[Mature] Drown

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Charity Valentin
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Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:22 pm

37th Vortas, 2718
RHYS HOME | AFTERNOON
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The mention of Benjamin’s name from Rhys’ lips caused a curl of vile hatred and disgust to flare in her field, wincing visibly at the memories of the galdor. He was pathetic, a bully and a self-entitled ersehole, not to mention part of this whole thing Diaxio had dragged her into. How could someone, some self-respecting galdor let themselves sink into such a filthy place? Her skin crawled, but more-so her heart lept in her chest.

“We have to trust in justice, in bringing these awful things to light. You told me that, and I believe it Rhys. I believe you. Don’t let them do this, don’t let them drag you into the depths, its what they do. It’s what they want. Hatchers in the mist, waiting with reaving claws and gnashing teeth to eat our souls and break our spirits. Don’t let them.” She whispered suddenly, a fiery anger stoking somewhere in the core of her being, anger where fear and loss had too often lived. It was brief, bright and tangible, before fading away just as quickly. The now brunette felt a small thrill of surprise at the feeling, backing away from the unfamiliarity of it for now.

Swatting the man away with an air of frustration that they weren’t adulting like she’d planned, Charity brought her hands up against his chest gently as the persistent wick pulled her towards him, sliding her down on the lounge slightly. They were tucked closely together, the taller blonde between her knees leaning over the pianist and pleading his case for her to consider. Indeed, what else did she want him to say? What else was there?

“Rhys I—” She said, voice thick with emotion at the hopelessness in his words, guilt wracking her very being. What had she wrought on the man, after everything he had to deal with himself. She was selfish, Gale had said as much, and the petite creature knew it to be true. Her eyes held his, refusing to break away as the Seventen moved his hands through the robe, up through the layers to encourage it away from her body. The captain’s daughter frowned, the anger that had come from within simmering gently.

“—we can’t just—” Charity tried again, reaching for the robe with intentions of keeping it on her person, her words halted by his desperation.

I’m failing.

Looking over the tearful, sincere, hurting face before her, the brunette didn’t resist as he leaned in again to kiss her, pouring his fears and raw rage into the lingering and passionate press. Against her will, the delicate creature’s body responded to his touch, field unable to hide the strange mix of arousal and anger within her. Catching her breath as the blonde not-galdor pulled away, her fingers curled tightly into the robe, Charity felt her last bit of resolve burn away at the question in his tone. He needed this, more than words or godsbedamned tea.

She needed this.

“Fuck!” The dark haired galdor snapped softly, before tugging the robe from her shoulders and wriggling to get her arms free. Pushing it under her, Charity tilted her head to capture his lips whilst her hands tore almost aggressively at the fastenings of his pants. It wasn’t the slow, lingering touch that they so often fell into when entwined in each others embrace. It was urgent, and demanding. Angry at herself for being so broken, angry at her father for his cruel control. Angry at Xi for betraying her and Benjamin for his predatory intentions. Angry at her mother for leaving her alone, and Rhys’ father for his arrogance. Angry at Gale for her admissions and at Rhys himself for being so selfless. Her aura was ramscott with the red fires of her fury, and the violet unbridled need that seared her soul.

Pushing the pants down, lips still demanding so much from him, Charity grasped at his shirt to tear at the buttons, uncaring that a few popped free in her urgency. She slipped her hands to his lower back, tugging the man towards her with a frustrated sound. Breaking away from his lips, her voice hitched, tears of frustration stinging for a moment which she blinked away angrily.

"You're not failing." She said huskily, lifting her hips with a gasp, grabbing his hands and moving them to slip under the silken material to rest on the thin lace of her undergarment, holding his gaze with an intense look.

"I'm here Valentin. With you. Then, now and tomorrow. You're not alone. We're not alone." The pianist said firmly, reaching for the roughly unbuttoned shirt to shove it from his shoulders, beyond words now.

word count: 828

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Rhys Valentin
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: It's Inspector to you, thanks.
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Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:41 pm

37th of Vortas, 2718
HOME | Late AFTERNOON
"I do trust in our justice system, at least for galdorkind. Most of the time." Unfazed by the heated wave of anger that rippled so strongly and unexpectedly through her field, Rhys weathered her sudden vehemence with only the flicker of surprise passing over his well-carved features. Needfully pulling her closer for lack of anything to do with her hands, his blue eyes wandered downward to delicate hands against his chest.

