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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Mazikeen -- Year 214

    QOTY

    "“Content to admire you from afar.” Well that’s just bullshit. She wasn’t *content* to be admired from afar. She would rather not see him at all then be tortured by a buffered distance." --Mazikeen, written by Squirt


    [private]  I can hear you from a dream
    #11
    Mazikeen
    Mazikeen notices the rough landing, but the recovery is smooth and it is so easy for her to believe that Gale was just distracted by his thoughts as she was. She’s surprised she hadn't forgotten how to use her wings when her mind had been in that fog. So she thinks nothing of it - and it is quickly replaced by other thoughts.

    His comment, the playful challenge in the way he tilts his head, inspires a small laugh from Mazikeen that eases away a little more of her tension. She had been serious but maybe if Gale is only contradicting her about wrestling and not the rest then everything really will be okay. It’s a thought she needs absolutely no encouragement to cling to. She wants so much for this unplanned event to not uproot their entire lives when the ground is already constantly shifting beneath them with everything else.

    So she’s smiling as she steps closer, removing the wings from her sides as she does. “Okay, maybe it’ll change that. We’ll just have to be a little more… gentle for a while, I guess.” She touches his neck when she says the word gentle, a brush of a kiss against navy skin. Mostly to distract herself from how much she hates the idea of needing to take it easy, how her hair wants to bristle at the idea. There will be time to be pissed about that later. “Towards the end, you’ll be able to win just by rolling me down the slope.” With her limited knowledge on what to expect from pregnancy, Mazikeen is attempting to imagine what it would be like to host two Selaphiel’s in her body and she wonders if she’s even going to be able to walk. Where would the babies even fit? Maybe it would be better if they were little lion cubs - or puppies or squirrel babies or something smaller than a foal.

    These are uncomfortable thoughts so she brushes them aside to continue with a grin in his direction - a playful challenge of her own. “Once they’re out though, I won’t be taking it easy on you.”


    @[Gale]
    Reply
    #12
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    Mazikeen laughs, charmed by his impression of her lover, and Gale’s blue face turns up in a bright smile. She does not seem suspicious at all, and even comes nearer, removing the wings from her sides as she does, her voice going soft as she touches him.

    His navy shoulders shiver pleasantly, and the wings at his own sides fall away. He’s not holding on to any of his magics now, and with his focus entirely on Mazikeen as she kisses his neck. Having only ever witnessed such interactions before, the black-hearted Curse is pleased to find them even better than he’d expected.

    Her eventual rotundity is mentioned, and Gale’s soft chuckle sounds against her ear. He sounds amused at the image, though the Curse will surely seek out more able companions if he can manage it unobserved.

    It smiles at her challenge, a slow and lazy thing that is not entirely like Gale. Mazikeen is its biggest obstacle, after all. Once the twins are born, she won’t be necessary anymore. Injuries happen in practice battles all the time. Perhaps by the time spring arrives, the Curse will have beaten the secret to Seeing out of Gale. It certainly won’t be an easy task, but the Curse is sure it can manage.

    Through the haze of his own mind, Gale feels the warmth of Mazikeen’s smile, and the bright glow of her orange eyes keeps away some of the chill of the darkness.

    “I’d expect nothing less,” He replies, and once more he is a replica of Gale, his mannerism and tone of voice, and the way he reaches out to nibble long the line of her jaw.

    “Why not lay them as an osprey?” he suggests. “We can build them a nest, and split the responsibilities earlier?” It’s a reasonable suggestion, the Curse thinks, and most importantly is a suggestion that might get him the children far sooner than if she were to carry them to term as foals. It would also be useful to be able to threaten Gale with crushing the eggs if he keeps resisting.

    @[Mazikeen]

    Reply
    #13
    Mazikeen
    There’s a private smile as Mazikeen sees Gale’s shoulders shiver after her touch, though the wings disappearing is a surprise. He almost always had them, unless he was in another shape. She isn’t complaining - he’s magnificent to look at with or without them - but it is just a little odd.

