[Changing Tides] Passion for Dinner

Kane stood slowly his body forcing a stretch which in turn resulted in several bones cracking in response. He drew a breath before eying the purple and blue from the wound on his shoulder “Damn wolves” he muttered softly. He looked back over his shoulder toward Aishani before he settled back on the edge of the bed “Speaking of wolves how are you this morning”

When Kane glanced back to Aishani, she was partially exposed by the shift of the covers. Her ashen color had returned but still, she appeared exhausted while her eyes were looking around, curiously. She propped herself on her elbows though hissed at the pull and the stab of pain that assaulted her. “I’m alive. Truth be told, I’m feeling very strange…I can smell the food from the kitchen, everyone that moves in the hallway and down the corridor to the main meeting hall…I feel stronger but right now I can’t feel much else besides the pain…You know, Sarantha told me of a tale, something about a Spider from another realm that fights for the people of this realm. Do you know of that tale, Kane?” Aishani forced herself to rise but only managed to crawl over to Kane, wrapping her arms around his waist with her chin hooked upon his shoulder, those luscious breasts crushed against his bare back. In this move, Kane could see the blood had begun to leak through the bandage.

Kane eyed the bloodied bandage his hands sliding to hers with thought “I know the tale, I know where supposedly this occurs, but before we think about going in search I’m going to change that bandage, we can’t risk infection now, not to mention Sarantha would kill me”

He rubbed her hands before leaning back turning himself to place a kiss on her head gently “Considering you come with Shadow I dare bet they are linked to original Drow tribe that once resided here, the last drow died some 30 years ago. A long sickening tale and an outcome I am still none too pleased with, still the spiders came during the Dragon Wars, they turned up with the Unicorns and Direwolves and odd sight to see among a battlefield of blood and dragons. They are said to be led by one, but no one has ever proved the words correct”

Kane slid free of her grasp making his way to the door issuing orders for water and bandages before crossing back to her “Amidst the chaos I never saw, only heard the stories, between my brothers falling and getting as many from the city as we could, I was so exhausted even I had I would have deemed it a hallucination, but if there is truth I can promise somewhere it’s in our library”

Aishani adjusted to his lean back a small smirk upon her lips to the brush of his kiss to her forehead, her nails glided against his back when he stood to move to the door. As he turned back awaiting the arrival of the bandages and clean water, she sat with her legs spread awkwardly, as though a newly birthed fawn falling after standing for the first time. Her hair was flowing free in the dreads that caressed her shoulders, even the raven feather caught the light. The webbed markings were placed in contrast against her ashen skin beneath her exquisite bosom and upwards from her naval, though partially covered by the bandage. “Seems, I have to visit the library very soon then. I did not know spiders came during the battle, yes, I have heard you speak of Direwolves and Unicorns. I wonder what this means…there was a tribe of Drow, here? Are you absolutely positive that ALL of them have passed on?”

“I cannot say for sure, I can say if any survived they have avoided contact with every humanoid race in the Everlands for the last three decades” Kane took the supplies from the staff as they arrived making his way back across the room kneeling by the bed.

“They were hunted down, I refused to take Dentarian forces, there are times I wish I had taken our forces in their support” Kane sighed softly as he moved to her to undo the bandages “Forgive me my love this may hurt” slowly he peeled the bandages back, taking his time to ensure he didn’t deliver too much discomfort.

Aishani moved a slight to settle on the edge of the bed, while Kane neared her to settle. “So…there is a possibility. If Z’ress, catches on with such details and there ARE some remaining…then she will try to take control over them.” A small whimper passed her lips while Kane began to remove the bandage, the healing wound clinging hungrily to the fabric causing the wound to begin to open again. The healing was minimal, while the flesh surrounding the stitches and dried blood appeared angry still in a deep red. She hissed as Kane cleaned the dried blood and the wound. “Damn it. Sarantha said that after my next fight I should be healing faster due to the werewolf blood within me…it’s not happening fast enough.”

“It takes time for the wolf to bind, next time you get tagged by one” He tapped his shoulder with a smile “Won’t take so much time, the first is worst my love” He dropped the cloth into the water with thought before building the pouch and tucking the mix from Sarantha amidst it before binding the wound once more.

“Well Ceremon will have us believe they are all dead” He finished tying the bandage off ensuring it was tight but not painfully so “So unless she finds out while we are digging through things she finds out we should be OK, there is also the fact they are born and raised in this realm, my guess is they would sooner kill anyone getting close that welcome them in” Kane looked to the window for a moment before looking back to her “I don’t mind admitting Shadow terrifies me, the legend state there is a nest of spiders, though legend would have us believe they are bigger than Shadow, a thought I do not relish”

Aishani bit her lip a few times when Kane began to wrap the bandage but otherwise remained without exclamation. “One can never know, Kane.” She glanced to the window then to Kane lifting a hand to caress his cheek. “While, I will admit the breed that Shadow is, are difficult if wild…You have no reason to fear her, in fact, I happen to know that she likes you and approves of you. She would defend you as if it were me, even all of your family. Their webbing, is very useful in many things. From, as you saw a type of stitch to the adhesive of the saliva. Hunting. Scouting. Even the venom is potent additive to my poison concoctions. Plus, she was around when no others were. Well…not to frighten you further, Shadow is not fully matured…so she will get larger, the size of a horse. In fact, the arachnid are bred to be mounts. I don’t believe in such, I allow her freedom. Her and I are bound, in a way…It’s difficult to understand, but, that is the best I can say.”

“I get it, believe me the bond you share I actually understand in a way” He sighed softly placing the bloodied water on the cupboard to the side “We will look as far as we can find what we can, I only ask that before we go in search we let the winter pass”

He walked back to her to kiss her gently “We should eat, you still need to keep your strength, then we will go to the library and see what we can find”

Aishani looked to Kane while he returned back to her side, tugging him down with a smirk. “Not going to tie me up?” She chuckled, something was different about the purr it sounded a little more animalistic but not overly so, it was an attractive tone. Aishani turned serious for a moment then. “Yes, I would not wish to trudge out in that white holy hell again. Indeed, I am starving. Could we request fish from the kitchen? While the smell of the cooked meats are driving me crazy…you know my diet.” Aishani placed a hand on his shoulder while utilizing him for balance in a slow stand, at first unsteady but then gradually strengthening. “I will not stay down, my love. After all, I’m engaged to an Elcarus. We have things to do. But, I agree, research will be done in the library.”
 
She moved to the wardrobe, that glorious body finely tuned, hips swaying appearing to be more primal. Aishani’s back was to him, covered in the webbed scaring, as she looked through the hung clothing to decide on her attire for the day. Essentially, it was a simple long sleeved blouse with a underbust corset and stretch jeans. “Can…you uh help me a little?” Aishani asked as the shirt was on and wriggled into her jeans, such formed like a second skin to her shape; luscious hips and plump bottom. She offered to him the corset to fix.

He held her to ensure she was steady “Oh I plan to tie you up, but now you’re expecting it steals the moment for now” His reply was just a quick as her words the same deep intent and need for her. He couldn’t help but watch as she hunted down her outfit his eyes not moving from her body.

“I would expect no less of you than to be up, just be assured there is nothing to prove to anyone, however I expect no less than you to fight on, so we will look into these stories, Aerian can handle the matters that need to be, Hades is taking care of those in the east wing. Which leaves me largely free until some idiot decides there issues are bigger than those we deal with each day” He smiled as began working the corset into place, taking care so as not to aggravate her injury.

Aishani glanced up and over her shoulder to him as he tugged and adjusted the corset to fight her snuggly but not uncomfortably so. She turned to face him and lifted her arms, hesitating with a hiss and growl, instead placing her hands on his hips. “That is right, I don’t stay down. Well, let’s go eat, I’m famished since I got nothing but medicinal tea from Sarantha last night.” Firmly she smacked his bottom, while the same delicious scent lifted from her and tickled his senses, but, now there was something different. It wasn’t horrible, nor bad, but, more exotic and alluring. Her golden hue fixed on him with the smirk curling on the corner of her plush lips.

As they made their way into the dining hall the staff were already laying the table, food was laid out including several plates of various fish. Kane pulled the chair for Aishani before taking his place at the head. As he began to fill his plate other folk began to drift in taking they place further down the table.

“I ensured the kitchen were well prepared, a fresh haul of fish from the rivers this morning” Kane smiled before beginning to eat “It’s going to be a little busier than usual, all the winter folks staying with us, Aerian and Hades will keep most things in order as I have mentioned. We have the day to ourselves for the most part” He nodded to her cup “Sarantha also sent down something to help with the pain, just enough to take the edge off but not tamper with any regular functions”

Aishani settled down upon the chair as it was pulled back beneath her. The instant she saw the food on the table and the fish, her mouth began to salivate but it wasn’t just because of the meat replacement it was the meat itself. She had to place a lot of restraint upon her to not dive into the red meat, while spooning out fruits and the fish, her golden eye kept flicking to the plate of meat. But, she ate with gusto, Aishani was hungry and it showed by the way she ate and pausing to sip at the cup of tea. “Yes, the tea will help.” She managed through a mouthful of food.

Kane watched her for a moment tracing her line of sight before returning to eat “Everything will balance within you, hopefully given time” His words were meant to come as comfort but simply came awkward. “I would serve the torment for you if I could”

He sighed softly as he finished the remains of his plate with thought “But on the upside you look much better this morning, a little less unconscious” He grinned wickedly

Aishani paused in her indulgence of the fish, chewing to wash down the meat with tea. Leaning back while her plate held only remnants of the meal in bloodied juices from the fruits and beautiful caramel to the spices of the fish, this wasn’t good enough by her standards and she gathered the plate to lick every trace free, then peered over the dish. “Not…appropriate. I apologize, something came over me.” Setting such down, Aishani finished her tea. “I would prefer that you not serve any torment upon yourself. I am grateful and would gladly accept it again would such occur. My love, I would do anything for your family and that includes taking a hit.” She winked to him.

“Of course I’d prefer that wasn’t the case, but such is the way of battle, injuries are common, though with your new skills you may be a little harder to catch next time” He grinned playfully

Aishani chuckled, though, a smirk formed upon her lips while a purr parted her lips, baring her teeth a slight. But, then stood slowly from her seat to move over to Kane, abruptly latching her hand within his hair and without hesitation yanked to crush her lips firmly against his. The taste was sublime while her scent enveloped him, not a moment of hesitation occurred before her slick muscle forced entry to deepen the kiss. When she withdrew, this power and affection from the intensity of the kiss, Aishani leaned forward with a whisper to his ear. “I think…I’m feeling feisty.”

Kane simply met her eyes with a smile “I think you’re teasing” he grinned darkly as he slid up from his seat, he led her through the house to a larger office, within was a desk and various alchemy bits and pieces, for the most part the room was clean but had not been used in some time.

As they entered the room Kane rounded on her his lips met hers hungrily his hands to her hips holding her tight against him, the passion erupting like a fire that wrapped them in each other.

Aishani followed him easily, offering a curt tip of her chin to those passengers in the hallway as the two proceeded to the designated room that Kane lead her to. She stepped within, taking in the room, while unable to react initially to the crush of his lips against hers. The girth of her hips held in the contours beneath his palms while her chin tilted to accommodate the height, such lust and desire was amidst the entanglement of their slick muscles on the erotic dance of passion. Her taste and smell was like an accelerant to his fire, causing his heart to beat and her own lips to burn with an impression upon his.

Kane lifted her in one motion seating her on the edge of the desk, his hands working to undress her with precision and a deep darkened need. First working her corset off exposing the flesh beneath, his hands slipping against the flesh of her breasts before kneading them with a deep intent. Letting his hands slip down her body slipping gracefully around her bandaged wound and down, hers fingers caught the edge of her button unhooking it before stripping her of her leggings.

As he tossed them aside Kane dropped to his knees.

She sharply inhaled to her feet being stolen from the solidity of the floor into Kane’s arms, then finding grounding upon the edge of the desk. After the corset was removed, Aishani tore off the tunic in the same motion, a soft growl of excitement passing her lips when his hands found her exquisite bosom. The dark buds perking instantly with the peaks suffering beneath the palm of his hand amidst the stimulation he kneaded into the soft but firm flesh. Aishani was panting when his intent was marked now and his goal was more than revealed, she kicked off her shoes just as Kane stripped her of the jeans with a toss to the floor.

As their combined releases subsided Kane pushed to stand easing himself from her, his hands aiding her back to her feet as instinct had him look at the blood soaked bandage. Concern crossed his face as his mind allowed a little guilt as the force of their encounter before he pushed it aside drawing her to him in a deep kiss.

As the kiss broke he stepped back their clothes strewn across the room, the desk and floor both showing signs of their engagement a soft smile. “That was different” his words still soft and through drawn breathes as he still tried to regain control “And as much as I don’t wish to make an issue of things” his eyes slid back to her wound “We should get that checked”

Aishani turned in his guidance to stand on solid ground, her skin was revelling in the dusted sweat but fading, as was her colour back to the normal ashen hue. She then glanced down to her bandage then up to him with a smirk upon her lips, though, Aishani tipped her chin upwards to close in on the kiss, deepening it for the short time it was engaged but gasped in his part. “I feel…different.” She commented with that delicious purr in her voice, it still was laced with that slight feral undertone. She followed his gaze in reference to her bandage, then to him. “Very well…Let us dress, then.” Aishani moved from the lean on the desk to gather her clothing, wither purposeful or not, she flashed him the sight of her flower more than once in the procession to dress. Once Kane assisted her with the corset, the two were dressed and ready to go to Sarantha. On their walk, Aishani appeared to step with a lighter foot then before and even had the precision of a predator in her steps. Such was beautiful and graceful, but he would notice how she looked around her with the glowing golden hue and even the milky eye had a subtle golden tint, unlike the foggy and murkiness before it was not clear but there was colour hiding beneath the fog of the injured eye.

Kane was very aware of her newfound presence, he could feel the very air around her had difference, much as her scent that permeated every part of him when he was close to her and a huge piece of missing when he wasn’t, it wasn’t by much but far from the woman he had met several moons before. As they reached Saranthas door a group of children were been ushered along by their mother, she smiled and nodded to Kane before barking at the children to stay in line and keep moving. In the doorway stood Sarantha whose attention had already snapped to Aishani the moment they had rounded the corner.

“I told you to take care of her” She snapped, it wasn’t anger but more a pointed reminder.

“I did” Kane retorted sharply, suddenly feeling rather caught out

Sarantha looked to him for a moment before stepping aside to allow them entry “Come on in, let’s have a look at those stitches, if I know you’re brother they will largely have held, though you do some what more aware than last we saw one another”

Aishani smirked to Kane’s bark at the children, simply shaking her head and winking to a girl within the group, but as Sarantha spoke she looked to the woman. The chuckle that rolled past her lips was lush with amusement and even more dripped in a primal sound. “Oh, please. He took VERY good care of me.” She cupped her hand for a smack against Kane’s bottom while walking through into Sarantha’s room. Unlike before, Aishani reached behind to release the corset without a problem, settling down for Sarantha to release the bandage that was wrapped around her. Though it was soaked through by this point, cleaning the blood away revealed a nearly healed wound that only a short time ago was red and angry, now a fleshy colour was embracing such and the damage sewn by the stitches was growing well together. “I had a dream last night…a shadowed monster was chasing after me, no matter how far I ran the creature was still on my tail. The eyes were a brilliant gold…primal and lethal. The creature never caught me, though.”

Sarantha inspected the wound slowly before her hand ran over the stiches which within moments had dissolved to nothing “Well I will say this for your brother, his combat medic skills have improved, the butchers job he did on himself still doesn’t sit well with me” her hand ran over the edge of the wound ensuring it had sealed correctly before pressing and prodding around.

“There looks to be no further internal damage, I would say your” She paused a moment frowning looking to Kane who had adopted a position of merely leaning on the wall by the door “It would seem your vigorous workout was what was needed to boost the healing, to push the rest of the werewolf into place, though these bruises account for him not taking it easy” she smiled softly “But not my place to worry over such, it did more good than harm for that we can be grateful”

As Sarantha tossed the bloodied bandage into the fire the flames crackled and flashed as they took it “You’re running a little warmer than usual, though I would expect for what you have become that will be normal, you must maintain your food intake or risk weakening yourself, you will be stronger, faster even see in the dark better, making you quite the predator” She looked to Kane for a moment before looking back to Aishani “I have seen few with the raw build to take that man, but you may indeed be a match, all the better for us”

“The realm chose her for a reason Kane, I suspect what is coming we will all be thankful for her” Sarantha spoke quickly but a soft polite tone as she handed Aishani a pouch with a white powder contained within “For the pain, though it’s healing it may still ache from time to time, this will dull it, you need not suffer for the sake of it” She stepped back “Now your dream, that one I suspect is your body and minds way of getting to know each other, sadly I would avoid been on the sharp end of anything made of silver, wolfsbane too is particularly lethal to wolves here. The last thing of note is while you will not be howling at the moon nor sporting excesses of fur, the moon will affect you”

“Did I miss anything my Lord?” She looked to Kane who looked up “Decaptation works pretty well too, other than that pretty sure you got it all, aside from my blade been silver for obvious reasons”

“I’m sure that is not the sword she wishes to be stabbed with” Sarantha clamped shut as the words tumbled from her mouth, her eyes quickly averting her intent to point out her need would be for him in ways other than combat having formed before her mind had chance to correctly reply.