Charity continued to object to his desire to shift the form of conversation. There was probably more he could be saying, more thoughts he could dredge up from the writhing, frustrated darkness of his mind, but did she not already know them? Did she not already feel the same? He didn't need to say everything. Did she want to hear them out loud so she could agree? So she could comfort him? The tall blond longed to communicate differently, to seek some resolution to their tattered feelings and assuage worn down emotions without the need for words.

Rhys genuinely didn't want to say out loud just how his frustrations with the system of power he served tempted him to step outside of legal boundaries just to make sure that actual justice occurred. He didn't want to admit out loud how easy it would be to find Benjamin's address or show up at Daixo's residence. He could most certainly drag confessions from either of them. He knew well enough how to guarantee their convictions, even if he worried it would be a struggle to bring any consequences upon the Co-Captain of the Patrol Division. Civilians were different, and he longed to get to the bottom of the upper class drug ring that kept Charity under their thumb in ways that were far from acceptable behavior for a Seventen.

He could only admit how such dichotomy made him really feel—like a failure.

He knew one misstep would cost him everything.

And he hated to say that out loud.

She felt resistant at first, his kiss unwelcome, and the blond not-galdor considered the option that he'd just attempted to push things too far. The delicate pianist's curse was soft but sharp, and his eyes lifted to her face with surprise. She moved to wriggle free of the robe he'd tried to assist with, and as his hands reached again, hers moved faster, downward to curl fingers into the buttons of his pants. Her returned kiss was far more aggressive than he'd expected, a frustration and anger seething beneath the surface that was both as sudden and unusual as it was unexpectedly arousing. He groaned against her greedy lips, heat crawling beneath his skin at her shoving away of fabric, Rhys shifting his body to free himself of his pants, teeth catching her lower lip roughly while Charity tore without a hint of concern at the buttons of his shirt in a needful hurry to free him of it.

He moved in hurried, ravenous obedience to her demands, shrugging his shirt from his shoulders to join his pants in disarray on the floor before her hands snatched his own, guiding them over her pale thighs and continuing to ask of him without words. Eager to encourage this form of communication, this needful discussion, the young Valentin reached for lace and tugged the blonde galdor free of the delicate fabric he was in no mood to appreciate, tossing things aside before he returned his warm palms to the lovely landscape of her skin, dragging them upward under the whisper smooth of silk. He lifted the shift over her head and cared very little for where it fell,

"I'm here for you, too, you know, even though I don't deserve you. Even though I don't want to go back to living a life without you—how are you not horrified by what I am?" The removal of clothing and searing anger in her field both stole his breath and somehow inspired him to say more than he intended, Charity's intensity bringing all of him into focus.

Rhys did not hold the lovely violet of her gaze for long enough to wait for her response to his very raw, vulnerable question, leaning to kiss her again before she could even answer, no longer gentle. Lingering until he needed to breathe, his hands journeyed over the familiar curves of her body on their way downward, teasing almost too roughly over the peaks of her breasts. Tilting his head to gasp raggedly for air before he nibbled at her neck, her shoulder, whispering against pale skin without a care that the press of his teeth accompanied his lips,

"I'm everything we were taught is impossible, impermissible—a wick—a dirty half breed—yet you stood up for me. To my father. To the man who kept my truth secret. And you love me still? And you want this? Is it because you don't know any better that you settle for me?"

He drifted over the pleasing angle of her clavicle, downward over her sternum, shifting on his knees in front of her, given the delicate pianist was perched just so on his sofa, so completely unaware that he was rambling more of his thoughts while he blazed a fiery trail, completely unaware of the kind of real honesty he was finally presenting her with even as he sought to please her body. Her hurried but aggressive caving to his far more physical desires stripped away clothing and barriers in his reluctant mind, and while he wanted to understand why Charity hadn't abandoned him in disgust, part of him didn't really want to hear the truth, either.

Perhaps she was simply aware there was no one else, perhaps her alternatives were far less desirable than someone like himself—that Benjamin or the suiters Damen chose were far worse than someone who wasn't even a galdor was quite a sweeping assumption to make. He'd been so selfish for years, desperate to forget their friendship and yet clinging to his feelings all this time.

He could never be anyone better than he was now—a lie.

How was he any different than anyone else in her life?

He wasn't. Surely he was worse.