    And so is the smile he gives her after she tells him she won’t be taking it easy on him. Her own grin doesn’t falter as she takes it in because she recognizes it, just not on his face. It’s far more like a smile she’d see on one of her friends, or one she’d give them - it is not inherently predatory but it reminds her of one anyway. She’s given that smile to Sabal before when the squid was being flippant, certainly.

    These vaguely odd thoughts do not linger. It’s hard to think clearly when Gale nibbles along the line of her jaw and Mazikeen leans into the touch slightly, her eyes closing to enjoy it as she emits a low hum of pleasure. This is a significantly more pleasant white noise than the shock that had taken over her at the confirmation that she was pregnant. More than his laughter, this touch soothes away some of Mazikeen’s anxieties. He didn’t find her repulsive now, wasn’t going to push her away because of this.

    And she is so happy as a result. Her hopes return, blazing bright and warm within her heart.

    They were going to be okay.

    At least for a while. At least until the Curse showed up. 

    His suggestion helps clears her mind and she doesn’t laugh outright, though it’s difficult to say whether it’s because her mind is still foggy from the pleasant touch or because she’s trying to spare his feelings. There’s an amused brightness in her eyes though when she nudges him. “Build a nest? Lay them?” And then shakes her head with a smile. “Do you know a lot about caring for eggs because I sure don’t. I don’t even know if I can just… decide to lay them one day.” Mazikeen isn’t sure she wants to try - a rather horrifying image of her clumsy nest-building skills resulting in an egg or two falling to the ground and shattering works its way into her mind. And when would she even lay them? Certainly not before spring and then they’d basically be ready to emerge by then anyway.

    Clearly, new anxieties begin to form to replace the ones that Gale’s touch had erased. If she shifts into an osprey when she’s too far along will the eggs just… fall out? Isilya had said it wouldn’t matter what form she was in but the idea of eggs reminds Mazikeen that there are very different methods of growing children and they don’t exactly translate well into each other. 

    These are such strange thoughts to be having.

    “I don’t know much about horse babies either but at least they’re less… fragile. And it’ll be easier to find someone to ask for advice.” She thinks of Ryatah before she thinks of her own mother, which sows a little bit of guilt - she really should check in on her parents. They had let her roam wild but that didn’t mean she didn’t care for them. Maybe she could find out who her siblings were - which was a pleasant thought after meeting Gale’s brothers.

    “Do any of your brothers have kids?”



    @[Gale]
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    #14
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    It wants to press the issue. She will lay them as eggs, and the Curse will have them. Gale’s mouth opens up, but the words do not come out. Instead, he coughs, and lowers his head. His blue eyes do not see the fiery autumn bouquet at his hooves.

    Mazikeen is shaking her head and smiling as Gale emerges, and she’s close enough that he can reach out and touch her easily. The brindle stallion slides his chin along her shoulder and then her back, pressed against her from hip to chest. His head rests on her hindquarters, and he looks out at the golden autumn blanket across the valley below them.

    The sight calms him, and he categorizes the details he sees: a pair of white-tail bucks testing their strength, an otter in the lake, a harvest mouse forgetting to look out for a pair of Islandres black wings. The technique slows his heartrate, and he listens as Mazikeen describes baby horses as less fragile. Less fragile than what, he wonders?

    Gale hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation they’d been having. He’d been picking his way through the fog, trying to find his way back to his mind. Coming back like this is not something he can recall doing before, and rather than think about what has just happened to him, he latches on to what Mazikeen is saying.

    Do any of his brothers have kids?

    “All of them do. I have, hmm, at least a dozen nieces and nephews. Pteron’s even a grandfather. They’re tiger-shifters, his grandkids, but I think they got that from their mom.” He chatters, the words flowing as freely as the wind that carries the crisp promise of snow from the peaks behind him.