Aishani watched in silence as the stitches dissolved to only be a mere memory of the thread that kept the edges of the wound tightly together. “I think it was more of doing a botched stitching of his life at stake with Kane.” She mused, though, as Sarantha prodded around and pressed a soft hiss parted her lips to the momentary pain that speared her. “It a good pain, Sarantha.” Aishani winked to her while glancing over her shoulder to Kane and then back. “I’ve taken to fish, but, it is difficult to deny the red meat…it makes my mouth water. I can handle it, some meat is good for the body. Believe me, I can handle much, my tolerance before was high and even more now.”
 
She accepted the pouch from Sarantha to stuff into her jeans. “I suspect nothing less, pain still lingers but it is nothing I cannot stomach.” A smirk formed on her plush lips to the naughty reference from Sarantha. “Never knew you had it in you, Sarantha.” Aishani chuckled in that magnificent purr, while tugging on the shirt with a playful nudge to the female. “Oh trust me, I can never get enough of that sword.” She lifted the corset while working the tethers together in order to secure the article, turning to offer such to Sarantha to finish. “Thank you for the forewarning on various weaknesses I will be taking on and it is dually noted.” Aishani stood while facing Sarantha. “Again, thank you for creating an awareness and tending to my wounds. How are the others doing? I know Hades had been pretty banged up.”

“Hades has taken a turn, it would seem he has internal injuries, Aerian refuses to see me, and has been sealed away with her girl since your return” Sarantha sighed softly “I am not averse to a woman and her needs, but she should not be so distracted”

Sarantha looked to Aishani with a soft smile “Hades has a young girl taking care, and for the moment he is listening, but he is hurt and his pride will get him killed”

Aishani sighed while casting a glance to Kane, then to Sarantha. “We will have to separate the two long enough for you to do an examination on Aerian. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee anything due to the fact that I am unsure that what she needs has to do that physical. Z’ress is expert at manipulation, I am sure that will take time and since the death of her lover, this is something she does need. We will talk to her. As far as Hades, I am glad someone is looking after him, since he is so bullheaded.” She placed her lips upon Sarantha’s cheek and then stood, patting her shoulder and turning to Kane. “On the other hand, he has made reference to bruising. Otherwise he appears to be well, but, if you need an examination upon him, I suggest to do so now.”

“His lack of direct vampiric abilities are a hindrance, but he will heal it just takes longer, his assistant has given me her word that should he need my attention she will send for me despite his complaints. As for Aerian, emotions of a teen girl who has suffered greatly, and while her attention is away she can begin to heal, but she is perhaps more unstable now than ever, I would like to examine her at the least know she is alright no girl should need to endure what she has” Sarantha walked with them to the door.

“Of course, as I said we will do our best. I believe, that I can talk Aerian into coming to see you.” Aishani stated while stepping through the open door and awaiting Kane. Once the two were out and spoke farewells to Sarantha, Aishani curled her fingers within his while they walked. “She is right, Aerian needs to be seen. I believe it is time to speak to her.”

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[A Cold Winter] Getting Back To Business

Hades snapped bolt upright the cries catching his attention, his brow covered with sweat and every square inch of him aching insanely. The room was dark except for the dull burn of the fire long turned to embers, a moment as his mind adjusted realising the cries that had unnerved him were his own as he glanced around.

“Fuck Z’ress what the hell have you done to me, having me screaming in the night like some lost child” He pulled his legs out of bed sitting on the edge now.

As he adjusted to sit on the bed, a soft and tentative knock was presented at his closed door. The voice on the other side was just as cautious, surprisingly heard through the heavy wood. “M-master Hades? Is everything alright?” It was Jade.

Hades stood unsteady on his feet as he made a step forward he missed the edge of the bedpost landing on a heap on the floor “Apparently I’m not” he muttered in frustration, he looked to the door for a moment before pushing himself to seat “Jade it seems I’m going to need a little help”

The door creaked open, the hinges moaning from the strain winter had placed upon them. Jade stood at the other side of the door, in a white robe, that Hades had seen peek from beneath her brown. She stepped through closing the door, then turned to face him clasping her hands before her then hesitated. Jade moved with the grace and elegance in a rush to him, now her dark hair was loose around her shoulders and flowed down to her thighs. Jade curled an arm around his back while it was stead and gentle in support to lead him with a hand cupped at his elbow to guide to move him to the bed. “Master Hades…Forgive me, I am going to get Sarantha. She has not seen you as of yet.” Her almond slanted beautiful eyes were wide with concern, as she released her hold from him, that warmth of cherry blossom caressing his senses faintly.

As she aided back into bed he caught her eyes a deep stare before diverting his eyes “Not often I will fail to argue, but considering I can barely think straight, and pretty sure my chest is going to explode, it may be best” Hades again erupted into a coughing fit skirting his head past her to spray the floor in blood “Something isn’t right” he caught her hand pulling her toward him “Thank you”

Jade curled her bare feet up into her chest as the coughing fits caused more blood to spit upon the floor again, appearing again fearful of the sight. As his hand caught hers in a pull close, after he was finished cough, she placed a hand on his back, then lifted her long sleeve to wipe at the corner of his lips, strange since blood seemed to repulse her. A stain was stark in contrast upon the white of her sleeve. “I will make tea and return with Sarantha.” She said while rising, in the moonlight slipping through the window and the embers dying the robe was near transparent to reveal her figure beneath, even the contrast of tattoos beneath that covered her back and right arm.
 
She clasped her hands while leaving the room just as quietly as she had arrived. Once in the hall she advanced to a guard, speaking softly, timidly for them to send word to the kitchen to boil water and offered him a small pouch. “Please have these leaves placed in the pot, deliver it to Master Hades’s room. Um…can you point me to Sarantha’s room, please?”
 
Once she was pointed in the direction, Jade walked with her elegant and light steps, hands clasped before her and moving to the side as other guards would approach to bow her head and then be on her way. It took her sometime, since she was unfamiliar with the castle before she finally located the room Sarantha was to be in. Tentatively, she lifted her hand to knock on the door. “Mistress Sarantha…?”

The door opened just enough to see the grey cowl of the aide beyond “Yes may I help you?” She asked softly “I’m afraid our Mistress is not to be disturbed unless it is an emergency, she is currently meditating so as to gather her balance” The aide smiled softly a straight smile that carried only the curtesy she had come to portray for her employer “Unless it is dire I will have her seek you out first thing in the morning Miss?”

“Master Hades, has…coughed up blood twice. Once earlier and just only a little bit ago. So…I think, that calls for her attention…” Jade whispered, while looking down to her hands with her head tipped only slightly, the trace amount of blood on her sleeve a staple of her point made. “He has made complaint about his bruising.”

The aide frowned looking to the newcomer “Lord Hades was deemed suitably fit to not require immediate attention, stubborn old fool at” her words were silenced as a hand reached above to open the door, beyond stood Sarantha now in a green dress that seemed to flow and shimmer in the light.

“You must forgive my staff, they seem to forget I am not a child” The aide bowed awkwardly falling back into the room as Sarantha stepped just inside the door “He has coughed up blood, and is refusing treatment, a stubborn man he is yes, but fool Hades? Perhaps not. Nevertheless I should go make check his injuries for myself, perhaps next time he won’t be so rash in sending me on way?” She held her hand as in a request for direction to Hades room, the three aides now falling in line behind the two of them as they walked.

Jade’s shoulders slumped to the aide that spoke, looking down to her clasped hands while tugging on the blood that stained the fabric of her sleeve. But, the instant the aide was silenced, her eyes lifted to the sight of Sarantha and then immediately down. “Y-your staff was only looking out for the wellness of you.” Jade nodded in affirmation of her words. “Thank you, Mistress Sarantha. I have tea brewing as we speak to be delivered to his room.” When Sarantha extended her hand for a lead, Jade nodded in a small bow, turning to lead Sarantha back through the halls, while she got lost once but then backtracked to correct the path. Blushing a slight, embarrassed to the misdirect, but when she stood outside his door, Jade knocked the sound as always tentative and soft. “Master Hades? I have Sarantha.” She opened the door to enter within while keeping her head down awaiting for the healer and the aides to enter before closing it. Remaining back and next to it, away from the others, awaiting the arrival of the tea.

Hades groaned as Sarantha approached him “What have you done to yourself Hades” She spoke soft as she simply sat beside him the back of her hand to his forehead before shaking her head “You sent your poor assistant, she is your assistant correct? You sent her to bed and prayed you’d wake up in the morning hmm?” Saranthas voice was sharp yet not angry as if she were scolding a child.

“I was fine until the blood” Hades retorted though the fight in his voice was all but gone and attempt at defiance and a man who knew he was beaten. “Well judging by the heavy bruising, I’d say there are internal injuries, you lack your brothers healing ability” the fact she pointed out Hades lack of vampiric ability drew a loud huff from Hades, somewhere between frustration and annoyance.

“Oh stop acting like such a child, I suspect you’re injuries were worse before” She paused as if recollecting a detail “Z’ress was it? She healed both you and Aerian in some way, enough to prevent death but far from enough to render you a threat” She smiled softly “But then she was clearly smart enough to realise you are always a threat, even injured in this manor, put a blade in your hand and you’ll fight?” Hades nodded sharply Sarantha simply smiled as she turned her attention to Jade “I’m afraid I didn’t catch you name on account of my staff trying to throw you out, but you mentioned tea, could you slip some of this into his” She offered a small pouch “It will help with his healing, or at least slow his internal blood loss and allow those parts to heal, sadly the bruising will have to go naturally” She patted Hades arm gently “And at least allow him to sleep, though he should not be left alone, the drug is heavy and if the cough returns he may need a hand clearing the mess”

“Oh so now you’re trying to kill me?” Hades muttered half through a playful tone “And if you die who will protect us? Be a good boy and drink your tea, let the young lady help you out and for goodness sake be a gentleman to her” Sarantha smiled as she returned her attention to Jade “Just a pinch every 6 hours for the next day or two, and extra pinch if he’s too cranky”

Shortly after Sarantha arrived at his side, there was a knock on the door, of which Jade looked up and moved to open it accepting a tray from the maid just outside with a bow of her head in thanks. Proceeding with her light steps to place it on the desk, but remained otherwise motionless beside it, hands clasped and eyes down.
 
“Oh…Jade.” She whispered softly in her light musical voice, eyes lifted for the moment at being address by Sarantha with the beautiful eyes shifting from her to Hades. Slowly, hesitantly, Jade advanced to accept the pouch offered by Sarantha with a look to it, then back to her. While she was shy and tentative, the focus to the healers words was taken in. To the mention of a mess, Jade trailed her eyes to the splatter that was on the floor from earlier and most recent then to her stained sleeve, but nodded solemnly. “Yes, Mistress Sarantha. I will tend to his will being.” She then remained still while her hand cradled the pouch, as though it was full of delicate porcelain. Jade turned slowly, moving to the tea pot on the tray, while lifting a small metal tea bag, opening it and then putting a pinch of the concoction within. Then placed it back within the tea pot with the lid on to seep, turning back to face the two with her hands clasped and head down.

Sarantha smiled softly “If there’s a problem please call me immediately” And with that she swept from the room her aides in succession behind her, as the door closed Hades sighed softly “My apologies Jade, less than a few hours into your new duties and things are already complicated. I also owe you a new dress” He looked to the dark stain on her sleeve “seems I’m in worse shape than I thought, on the upside” he groaned as he shifted to sit a little less awkwardly “I’m not dead yet”

Jade lifted her gaze after Sarantha left the room with her entourage, her beautiful brown eyes shifting to Hades. No sooner had he adjusted, then she was at his side to assist him in sitting comfortably with an appropriate stack and fluff of the pillows to support him with placing a strain upon his body. “Sometimes, Master Hades, the road to recovery can be hard.” Her whimsical voice chirped softly, though, she had turned to gather a chair to place at his bedside and lofted the tray with the tea pot and cup to set upon the top of the furniture. But then moved with the elegant and dance-like grace to the hearth, kneeling down to begin another fire with the logs provided, again this was in the methodical manner. On her lean down on her knees and hands, her hair spilled over one shoulder into a dark glistening pool upon the floor, exposing the top portion of the tattoo that was hidden beneath the collar of the white robe. Once the fire had caught upon the wood, Jade proceeded to sit on her knees with her feet tucked beneath her bottom.

Her hands moved flawlessly to handle the tea pot with precision and grace, truly it was a sight, as though this was a religious procession. Even the flow of her sleeves was swept with grace, Jade then stood from her seated position with her proper posture and grace, settling so lightly upon the edge of the bed that it barely registered her weight. Jade lofted the cup with her slender fingers, holding it with both hands with the digits were an extension to press the rim to his lips, awaiting his acceptance of the tea. As the smell hit him, it was exotic in a sense of tea that he was not entirely used to. But, it was robust in earthiness, but held a floral flavor and the pleasance of the aftertaste masked the medicinal herb very well. Her almond slanted eyes were fixed on his lips, awaiting the moment to his release of lips from the edge to withdraw, to hold in her lap. “The tea should help as well. It is called Black Dragon Tea, sometimes, Oolong. It will help give your immune system a boost, plus the medicine from Sarantha.” Her tone of voice held a whisper of pride at being able to introduce Hades to the exotic tea, then placed the cup upon the palm of her hand with a splay of fingers in support to silently offer him another sip.

The tea was strange but oddly nice to him as he drank in slow sips, the temperature just right as he took without resistance. “The problem with recovery is impatience and as I’m sure you’re aware I don’t do too well with patience, or being a patient come to it. Still I have you and for that I am grateful” His eyes caught sight of her tattoos and instinct to draw back the fabric quickly quelled.

He took another sip with a smile, it was a steady pace he finished the cup the effect of the herb already beginning to set in as the room swayed slightly around him, he went to move only to halted abruptly “You should have the bed, if I’m to be watched like a child you should at least be able to do so in comfort” He tried again and again was halted “And you’re not going to aid me to the couch are you?” His last came amused at the thought of this woman keeping him in place “I will make things up to you, I promise you that”

A flush of color rippled up her neck to melt into her cheeks at his compliment to her, though she tipped he chin in silent respect and acceptance of his words. After the tea was emptied from the cup, she half-turned to place it down upon the tray, then faced him.  Lifting a hand to place on his chest. “No, Master Hades, you are recovering and I would not wish for you to sleep upon a couch. You will be much better in resting to lay as you are on the comfort of a mattress. I will sleep on the couch, before other arrangements can be made tomorrow.” Her words still held that air of a musical quality, her brown eyes meeting his with a plead. She adjusted his pillows to lay down and strip his support in a sit, then assisted him to lay down. Jade leaned forward to gather the tray and rose from the side of his bed, while still that grace in her move was still astounding in her poise and the hair fluttered behind her only adding the beauty of the length to her thighs. She opened the door and offered the tray to the guard outside and bowing her head, but, then Hades heard a request for a bucket of soapy water and scrub brush to be delivered with a towel.

A short time later, such arrived, Jade declined assistance. While she was frail, Jade carried the water as though it weighed next to nothing. Moving to the side of the bed, tucking her ankles beneath her bottom again and rolling up her sleeves, beginning to scrub at the stone floor to lift the blood that lingered.

Hades watched her silent though his mind had clouded with the medicine issued him by Sarantha he was still aware enough to watch, his pain had long since vanished amidst the effects. “You can ….” His voice trailed as he tried to make the request sound less like it would “It will get cold, especially when the fire dies down, and to keep it warm you’ll be up and down, so it makes sense for you to sleep, here. I would prefer my assistant not freeze to death on her first night in my employ. There is room enough for us both in here”

He simply lay and watched her clean up the mess he’d made, now his own heartbeat thudded now on the inside of his head.

Jade paused in the scrubbing, lifting the back of her hand to wipe at the sweat that glistened like beads of diamond upon her porcelain skin, portions of her dark hair clung to the side of her face and neck while settling upon the tuck of her feet beneath her bottom. Her beautiful brown eyes looked to him, while bowing her head. “Master Hades, I intend to remain within the room tonight. I will sleep on the couch but I will not be far.” But, then she returned to pouring out some water and drying the ground at his bedside, the hair spilling over her shoulder but such offered him a closer view of her neck tattoo, it was full of color and still in his muddled mind difficult to discern the colors to objects. “Rest, Master Hades. I will add more logs to the fire before I lay down to rest, your comfort is priority in order for your health.” She finished and stood, gathering the bucket with a dunk of the scrub within, in that elegant and graceful steps, moved to the door and opened it. Handing the bucket outward to a guard, bowing her head in a small step back to close the door. Jade then returned to the bedside to settle within the chair.

Hades would have argued had the medicine not put him down and out, his chest rose and fell though occasionally it would be awkward around the sharp stabs of pain he was now blissfully unaware of.

********************************

The morning air was cold enough to cause him to shudder as he stretched out in a yawn then growled in pain as his body remembered the problems he was suffering. “Urgh give a guy a break” he muttered as he shoved a pillow under his back, in that moment he simply watched Jade.