Rhys whined, eyes fluttering shut for a moment as his lips passed over the scars that marred Charity's abdomen, a reminder of his mistakes. Regret tinged his field, mingled as it was with hers, the weight of fear crawling through his veins, attempting to overwhelm the arousal that thrummed with his pulse. Pausing there for a moment, trapped between his wanting and his own self-loathing, the tall blond glanced up again, hands coming to rest on her knees, restless,

"There are pieces that I'm missing in this crazy mess we're stuck in, and I can hardly stand not being able to fit it all together. But us? We fit together in a way I have never worried about until now—is this wrong? I refuse to believe that it is, if only because of the feelings we share."

It was an unnecessarily rhetorical question not meant to be answered with coherent sentences, for Rhys looked away quickly, lowering himself between her thighs to drift between them, tongue confidently seeking most sensitive places instead of really wanting any answers, deciding sounds of pleasure were all he actually wanted to hear, wrapped up in far too many emotions and thoughts, distracted now by the needful heat of the delicate pianist who didn't entirely disagree with the needful physical connection he craved almost madly now. Drowning his thoughts and his confusion by overwhelming his senses, his hands roamed firmly, encouraging Charity to lift her legs over his shoulders instead of actually responding with syllables crafted into words.
word count: 1360
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Charity Valentin
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Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:57 pm

37th Vortas, 2718
RHYS HOME | AFTERNOON
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Shifting her hips to allow the lace fabric to be drawn from her person, Charity lifted her arms to let the dark silk slip from her body before welcoming the wick into her arms for a passionate kiss, far from gentle and fueled by too many raw and frustrated emotions.

“Stop it.” She muttered against his mouth, anger flaring at his questioning of her being here with him. How she wasn’t disgusted by what he was. Her eyes fluttered shut, leaning back into the couch as firm hands roamed the pale expanse of her skin, warm lips tickling her neck. Whimpering as the tall blonde shifted lower, the faux brunette opened her eyes to watch him press his mouth to the scar under her ribs. The ever visible reminder of Diaxio’s lifetime of betrayal. Her brow drew together and her field flared wildly as he perched at her knees, doubt still tangible in his voice and his glamour.

“You are an idiot Valentin.” Charity snapped suddenly, perching on her elbows and swearing again with vehemence. She shifted, as though to raise herself up and stop him, when the Seventen moved to stop any further conversation. The galdor let slip a sharp sound of surprise, before sinking into the couch, eyes closing with a frown and complying with the encouragement to shift her legs. Curling them over his shoulders, Charity writhed against the deeply intense sensations, the emotions they were both experiencing making everything seem more connected and intimate. She pushed her head back into the soft cushions of the seat behind her, delicate fingers curling into his hair with an unrestrained cry. It was almost punishing, the needful movements that drove her closer to the edge faster than she had expected. The fresh brunette could feel every muscle in her body tensing, her field contracting closely like the well tuned strings of a piano, as though just a touch could cause them to snap.

“Why can’t you—Rhys oh! Why can’t you just see what I see.” She whined between sounds of carnal delight, her legs trembling as they tensed against his shoulders. This wasn’t fair, he was hiding from her answers by loosing them both in her pleasure. This wasn’t enough. His self loathing and self doubt clung to her thoughts, even as she found herself arching into the sensations with another strained cry. Her cries turned into desperate pleas and curses, dropping his name in between encouraging words and moans, before she froze with a gasp. Her field pulsed, and like the breaking of an over wound string Charity fell apart under his ministrations, her voice far from reserved as she let her anger flow free with her decadent release. Her fingers gripped his hair, tendons in her hands taught with the strain. Quite suddenly, she moved herself back away from him, pushing him away and sitting up.

She leaned across her body to reach for his face, holding his cheeks and looking at him, face still flushed and body trembling. The Perceptive mona around them mingled so easily, a field and a glamour so comfortably tied together. It was impossible they had always been taught, yet it had been so their whole lives. Slipping off the couch, Charity straddled his lap, holding his eyes as she shifted till they could come together slowly. Her eyes fluttered, a ragged groan dragging from her chest before she settled firmly against him. Gathering her field, the D’Arthe uttered a familiar spell, a warm joining of their senses. He had cast it on her before, more than once, so the Seventen should understand it when he felt it. He would feel her frustration, love and desperation swell in the aura around them. He would see her minds eye, the images of their time together in Brunnhold and now. He would see brief flashes of their laughter, their pleasure, followed by the hollow almost grey images of a life without him. Nights of strange unfocused parties, with people that seemed faceless. Days in the presence of socialites and politicians that she had no feelings towards. Tears and a deep boundless loneliness. Flashes of fists and furious blue eyes, tangible moments of pain and hopeless. A real and heavy desire to end it all, overwhelming in its weight like a thick blanket being pulled over the world.

