun comes up
    so i can watch it alone
    Reply
    #8
    she wanted what every young heart wanted —
    for something beautiful to find her beautiful.
    She doesn’t realize yet what a dangerous, turbulent situation she is getting herself into. She cannot possibly fathom the nearly endless depths of this man’s history, and she doesn’t know how incredibly twisted and tangled it was with her mother’s. She doesn’t realize that by so freely displaying her heart for him to see that she is setting herself up to get it broken. But even if she did know, would it change anything? If she knew that he had already loved others, that his life had been so full of enough trials and tribulations to fill a lifetime, would it keep her away?

    She knows it wouldn’t.

    She wants to argue with him when he says he doesn’t think he’s welcome in Sylva; wants to tell him that it isn’t true, that her mother was just angry for some unknown reason but that Lilt is sure she would get over it. But she doesn’t say any of that, because she knows it’s a lie. Her mother was impossibly stubborn and proud, and if she had decided to make things difficult there would be no changing her mind.

    Instead of saying anything she reaches forward to gently touch her dark muzzle against his pale cheek, her lips brushing against his skin. She tries to ignore the warm, tingling sensation that spreads from where she touches him with her lips and how it seems to slip past her ribs and settle there, like the beginnings of an ember that longed to ignite. She withdraws, though, the sorrow still so plain in her sterling eyes, so much so that it lingers in the small smile she offers him when she nods in agreement. “Okay,” she says softly, and she gestures towards a path that leads the opposite direction from where Starsin had disappeared to, waiting for him to fall into step beside her.

    She guides him a short distance through the trees, the moonlight filtering through the leaves to further illuminate the faint glow of her roaning, and glinting off the spiral of her horn. She keeps her wings tucked close to her sides, because every time she accidentally touched him it felt like a shock straight to her heart, and she still didn’t know how to handle a feeling like that. She didn’t know how to deal with the fact that she wanted to know everything about him while simultaneously not wanting to hear what he had to say about her mother, because though she is young and naive it did not change that instinctual ability to feel when you were about hear something you didn’t want to. There is already a part of her that wants to rewind time, to go back to the mountain when she was just a girl and he was just a lion, and there were no words and no anger and no hurt.

    In a small clearing she comes to a stop. Here, the trees are tall and set far apart, but their branches stretched and overlapped until the sky above was nearly hidden, offering a shadowed kind of intimacy. She turns to look at him in the dim light, her skin flushing hot and cold with anticipation and anxiety, but her voice is steady and soft when she says to him, “Tell me everything.” From anyone else, those words might have sounded like a demand. But coming from her, with eyes that were both sad and sweet, searching his face in the dark, it was just a hopeful request.
    l i l t
    Reply
    #9
    LITOTES

    The love in Litotes’ life has always been a beautiful, dangerous thing. He has always loved so freely and vividly, painting pictures of his devotion with whispered words and desperate acts. When he was a teenager of three and four, his love was golden and sewn into the finest of silks. I love you was meticulously etched a thousand times over into the tapestry he carefully wove. No Renaissance sculptor was as attentive and as devoted as he. From the ashes of the broken boy his father left him he sculpted a beautiful castle full of life and purpose. Marbled by fire and water, his kingdom was impenetrable.

    He thought it was impenetrable.

    Until the years wore down the earth and the cliff his castle sat majestically upon crumbled. The marble broke violently against the rocks. The loved ones that took up residence in his beloved home bled into the ocean.

    Litotes survived. But at what cost? Why did he continue to just survive?

    Lilt feels as if she needs to rebuff Lie not being welcome in Sylva, and the cremello subconsciously warms to that part of her. The ghost of a smile lifts his lips when she presses her mouth against his cheek. It had been so long since someone had touched him like that. He had forgotten what a sweet feeling affection is, and the slow beat of his heart picks up a pace or two. I don’t deserve it, he thinks, and that somber nature returns his face to shadow.