Apparently during his blissful, but, not entire restless night of sleep, the couch had been moved adjacent to the bed with the desk moved a slight to offer the room. Jade was sound asleep, her breathing rose and fell in a steady rhythm. The white robe that only had a stain on the sleeve, now had a twin mark to the other and upon the location of her knees. By the bucket of soapy water near his head board, he had possibly coughed enough last night to make another mess because an irony taste lingered in his mouth. Her dark bangs swept to the side with the wisps dripping down over her calm and peaceful porcelain face, the way she was folded upon the couch proved that she was cold but the foetal position she was in assisted in the warmth. The dark fall of her incredibly long hair was swept back out of his sight. The room, while whispering of the frigid winter, held an aroma of the soapy bucket near to him and the faint touch of Jade’s scent of cherry blossom.

Hades pulled one of the blankets from under him moving enough to allow him to place it down over her, quietly he made his way to the fire restacking the wood and flicking the embers until they caught hold of the tinder and set them ablaze catching the logs quickly. He sat watching the fire for a few more minutes his mind on her breathing as the chill was beginning to be taken by the fires heat.

As the blanket was placed upon her, unconsciously her hands lifted from beneath to curl around the edge to draw the fabric closer around her. Otherwise, she remained with the steady and calm breathing, it was clear that the cold was not unfamiliar with her nor strange accommodations. After quite sometime in silence, he heard a shift of fabric, the glide of the blanket warm upon his shoulders, while Jade had awakened. “If you wished a fire, Master Hades. You simply would have had to tell me and I would have gladly obliged.” Her voice was dusted with the husk of newly wakening, the musical note still present in the softness of her tone.

He smiled softly his hand sliding over hers “You were sleeping and from the way it looked its been a long night, least I could do” He drew the blanket round as he watched the fire “Besides fire helps focus me, try to forget the fact my body despises me right now, you should rest, I’ll be OK for a little bit”

He stood making his way to the door, more strength in each motion that he had the night previous as he cracked open the door to offer order to the guard to bring food for two and something warm to drink. The voice replied a customary “Yes Milord” and footsteps echoed down the hallway as Hades closed the door.

“We will eat and then work out what the day will bring, I hope I haven’t scared you too deeply I know it’s a lot to throw at you on your first day, but I’m alive and that is down entirely to you so again thank you” Hades smiled as he settled back infront of the fire.

“It was of no trouble, I am glad to be able to serv–assist…you, Master Hades.” To the contact of his hand that slid over hers, a sharp gasp parted her lips and her slender hand jerked back as though being burned, but, she tilted her head down. “I apologize, Master Hades.” She remained in her standing position while Hades rose to move to the door, clasped hands before her to his return with a lower of her gaze. 
 
“I had given orders to the guard to ensure that the kitchen help places the tea leaves I gave to them on your tea specifically.” The husk had lifted and the musical quality returned to her tone. “At least, allow me to make you more comfortable.” Jade moved to the couch, moving behind it to push and pull, a feats that was surprising giving her frame and size, it was easily done. Such would be easy to overlook given the oversized clothing upon her that concealed details of her shape more than moments as the fabric tensed on the white robe. Eventually, such ended being placed before the fire, far enough to not be a hazard but close enough to allow a cushion to the warmth.

Hades watched her quiet and thought filled before his eyes went back to the fire. The room was now nicely warm, the crackle of the fire strangely satisfying and relaxing. “Ever since I was a child” Hades frowned at the statement “Yes I was actually a child once” he smiled “I always hated been ill, hated the fact it takes me longer to heal than my brothers, and yet thankful that my recovery doesn’t rely on a need for blood. I always bounce back and I’ve always been thankful for that”

Hades shifted slightly before resting his head back “But I’ve always done it alone, relying on others was never a strong point with me, multiple trust issues, envy, guilt a whole long list of reasons why I shouldn’t be near people. But loyalty that’s one value that took a while to learn. A family that’s the tricky part”

Jade moved to settle upon the floor while tucking her ankles beneath her bottom, beautiful brown eyes fixed upon the flames dancing beneath the hearth, as though listening to some unspoken tale. After a time in silence, she lowered her gaze to her hands clasped in her lap. “The things I have learned…Life is amazing. And then it is awful. And then it’s amazing. In between the amazing and the awful its ordinary, mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heart-breaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life…and it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” She then glanced to the door as it was knocked upon, a maid delivering the food for the morning meal. With such regal posture, Jade rose and walked to the door opening it and accepting the tray with a tip of her head downwards and partial bend at her waist. She turned as the door closed, moving to set the tray down on the floor, though, went to gather a chair to place such on with the medicinal pouch in her hand.
 
Once returning to the couch, she leaned down to gather the tray to set upon it, then focused on placing some leaves within Hades cup. Each motion with the tea pot was a ceremonious dance, a display of grace and beauty. She then offered him the plate of food while setting his cup down, looking to him as Jade patiently waited for him to begin eating before tending to her own.

Hades took a drink feeling the warmth surround his body with a smile as he drew the plate into his lap, a slow methodical approach in the way he ate. He did motion her to help herself wanting to ensure she ate just as well.

“You should eat, enjoy what we have while we have, the winter likely won’t afford us it for long” Hades shrugged softly, the Mansion had its stockpiles but often even for them luck would run out and leave them having to work harder toward the end. The fire crackled in the background as the room had now warmed.

Jade quietly shook her head while motioning for him to begin eating. When he began, she removed the black chopsticks from a fold at her robe, beginning to pluck at the fruit and meat. Every so often she would lift her beautiful warm brown eyes to him, but, when he would glance her way Jade would look down with a light flush against her neck and cheeks. Her dark hair pooled around her like a luscious waterfall about her, a few times when she would gather the tea to sip, he saw the fabric stretch upon her arm against the white bold lines of another tattoo was revealed but still was muddled. The wood crackled and flames whispered to fill the silence between them.
 
After they had finished eating, Jade guided his tea to his lips in a lean, this was ceremonious and gracious. But, after that was finished, she placed the empty cup on the tray, gathering such with her hands to move to the door of the room. Extending the tray with a bow of her head and gracious thank you. She returned to settle on the floor with her feet tucked beneath her bottom, beginning to tend to the fire, hair parting enough in the stretch to reveal more bold lines of a tattoo upon her back hidden beneath the robe.

Hades felt the effects of the herbs given by Sarantha a fog at the edge of his conscious state that eased the pain but dulled his motor sense leaving him to piece together the images he had seen. The tattoos just beneath the surface of her clothing an intriguing detail seldom seen.

“You have an appreciation for body by choice? Or marks of your previous owner” His words came before his brain caught them only for him to snap his words off “My apologies, seems Saranthas medicine has rendered my mouth idle of my brain” He shifted awkward under the words now returning his eyes to the flame “It is inappropriate of me to pry”

Jade hesitated now, looking down to her hands in her lap and then up to the flames beneath the hearth. “One only needs to apologize when another has been wronged.” She stated softly in that musical tone, appearing as though it was a quote that was ingrained within her mind. “No. The tattoos are not upon my body as a symbol of those that owned me but dedication to my family, to never be forgotten.” Her tone had grown even more softly to the end, as though, such weight upon a memory caused sadness to surface within her. “Would you like to see them? I must ask because I will be showing far more skin then is deemed appropriate for a female.”

“I would” Hades replied softly “I have a fascination for such things, and inappropriate as it may be I will do nothing but be a gentleman” Hades shifted again trying to ease the aches, while the pain was dulled it wasn’t forgotten now dulled to an awkwardly annoying ache that required him to shift his positioning. There were occaisionally the footfalls of folk as they passed the room but for the largest part they had silence aside from themselves and the fire.

“We wont be disturbed, thankfully it’s forbidden to enter an Elcarus Lords room without prior permission, something that does not apply to yourself I may point out, you are permitted in and out of my chambers as is needed” His intent to convey trust between them was followed by his ever awkward shift in comfort and eyes on the fire.

Jade appeared to hesitate at first, though, lifted her hair to sweep over her left shoulder, fingers working to loosen the tie of her robe. As all things with her, this was just as graceful as everything else. At first she removed her right arm from the sleeve, then her left, while folding down the fabrics to expose her back. 
 
At first in the shadows it would take a moment to take in the entire piece covering her back from the nape of her neck to her tail bone in a sweep down. Focusing in was a bold colours of blacks, greys and reds; slowly forming in to a phoenix adorned by four red flowers strategically placed. Aside from that, the shape of her back was delicate and strong to bare such a detailed tattoo from the shading and features to the bird to the flowers. 

On the crest of her right arm was a water lily flower, coloured the same as her back in rich blacks, reds and greys. Extending out in a flowing design to represent water by the means of black bold and subtle lines leading down to a few inches from her elbow, within was a magnificent koi fish swimming up the current in a vibrant red with orange accents. The detail from the splashing of a fin and even two petals placed upon the design.
 
She remained silent while the delicate slope of her neck to her shoulder offered a perfect silhouette of this female, watching him from the corner of her eye for his reaction, both her arms lifted to conceal the feminine bounty from his view even though her back was to him.

Hades watched the design as it was brought into view, the delicate work seemed to sit well upon her as she undressed before him. For a time he simply looked admiring the work in thought. “I must admit that is some incredible work, in some painful places, your tolerance must be something to behold”

He sat simply watching her just for that moment before standing “I have never seen work so beautiful or fitting upon a woman, thank you for allowing me to see”

There was a long moment of pause, upon her exposed neck, a flush of colour lifted to his complement upon the tattoo and her appearance. “One has to accept pain in order to tolerate such.” Jade stated simply, while slipping her left harm within a sleeve, in the adjustment and to his angle, he caught the fullness of a side view of her full bosom, though she guided her arm within the right sleeve and adjusted the fabric to pull a cover upon the tattoos. Attention down to fix the tie of her robe. “You are welcome, it is very rare anyone is allowed to see such markings upon me.” Jade glanced behind her expecting to see him sitting but surprised to angle her head to see him standing.

“Pain is not often a consideration for us considering there are not so many stupid enough to confront anyone named Elcarus, but as you have seen it does happen” He shrugged softly “It is how we use it that makes it worthwhile, and while I would enjoy reaping an unholy revenge upon Ceremon and Z’ress for the mess they’ve made, I have things that must be attended” Hades opened his own wardrobe looking over things within before finding something, without though he dropped his bottoms, now completely naked with his back to her.

Suddenly he halted “Oh ….. “ his words trapped “Forgive, I … oh bollocks” He muttered quickly tugging on his clean trousers and a shirt to follow, his flesh vanishing beneath the dark cloths “Sincerely I apologise, oh crap” he was grateful of the shadow from the open door that hid the slight redness his cheeks were now displaying “I didn’t even think”

As Hades found clothing then dropped his bottoms, he heard a small yelp of surprise spent from Jade with a rustle of fabric denoting that he had caught her unaware when Jade was facing him. She remained silent now, her hands clasped before her, as always with head down. When he found her exactly as he had pictured, close to the couch but back to him, the dark hair flowing over her shoulders and back, the length extending to the back of her thighs. “I…I will go get dressed, Master Hades. Give me a few moments to return.” She very quickly turned to escape the room and shortly after the door opening to her own was heard with a close.
 
Just as she spoke, Jade returned a few minutes later with the brown silk rob and the orange obi belt, hair gathered up in a bun, secured by the two black chopsticks. She stepped into the room with her hands clasped and head down. “What is it you wish to do today, Master Hades? Sarantha spoke for you to rest.”

“And I will, in a fashion, but I’m not to sit with my own company nor do I wish to isolate you either” Hades replied softly “So we will attend our duties, ensure the families coming to the Mansion for the winter are settled, and you will ensure I don’t die, or otherwise over exhert myself” He was still holding the embarrassment of undressing in front of her without thought, but ensuring he looked as ever himself.

He walked back to his desk pulling open a draw to pluck a pouch of coins “And this is payment for the service you have provided thus far, which you have more than earned considering so far you have wound up cleaning up my blood, chasing our healer for me and been scared half to death because I don’t think” He smiled offering the pouch “And you are my assistant not slave so there will be no complaint of being paid”

Jade remained reserved as always, head bowed and hands clasped. With her hair drawn up in the bun, she looked more formal then before, while still slender and graceful, still without shoes. As he addressed her she lifted her head with her beautiful almond slanted brown eyes fixed on him, tipping her chin respectfully while nearing him to accept the coin pouch to stow away in a fold of her robe. 
 
“Thank you, Master Hades. I will be then with you during this day, but, understand when I say to rest that we do such. I would not care to have to use force upon you, this is not just for your benefit but those close to you. So do not be stubborn, Master Hades, I will take care to make things not appear more than they are with your injuries.” Her tone was soft musical and strong with seriousness.

“You’re far too new for me to be a pain with, don’t worry, nothing over straining, and should I tire I will listen” He smiled softly as he pulled his cloak down wrapping it about his shoulders “But I must be seen to be doing what the people have faith in me to do, I wouldn’t feel right lazing in bed all day while there are things to be done”

He opened the room door and nodded to the men outside who disappeared down the corridor” Hades stepped out waiting on her to join him before they headed for the guest wing of the mansion.

Jade nodded compliantly, while straightening and keeping her hands clasped before her, walking just outside the door with her light steps and the graceful flow of her body with the extension of the fabric just as complimenting. As she entered the guest wing, in the presence of all the others bustling around, Jade appeared to shrink into the background, still exceedingly shy and tentative around others. 

[A Cold Winter] Hiring Hades

Standing near the entry that Kane just left through with Aishani was a slender female, her hair was dark brown, nearing black and her skin was as smooth as porcelain. She had large almond slanted beautiful brown eyes, as though two semi-precious stone inlaid upon marble flesh. She was thin, appearing to cringe and keep away from anyone that neared her, often turning her gaze downwards. In her appearance the shadows did little to conceal her. But, her clothing was layered of a linen robe with a thick orange belt and no shoes. Someone yelled to her and she lifted her gaze, fear in her expression, while moving quickly to help even though she was frail to help offload the carriages.

Hades walked down the hallway, his motion was awkward as he passed the young girl stopping to look her over “You weren’t here before?” His voice broken by the frustration at been in pain “Do we pay you? Or are you just seeking shelter from the winter?” he shook his head for a moment before continuing “Nevermind, could you get me something to eat from the kitchen, bring it to my room? It’s the door down there on the left”

The almond slanted beautiful brown eyes looked to Hades as he addressed her, widening with her head lowered down to her hands before her in a fidget. She raised her head to look at him, parting her lips to speak but at his dismissive wave in passing, simply she bowed and hurried off to the kitchen, at her back there was an intricate bow.

A short time later, there was a knock on Hades room. It was soft, tentative but strangely firm.

“It’s open” Hades snapped darkly, he had removed his shirt after arriving in his room, a good portion of flesh still heavily bruised from the beating at the hands of his half brother, though oddly he had stayed away from the face a few bruises on the cheek but not as bad as those over his torso.

“Thank you” Hades looked her over for a moment “So who are you? And just where did you come from, I know you’re not one of ours” Hades rubbed his brow for a moment before indicating the desk he wished the food to be placed.

The female entered, now, he could see her in a different light. Her incredibly dark hair was cleaned and silky, tethered up in a ribbon while wisps of hair fell to rest upon her brow and temples offering her face a very exotic and beautiful appeal. She stood silently, with her gaze down and caught the gesture, nodding to him and moving quickly to place the tray down, her feet lightly patting upon the floor. “Me? Oh. My name is…um…Jade. I was–taken from my slave master in order for them to pass through…” Those stunning almond slanted brown eyes lifted to at him, clearly her eyes inspecting the bruises on his body, but, otherwise saying nothing more.

“Slave traders, we passed a group not too long ago” He sighed heavily seating himself at the desk eying the food for a moment “Still they are away slave trading is illegal, no thanks to my brother, if you haven’t been aside a particular duty, then I would ask you serve me directly, feel free to decline you will be welcome here regardless” Hades spoke before beginning to eat “If you chose to be my personal assistant then be aware the conditions will be difficult but fair, and come with several privileges above the regular staff”

Hades ate quickly having not fed properly for a few days between been a captive and been on the road and of course been in considerable pain “I am Hades Elcarus, this is my home so I welcome you both to Elcarus Mansion and to Dentarius, and you are now by law free to do as you wish”

Jade stared at Hades, as though, he has said something idiotic and was unable to comprehend. “I….have a choice?” She whispered in disbelief. “I…then….yes, Master Hades. I will serve you. You have been the first to acknowledge me since…” Her eyes lowered while placing her hands before her in a clasp. Jade appeared so timid and fragile standing in his room with the robe and thick orange belt, her feet still bare.

Hades looked up looking back to her raising a brow as if confused as to why she would see his request as anything more than an act of annoyance “I acknowledged you because you were in my way and I was hungry” he shrugged softly “Still you brought food, and did well in doing so, now you will be my personal assistant, you will serve me in the capacities I set forward at any time day or night”

Hades rubbed his forehead awkwardly before he continued “The room next door is free, much better than the staff quarters, you’ll reside there from now on” He angled his eyes to her “If I call you will come, failure to do so will only serve to annoy me” his last words came with bitter force more so than he had intended as he looked her over for a moment “In the morning we will go sort you something better to wear, a personal assistant to me cannot wander around looking like she fell off a slavers truck now can she”

Jade slowly nodded while keeping her head down, hands clasped before her, she bowed in such a way that it was graceful and elegant. “As you wish, Master Hades.” The bangs and wisps of hair at her temples fell to conceal her expression, as it was composed but those beautiful brown eyes were docile.