And then, he would see himself, standing in a darkened alleyway fending off Benjamin and his companion. Like a hero from the books that lined Brunnhold’s fiction shelves, tall and authoritative in his Greens. He would sense the swelling of love and joy in her emotions. The images faded slowly, as her spell petered off, leaving Rhys looking at her face in the here and now. There were tears on her cheeks and she held his gaze, the gold flecks in her eyes bright with the runoff from her spell and panting heavily from the exertion and the still lingering aftermath of her release.

“Do you get it Rhys? Do you get it now? I don’t settle for you, I chose you. I’ve always chosen you. Everything I am, is better when I am with you. I don’t want a galdor, I don’t want a wick. I want Rhys Valentin, and I will fight till the end of my life to have you. You are mine, always and forever. No one else’s.”

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Rhys Valentin
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:37 pm

37th of Vortas, 2718
HOME | Late AFTERNOON
Charity didn't resist so much as object, body yielding to the need to talk without words—just barely. The delicate pianist tensed, clearly having more to say, and while Rhys glanced up at her frustrated face, lips against her inner thigh, he couldn't help but smirk at her swearing. His hands moved to invite the movement of her legs, hiding his face and his thoughts between them with the press of his tongue, forcing himself into a far less focused silence.

It wasn't entirely as though he didn't want to continue their conversation, it was simply that he'd run out of anything new to say. Angry. Frustrated. Afraid. Helpless. The not-galdor had admitted these things so many different times already that he was beginning to feel as though that was all he clocking had to say. He wanted something to change, some sliver of hope that their togetherness wouldn't unravel into some bloody, ugly mess any time soon despite the hatchers in the mist waiting for them both, hungry for their hearts. He didn't know how to say everything, anyway—there weren't words for the depths of desperation and fury he'd faced in the mirror while Charity writhed and moaned her way not through any kind of pleasure, but through withdrawal.

That, he had no power over.

But this?

Their familiar, mingled fields had never cared about his origins, had never questioned their compatibility. The mona-laden extension of their existence warmly came together, filling their Perceptive-honed senses with an awareness of each other that few people shared. The depths of their once-close friendship had only seemed to grow over with roots and vines in their parting, binding them closer instead of driving them further apart once they were, indeed, again in each other's company.

The now-brunette tightened her grip in his hair and he could only breathe her in, all of her, eyes shut tightly, held firmly by trembling legs as his tongue sought to undo her, wanting the tension he felt building in her pale body to come apart as beautifully as she had made his life become once again in her company, more undeserving though he was now than he'd ever imagined as a youth all those years ago. Her keening became louder, and he whimpered at the arching of her body toward him, the press of her whole self around him until his senses were unable to be aware of anything else other than the arousing pain of her tight grip in his hair. Silence and the sudden intake of breath did not slow him, did not return him to gentleness, firm motions rewarded with her forceful release, loud and amplified by her unspoken frustrations.

Rhys barely had a moment to blink, still very lost in the wash of her field and the weight of her legs, but her hands shoved him back before the same delicate fingers grabbed his flushed face,

"No—don't—"

He whispered as he heard the Monite, breathless but familiar, on her lips. Almost tempted to mutter a counterspell, his glamour tightened around his person reluctantly, distracted as Charity moved so fluidly from the couch toward the tall blond. His hands roamed over pale skin hungrily, inhaling sharply as her violet eyes captured his attention, demanding he look at her even as her hips shifted and he felt the very sharp, pleasurable rush of her bringing their bodies together,

"—gods, I just—"

He tried to growl an objection to the spell he knew on her lips, but his words dissolved into ugly sobbing instead, overwhelmed by the flood of emotions the petite galdor shared so intimately and so very strongly with him. Engulfed in all of her for a moment, her memories and feelings consumed him, tears burning his eyes and blazing trails down his flushed, well-carved cheeks even as the inescapable heat of being inside of her made it difficult to string syllables together into words,

