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    Aela -- Year 216


    "So she smiles prettily and steals away when she can. Feels the brutal pounding of others around her with a savagery that she has never comprehended—their emotions so vast, their hearts so wicked. It warps her more than she was already warped. It presses a thumbprint of cruelty into her darkness, shaping her into a thing of shadow, a thing of longing, a thing carved from the darkness between every breath." --Baptiste, written by Laura

    [private]  and he will smell like the sea

    There’s a shadow growing in her heart, a gloom settling in the back of her mind. It been slow and subtly, creeping across her like shadows over the ground after the noon sun. First a flitter of apathy in the morning into solemn glances at day’s end. The rest of the time was filled constantly by at eerie silence.

    Those same shadows—she sees reflected in Aela’s eyes.

    It both revolted her and drew her in.

    She comes like a cooling shadow in a scorching desert. Elliana was as ghostlike as her mother was sun goddess like, the dark shadow girl. She shuffles quietly as the air moves around her, as if she too could speak to it like her ancestors of old. There is a confused storm raging in her heart. She misses her godfather, her closest friend, and all the friends she has met in her short life.

    She can remember her mother’s stories, if fleetingly. More than that, she remembers the dreams she used to have.

    Dreams of dancing, of twirling into a garden in a world beyond this one, where lie many great treasures and secrets to be found. Elliana had taken the disappearance of Po perhaps the hardest of all, because she knew Andras missed him, and because she had loved Po perhaps more than her mother. He had been her blooming flower horse, the parent she wanted instead of the parents she had, and and most importantly a valuable friend that had, once upon a time, promised Elliana a world of adventure. Elliana lingers in this life, quietly, maybe hoping he might come back, someday, come back and find her.

    The garden was exactly as it was when she’d left it not all that long ago: full of sunshine, full of peace. It was as if a snapshot had been taken of it and immortalized, rendering it immobilized in time despite the whirlwind of events that took place. It feels like centuries since she has been here, she wonders if Reave has been here since, wonders how many flowers have bloomed, how many she will keep from doing so with her shadow looming in.

    (shadows whisper and laugh, you don't belong here)

    (and then it is quiet, so quiet that if sunlight could make noise, it would boom its presence.)

    This silence she hears, she thinks for a moment it is the loveliest she has ever heard.

    « r » | @ Reave

    i am the mace, the map, the fall and the high

    She had burned hot and cold, pulling him in then pushing him away. If he were any other, this might have upset him. But he is Reave, and the mercurial stallion had instead been amused. More, he had been intrigued. There is nothing more enticing to a tempestuous creature like Reave than taking him by surprise.

    She had surprised him in so many glorious ways.

    He is injured when he returns, the signs of battle on his skin. He should bathe, but instead he moves towards the garden. He isn’t certain why he finds comfort in that place. He knows only that he wants it now. Though the gashes burn and the bruises ache, though dirt is pressed into the bloodied crevices of his armor, he climbs to the familiar cliff rather than descends.

    He doesn’t expect to find her there however.

    For a moment, he stops and stares, wondering if it is nothing more than a memory. But as the days begin to curl around her in the emotions she wears so freely, he knows she is real. He is content to simply watch her for long moments, admiring the heartache and uncertainty that dances around her. There is a heaviness to her that had not been present last time.

    It is that heaviness that draws him closer. Not to mutter words of sympathy (he has so few of those), but instead to better understand it. She has made him impossibly curious, and he is not one to rest until that curiosity has been sated.

    Even in his battered and bloodied state, he finds himself unable to resist the puzzle she represents.

    The familiar grin finds its way easily onto his lips as he closes the distance between them, a sharp contrast to the grimness of his form. When he finally speaks, his voice is redolent with his amusement. “Were you hoping to find me here frozen to death, little bird?”



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