He watched her for a moment “Have you eaten?” He asked quickly his voice still as level as he could manage.

Jade kept her gaze down still, while slowly shaking her head in response to Hades question. “No, Master.”

He stood walking to the door as he opened it he snapped orders to the guard behind to bring food as quickly as they could manage. “You can eat with me, while we wait you can tell me a little about yourself”

He walked back to the bed as he pulled himself together his motions still controlled and clumsy looking each simple motion hindered by the pain of the bruising on his body “As you can tell I’m not normally so clumsy, though I suspect my beating are little compared to what you’ve had to deal with?” his words half assumption half questioning.

Jade moved to the side in an incredibly graceful move for one that had suffered from the hands of a slave trade, the fabric while a simple brown now in closer inspection was silk made and the peer of a white was beneath at the neckline. While Hades barked his orders to the guards just outside, he would know that she was listening even if her eyes remained down and hands clasped before her.  She lifted her head as he moved back to settle on the bed, those almond slanted brown hues fixed on him. The smile that spread on her soft pink lips was warm, tentative. But to his mention of her dealings, this brought the smile to fade with a hint of pain in those beautiful brown eyes, returning to the silent docile position again. “Could I be of service to ease your pain, Master Hades? Surely, you do not wish to hear of my life.”

“Unfortunately for me there is not much to be done, I will heal given time enough” He motioned her to sit beside him as he watched her move “To ease such an annoying pain is easy if you can forget it, so you will talk and I will listen” he was about to finish when a coughing fit hit him sending him doubled over the edge of the bed the blood from internal injuries now splattering the floor, as it subsided he eyed the blood. Oddly he had managed to avoid getting a drop near Jade.

“I’m fine” he muttered pushing himself back to a seated potion “That was painful” he forced a smile “So come chat, help me forget my body is trying to kill me”

Jade moved again, it was calculated but very graceful in the small steps and the lower at his side, keeping a distance between them while placing her hands in her lap with her gaze down. Her eyes widened to the cough as the lewd sound of the crimson splattering upon the floor caused her to inhale sharply at the sight. Jade moved to the edge of the bed now, as far away from him as possible it was as though the very sight of the blood repulsed her deep down into her core. “I do so hate to disappoint you, Master Hades. But, I have nothing of interest to speak of. I have been a slave for my entire life. I heard that Sarantha the healer is here. I could go to fetch her for you?”

“I’m fine, and I suspect Sarantha will be here soon enough” As he spoke there was a knock at the door, the maids bringing in various foods and setting them on the desk. As they disappeared back through the door Hades looked to Jade “You should eat, you’re no use to me hungry, or dead”

“If there is ever anything you need all you need do is ask” He watched her for a moment before making his way to the desk “Come eat, please”

Jade lifted her gaze to the door as maids brought in various foods, placing them on the desk, then returned her gaze down while clasping her hands in her lap. But in his rise to move, he discovered two polished black sticks stuck out from her hair, to his direction she rose. Every move was as though she was lighter then air and elegantly moved to settle at the table, removing the two sticks from her hair to begin to pluck at the food. Though, instead of taking such herself, she graciously remained standing and offered Hades the food. “It is proper that the male be fulfilled to the woman’s capabilities first, then I will proceed to eat after you have.” She spoke, her voice was almost as though quoting in a musical tone, tapping his lips with the chopsticks.

Hades smiled softly “Ah but you forget you are now free, you may be my personal assistant but I expect no more than you are willing to give” He did however accept the food “And as you may recall I ate a short while ago which is how you ended up in my room in the first place” He waved over the food with a grin “So help yourself, it’s going to be a long winter, which makes me glad Kane sorted the pipework, warmer in here than out there I can assure you”

Hades collected an apple before making his way to the window seating himself to look out over the city below his hand slipping into his boot to retrieve a short silver knife which he proceeded to peel a piece of apple from the whole and ate it. “Women shouldn’t be treated as an object or possession, while it has it places and can be fun, it is not the order here, something worth remembering”

Jade’s cheeks lifted in a beautiful flush to his words, lowering down her bowl and chopsticks, returning to her seat and beginning to eat in silence. She ate with such poise, not only were her movements a dance but even her dining was as such as well, delicate and exotic. She lifted the bowl to her lips sipping quietly at the liquid within, while looking to Hades from her seat. “It is not that I was treated differently when I was with my family.” Jade appeared to catch herself on her words, falling silent for a time, while lifting the pieces of vegetables and meat to chew gently. “I was raised with strict discipline and rules for the women. We are to tend to the men; cook, clean, obey, listen, only speak when spoken to and be a delicate flower to their desires. Pouring tea with grace. Entertaining; dancing, singing, playing an instrument. It is the life I was bred from…but it changed and I was literally owned by barbaric brutes that…” Her voice faded while the chopsticks stirred the food, then plucked another chunk of meat from the broth, sipping it delicately. “My apologies, I have out of term, Master Hades.”

“The House you stand in now, was born out of a need to change, you were born and raised in the ways, to please and bow to men, an archaic system which is why slavery still exists, it’s a shame. However my brother feels that each is allowed his or her own choices, and as such Slavery is forbidden by law in the city of Dentarius. But the Elcarus line was not always the same, once upon a time our family were brutal more so than Ceremon” Hades stopped as he watced her for a moment “Elcarus blood until recently was pure only the high houses bred with the high houses, marriages chosen, and power always shifting. Then things changed when Ascondia arrived, with the power to see the future so we stuck her on throne, and sure enough things began to change but she still likes the old ways. She likes to be served and to be catered for, but here there is freedom, choice, honour some say. While we have salves working here they are free to come and go as they please, they remain because it is safe, but we pay them, we protect them because we believe in them”

Hades wondered if he even knew what he was trying to say but there was a point of that he was sure “You can speak when you wish, what you wish to whom you wish, unless it concerns my personal being or business that is between you and I and those directly involved, a trust I place in you to serve me in such a way. I am no higher on the chain cept for the term Lord before my name and Elcarus after it, I have power because it is born out of trust, we must get to know one another so that what we share is always equal. And I really must have hit my head worse than I thought because I swear I’m rambling” Hades shook his head with a slight smile before looking back to the city below “I will pay you well to serve me, you can be sure of that”

Jade finished the last drop of her stew, while licking the chopsticks to place down at her side on the table. Her beautiful warm brown eyes look to him with a placid expression, at times, he would notice that she appeared to be a porcelain doll. Frail. Slender. Even with her complexion and the darkness of her hair. “I…can honestly not say, that I do not understand. My entire life is not of servitude. That is how I was raised in the culture. You see, there is a small land, often overlooked and we keep to ourselves. That are the ideals I was raised with by my mother and father.”

“Ideals I can respect, much like I respect a lady, there is no rule that says I cannot show you a good time, and that is what I intend” Hades smiled as he opened the window the wind whipping through the gap with threat. “Perhaps we can eventually return you home, if in time that is what you’d like, or you can remain here the choice will be yours. Just remember no is word that can be used should you see fit to”

The night was cold but the moon still able to break the clouds above, this threw an odd glow onto the grounds below, as Hades watched “The city looks so odd this time of year, we bring the weak and the frail here to the mansion, we have the luxury of building home over a rather large expanse of hot springs, those power the hot water and in turn keep us warm, hot baths, hot water even. Still the city looks lost in darkness of winter”

As Hades looked out the window, it wasn’t until he felt a presence near to him, in which Jade was close looking over his shoulder out to the city below. Surprising, perhaps not, she made little sound and those beautiful brown eyes were fixed down on the sleeping city. “Everyone is lost at a time or another. It looks nearly skeletal and empty, Master Hades.” While her words held a musical quality, still tentative and extremely shy. She then clasped her hands before her while returning to silence, almost as though speaking out of term, head bowed with the bangs falling over her brow and wisps at the temples draping down.

“And the mansion always stood as a tower of strength, until I dropped a dragon on it” Hades smiled softly “So as your now my personal assistant I can grant you any luxuries you would like, so feel free to ask for anything you may need”

He slid down from the window to that full near seven foot height, lean and yet fragile all in the same as he straightened he grumbled having to slouch slightly to avoid the bruising getting tight and painful. “Perhaps you should just hit me over the head and keep me unconscious while I heal” he shuddered in the cold, his eyes sliding to the fire place that had for some time remained unlit in his own room “You can definitely light the fire if you don’t mind, it’s getting cold in here”

A small laugh parted her lips, a musical sound that was lightening to the soul. She sobered when he spoke to her, bowing her head to his request, moving with the elegant grace to the hearth as her feet lightly padded upon the floor. Jade knelt down with her ankles tucked beneath her bottom, offering a delightful view of her pear shaped bottom. Maintaining her posture proper, erect. Jade then began to gather the logs, arranging the wood methodically on the catch with a teepee kindle beneath and wood in cross over the base layer. Gathering the flint, she leaned forward while striking the items together to catch the spark on the wood. She then adjusted to her knees and hands, leaning down to blow at the caught wood in order to start the flames. When her pulled hair shifted from the dark tail, he saw the edge of a colourful tattoo stemming from the nape of her neck behind. As the wood caught, surprisingly it began quickly. She sat watching the fire now, then stood slowly. “I ask for nothing, Master Hades. I have learned to expect nothing, in the way of not being disappointed.”

“Well in this world sometimes expecting nothing isn’t too bad a way to be” Hades crawled into  bed as he felt the warmth flitter across the room his eyes remained watching her and the flames beyond her, taking things for a moment as they were.

He wondered if perhaps the realm had offered him something he couldn’t quite figure or if it were just another in a long line of coincidence that usually saw him tortured just a little worse than before, family had never truly suited him except the Elcarus name, but even the strength in that for the moment eluded him, figuring the mass of bruising was just another method to remind him he worked better alone. “You should get some rest, I will see you in the morning for breakfast”

Jade turned from the fire while moving to his bed and lowering down to tuck her ankles beneath her bottom, yet, extended to adjust the blankets to ensure that the frigid air would not creep beneath and bowed her head. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Master Hades. Rest well.” She stood without touching the bed and clasped her hands to leave the room, as the fabric shifted in her steps, it was then that he caught a faint floral hint, it was not strong and was a whispering aroma. She smelled like a summer breeze rustling through cherry blossom trees, warm and pleasant.

The door opened causing a stir in the air, as she moved to face the interior and closed it behind her, then shortly after he heard a door open in the hallway and closing beside his own, then silence followed. The fire crackled and popped, as though scolding him for his internal thoughts.

[A Cold Winter] A Little Home Healing

The carriages were near silent as they made their way through the deep snow, a group of slaveless slavers had passed them some way back. For a moment it looked like they may have had a go at the oncoming heavily armed convoy led by Kane and Aishani, they had however thought better of it.

The road had broken from the forest and now led down toward the Mansion which sat invitingly nestled on its hilltop. Kane shifted on saddle to check the paths which were clear. “Almost home my love, we’ll finally be out of these godforsaken snow storms” A short flick of the reigns and the convoy moved on.

Aishani kept up with the pace Kane set on the caravan, keenly aware of her surroundings, as the hooves of the horse crunched on the snow with the wheels making ruts within the blanket of white. She inhaled the crisp frigid air while her hood was covering her head but that glorious golden eye hummed within the confines of shadow. A few times, she was caught wiping her forehead beneath, clearly her body was still fighting the effects of the werewolf. “Yes…home.” Aishani flicked the reigns sending her horse into a trot to catch up to Kane.

“Sarantha should already be here, she lives on the outskirts of the city, away from the busy but close enough to aid when needed. We’ll see where things stand soon enough my love” Kane smiled softly before looking down the road, the storm was heavy and had cost them time enough.

They were now on the final path which raised up the hill toward the main gates.

Aishani glanced to him with a tip of her hood, though, slowly nodded. “There is nothing more that I hate then the not knowing.” She stated simply, while her hips swayed in the saddle from the beast, her hand was curling tightly around the reigns as they took to the final stretch to the gates.

As they trailed through the main gates Kane slid from his horse taking his reigns in hand leading the convoy in, handing off his horse to the stablehands he stood watching the rest through before rounding with the guards to close the gates.

He made his way through the grounds “Alright, let’s get these carriages unloaded and stored, get any guests to their rooms and settled”

As Kane was distracted delivering orders to break the caravan and unload the carriages, Aishani sat on her horse. Yet, she leaned forward, as though whispering to the steed, but then it changed and her body grew limp with her feet leaving the stirrups. She glided slowly and fell to the snow. Landing on her side initially but then remaining still.

Kane turned on his heel as he heard the cries of panic, within moments he was by her side he hit the ground drawing her to him before picking her up “Let’s get you in bed” he breathed striding toward the mansion, he held her tight to him as the staff scattered out of his path.

It didn’t take long before he was laying her on the soft bed they shared “Sarantha will be with us soon” he spoke soft his hand pressing against her forehead gently “You scared the life out of me Aishani”

There was a knock at the door as Kane called for them to enter, she stood, garbed in pale silks from top to toe, beneath her hood strands of dark hair flittered, her eyes were soft as she inclined her head to Kane “I heard she had a tumble?” She moved toward them her feet barely registering on the floor she moved with grace toward them.

“She slipped off her horse as we arrived, I was …” Sarantha held her hand up to silence Kane “It’s the fever no doubt” She drew back her hood, her skin pale almost white beneath the darkness of her hood as she sat on the edge of her bed she pulled off a glove, the leathe bands beneath wrapped over her hand but left her fingers exposed. “She is not dead, for that you can be thankful Lord Kane, but now I must ask you to leave me to my work”

Kane eyed her then the three with her before he nodded “I’ll be down the hall”

Sarantha looked back to him “It’s unlikely the answers are in your library, you know full well an outland drow and a werewolf could be any combination, let me work my Lord and I will let you know as soon as I know?”

Kane nodded and left closing the door behind him.

“Such a worrier that one, but he looks better than last I saw him, so that’s something, now tell me what’s been going on with you, and bear in mind I’m not Kane and I’m here to help you” She placed her hand to Aishanis forehead for a moment “Something I cannot do without all the facts”

Aishani drew the hood back over her head while Kane lofted her into his arms, her mind was foggy and a slight disoriented to the cause that lead Kane to carry her into the mansion. Her cheek against his shoulder, as the cold air in his purposeful strides caused her to shiver.

She reluctantly released the wrap of her arms around Kane’s shoulders when the soft support of the bed was beneath her. The hood fell back exposing her features to Kane, in appearance the dark ashen hue was a grey, even the golden eye had dulled. She offered him a small smile, caressing his face. “I will be fine…just tired and hot is all.”

Aishani watched as Sarantha entered the room after the granted entry, swallowing thickly and closing her eyes when the hand was placed against her forehead. Sweat was glistening on her neck and forehead, offering Sarantha a crooked smirk after Kane left.
 
“As you were told, I was attacked…well, amidst a fight, but, a werewolf clawed at my side. I had a claw lodged into the wound, Hades cleaned and stitched it for me. But, the following day…I have been struggling with feeling increasingly hot. It has gotten worse and my entire body feels as though, I am on fire.  The smell of meat at the camp and in the kitchen is driving me insane…I do not eat meat. I understand that there are changes that will happen, but, I feel like I am fighting a cold that won’t stop and only increases.” Aishani weakly lowered her hand to point to a pouch at her hip. “The claw…is still there, if you would like to look. I plan on making something for Kane out of it.”

“Wolves are tricky, they can attack like Kane, I noted an injury above his shoulder, but will not affect him as he is half vampire and half demon a unique mix that seems to repel anything that should harm him” Her voice was now soft and warm as she spoke, she quietly took the claw turning it over her hand quietly processing the details “But you, are not of our world, a fact we know, but the buring up suggests you are at least trying to fend off the change, usually a sign of the change from humanoid form to wolf, most learn quickly how to control the two, but we need not worry while the fever is similar it is not the same”

She slid to her feet making her way to those accompanying her taking a pouch from the bag they carried and making her way back “I believe that you will be fine, and no wolf, but you will pick up their traits, keener hearing, smell as you have already found out, clearer sight as well, all making you far more dangerous than you once were. The problem with all this will be a probable increase in appetite all these skills are useful but come at a cost, perhaps fish? Over time no doubt you will be able to use them when needed rather than because they are there” She dropped the contents into a cup of warmed water moving back to the bed “You must take care and rest, until the fever breaks at the least, you may also find your temper frayed at times, wolves are not known for their patience, should that be case I advise you let Lord Kane take care of such needs, one is often offset by the other” Sarantha smiled softly offering her the cup “This will help pep you up, a little kick just to keep you up and around while you adjust to your new form, it will also help with the fever”

Aishani adjusted upon the bed to partially sit and lay, twisting to fluff the pillow and growl to the sting of pain hidden beneath her corset, unable to contain the anger at the pain. “I…in truth, don’t know what I am, Sarantha…” She gathered the cup from her, cradling it as the persistent throbbing of her wound began to burn. “I was born with marks, that, originally were thought as a gift from Lloth…but, it is more a curse, really, it allows me to teleport from one location to another, even with individuals in my grasp. I can communicate with arachnid and creatures of the family…” She hissed again while her hand released the cup causing it to spill but Aishani was unable to hide the fact that she was in pain, her hand going to her side.