"Stop. I can't. I'm never—" Rhys didn't want to feel all of it but he did and he whined, fingers curling tightly into her backside at the sudden tide of her affectionate emotions. He heard her words, searching her face with so many different kinds of desperation, shifting with equal suddenness beneath her in order to all-but toss them both onto the floor in the narrow space between the table where forgotten tea steamed and the tousled couch Charity had just writhed on, keeping their bodies together as he hovered over her. He didn't care where her legs went or whether his shoulder pressed against the table, tangling them as one body. Putting his weight on one palm while the other curled beneath her to pull her tighter against him, he whispered,

"I do. I get us. We make sense. You. And I."

Not even waiting to settle into a comfortable position before he began to move within her, the motion of his hips sought depth with too much force to be called gentle but not enough to be called inconsiderate. He let his own feelings filter through the shared connection of her spell, the Perceptive mingling of their minds and hearts was almost like some expansion on the comfortable mingling of their fields.

His memories of her were always bright: she was an anchor in his otherwise drifting childhood, a friend who didn't care about his small town or questionable field. He remembered her bright encouragement; he'd needed her focus to keep from being a feral, wild thing as a schoolboy. The anger and confusion when he'd not been allowed to see her again had been destructive, and he didn't hide his hurt from her even as he panted, setting a wild, expressive pace that stole his voice for a few heartbeats before he whispered with ragged breaths,

"I don't want to be a galdor. I don't want to be a wick. I don't even clocking want to be a Seventen, Charity. I've always just wanted to be yours. For-clocking-ever, I'm pretty sure." He'd made mistakes along the way, he knew he did. He knew he still did. Rhys had certainly attempted to forget her, but there was not enough alcohol and there were no relationships satisfying enough and there was no danger deadly enough to change how his heart burned so brightly for the pale galdor beneath him, "You have always been everything I needed, even when I was too stupid or scared to see it, and I'm who I should be when I'm with you. No one else."

He huffed and he whined, agreeing, committing, and still crying. To feel so much at once was excruciating, bodies as entwined as their hearts and fields, the young Valentin thrusting as if he could fully express himself with each motion of his hips. His words faded into sobs broken by hitched breaths, everything made so much more sensitive, so much more meaningful by all that they'd shared. Maybe he hadn't said enough. Maybe he hadn't said what Charity had hoped to hear, but, Good Lady, was he explaining now,

"If nothing else makes sense in this mess, we have each other." Rhys' spoke somewhat loudly, voice wavering, unable to whisper his words of devotion as he shifted for another angle, so deliciously close but still so agonizingly far away like some kind of physical metaphor for his life, not just that fiery promise of release that he chased for them both with the eager rocking of their bodies together.
word count: 1330
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Charity Valentin
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Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:29 pm

37th Vortas, 2718
RHYS HOME | AFTERNOON
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The galdor let out a slightly startled cry as the wick moved them with fierce determination to lay out on the floor between the couch and the table, tea bumping wildly in its cups as they moved without regard for the furniture. She curled her arms around his neck as the taller blonde leaned closer to whisper in her ear, before driving them at a near punishing pace on the hardwood floor. Charity closed her eyes against the shared vividness of his memories and emotions, unable to stop the sob between her breathless sounds as his hurt and anger bubbled through. She hadn’t wanted to hurt him back them, Gods it was the last thing she had ever wanted, but Damen had his way.

He’d always had his way.

Pressing her forehead to his shoulder, the now-brunette curled into the fevered movements, meeting Rhys with her own hips on each thrust as best she could. It was probably unhealthy, the carnal act they engaged in with so many conflicting and intense emotions, but it was also a release. A vent, a channel for the things they so desperately fought to keep themselves from drowning in. The galdor’s field wound tightly between them, through his own glamour, and she held him close as they rode the violent waves of their needs.

She loved him, by the Gods with everything she had, she loved him.

Drawing back slightly, Charity looked at him, looked at his eyes even if he wouldn’t meet hers, tears streaking their faces and expressions something between pleasure and pain. She wanted to speak, but the words were stolen with pants and gasps as the Valentin shifted slightly, bringing them together at another closer angle. The pale woman let her head fall back onto the wood, a hand shifting to grasp tightly to the couch cushion beside them, nails biting into fabric instead of flesh. Her voice rose in pleasure, loud and unrestrained by the presence of others. The tea had spilt, but neither of them seemed to notice or care, the table moved aside by the intensity of their movements.