    The pair travel down a moonlit path, Lilt’s feathered wing occasionally brushing against him. Lie can feel her pull away and he can’t blame her, so he keeps his distance as they travel. He knows good and well that whatever she feels for him, he did nothing to deserve; and whatever anger he felt toward Starsin deflates beneath the weight of her daughter’s affection. I deserve this, he thinks, even as he desperately tries to keep his focus in the present. I should turn tail and run. He starts to—run, that is—lion’s fangs tearing into the flesh of his mouth as he prepares to make it impossible for him to ever return to Sylva.

    But Lilt stops in a tree-speckled clearing, and when Lie sees her anxious eyes, he cannot bring himself to do it. I’m weak, he thinks, sighing as he concedes to spending the night here. I should leave. He doesn’t, though; in fact, he steps quietly over to a large tree and leans exhaustively against its rough bark.

    Lie doesn’t know what to say, so he doesn’t speak for a minute. His gemstone eyes are veiled. He looks worn.

    “I was in love with your mother, is the short version of this story,” he eventually begins, choking on the word love. “But she didn’t love me back. At least, I thought she did, but now . . . I don’t think so.” I would rather die than deal with this, he thinks—but once again, he grits his teeth and survives. “We have two children, your half-siblings. Dove and Draco. I’m sure you’ve met them.” Not even the mention of his churlish son and sweet daughter can lift his lips in a smile. “I don’t want you to think this means anything within your family. Your mother loves Ophanim more than she could ever love me. And I don’t feel the same way that I did.” Is that a lie? “I just . . . uh. I don’t feel like I can give you all of this right now, if that makes sense. There’s other pieces of our story but I’m tired and . . . I think you’re something special. You deserve more gentility. Someone easier.”

    He says this because he knows what this is. He knows what fate and magic always do to him. He knows he is destined to love her just as much and more than the others. And he isn’t sure he can take it.

    and let the cool air in, feel the night slip in
    as it softly glides across your back
    and i hope you leave right before the sun comes up
    so i can watch it alone
    Reply
    #10
    she wanted what every young heart wanted —
    for something beautiful to find her beautiful.
    She watches him as he walks over to the tree and she fights the urge to follow him. Even though she cannot shake the feeling that she knows him, that they were somehow meant for each other (and she is still too young to know that fate didn’t always work the way you think it will; that even though their hearts may have been destined to intertwine it didn’t guarantee happiness, it didn’t mean one or both of them would not end up shattered), she recognizes that they do not truly know each other. And so no matter how badly she wants to touch her lips to his cheek, to trace across the silver snowflakes on his face and see if she could somehow chase the sadness from his eyes, she doesn’t move.

    She listens to him, and though she had half-expected that this is what he was going to say, to actually hear him utter the words causes her heart to drop to the furthest depths of her chest. A visible hurt and surprise flash across her face, her mind swimming as she tries to process all that this means. The idea of her mother having ever been in love with anyone else was unfathomable, but the idea of her being in love with him was heart-wrenching.

    She had assumed that there would have been others before her; but she had never dreamed that her mother would be one of them.

    “Oh,” is all she says at first, a breathy and sorrowful sound, and she can’t think of anything to follow it up with. She can’t sort her spinning thoughts into words, and everything that she thinks of just seemed so...empty. She stands there in her dizzy silence, pulling her wings closer to her sides as though that could somehow ward off the sick feeling in her stomach and the tightness in her chest. She knows she should say something, that she should acknowledge all that he had just told her, but she doesn’t.

    It’s not until she blinks away the shock and hurt that her silver eyes refocus on him, and she thinks, in that instant, that he could do absolutely anything and she would forgive him for it. She forgets about her mother, about her half-siblings, and about all the other what ifs and the other secrets that she is sure she doesn’t know and might possibly never find out. She closes the short space between them, and this time, she does reach out to touch his face. She trails her lips along the snowflakes, and then slowly up across his cheek, and she says softly, “I don’t need easy.”
    l i l t
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