Sarantha looked to the spilled cup then simply scooped it handing it to one of her aides who quickly replaced it with another cup, quietly she prepared another this time assisting Aishani in drinking “I have heard stories of a spider that fights for our realm, a woman who would lay her life down to protect this worlds people yet she is not of this world. These are truths about you facts we undefiably know, you also captured Lord Kanes heart a task no other has achieved, he loves you deeply, seldom have I seen him so troubled. So perhaps what you are is less important than what you will become?” She gave another drink of the liquid before setting the cup down.

“Perhaps we should treat that wound directly, I’m sure there will be something we can create to ease the pain” Saranthas aide had already handed her fresh bandages and several leaves of varying kinds.

Aishani thanked Sarantha in her assistance on drinking the liquid, while it was warm when it went down her throat, tingling her body all over as though it was an electrical charge. But, slowly she nodded. “Yes, you do make a good point. I will have to look into those stories in the Elcarus library, sounds intriguing.”

As Saratha assisted her in removing her coat and corset, leaving her top exposed, not only was the bandages across her but the webbed scarring at her naval and under breasts. When the bandage was peeled back, it had literally stained the fibers of the protective cloth and her tunic. Aishani hissed as it was removed, the stitching kept it closed and the flesh around looked angry and very inflamed.

“Quite a nice stitch, the Elveran healers have improved” Sarantha mused for a moment “I must clean this up though so my apologies for the pain” She reached back for the cloth which soaked both in water and antiseptics, each motion was slow but firm as she cleaned the dirt and dry blood from the injury “The wound is at least beginning to heal “I believe you have collected their healing ability as well, while slow at the moment it should be considerably reduced the next time you get yourself in a fight”

Sarantha dropped the bloodied cloth to the bowl before pulling strips into a tight bind, creating a small pouch in which to place the herbs, she tucked the herbs within then proceeded to wrap the wound, her work was quick and yet delicate in its implementation “That will feel a little odd as the herbs begin their work, they are there merely to clean and dull the pain nothing more”

“Technically, it was Hades. I refused to see and Elveran healer.” As Sarantha began to clean her injury, Aishani bit her lip due to the pain that speared through her. She was aware that this was for the better good, Aishani inhaled softly as the cleaning was finished, looking down to that red and angry stitching that kept her wound closed. Aishani sat up to allow Sarantha ease of access to her injury on the binding, indeed just as the healer spoke, it felt strange at first there was a prickling amidst the pain but then slowly in a throb it began to numb. “Thank you, Sarantha.”

“You are quite welcome, just try not to over work things, it’s going to enough fun getting those out when the wounds heals as it is” Sarantha replied softly as she finished binding the wounds she shifted pulling her now ruffled cloak away from herself “As for Hades doing the stitching he himself has improved since the last stitch work he tried to do”

She shook her head gently before she stood to hand off the bloodied bowl and cloths to her aid “Make sure they are disposed of correctly” she stated softly the aide nodded and disappeared through the door. “Is there anything I can get for you before I go check on the others? I will of course be back to check in on you later, my advice is to rest but I suspect you won’t” Sarantha smiled softly a knowing and gentle look “In which case I ask you be extra careful”

Aishani chuckled laying back down in a reclining position on the bed, sighing softly with a grit of her teeth. “You tell that to Kane…I rarely stay down for long, regardless of injury or not. Yes, if you would send a message to the kitchen to make some fish for me, perhaps, that will help curve my thirst for red meat…” She closed her eyes with a adjustment upon the bed, her bosom was exposed while in little care. “Also, speak to Kane and send him back in, please.”

Sarantha inclined her head gently “Of course milady” She motioned to her aides and they left the room quietly followed by Sarantha.

A few moments later Kane slid through the door giving instruction to someone beyond to bring their food directly to them before making his way to the bed removing his cloak and tossing it to the side, he sat on the edge of the bed “Seems I got told off for not summoning her sooner” he laughed softly “But she orders rest and food, in that order I think” he lent down to kiss her head gently “You gave me a fright out there, so you’ll be staying in bed for the next day” He watched her reaction then smiled “Argue and I promise I’ll tie you to the bed, a day of rest that’s all I ask”

Aishani managed with some minor difficulty to remove her boots, socks and pants, glancing to the door as it opened and her legs just nestled beneath the covers. A smirk formed on her lips to the sight of Kane, rolling her shoulders. “Not much you could do.” Her eyes closed as his lips pressed to her forehead. “Oh, now…you know that won’t work on me, especially with the promise of being tied up…” She attempted to adjust while grimacing with a glance to him. “Yes, I have a tendency to not wish to appear weak, especially to you.”

“I spent weeks trying to hide I was weak, seems only fitting that we see one another at such a time?” He kissed her cheek gently before slipping his shirt off the wound on his shoulder now bandaged “Besides you seem to have got the bad end of the deal with this one, you got hurt aiding my daughter, so let me feel just a little bit guilty about that”

He slid his jeans off before slipping under the covers kissing her shoulder gently “There is plenty to do without straining yourself, now the winter is settled we are pretty much stuck here for a while” gently he pulled her to him his arms wrapped around her keeping her close.

[A Cold Winter] History, Proposals and the Future

Aishani finished setting up the tent her and Kane were to share, while then moving to assist Hades due to his injuries, even though she had her own and it was burning like fire beneath the pressure of her corset. Her dark dreads were tied back with the hood covering her crown, from the forest came Shadow with a webbing around a thick log in which the arachnid arranged around the fire and disappeared for more logs to arrange. She went into Hades tent arranging the sleeping roll, leaving just as Kane spit a fireball to ignite the fire.

Her golden eye winked to Kane while gathering the cooking items, though, hesitated looking to him. “Hm…you need meat for the others. I got the meat I like. I’ll start the stew with mushrooms and such.”

“You should be careful pandering to my brother, he may get a little too used it” Kane replied straight face but his tone gave the playful tone it was meant, Hades merely responded by tossing a ball of snow at him. “Small luxuries brother dearest, I’m an injured man”

Kane eyed him for a moment “Injured yes, invalid you will never be” Hades waved his hand at him with a smirk “Shut up, at least while I’m hurt you have a chance to beat me in a sword fight, you should go get dinner, we’re all getting hungry”

Kane laughed throwing his own snowball at Hades then collecting his bow, he disappeared into the forest. “His pride always getting the better of him” Hades replied as he now watched Aishani as she prepared the other half of their dinner “I supposed I shouldn’t give him such a hard time, it’s been a while since he was the one with the womans attention, and yes a fraction of me is jealous but it is nice to see him happy”

Aishani smirked to Kane while observing the interaction between the brothers, rolling a shoulder but turned to settle and work on the stew when Kane gathered his bow and left to the woods. She was kneeling in the melting snow around the fire, removing a pouch of various dried vegetables and mushrooms with another that had smaller packets with spices, digging up some snow to add as a broth base. While placing it over the fire to allow in order to melt. Her golden eye flashed to him, at his comment then rolled a shoulder in dismissiveness. A small sweat breaking over her brow, while it went unnoticed by her. She then glanced in the direction of Aerian’s tent, a small knowing smirk upon her lips, while stirring up the melting ice in the pot. “Seems, the ventures of you and Aerian will now be a trio.” Aishani tipped her chin with indication of the meaning to her words, while Virra and Aerian appeared tangled amidst a passionate kiss, spurred on by the two young females. 

Hades looked only to snap his head back “Oh come on, even Aerian is getting some, wow this realm likes to torture a guy” Hades shook his head with a laugh “But then at least she ain’t trying to murder us in our sleep, which admittedly I was worried about” He propped himself against a log as he pulled his shirt to reveal the mass of purple, blues and yellows of heavy bruising.

He eyed it for a minute before shoving his shirt back down “Anyone seen how Aerian looks underneath all that? She’s still got to be pretty banged up, no way any sane or insane woman including your mother would heal Aerian fully knowing she could snap her neck without second thoughts” He watched Aishani as she prepared the stew, the warmth of the fire welcoming against the bitterness of the night storm.

Aishani chuckled, in the rolling purr, now the ice melted into boiling water and the dried vegetables were added with the mushrooms, since they were dehydrated it would take time to rehydrate and cook. She stirred it while glancing from Hades to Virra and Aerian. Absently she lifted the back of her gloved hand to wipe at the sweat upon her brow. “It’s hot by the fire, don’t you think?” She muttered. “You’ll get your shot, I’m sure, Hades. As pathetic as it sounds, good things happen to those that wait. Maybe, the realm doesn’t believe you are ready, yet.”

“It’s Kane turn for the luck” Hades replied softly “And yea warmer there than here, but later it’s gonna get a shitload colder, trust me, we’ll be lucky if we don’t have to dig our asses out of the snow” Hades mimicked the snow been above there heads with a grin “It’ll be a long cold night, makes you long for home ….” His voice trickled off as his implication of home reminded him that his home was not hers at least not in that sense, though he knew enough to know she considered Dentarius home much like he did.

“I never said anything about luck, Hades. I don’t believe in it.” Aishani stated simply, while moving to the bag of spices to begin to season the stew. “Home is where the heart is. My home is wherever Kane will be.” She lifted her hand to her forehead while the sweat glistened upon her brow and birthed from her neck now. “The place I was born…was cold and damp, rarely getting any, if at all, sunlight. But, it was beautiful with the cities made from stone and even the Academy’s born from the very structures of the cavernous walls. Before you ask, no. I don’t miss it. I am wanted there and have no intentions to return. What about you? I know you were not born here.”

“Me I was born human, stolen by Ceremon at a young age, brought here and taken to Dentarius infused with the boys DNA and spent most of my young years in the labs. At 12 I was introduced to the boys and we were raised together as brothers. At about 20 I went kinda crazy and shoved Krystal from the top of the Mansion, thought I’d killed him, Kane and Haunted chased me out and I spent most of the next decade or so wandering, I was arrested and taken to Elvera and met the young Queen, she decided I was better put to use as Commander of the Everlandian Army and there I stayed for a while. At least until I opened my mouth about Kane, she sent her guards to bring him back and I was left obsolete and no use, he was instated as commander, so I stabbed him and ran” Hades raised his eye brown in thought “See there I go reeling off the history lesson, though less jaded than it once was”

“Kane and I fought for a century, he finally managed to seal me deep in the mountains and there I was left for a few years. Living on nothing but what the cave provided eventually I realised the human thirst for power was not what should be driving me but family, when I was eventually freed by Ceremon I sided with Kane and I have been at his side ever since. But to the question Dentarius is my home, that is where I was “born” so far as I’m concerned”

“See, then you know what it is like to be in a cave like I do. Perhaps, we aren’t so different after all.” Aishani smirked, returning to the spices of the stew, tasting it with a spoon while nodding to herself and then offering some to Hades in order to taste. The flavour was a burst of deliciousness the instant that the liquid hit his tongue. “It’s not done yet, but, when it is the spices will add such an incredible flavour. You and the others can eat the meat though. I prefer fruits and vegetables.”

“You could teach the mansion cooks a thing or two” Hades grinned softly “You’re here now, with us, both of us misguided and lost end up with family we don’t get how or why but know it’s where we belong” Hades shifted his weight awkward as the cold settled into him. He often found it difficult to stay comfortable as the fight of the cold was met with the fight of the bruising.

“I do hope he’s behaving himself” Kane retorted as he walked back into camp, a few rabbits in hand “All the big game seems to be headed deeper in, we’ll make do”

“At least you got something, could have been much worse” Hades replied softly

Aishani glanced to Hades as he shifted while returning her focus to stirring the stew, then glanced to Kane as he arrived with the rabbits in his hands, a smirk upon her lips. “Hades? Behave? He was pretty docile, must be the damage done and his still healing.” She rose to wipe at her brow, the beading of sweat persisting and the dark ashen skin tone had paled a slight but nothing too drastic. Aishani pressed her lips against Kane’s, gathering the rabbits to skin and clean, before placing them on a stick to cook over the fire, adding in some spices. 

Kane watched her for a moment “Everything OK my love?” His tone carried curiosity and it carried worried, he had seen her cook before without the heat bothering her.

“Let the girl cook” Hades tried to sound funny but came off rather awkward “I think Z’ress must have scrambled my head more than I thought” he covered with quickly

Kane simply eyed him for a moment before moving to assist Aishani, the wind suddenly kicked up whipping through the trees above them bringing a fresh flurry of snow “It’s going to be a fun night” he mused for a moment before returning his attention to Aishani “So are you OK?”

“She has a tendency to do that…a professional, remember?” Aishani glanced to Kane while lifting her gloved hand to wipe at her forehead, as a trickle of sweat ran down her neck. A shiver caught her off guard with the wind as it picked up and groaned amidst the strength, tormented by the incoming weather of the storm. “Yes, I will be fine. It’s just really warm by the fire, is all.” She rotated the rabbit, while then glancing to Hades. “Go lay in your tent, this cold isn’t helping with the bruising. We will bring you food when it is ready.”

Hades nodded and he reached for Kane, Kane replied by taking his hand and locking himself in place allowing Hades to hoist himself from the ground “Not easy to move like a cat when you feel like you got hit by a Rhyno” He grinned bowed toward Aishani and headed for one of the tents.

“It’s hurting him more than he’s letting on, I pray we don’t encounter trouble, he may not admit it but he is far from combat able” Kane retorted as he vanished into the tent. The scream cut the air almost as hard as the biting wind causing Kane to throw a glance toward Aerian and Virras tent, inclining a brow for a moment he shook his head “And those two are far too distracted with one another, though at least they are getting along”

Kane draped a blanket over the dirt kneeling upon it pulling one of the sacks to hand to begin digging out plates and utensils for their food. “We really need to get you looked at, so please try to relax and recover on our way home, we don’t know what effect a werewolf has on you in this realm, it bugs me but contrary to popular opinion I don’t know the outcome of everything. Just please my love be careful”

Aishani followed Kane’s gaze to Hades leave, curling her hand tightly at her jacket while shivering with the sweat on her brow, then returned to fixing the rabbit and stirring the stew. She glanced to Kane in his words while he began to extract the dishes and utensils. “Hades had made mention of it before. Since, I am from another realm, he isn’t sure but it has been known to get attributes. No, I won’t be howling to the moon or fuzzy…” She chuckled, beginning to pour out the stew in bowls and then slicking the rabbit with her dagger to place on such. “Could you hand these out, my love?”

“Seems only humans get to howl at the moon, it then messes with their brains and they turn violent, not fun to watch, but races such as ours, drow, elf, dwarf” He chuckled as dwarf slid from his mouth “Makes a mean dwarf, hard to tell if they’re drunk or angry I swear” He bit back the laugh “But largely inherit eyesight, strength, healing has been one, but I couldn’t say for sure. Horny is one too apparently werewolves like to screw a lot”

He smiled nodding as she offered the plates Kane took them, he had the guards fed in no time before taking Hades his. Kane eyed the girls tent before wandering back Aishani “Not sure I’d be too welcome, we should let them be?” his words came awkward before he sat back beside Aishani “Now you should eat. Then I can take you in our tent and have a look at how we that’s healing or not, you took care of me when I was low now it’s my turn”

Aishani chuckled to his reference at craving sex, she returned to plating food on a larger dish for the two of them and she finished as Kane arrived after. “Leave them be. Aerian needs this focus on her. I will leave the stew on the fire, they will eat IF they are hungry afterwards.” She stood then while it appeared the rise after sitting so long caused her to sway with her hand nearly losing the plated food for them. But, she gathered her bearing’s, offering Kane a smirk. “We will eat in our tent, get us out of the frigid weather. Oh, it is it?” Aishani chuckled in that magnificent rolling purr, which, somehow seemed to be more animalistic then before but only a whisper of such. She began to walk to their tent and sunk within, then glancing to him afterwards, to ensure he was following.

Kane didn’t hesitate before ducking into the tent turning to seal the cold outside, then dropping the heavy drapes to lock the heat in with them. He moved to light the lanterns as they flickered to life they gave a dull warmth taking the cold bite from the air.

He pulled of his cloak to reveal the scrapes on his shoulder that were already in the process of healing from his own engagement with the werewolf guard. He flexed his hand before moving to the back of the tent and pulling out bandages and cloths. As he moved back to their bedroll he drew his blade before he slid down to sit upon their bedroll.

His eyes met Aishanis as his mind processed his thoughts lingering just long enough “So there is something I need to tell you, or ask you depending on one’s view” His words came gentle and yet with a strange intent to them

Aishani settled down on a roll, while removing her coat, gloves and then worked on the corset, pausing to look at him. A brow inclined to his word with a tilt of her head to the side, stopping in her movement to access her injury. “Kane…I do not care for the formation of that sentence. Get to the point, my love…”

Kane smiled as he laid his blade down in front of her his eyes on hers as he took her hand “While admittedly I have found myself a little ahead of myself, however” He shifted pushing his blade closer “Thee is tradition to be met, eventually, but for the moment Aishani there are things in this world I cannot control, demons and enemies I cannot see coming but I will always fight for the realm, for my family, for its people and now for you” Kane drew a short breath “I offer you my blade, my house and most of all my heart for now and for eternity, Aishani I ask you to be my wife”

Aishani glanced down to the blade that was lain down before her, then up to him. Her expression remaining reserved, while the sweat beaded on her brow and the hand proceeded to wipe away the glistening moisture. She flicked her gaze down to the push of the sword closer, but, it was only a moment while the golden hue fixed on him. At his final words, Aishani widened her eyes. She sat motionless while staring at him with disbelief.