    “Eyas always seemed very busy as a parent. And there were three of them, three parents, I mean.” He briefly explains the situation as he understands it, his sister and her lovers - the dragon and the dreamer. He starts to think about children, but he recognizes the path, the same deep concentration that had distracted him enough for the Curse to slip in.

    He should tell her. She clearly hadn’t noticed a thing, and Gale’s stomach curls to know how aptly he’d been mimicked. He should tell her.

    But she is warm against him, and she sounds so very content. It’s a wonderful sound, one he closes his eyes to commit to memory, and tells her truthfully: “I love you so very much Mazikeen.” He will tell her, but for now he will savor this moment. There will be not be many more of them.

    @[Mazikeen]

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    #15
    Mazikeen
    Her ears twitch back to catch his words, enjoying hearing him chatter, enjoying the feel of him resting against her so casually, and enjoying the smile that listening to him talk brings out in her so easily. “Such a prolific family.” Mazikeen comments with a quiet laugh. She had known there were several brothers and, now she learns, Eyas is his sister but she had no idea his family was so big - and wonders, but does not ask, whether all those nieces and nephews were as accidental as their own twins.

    She thinks it’s good that the twins will have options for where to go, because even though she’s filled to the brim with hope about their future she takes care to remind herself of the reality of the situation. That having two young foals around is likely going to be irresponsible and dangerous. Mazikeen thinks about bringing this idea up, wondering who Gale thinks would be most likely to take the twins in, if one option is better than the other, but she cannot quite bring herself to right now.

    Soon, they’ll make a plan. Soon, before it’s too late - before she starts to question him.

    She should be already, but she’s tried so hard not to let those thoughts consume her and now they feel very far away.

    So when he says he loves her as he is pressed against her side, she believes him - believes that this is all true and real and that she’ll know for sure when things change. The alternative is doubting every second, every word, and Mazikeen seems to have decided she cannot live like that way. That is another soon waiting for her.

    “I love hearing you say that.” She admits quietly, knowing it is a weakness but not minding terribly right now as she leans into him. And then right away adds - “And I love you, Gale.” So much. Too much, maybe, but she didn’t know whether love was always like this or whether being so easily consumed by it meant she was doing it wrong.



    @[Gale]
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    #16
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    Gale is thinking of his family. Where are they now, he wonders? Some are easy enough guesses - Loess, the North, Ischia - but what about the others? Gale has never even met some of them - Elio, Celina, his youngest brothers. He knows of them only through Sight and stories, and now he cannot See them at all.

    He’d wanted to meet them, bringing Mazikeen along if she were able, seeing parts of Beqanna with his own eyes that he’d never even heard of. He’d thought he had more time. Gale swallows down the welling despair, closes his eyes, and breathes in the familiar scent of Mazikeen’s pale skin.

    It is not a good decision, but Gale is desperate for a distraction. He pulls his head away and adjusts his vision, looking just below her hip with eyes that make easy work of skin and muscle. There, tucked as tightly next to each other as he and Tiercel and Eyas had been, are the twins.

    They’re not quite anything yet, but they will be, and Gale marvels at them for some time. Just before he becomes too lost, the brindle stallion looks back into her orange eyes and smiles.

    “So what can I do with myself here?” Gale asks. “Does Hyaline have any enemies you need taken care of? Any magic entities you’ve had your eye on moving around?” In the Darkness, there had been the Monsters to battle, and the kelpies of Ischia had sometimes needed reminding of the borders, and the larger sharks and crocodiles needed redirecting away from the swimming shores of Islandres. As much as he enjoys spending every moment with Mazikeen, he can’t imagine that she’ll eventually need to be somewhere other than beside him, where he can begin to gently press kisses along the underside of her neck.

    If he does something with his time, perhaps he’ll keep himself distracted long enough to figure out how to keep the Curse out.

    Once he figures that out, he promises himself, he’ll tell Mazikeen.
    Once he’s sure he can control it, he’ll tell her.