She did not speak, until such a time that the silence was heavy and almost as though she never would. Aishani then adjusted to gather the hilt of his sword then the flat end balancing it in a lift. “There are things in this world, I do not understand as of yet, demons and enemies but I will fight for the realm, for…my family, for its people and now with you. Kane, you, have taught me the meaning of love. I accept your heart during the present and for eternity.” Aishani held the sword while awaiting for his hands to join her own on his blade.

“I know it’s a lot” He placed his hands on the blade beside hers “But you and I are together for a reason, I am more balanced than I’ve been in a long time. I know we are supposed to be with each other” His eyes met hers soft calm and loving “Together we are stronger”

He held the blade just for a moment more “I owe you a ring, but this was important” he kissed each hand in turn before looking back to her “I love you Aishani, with every breathe and with every heartbeat”

Aishani’s plush lips twitched up in a smirk, while her golden hue that was fixed upon his glowed softly, as though this moment lit her from within. “A ring is a symbol, Kane. What we have is solid.” She then lowered the blade to place to the side, while curling her hands within his and climbing to straddle him, sitting in his lap. “I love you, Kane.”

[A Cold Winter] Finding Freedom

Aerian was looking out the window as Elvera began shrinking into the distance, the snow still falling outside though the convoy was seemingly making a steady pace. It would be a hard ride she knew that, travel in the dead of winter always was. She moved toward Virra deliberately ensuring she was as close to her travelling companion as was possible without sitting on her.

“I’m glad you’re in here with me, too much time on my own in my own head would likely be a bad thing, you calm me down” She felt the tickle skitter over her body “Well my sanity at least”

“That’s a first for me, everyone I have met can’t stand me. Funny, as that is.” Virra chuckled, roosting her chin on Aerian’s crown, as that subtle scent of earthy musk tickled her senses faintly with the crispness of the winter outside the carriage. “Yeah, well, that is all I have ever had, time alone. The only girl in my pops group…never fun, well, sometimes.” Her thumb softly caressed upon Aerian’s hip in the anchored hold upon her side with the wrap of her arm.

Aerian shifted sliding her arms around Virras waist, her body curled tight to Virra allowing her to feel each breath “All those boys? Though I do recall you telling the guards they we’re equipped correctly? Or that could be my brain playing tricks fairly sure it’s been doing that a lot lately” She sighed softly though attempting to bury the nerves deep down as best she could, she felt as though the need for her usual front of being all good wasn’t needed around Virra, this girl gave her odd comfort and safety.

Virra lifted her chin from the perch upon Aerian’s head to her adjustment, glancing down to her, those dark eyes fathomless in the little light that leaked in through the widows and reflection of the snow. She adjusted Aerian’s legs to drape across her lap, supporting her back with one arm, while the other winded down and around her, now both hands resting on her hip. “Fuck boys and men. Yeah, I probably did say that. I hold no kindness to the gender, for my own irrefutable reasons. Something about the meat that hangs from their loins, just disgusting to me. Now, women…they are beautiful in every sense of the words.” 

“We seem to have similar taste then, though my dislike of men in the bedroom purely from ….. well it’s never been good to say the least, I always feel closer to certain kinds of women, especially a woman who doesn’t run despite the odds been against her” Aerian let her hand slip up Virras stomach slowly her touch light and slow “You may not know it yet but you saved the world, and me when no one else could”

“Pigs. Grunting and sweating…it’s disgusting to me. Not only that, but, when I was younger and my Pops would be gone…some in the group took advantage of that. More than one. But, they dropped like flies, even though my Pops never believed me.” Virra glanced down to the brush of Aerian’s fingers against the restrictive leather binds of her corset, the ruby jewel on her medallion winking to Aerian. “I’m sure, that your story is not so different. I SAVED the world? Pfft, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, right?” She adjusted with a pull on Aerian to press her more tightly against her, secured by her hands and placing her cheek against Aerian’s forehead, to this angle, such offered her a delightful view of the milky bosom that was in sight flawless and just as soft with the youthful buoyancy of her skin.

“My only experience with that ….” It would be apparent in the way her body would go tight drawing herself closer “Well I’m sure I’ve mentioned that Hareavor, is the only guy I’ve been with, not by choice and now more than once. But then there was only ever one girl for me too, but she was killed, by a slave trader who was then protected by my Grandfather, Z’ress promised me him. I’m not sure how much revenge would help, I want him dead and he will be by my hand one day, but then I found Aishani and I wanted her so bad kinda stung when dad beat me to her, I figured I was supposed to just suffer in silence deliver my visions and live alone. Then some hot chick cracked me upside the head knocking some sense into my stubborn head” Aerian found herself lean forward placing kisses against the milky flesh of Virras bosom,  before easing back to meeting Virras

As Aerian’s lips brushed tenderly upon the silken skin of the dark haired beauty, she caught a sharp inhale which caused her youthful and bountiful bosom to rise and fall. She lifted a hand, placing her teeth methodically to tug upon each leather extension on her gloves to remove the accessory to toss across upon the empty seat of the carriage. “Sometimes, things are worth waiting for in life. I’ve always been too impatient and headstrong. I cannot fix your past that is only you that can come to peace with it, but, know, you will not be alone. Yeah, someone had to knock some sense into that thick skull of yours, especially if it is anything like your father or mom.” Virra looked past her now, while tightening her hold around her to bring her close. “Z’ress’s promise was empty, Aerian. You knew that but fell into her trap of deceit. She controlled you with that one spark of hatred still left in you to use as her means…I will help you. But, only to close the chapter in your life. To reflect but not become immersed in. If you cannot simply reflect and accept the past for what it is…then there is no hope for…us to become anything but friends.” Virra fell silent for a time. “Fuck…me and my mouth…”

Aerian let her gaze fall back to Virras bosom, remaining quiet as she watched the rise and fall of Virras chest for a while. She was silent for around ten minutes before finally she spoke “My past defines me, gives me strength and allows me to survive, anger and hatred channelled well are fun to have around, but your right Z’ress was playing me and I let her, that will take time to reconcile with, she also knows what everyone else knows because I stupidly told her, or had the original visions in front of her, I forget it’s sort of blurry. Too many people know of my ability to tell the future and that could prove dangerous” She sat just enough to get herself level with Virra leaning toward her just enough “As for your big mouth, I hope that statement was more than just words intended to make me feel less stupid”

The rise and fall of her bosom was steady and even, calming in a sense. “As the past defines us all, Aerian. But, it does not need to rule the present. You take those experiences and utilize such for the current times. Yes, she did use you and muddled in your mind.” Virra lifted her ungloved hand to lightly tap at Aerian’s temple. “Right now, you are fragile. No, don’t argue with me, because, I know I am right. Everyone has those moments of weakness. You. Me. Your father. Your mother. Possibly even Aishani, we all show them different and cope different. Not one person is the same, that is what makes this place so colourful. Hell, I didn’t know and I don’t care. You are a firefly in my eyes. Then it is best to surround yourself by those you trust and have proven themselves…then to be alone.” To Aerian’s shift, Virra lifted her hand, caressing her cheek with a smirk. “If it was?”

“If it was, then this is going to be a very interesting ride home” Aerian let the word ride flicker with more than intent “But if I fall I expect you to be there to pick me up, bad or good, I don’t handle loss very well at all” Aerian shrugged softly “A little too much of mom on that front”

Aerian leant in missing her lips to place a kiss against the side of her cheek and down toward her shoulder “I want to love and be loved, I deserve at least that a little bit right?”

Virra inclined a brow to Aerian’s words, while craning her neck to the side in order to get a better view of her, while her lips pursed a slight. “No one handles loss very well. Understand, if I am wished present I will be, though, it depends on the fall if I need to let you lay or knock you out. Everyone deserves that little bit, but, right now, Aerian, you are still struggling and confused. I have no intention to take advantage of you or the situation, as enticing as it may be. But, I will be here for you, that much, I will promise.” Her hands moved to place at each side of her him while adjusting Aerian to sit in her lap with each knee bent at the outside of her thighs, wrapping her arms around her with the naked hand curled at the back of her head to caress her hair and guide her to lean upon her in this close proximity.

Aerian settled against Virra her hands slid around her neck “I’m not as crazy as you might think, I know that I’ve been alone with you twice and twice I’ve wanted to see what’s beneath these clothes of yours, your beautiful” Aerian breathed softly against Virras flesh her whole body now pressed into Virra “Perhaps I wouldn’t mind been taken advantage of? We will probably be stopping to make camp soon, perhaps you could lay with me in my tent? Our supplies for such things will be limited, Aishani and my father, Hades, and one for the guards leaves one for you and I, unless you know you prefer Uncle H’s company?”

Virra laughed, the sound was light but full of youthful mischief, as her smirk reflected such. She placed her hands upon Aerian’s shoulders to guide her only far enough to meet her gaze. “Oh, you want to see me butt-ass naked? Well, then, that changes everything. Look, Aerian, I feel for you and I wish to be there for you. Fuck, I stuck around to help BECAUSE of you.” She gently cupped her hand in a sweep through Aerian’s hair to rest her palm upon her cheek, her black eyes meet the emerald. “What I am saying, is yes, I will lay with you. But, I will NOT take advantage of you…this one that has wronged you so horribly to scar your heart so deep. I will NOT give you empty promises that Z’ress gave you, nor your…Uncle Hareavor.” Virra gathered Aerian’s hand to curl within her own and place over her heart. “You deserve this, for everything you have suffered and been through. But, your head needs to be on straight, well, as straight as it can be to those like us, to know THIS…” She tapped Aerian’s hand over her heart. “…is truly, what you want. Because, I know what my heart wants and desires, I have known from the first moment, I saw the fiery red haired girl in the dungeons. A woman that was crying out for someone, anyone to hear her…I heard you and haven’t left you. I do not plan to.”

Aerian eyed her for a moment before the wicked smile curled her lips, those emerald eyes sparkled with something different as if the world around had suddenly changed “That’s kinda unfair you know, I WAS naked in that damn cell, apparently freezing your prisoners to death is a solid torture tactic” She smiled soft it would almost be missed “I trust few, love less, but I know there is something different about you, and aside from what I’ve told you I can’t see what lies ahead for you, which means either you won’t make it to Dentarius or you’re too close for me to see, stupidly I can’t see what lies ahead for me unless it directly affects another, I told you this gift they claim is a fucking curse of confusion and chaos, and I really don’t see anyone trying to ambush a convoy led by my father his brother and his lover, in all fairness who’d be that dumb?” She looked out the window for a moment “I’m sure in my heart I can’t see you’re path because it’s part of mine, somehow or someway”

While Aerian was talking, Virra removed a hand stealthily from her hip, as a firm but playful smack to her bottom interrupted her drift followed by the hand cupping against Aerian’s covered half-moon with a caress in an apologetic gesture to the throbbing sting that remained afterwards. “I like the latter best. Don’t spoil it now with your lip.” Her lips were curled in that mischievous expression, that was both attractive and sensual at the same time.

“But my lips can do so much” Aerian replied her eyes now bright with mischief and intent, they had been travelling for some time as the light began to fade the lamp in the carriage flickered to life, a strange warmth now flooding the carriage. “Always amazes how it get warmer with a lantern, well and been cuddled up to a beautiful woman like you”

Virra travelled with her other hand from Aerian’s hip to join the other on the opposite cheek, kneading and pulling her even more tightly close to her. “Can they now?” She chuckled, while another sharp smack rang in a jolt of pain and throbbed, as that hand began to knead into the cheek, adjusting to sit up straighter. Those black eyes fixed on Aerian, as a smirk was curled on the lush lips.

Aerian yelped in surprise before grinning “That hurt” she managed with a mock tone of hurt, before her hands slid up into Virras hair winding through before her grip tightened pulling Virra into a long deep kiss.

Virra looked to her with that smirk that was heavily laced with mischief and a single brow arched, though, the instant Aerian’s lips crushed against hers it was comparable to the smoothest silk and warm. Her hands kneaded against Aerian’s bottom while her lips worked avidly against hers, slowly at first but then followed by a part and invasion of her slick muscle within Aerian’s mouth, stirring her own partner. Virra’s hands moved upwards to press against the small of her back with her fingers and palms pushing her to crush against her body. The taste was wild but also divine as it slithered into Aerian’s consciousness.

“Mmm you taste so pretty” Aerian breathed as she broke the kiss, her whole body felt a deep tingle as her heart hammered at her chest as she found enough to smile, her lips soft, her eyes now shimmered with a deep need, “I hate it getting awkward, figured I’d skip right through that part” As she eased back just a little the carriage slid of the road coming to a halt.

“I swear someone is trying to stop me getting in your pants” there was a knock on the carriage door as Aerian leant back to open it, the guard looked at the scene inside “We are going to camp here, you should sort your tent, Miss Virra your welcome to camp wherever and in whichever tent you wish”

Virra leaned up to lick her lips while this offered Aerian a lingering taste, though, leaned back as the carriage came to a halt with a chuckle to her comment, rolling her head to the side while her hands remained upon her cheeks and placed a squeeze with a lazy mischievous grin to the guard. “Oh, I know where I will be sleeping tonight.” She winked while placing a playful smack on Aerian’s bottom. “You ready to get our tent set up?”

“Mmm” Aerian rolled free of Virra landing on her feet on the cold snow of the ground, the group around them already under way erecting their camp as Aerian wandered over to the supply tent to grab the tent supplies. As she crossed back she found ground that would be close to their carriage but not too close to the main group. Aerian enjoyed her privacy to a degree.

“So we’ll camp here, and join everyone for dinner, tell dad I’m feeling better but Virras ready to knock my redheaded ass out of I get too out of control” She grinned at the guard then rounded on Virra “Gonna help me or shall I knock you out and wake you up when I’m done?”

Virra leapt from the carriage, stretching her arms and rolling her neck into her shoulders. After Aerian returned, it was an amusing contrast of Virra with her milky skin with the dark flow of her hair and clothing in a conflict, simply said, she stood out against the white upon the ground. But, in the moment that Aerian grinned to Virra, she was met with a sudden burst of pure coldness, and when it melted, she would feel Virra grab the tent with supplies. “That answer your question?” She smirked, while turning beginning to arrange the items and beckoned Aerian close so the two could set up the tent to fend off the chill of the night that was quickly encroaching.  

Aerian worked as hard, the tent proving little in the way of difficult to erect, with the two of them it took almost no time at all, the chill was bitter as Aerian was forced to pull her cloak tighter to her, the furs doing little to fend off the bitterness of winter.

As they finished Aerian looked to the two guards who had been trying to not look like they were watching her, her head cocked to the side a little before she strode to them “Not my Dad’s idea, so why are you so damn close to me?” The guard shifted awkwardly at being caught red handed.

“You’re mothers order” The second replied trying to sound in control, Aerian knew he was afraid which oddly pleased her as she shrugged “OK, but Virra is the only one allowed near me so” She flicked her hair mockingly then strode back taking Virras hand with a grin “Anyone would think my mommy doesn’t trust me?!” her voice loud enough for the guards to hear. The other end of the camp was busy as the rest of the group finished erecting their own tents, her father tossing a fireball into the pile of damp logs and leaves sending a fire blazing to life, the magic in that was the fact the wood was pointless as the fireball would sustain itself so long as it hand energy to feed it, which in the place they were, there was an abundance, Aerian was smart enough to know her father had chosen the spot for a reason.

“They will have food ready soon, so I’m gonna hide here, still need to be away from family” She smiled as she sat in the entrance to their tent “I like been alone with you”

Virra assisted in the erection of the tent, the two made a good team and finished surprisingly quickly. She watched from within the tent while Virra went to the guards but upon her return, that mischievous smirk painted upon her lips. While she sat in the entrance of the tent, gathering Aerian’s hand to drag her within away from the open entry to the snow. She began to make a snowball while rolling it in the snow until it grew bigger, then handed a snow ball to Aerian. “We are going to make a snowman.” She said simply, packing one more snowball to roll to a smaller size then the next. “I need a reason to warm you up.” Virra winked. “Plus it gives the guards something to block their view of the entry.

“I think it’s a view of your entry they want” Aerian quipped playfully in reply as she slid into place to help pack the snow together, she would occasionally throw a handful at Virra with a giggle.

As they assembled the snowman right in the entry of their tent he took shape, almost 4 feet in height before they began adding a few small details, stones too for eyes and buttons, twigs for arms. Finishing the last details she slipped her arms around Virra from behind “Well that was fun”

Virra smirked when the occasional handful of snow got cast in her direction, throwing much the same back to Aerian. After they finished the snowman, Virra stood back to inspect and was wrapped in Aerian’s arms. She moistened her lips while placing her hands atop Aerian’s. “Oh, there is more of that where that came from.” She turned within the embrace, while curling her fingers within the fiery strands and crushed her lips against Aerian’s. The silken surface working against her own like a spark that begins a wildfire.

Aerian simply responded the same deep intense desire shown by Virra mirrored in her response, she moaned deeply against the kiss her hands sliding to Virras hip holding her before drawing her close her hands sliding around her back and up to her shoulders.

Virra broke the kiss abruptly, though, this was not within her reluctance in the slow drag of her teeth upon Aerian’s lip, a smirk on her features with that mischievous glint in her eyes. “I don’t mind having a little something sweet before dinner…” She chuckled, grasping Aerian’s hand to drag her into the tent to guide and lay her down on the bedroll, proceeding to tug down her corset, as a result spilling her bosom. The warmth of her mouth at first whispering praise to the beautiful buds, tenderly pressing her lips upon one and then the other, followed by increasing the part of her lips until suckling upon the delectable treats with her other hand cupped gently and kneading into the unobstructed bosom. 

Afterwards, she gently lowered Aerian to her back, while her hands caressed up over her hips and then upon her waist, torso and playfully plucked at the buds. A smirk upon her lips, which pressed against Aerian’s collar bone. “I know…” Finally, her warm lips pressed against Aerian’s.

The taste of herself on Virras lips was oddly intoxicating as she melted against the kiss, her body still heated from her release as she slid back a little a smile crossed her face as she sat on her heels. “My turn” before she had finished she leapt across the tent to land infront of Virra. Her lips crushing against Virra before her hands worked to release her breasts, as they spilled forth Aerian let her hands knead and press and explore every part of them, as she placed kisses against the tender milk like flesh she whimpered at their perfection.

Virra removed the leather jacket amidst the passionate tangle of the kiss, while Aerian’s fingers found the zipper in the back of her leather top that was fitted tight for a corset. As her bosom spilled forth, the flesh was soft and firm, youthful and more than enough of a handful. The buds scraped and rolled upon Aerian’s palms, as a gasp was articulated from Virra at the departure. Virra stood motionless as her head tilted back with a moan as Aerian’s lips laid praise upon the sweet flesh. A flush of color dusted the tops of her cheeks adding color to her otherwise milky complexion those dark eyes half-mast with the dark lashes adding a crescent shadow to her colored cheeks.

Aerian worked her free of her upper half clothing her lips following her hands placing kisses against as much flesh as she could, before working back to her breasts then down her palms slipping down Virra side to catch the edge of her pants “My turn” she breathed so softly it would be missed by anyone but Virra as her hands worked into the waist band unhooking the button slowly.

Aerian took the reveal deadly slow letting her eyes soak in every inch of flesh that exposed as she worked the pants down slowly, a soft moan seeing Virras lower half exposed to her.

Virra released the sweetest song from her lips in appreciation of such affection from Aerian, her flesh was soft and smooth, nearly flawless to her greedy mouth. She pursed her lips a slight when Aerian’s hands travelled to her hips, working on the button of her leather pants. Virra’s fingertips caressed upon Aerian’s shoulders and back, though very faintly the nails claimed her skin in a tickle of her touch. 

When the waist was tugged down, Aerian was met with the sight of a violent scar crossing from her naval to her hip, this was risen and still pink upon her milky flesh. Her hips were not narrow but revealed the broadening of womanhood, while another series of slashes crossed over her left thigh as a burned mark was upon the inside of her right, this was a mirror image of her medallion. She was well sculpted, but, not excessively so, to leave the softness of femininity. Upon the crest of her slit was a very meticulously shaved stripe, appearing to almost be an arrow pointing down. Virra began to hook her heel to one boot and then the other, kicking it off. Stepping from the confines of the pants. Now, Virra was bare, naked and exposed to Aerian. But, she was as though a marble statue, especially with her black eyes and raven hair, a natural beauty that was stunning and breathe taking.

Aerian paused her eyes drinking in her lover in that moment committing every inch of her to memory, she licked her lips slowly before removing the remnants of her own clothes, her flesh was pale, yet seemed to reflect the light, her frame tall yet slender, breasts bigger for her body shape but her body was well built from combat and lean for quick footwork, she had built herself for stealth. Her right hip had an old wound as there was one above her knee, but her flesh was flawless beyond that.

Her hair was a deep fire red and mid length as it fell either side as she crawled back toward Virra “My you do look delicious” her words soft yet intent filled as she slid her hands along her thighs then holding her hips drew her closer to her. She kissed the scars slowly before working back toward that sweet spot, as she reached the spot she stopped taking a moment to breathe before letting her tongue trace Virras slit slowly, her hands cupping the supple flesh of her buttocks.

Unable to handle the pleasure, Virra collapsed to the ground, shivering and riding down from the bliss that took control. Virra took that time, then crawled to Aerian to crush her lips against hers in an urgent kiss, almost as though apologizing within the simple press for all the wrong that had befallen her, her entire life and a promise to be with her from this point forward.

Aerian tasted her experiencing that moment of pureness, she felt Virra collapse away from her own body adjusting to lessen then fall before reacting to the kissing pressing tight to Virra. As she drew away breathless and whole in that moment she simply lay staring deep into Virras eyes.

[A Cold Winter] Broken Rules

The door to Kane’s cell groaned open slowly, such a sadistic sound was the cold hinges against the weight of the door. Through the threshold was Virra, that black hair blending into the darkness around her while her face was a beautiful mask of youth with the plush lips and black eyes. The door closed behind her while she stood only a few feet from it in her suggestive leather clothing. “I was told to see you by Aerian.”

Kane looked up, his feature deep but oddly gentle “Then you’d better come in” his voice was soft as he looked past her into the darkness behind her. He indicated the bed as he rose and crossed to lean on the wall by the small window. He scratched the side of his before turning back to her “So how can I help?”

Virra’s lips formed into a lazy smirk, the shadow of mischief in the shadows. She moved to settle on the edge of the bed, inhaling deeply with a flash of knowing in her black eyes. “Smells like sex in here.” She commented, chuckling, while running her hand idly upon the wrinkled sheets to the bed. “SO, do we know yet, if they are accuse you or execute you? For their benefit, I hope it not the latter. Because, you see, when I was with Aerian, she told me a secret. Aerian told me that without you and Aishani, even her fucked up mother, that part I added myself as flare, the realm will cease to be. POOF!”

“Oh they plan to execute me, cut my head off I would expect, I’m a thorn in their ever so perfect ideal of what this world should be” Kane smiled softly as he mused over the information for a moment, he shifted awkwardly at the mention of sex looking to the window to avoid that moment of eye contact “And I’m guessing Aerian told you there is more to this tale? I’m to get you infront of the High Council to relay this information to them?”

Kane scratched his head, then the stubble that had now begun to take root on his face “The High Council won’t allow it, right now they consider Aerian a lost cause, and do you think she is lost? Z’ress made a mess of her but you brought this to me, which is a considerable leap for someone you don’t know or has done little to earn such trust” Kane watched her for a moment “I can get them to listen to you, well Ascondia can make them listen to you is more to the point”

“Come on, Kane. You know very well, I was raised around rapists and slave traders. I know that smell.” Virra crossed her legs in a lean back upon her palms, lightly tapping her foot in the air, glancing to Kane. “No one is ever lost. They just need a push and direction down the right path. Everyone has been there at one time or another.” She dismissively rolled a shoulder. “Oh, yes. That is right, she said she will give me more details on events as they come to her. But, that is where you come into play. YOU have to make sure that I AM heard by the High Council on your trial. I told her that no one would listen to me.”

“I’m thankful for you Virra, you may be the one to push Aerian back to the correct path, they will hear you one way or another” Kane replied firmly his eyes now a deeper shade of green as he thought things through “I will request they hear you, you tell them what you know so far, and then we hope they decide I no longer need to lose my head” Kane almost sound jovial with the last part of his statement

“I will not speak it to anyone, unless you are present. So it may be best if…your little ray of bratty sunshine, Ascondia, sees you. That you tell her I am to tend to Aerian, I will not speak this to anyone unless you are present. So, I will tell the guards when I leave that you wish to speak to Ascondia. Aishani is waiting on my return to come back to you. It might be a trifle fun if she arrives that Aishani is here, I love that electricity in the air. It crackles.” Virra lifted the crossed leg and tilted her foot from side to side. “What do YOU think, Kane?”

“I think we can forgo the trial and let Aishani kill me instead?” His words came quickly and with the fun they were intended to be “But by all means tell the castle guards to summon Ascondia, I will ensure your access to Aerian is unhindered and your seat in the Council Chambers assured.  It seems the fate of both myself and the realms is upon your shoulders”

Kane nodded softly “Get some rest, either in the cottage of aside Aerian, and remember I’m not dead yet, which means you are still under my protection, should anyone attempts to question otherwise” His words were gentle yet carried a weight of warning should she need it.

“Uh…huh.” Virra stood from her position on the mattress, while not as smooth and flawless as Aishani, but, the youth possessed the ability to be as strong as her. “I can do that. I’ll kick the guard in the balls if that doesn’t happen. Yes, I’ll inform the guards and go to Aerian. She needs to know at best that the ball is in play now. Expect both, Aishani and Ascondia. Seems you may have a not so pleasant threesome in the future, Kane.” She chuckled tossing him a wave over her shoulder, moving to the door and kicking it. “HEY! Tin can! Yeah, let me out.” When the door opened an annoyed guard stood on the other side. “Kane wishes to see the Queenie.” She said as she passed through the door.

After she walked into the dungeon hold, Virra moved to the cottage to inform Aishani that she was finished. Aishani nodded from her seat and then moved with some sluggishness to her, still incredibly alert and strong. Virra glanced to the three empty bottles on the table then rolled a shoulder to make her way back to the dungeon and to Aerian’s cell.

She gave orders to the guard as to see to it that food is brought down to the cell, then slipped within. Walking to settle in a lotus position before Aerian. “Morning, sunshine. The words have been passed to your pops and Aishani looks like shit. Seems she and Hades had a fun time drinking…and I missed it.” Virra turned her lips down in a mock pouted frown.

Aerian stirred her eyes settling on Virra, soft and calm as her lips twitched in a smile “Morning to yourself, my god I hope Uncle H kept it in his trousers, another age long war between him and Dad I can do without” she sat awkwardly as the blanket dropped Virra would have full view of her breasts. Aerian glanced down then in frustration yanked her corset back into place “I really hate sleeping in a fucking cell, it does not make sleeping in your regular clothes easy, but then if I slept naked half the pricks in this place would think me fair game, and that I’ve had quite enough of”

Aerian stood her arms over her head as that morning stretch hit, tight bones clicking as they were pushed back into place “On the other hand, I feel a little less cloudy, minus the two rather large bruises on my head”

Virra inclined a brow to the overexposed display from Aerian, the curl at the corner of her lips twitched into the devious smirk, as her tongue flicked invitingly upon the surface. Her black eyes flashed upwards to Aerian as she stood in her stretch, rolling a shoulder. “I’ve got food coming your way, that is if the tin can guards can actually do something right.” She glanced over her shoulder to the door of the cell. “That’s right! You heard me, TIN CAN!”

She remained seated on the floor, while leaning back upon her palms, those black eyes fixed on Aerian. Her features a beautiful mask in the dimness of the cell with the shroud of her black hair and even the milky skin that was exposed beneath the leather fixings of the jacket. Her bosom was full, young and exquisite in the shadow play against each calm and even breathe. “Seems, when I mentioned your words to Hades, he agreed that you had a talent and that the High Council would be idiots to not listen. Even my information appeared to perk Kane. ‘It seems the fate of myself and the realm rests on your shoulders’. FUCK, that is a lot. But, it is what it is.”

“My curse?” Aerian sat back on the edge of the bed still awkwardly adjusting her corset, untying various pieces the retying them in a more ordered fashion “I get flashes, or clips, I dunno, it’s hard to explain. But after a few flashes of them I can piece together pieces of what may happen, while they are not always right” she sighed softly “More are right than wrong though, so my father tends to accept them, he says if he knows what should be coming it’s easier to prepare to stop it, though this one is different, I’ve seen him be executed, then in the chaos they got mom, that would give them the overall rule of the realm, what I saw next” she drew a breath slow and nervous “They took Uncle Hades and then finally you, all executed then nothing, the vision was still in play but there was nothing but empty space, you fall and the realm disappears because there is no one left to protect it” She looked up her face drawn a cross between panic and confusion written in her eyes “I made sure you saw me, I knew you’d follow Shadow, the fact you came back with Dad, all part of this twisted fairy tale in my head, except it’s not right now we are slap bang in the middle of it, and I’m afraid, for my family, for Aishani and for you”

Virra calmly watched Aerian for a moment, as she struggled with the metal manacles and chains to fix her corset. She stood on her knees to set between Aerian’s legs, lifting her hands to work nimbly upon the strings of the corset, to arrange in a tighter and secure fashion. The dusting of her breath prancing over her skin while Virra spoke. “Don’t be worried for me. I, somehow, manage to get myself out of any situation. Pops said I had grease glands that would allow me to be slippery.” Virra’s fingers tugged on the last cross of string, working to tether the loose ends into a tie. “You know, just…POP!” She then looked up to Aerian, then removed the small leather fold from the inside of her leather jacket, rising to set the lock picking set to the side of Aerian, while removing two metal tools and working the pins into one manacle, a click heard as it fell to the side and freed her. Then proceeded to her right hand, even her ankles. The weight was gone as well as the cruel bite of the metal dusted by winter’s whisper.

She slipped her tools away into the leather fold, tucking it away in her jacket, then climbing to settle next to Aerian on the bed. One leg bent into her chest while the other was stretched forward, that medallion nestled perfectly in the ruby glint between the crevices of her cleavage. “There get comfortable. No weight of shackles, believe me I know that feeling. Food is on the way.”

“As do I, I’ve spent more than enough time in chains the last moon or so” Aerian stretched her legs forward then back with a smile “But thank you, and don’t worry I won’t bolt for the first guard who walks through the door, my noodle may be a little scrambled, but I’m not about to cause more trouble than I’m in” She flashed Virra a smile “Besides last time I tried something so stupid I recall you cracking me around the head?” She drew her legs up instinctively her head rested against Virras shoulder as she eyed the medallion “Family heirloom?” she inquired as her fingers traced the design gently

“Mmhm, well, you refused to leave and we didn’t just get into that heap of trouble to be wasted on you being stupid and stubborn. Had to do what I had to. Besides, I think, your dad would have cracked if he heard it and Aishani as well. Saved them the trouble. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” She glanced to Aerian as she rested her head on Virra’s shoulder, the scent of leather lifting to Aerian’s senses with a faint hint of an earthy musk. But, then leaned her cheek against her crown, lowering her dark eyes to the trace of her fingers upon the medallion. The metal was silver with a pointed sword down and a ruby set in the middle of a seeming hilt with a crown. “Was a gift my pops gave to my mother…He has one, it is a mark of our family. So I guess.” As Aerian’s fingers caressed the medallion, a faint touch brushed upon Virra’s cleavage, it was soft and smooth with youthful buoyancy.

“Ours is a dragon wrapped around a blade, and an emerald” Aerian pointed to her eyes “For obvious reasons” she smiled softly “When we get home, you should come stay with us, you’ll fit right in amongst the Elcarus misfits, are you close to your father? Your mother?” Aerians voice was now soft he fingers carried their path down the flesh of her breast before she pulled her hand away resting her wandering hand between them “We’ll be OK you know, I can actually say that now”

Virra tilted her head to lean back against the wall, more notably now, Aerian felt Virra’s gloved hand resting on her hip but remaining motionless. “Fuck my Pops. Never good enough for him. I can’t do anything to make him proud. Not easy to live in a world of men…fucking pigs. Thought, I could actually make him proud and find Kane…well, now we see how that ended. He will be after me and his little goons when he realizes that I betrayed him.” She chuckled dryly. “Nah, mom is dead. It’s rather funny…Pops kidnapped her to hold for ransom, guess they fucked and loved or whatever. But, he returned her back, but, it was fraudulent and she went back to him. Rest is history and I killed her during child birth, so, never knew her.”
 
While she never reacted to Aerian’s touch, other than a sudden deep inhale of breath, the faintest of gooseflesh textured her skin.

“Let him come, he should by now know better than to create trouble in Dentarius, my father would execute him for his crimes” Aerian shrugged “Failing that I’ll gut him myself, a world of men such as the ones you have known is cold, uncaring, for their own means no doubt” Aerian allowed her hand to creep along Virras thighs slowly but paused just before any intimate intrusion would be felt “I have seen both sides of their nature, and I will always love my father for allowing me own choices and protecting me from those that meant me harm, he may not stop it happening but he is always there in the aftermath, always the one I turn to when I’m most lost”

She stopped her mind a blur of emotion before she breathed slowly attempting to control herself “He will protect you just as vigorously, just as hard as he would for me, you must trust him in some way you’re still here when in truth there is nothing stopping you walking out of this castle and disappearing among the winds?”

Virra tilted her chin down from the lean of her head against the wall, dark eyes glancing over Aerian, then returned her position back to the same prior. To the creep of Aerian’s hand upon her thigh, she felt the curl of Virra’s fingers hold more tightly at her hip, but then return to relaxing as the move stopped. “You at least have someone to go to. I mean, yes, I had my pops but he wouldn’t ever listen. He treated me like the others…” She fell silent for a time, lifting her head from the lean to look down to her. “You.”

“Me?” Aerian sounded puzzled at the statement before she shifted she felt Virras grip on her side she let her hand graze over her and up her stomach slowly as her hand was about to reach her breast there was a knock at the door causing Aerian to groan “Well now there’s stopping a moment, I guess that’s food?” She shifted back sitting to look to the door “They are expecting you to answer, if I do I fear they will cut me down where I stood, and curiously we cannot let that happen”

“We should eat, together, they will undoubtedly be along to drag us trial soon enough anyways, then I get to take you home” Aerians words came spilling forward far quicker than she had meant the moment they came to be she felt the flush creep through her cheeks quickly diverting her eyes to the floor “Me and my big mouth?”