    @[Mazikeen]

    Reply
    #17
    Mazikeen
    Although Mazikeen is pretty sure Gale is just looking for something to do - she’s also annoyed at the implication that if there were enemies to fight or magic entities she had wanted to snatch up, she wouldn’t have just done it herself. There is the briefest flicker of light on her spine as a stray angry thought gets loose but Mazikeen shoves it back down. She doesn’t want to pick a fight, doesn’t want to let that anger show because she knows she won’t feel any better afterward exploding.

    The frown eases away as she thinks about his questions, and a smile appears with even more ease when he begins to press kisses along her neck. Though that does not help with being able to think clearly.

    Her response is delayed for a moment while she focuses on that touch but then she remembers how to talk. “It might surprise you to find out I’m not very good at… asking for help. Or this whole alpha business in general.” Here there's some laughter in her grin because both of those statements are putting it mildly. She tells him she’s mostly been focused on keeping up with her patrols and making sure everyone within the kingdom wasn’t dying or anything but as far as any other plans… it hadn’t even occurred to her to do anything else. She hasn't even seen any other lands except for those she'd been to with him so far - Tephra, Islandres, and Icicle Isle. Well, and the Cove - where the pack began.

    Mazikeen thinks then, but does not say, that her head already felt like it was going to burst from everything going on as it was - and she is not ambitious. She just wants to keep everyone safe, never mind that it is a kingdom filled with shifters that can very likely take care of themselves. Besides, playing politics just does not feel overly important compared to what is beside her right now. She doesn’t know how much time they have left and she would happily spend whatever she can with him.

    Still, if he's thinking about jobs and not just enjoying time - does that mean they have more of it than she fears?

    Gale would be good at recruiting but… Hyaline being sparsely populated is kind of a perk right now. She has no interest in bothering the other inhabitants with meetings and jobs, either. This just means, like with Selaphiel, that Gale asking for something to do leaves her with absolutely no ideas. Mazikeen attempts to chatter as he does - wondering if maybe an idea will come to either of them if they just think out loud. “So far no one’s come here seeking blood so I think we’re okay on the enemies front. I suppose I wouldn’t mind help keeping an eye on the border and any visitors… that entity that has an intruder alarm or whatever it was would be handy, but less for filling time and more for freeing it up for other things.” She touches him as she says this, just a brush of her nose along his shining skin, thinking for a moment for how she’d prefer to spend her time… before her worries creep in and, after pressing a kiss there, she pulls back instead of prolonging the contact.

    Despite the enjoyable lack of space between them now, Mazikeen’s very helpful mind tells her Gale probably won’t want to touch her like that for a while - not after the news they got today - and she shouldn’t risk making him uncomfortable by alluding to it.

    And she is fine with this, with just being near him and exchanging kisses, so she keeps talking, pushing those thoughts down to simmer somewhere with her anger, and her orange eyes dance when she grins at him. “I could always go piss off some vagabonds if you’d like a more official excuse to hang around with me all day. You know, just in case I need some protection.”


    @[Gale]
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    #18
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    The light dances down her back like a bolt of lightning, blazing hot and gone in an instant. Gale follows it with a curious touch, unaware of what it signifies. He admires its short-lived brilliance and doesn’t suspect that Mazikeen thinks his request a slight to her own capabilities.

    He’d known Hyaline was the kingdom of the East, and Breach had seemed the sort of queen that Gale expected. But Mazikeen is an alpha, and Gale doesn’t quite understand how that might be different than being a queen like those he has known.

    She tells him that she isn’t good at being an Alpha or asking for help, and he does frown in surprise. Mazikeen has all the traits he thinks are important in a leader - physical strength, the ability to keep promises, and confidence - so it is hard for him to believe that she is not a good one.

    They have no enemies, she says, but he can help patrol. Patrolling is good, he thinks, it will give him time alone to think as well as time to learn Hyaline. An alarm for intruders would take away the necessity of that, he thinks, and is only half-listening when she mentions freeing up time for other things.