Virra nodded to her at the confusion, the moment was a spark to a fire, but, it was doused before it could catch by the knock on the cell door. A smirk formed on her plush lips, but, she removed her hand from Aerian and stood, her warmth left as a haunting presence. She kicked the door. “You know, little good that shit does when I’m locked in here. Open it. I’ll take the food and feed her.” She snatched the tray from the guard as it offered after the door opened. “Thanks, Tin Can. Go ahead and close it again.”

The guard eyed her then to Aerian, mumbling beneath his breath and then slamming the door close.

She returned to climb upon the bed, one leg after the other, then adjusted to place her feet beneath her bottom, setting the tray to the side. Virra lifted the bowl and sniffed. “Wow, this isn’t glorified slop. It actually, smells good.” Virra gathered the spoon and began to offer her spoonfuls, a few times, she had to glide the utensil from Aerian’s chin and up due to sneaking liquid. “You are lost now. Look, I know, I’m not your father. But, given the fact that that crazy bitch Z’ress, scrambled your brains…I can help too.” 

Aerian eyed the tray with amusement “Well believe it or not they wouldn’t dare feed the Queens daughter the regular prisoner crap, I’m only in here because they are afraid of what Z’ress may have to done to me, which admittedly I’m not sure either, but when your been raped repeatedly by that psycho Hareavor, can you believe that prick is my Uncle?” Aerian visibly shuddered at the word as she ate, slow letting eat flavour register in her head “Any small act of nice is so much bigger, I was terrified half to death, winter in the Everlands, well you know even a short trip is impossible, I should have been home weeks ago, but your fathers group took me, handed me over for a sizeable amount so I’ve heard, I don’t know what she’s done to my head, I know my usual powers are out of whack, or on the fritz hard to say but you been here, I’m glad, right now f I’m honest you’re the only one I want near me because you’ve given me no reason to not to not trust me” she tapped her head with a smile “That and the grand old vision of what happens if I don’t try to trust someone, again I’m grateful for you”

She swallowed another bite of food then looked to the door “Tin can, I like that” She grinned softly

Virra listened to her, pausing while she spoke and then fed her spoonful of the stew. “She’s a crazy bitch, that’s for sure. When, her and Ceremon came to the camp to offer the job to my pops…I was wary, since the offer was too good to be true. I mean, he offered him and our group…well it’s really not ours, anymore…anyway, he offered us protection from the laws of the land. Fucked up if you think about it.” She looked to the bowl in her hand and took a small bite. “All I can say, is what doesn’t break us…makes us stronger. Yeah, fucked up as that sounds, it’s true. Pfft, what can I say, I have a weakness for a pretty face.” Virra chuckled, while following Aerian’s gaze. “It’s true. The metal clanking and creaking of the damn gloves…enough to give someone a headache, so I tend to like giving the guards a head ache. My pleasure in life, to annoy the shit out of those I can’t stand.”

“And mine is to annoy the hell out of my parents” The door opened again as four guards now stood fully armed eying Aerian

“You are to join us in the Council Chambers” The guard crowed his voice light and full of joy at the very prospect.

Aerian stood taking Virras hand “Wow are you guys gonna be disappointed” She made for the door when she was halted the guards blade now at her chest “Not you, just her” Aerian slapped the blade down her eyes flashed angrily “Draw your fucking weapon on me again and I swear I will ensure my mother cuts your balls off and has them sent to your wife on a fucking silver plate, I am the Queens daughter you might want to fucking remember that fact”

The guard contemplated her words for a moment “I’m not married and the Councils orders were clear, stay in your cell, she is on our list” Aerian growled as she turned to face Virra “If they touch you I swear they will dead by daybreak”

Virra glanced to the open of the door without so much as an a knock to announce the presence, though, placed the bowl down and stood. When Aerian’s hand slide into hers, Aerian found that the leather was soft and worn, but, nodded and walked to the door. She instantly had her weapon drawn when the blade was placed at Aerian’s chest. But when Aerian smacked the blade away, Virra’s weapon was placed back into the sheath. “Now, now. There is a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. It would be a shame to waste this one. Awe, you thought, I meant balls. Sorry, don’t swing that way.” Virra glanced to Aerian with a wink, though, turned to the guards. “Alright, tin cans. Let’s get a move on.”

The High Council Chamber was a huge room, at the back on a raised bench sat two tables one each side of a large throne, garbed in crimson Ascondia sat upon the throne, at the tables sat elderly men and women all of them with a look of disdain upon their faces.

Kane was already seated at a table at the front, dressed in full wears including his now returned sword. Hades and Aishani were seated with him and one seat reserved for Virra. She was escorted beside the three and the surly guard remained behind her.

The rest of the room was filled with what appeared to be high ranking officials and merchants within Elvera. As the chatter died down the oldest of the Elders stood raising his hand “Now the last defendant has arrived I will bring this court to order”

An Elder woman stood a page in hand “Lord Kane Elcarus you are hereby, charged with high treason, that you did knowingly and willing abuse your position as Commander of Elveran Forces and procreate without consent with the monarchy, a crime that is punishable by one course and one course only, you are to be executed and day break on this very day”

Half the room cheered the other half burst into a chorus of outcry. Ascondia had gone pale or more so than usual, as the woman raised her hand the room again fell into silence “Do you have anything you wish to say before your sentence is carried out?”

Kane stood as he drew his weapon placing it on the table before him, the entire room a collect whisper of shock “As it happens your ladyship I do, you see I take exception to even thinking this decision will stand, there isn’t a person in this room who doesn’t know what this really is about” the room cut with the sound of a weapon drawn, that caused Kane to snap a glare in the perpetrators direction “Try it and I assure you, you’ll be dead before you get within striking distance” Kane looked up to Ascondia his eyes dead set in their intent “Ascondia you are Queen to the realm, which lest they forget means the final decision IS in your hands, there is something to be discussed, something they” Kane waved his hand at the rest of the room “need to hear”

Ascondia stood her eyes looking over the room before she found her voice “Indeed, Virra has information the court needs to be made aware of, the people must be allowed their voice, Virra if you wouldn’t mind sharing what my daughter shared with yourself, please speak plainly we will hear your words”

Virra looked around, while those of the High Council focused those disdaining eyes upon her, even Kane, Aishani and Hades, to the Queen Ascondia. Even the eyes of the people in the room bore into her back, she rose slowly, inhaling deeply. “Yes. Thank you. I have spoken with Aerian, she had information for me that, I know should not be ignored in the least.” Virra swallowed past the lump in her throat that was swelling. She wasn’t a very good public speaker and had a small case of stage fright, but, Virra knew the repercussions would this not be spoken. “First, I want to remind everyone the result a time back with Ceremon nearly taking the throne. Now, he is not alone, another individual is with him and she is just as twisted as he, if not more. Ceremon is harbouring the safety of a known criminal organization. The female is named Z’ress, she is just as insane as him, if not more calculated. Now, Aerian is locked away for her safety and those others, but, I have spoken with her and she is in the right frame of mind now. She had a message that she desired to be passed along. This includes the people in this very room, they deserve to know exactly what would happen in the sentence of Kane would be passed. Should anything occur such as that with him, Aishani or Ascondia. This realm, as we know it, and everyone will ceased to be.”

“A convenient statement” The elder man spoke “No one in this realm is more responsible than another, and he has repeatedly defied the laws which he himself set forth” the was a hushed conversation that stirred through the room before the female elder spoke once more “How do we know there is truth to the words of this child, a member of the very organisation she warned about”

“And yet she is stood here in this room, she risked her life to pull Aerian out of Dragons Keep, and me” Hades snapped back angrily “She has power of protection under Kane, a protection that ends the moment he dies, makes little sense she is still here when she can just as easily disappear among the winds”

“She will not be harmed, and her crimes are less than those of her father, she will be pardoned, now” Ascondia stood looking along the line of Elders before stepping down she halted on the last step “You may all wish to remember that though The High Council has a hand in the rule of the realm, ultimately it is the people who keep us, the soldiers who protect us, the healers who heal us, there is precedence that allows the High Council control should  fail in my duty. I may remind all of you I have not, and when the High Council decided I was not they were unable to protect anyone from the horde of dragons that descended upon us” She strode across the front of the room her dress flowed with each footstep “You may believe my words are born of love for Kane and they indeed are but Virra brought us words from my daughter, it was Aerian who warned us of the Dragon War, it was Kane who brought the realm to arms, including Ceremon and his army an act to save the realm. Elvera may be the capital, and we may have all the leads in technology, magic and medicine but Dentarius is the heart, Dentarius is where the war ended because on Dentarian ground there isn’t a man or beast alive that can best an Elcarus. I granted Kane the power to operate under his own autonomy under the agreement he never set foot in Elvera, he held to that”

“What does this have to do with your daughter” Spat the elder male his voice now rose in frustration as Ascondia rounded to face him “My daughter inherited the seer, part of me is now alive within her, and for those too stupid to see she is warning that killing the only person in this realm with the ability to make sense of things will ultimately unravel the realm, I will also add that I had the same dreams some time ago, long before the dragon war that his death would be the end of us all, make no mistake I do not like the situation, nor do I like that because of our archaic laws I lost the man I love and my daughter”

“What do you propose we do about high treason then my Queen” He snapped back, Ascondia sighed angrily as she ascended the stairs back to her throne “How is falling in love ever going to amount to treason, he did not harm me, nor the realm, the only thing that arose from those days were our salvation in my daughter, Virra has my daughter given any other information we may need to act upon?”

Aishani remained rigid while the conflict arose, her golden eye fixed on the proceedings while her chest rose and fell calmly, it was the turmoil within that constantly was reminding her of the love between Kane and Ascondia, though, also she knew the standing between them and Aerian that bound them. Aerian was in their lives and thus there are points at which Ascondia would arrive but in the end it was the binding together to rescue Aerian that brought each of them a different level of understanding.

“No, she seems to make sure that I pass on this to the High Council and to you, even the people. Without the three of you being alive, this realm and everything in it will cease to be.” Virra remained standing awkwardly, slowly shaking her head. “She is of sound mind, would you bring her within this court. Perhaps, there is something she wishes to say on this matter, since, after all, this is a hearing to determine Kane Elcarus, her father, punishment.”

“She is touched, erratic and unpredictable, getting her in here may be exactly what Ceremon intends” The Elder Woman replied “We cannot place the High Council at such a risk”

“Funny how you say Council, and not everyone” Kane now stood “But there is truth to your claim, she may or may not wish you harm, not that honestly I could blame anyone on such a front. But the point is an incident is about to occur in which as usual I’m expected to pull your dumbasses out of the fire, because we all know that’s what my family does” As Kane erupted into his tirade Hades stood his eyes set firm on the elder male “The truth of your grievance lies in the fact that Kane screwed the Queen, before you could force a marriage between her and your son, who then stupidly defected to Ceremon and got split from head to toe, that was no part of Kanes, your son lest I remind you also opened the gates the Dragon Mages and almost cost the lives of every in this room”

“It is a private grievance because you are Elder of the High Council you cause them to maintain yet I have yet to ever see them make a choice of their own doing, you want the throne removed and you failed, the people follow the throne in Ascondias name but fight for the realm in Kanes, and that bugs the holy shit out of you” Kane raised his hand to silence Hades who simply fell silent “You can take my life if that is the way of things, but the fact remains doing so will set into motion a chain of events that will ultimately destroy the realm itself”

Finally Ascondia rose her voice now dripping with the power her position afforded “Seeing as this will it seems be an impasse it is time the Queen was heard, Lord Elcarus you are hereby granted a full pardon from the crown, you will retain all your lands and titles as well as autonomous control in Dentarius, you will however join the Everlandian Army in tasks as required providing we give sufficient reason” As she spoke the male elder rose, one short flick of Ascondias wrists sent a blade into his heart, she didn’t so much as look at the him nor acknowledge her actions “The High Council will from this day forth serve as an advisory to the crown, no more no less, they will retain their lands and family rights, their first born will take their place upon the council as it is required. I will in time find someone to pass the throne to be that a child of my own or with advice from the Council, rest assured this is not an immediate concern. Kane our laws are absolute and cannot be circumvented while you have nature to bend them to your own means you have never broken them, this one cannot be ignored and must be considered do I make myself clear?”

Kane stood thought flickered through his eyes as he nodded “Understood”

Ascondia nodded “Then you are free to return home with all those you arrived with, all pardons are granted and acknowledged” Kane nodded in reply as he took Aishanis hand drawing her close, his hand slid around her waist.

Virra sat down, while placing her hands in her lap, she was no stranger to the courts even municipal. Truth be told, they made her uneasy and nervous. She looked between Kane, Hades and Ascondia while the elders argued. 
 
Aishani remained still and silent, while narrowing her eyes upon the High Council, but, after the proceedings came to a closing and she stood, to be drawn in to Kane by her hand. “I believe it is best, given the circumstances, that Aerian return to Dentarius with us. Keeping her in a cell is more damaging to her since such was her position previous. WE can handle her.” Her golden eye fixed on Ascondia with a lock of her eye to the Queen’s, before shifting slowly to the others.
 
Virra looked to Aishani, a small inward sigh of relief was released to the ashen skinned elf ensuring the best interest for Aerian. Guiltily, Virra felt as though, she did not wish to be separated from the red haired firecracker. 

“She will be meeting us in the courtyard, like you said we are best for her” As the people filed out Ascondia joined Kane and Aishani as Kane looked past her “Murder in the Council Chambers, they could hang you for that” He mused

“Let them try, you were right it’s time I took back what is mine, it won’t be the same without you Kane, but please stay safe, if you need anything” Kane inclined his head in reply “Be safe both of you”

“He had what was coming to him.” Aishani chuckled in that sensual rolling purr, though, parted from Kane to stand face to face to Ascondia. “You kept your word to me, Ascondia. That goes a long way in my book, though, I can’t really stand you. I will deal with it when it is appropriate, you have proven to me that you are capable of being the Queen, I thought you could be. We will look after your daughter and mend the damage done by Z’ress.” She leaned forward to press her lips against Ascondia’s cheek. “I won’t hesitate to do what I must.” Aishani stepped back to return to Kane’s side, curling her fingers within his.

“Make sure she has fitting clothing. It’ll be a cold trip.” Virra moved quickly past them, to the courtyard in order to be present when Aerian arrived.

Aishani glanced up to Kane with an inclined brow, then a knowing smirk to the direction Virra left. “Interesting how things…happen in this realm.”

“Never a dull day it seems” Kane smiled in reply kissing her forehead gently “Still we need to get Aerian home, Virra should stay with us too, I would rather know she is where we can keep our word on her protection, and Hades needs some downtime, we could also do with some time together it’s been far too sporadic for my liking” Kane grinned softly watching her. Taking her hand they left the High Council Chambers making their way through the courtyard horses were waiting for Hades, Aerian and Virra already in the carriage waiting on them to leave.

As they proceeded from the High Council Chambers, Aishani looked up to him with a smirk upon her plush polished lips. “Hades mentioned seeing Sarantha, due to my injury. He stitched it good, but, also mentioned a small possibility that a side effect could occur due to me being from another realm to be injured in the cross contamination from the werewolf claw in the wound. Such things like hearing, smell and likes. Luckily I won’t be changing furry and howling at the moon.” Her amusement rolled into a purr. “Although, I wouldn’t mind howling in other ways.”

“Another reason to get you home” Kane grinned his words double in their meaning as he eyed the carriage ahead “I’ll send for Sara have her meet us in Dentarius, it wouldn’t be the first winter she’s had to spend with us, all that isolation isn’t good for her anyways” Kane took the reins of the horses that had been brought for them, hating to ride in carriages where he was potentially vulnerable, he offered the dark stead to Aishani “I would remind you I am an honourable Lord again, I must behave as such and not take advantage of a lovely lady” Kane smiled darkly “But then I do so love misbehaving with you, another rule I will opt to ignore”

Aishani inclined a brow though her smirk spoke mounds of her understanding to each dual meaning to Kane’s spoken words. She gathered the reigns of the dark steed and hiked her foot into the stirrup to hoist over and settle flawlessly in the seat, awaiting for him to mount his own steed. Though, stood still as the mount stamped the hoof impatiently. “Oh, it would only be taking advantage of the unwilling.” She winked while tugging on the reigns to position herself near to the front.
 
Within the carriage, Virra sat beside Aerian, an arm wrapped around her waist in a hand resting at her hip. “Seems things went well enough for now. Your mother actually followed through on her word. Surprised?”

Kane mounted his horse with as much grace as he could find. Settling for a moment before leading them to the head of the intended convoy.

Aerian smiled as her head rested on Virras shoulder “She can be full of them, once in a while, I heard she committed murder in the Council Chambers, now that’s a surprise” Aerian shifted to allow her to rest against Virra “It’s going to be a while before we are home, plenty of time to get my noodle straight”

Kane called out to the convoy “Alright keep it tight, roads are snow filled so it won’t be easy going, stay on the roads, and keep moving, let’s move out!” his voice shifting from that of himself to his Lord of the Manor, commanding and straight shot.