    Half-listening until she kisses him, and then he’s as attentive as he’s ever been.  Even though Gale has seen the evidence that Mazikeen desires him with the same intensity he feels for her, he is elated each time he can confirm it, and this is no exception. She pulls away quickly but he follows, prolonging contact in a way that makes it clear he’d like nothing more than to keep touching her like that.

    He’d been looking for a distraction, and Mazikeen has always been able to hold every bit of his attention. Some part of him is aware that such single-minded focus is dangerous, but that part has been muffled by the dark tendrils of the Curse.

    She teases him, offering to pick fights for him to handle, and Gale laughs aloud at the suggestion she might need protection. “I’d rather patrol than risk my skin offering you protection,” 

    “I could probably see about getting you an entity though,” Gale continues casually, as though he hasn’t stepped closer, tracing small circles against her skin with his lips, “I do enjoy how you’ve been spending your free time.”

    @[Mazikeen]

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    #19
    fair warning - this post involves mentions of hips

    Mazikeen
    There is some hazy, distant part of Mazikeen’s mind that tells her it shouldn’t matter so much to her what Gale thinks of her. But it does. And when he moves to follow her as she pulls back, relief floods through her. This is quickly becoming one of her favourite things - when one of them prolongs the contact by moving with the other. She should not need this reassurance, that distant part would tell her, but she wants it anyway - and wants to offer it to him in kind when she does the same thing.

    It does not take much effort on his part to soothe away her worries - another thing, perhaps, that she should try to work on but, in this moment, she does not care. She spent too long beating herself up for caring for him, too long convincing herself he thought nothing of her, that his touch is still a delight. Carrying with it small doses of surprise and relief each time. Her delight shines in her orange eyes at his laughter and comment about not wanting to risk his skin offering her protection - she preferred that over the idea that she couldn’t do anything on her own.

    As an excuse to keep him with her, she absolutely would have gone out to pick a fight though she is not disappointed to discover that she does not need an excuse.

    “I’d like that.” She manages to breathe out about an entity, and the free time it would give them, before a pleasant shiver courses through her body as he makes small circles on her skin.

    And though Mazikeen could stand there all day while Gale touched her, she wants to share some of the delight making her heart race wildly in her chest. So she moves, ghosting kisses along his jaw, his neck, his sides - tracing the scars and brindling revealed there without his wings. She stays so close that with each slow step, her hip brushes against him and they are never not in contact as she makes her way around, taking her time. There’s a gentle tug on his tail, a ruffling of the short mane that grows down his back, before she starts up his other side with the same attentiveness. Whatever words she might have said in that moment fade away into a sweet fog when she looks away from his iridescent skin and into his bright eyes again.

    Worries try to creep in even now about whether she's something wrong or unenjoyable - so she forces those thoughts to get lost in the fog as well. She can only hope her response is clear enough without words - that her touch and the smile she offers him says it all - she enjoys how they’ve been spending their spare time too. Very much so.


    @[Gale]
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    #20
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    Gale smiles against her skin, the breathless sound of her agreement confirming that he’s said the right thing as well as the true thing. He means to continue his spirals till she asks for something more, but instead she pulls away.

    Unplauged by Mazikeen’s worries about the other’s interest, he watches with intrigue as she does. Gale is certain of her desire for him, and though there are times he wonders how he has been so fortunate, Gale is very confident in his ability to read this type of nonverbal communication.

    He’s right, because she does come back again. Gale smiles at her with his blue eyes a whirl of marvel and desire, and though he moves to kiss her back, he soon realizes her intent and settles back. Her touch is gentle, but he shivers beneath it like an aspen in the wind. By the time she’s smiling back up at him again, Gale feels as breathless as she’d sounded earlier, and he feels almost dizzy.

    Gale will give her the entities, he decides, as he replicates the slow caresses she’d treated him to. She deserves them all and more. He tells her this, and many other sweet and honest things about his affection for her, as the pair of them embrace beneath the night sky.

    @[Mazikeen]

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