Could she protect him from her world? It was forever on the man to protect her it seemed, to save her. But truth be told, he needed it more than she. A wick in galdor clothing, a man lost on his path. He needed light, guidance, salvation. Could she be that? She wanted to be, but was she strong enough?

It didn’t matter if she thought she was or wasn’t. She just had to be.

His name broke from her lips like some sort of anguished prayer as her body tensed against his movements, one leg wrapped around his waist the other caught between themselves and the couch. She held herself steady, meeting him with each strained action, the release she had fallen so deliriously into a forgotten memory as the crescendo rose within. Anger, frustration, fear and helplessness mingled together in a sea of sensations and needful pressure. Charity’s spell had faded, but the images and the memories could not. Etched into her mind, an accompaniment to her own past and present, she let them fuel the tight intense feelings within as they came together again and again. Another cry, another call of his name from pale lips, before the galdor felt her field relinquish from its tensed hold in a pulse, a flex of pleasure uncontrolled by the woman. Her voice was high, desperate, agonised in delectable release. Instead of arching back, instead of freezing with the ecstasy, Charity wrapped both arms around him and held him close, kissing his lips and riding out the man’s own desperately needed climax.

"We have each other." The not-blonde whispered tearfully against his lips, her field warm with everything her heart felt for the tall Seventen. She proclaimed love, but it felt more. He was the other half of her whole, the end to her beginning. Everything she was, she could only be with him. Damen had tried to destroy them, his father's disgraceful actions of the past had tried to break them.

In the end, neither would win.

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Rhys Valentin
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: It's Inspector to you, thanks.
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:18 pm

37th of Vortas, 2718
HOME | Late AFTERNOON
The delicate pianist's whole body, entire being, enveloped him. Her arms wrapped around him needfully and her body curled toward him, intimately entangled on so many different levels. He didn't hear the tinkle of cups on saucers nor did he care that the heatedly swift shifting of their bodies caused his shoulder to shove the table so roughly out of the way, Rhys very focused instead on the rather fiercely passionate escape he'd invited Charity to make with him. Together.

This was not a proper way to deal with things. This was not an acceptable galdori expression of emotion. Thank the gods the tall blond was not a galdor in this moment, then, because this pleasurable form of communication was all he felt capable of actually making sense with. Memories and feelings flowed so freely between their Perceptive mona-laden fields, a familiarity that had always been a part of who they were together. Rhys panted and sobbed, sharing far more of himself in the scandalous act of sex than he had in words, though for a few heartbeats, he could only hide his face against her neck and in her now-dark hair, eyes closed, breath ragged while he moved with purpose, gloriously necessary pressure building with surprising swiftness.

Charity moved a little beneath him and he leaned up with a ragged gasp, blue eyes made red-rimmed with tears searching her face and meeting her violet gaze with the same intensity he brought their bodies together again and again. For a moment, her expression hinted at words, but he grinned as he stole them, grunting with the rhythm he set while hearing the lovely galdor's voice shift an octave higher in her obvious enjoyment.

Lost in it all—sensation without thought or worry, Rhys Valentin had only ever wanted to be with Charity D'Arthe. There'd been a time (brief but true) that he loathed himself for being so enamored with the Captain's daughter, with such an unattainable high standard for some farmboy loser. There still were moments that he loathed his now fully realized half-bred, lower class existence in the presence of her galdori perfection. Only, she was no more perfect than he was. She'd made her mistakes. He'd made his. They'd made some together, sure, and some apart.

And yet, here they were.

She'd only wanted him, inexplicably waiting just as he was unintentionally searching for ways to bring them back together again.

To what end? He had nothing to offer her other than some variation of the life she'd already known—he was a Seventen Sergeant, after all. Not that he was anything like the man in uniform she'd grown up beneath the shadow of, thank the Good Lady. Did he even want to be a Captain? Did he want Haines' job? No. What did he want to do with his life? He'd only ever wanted—

That fiery pressure was building so hot and so fast, Rhys' expression twisted gloriously in the enjoyment of it all, teeth digging into his lower lip and holding Charity's violet eyes with intention while he felt the rippled hints of not just her unraveling in their mingled fields, in the tension of their bodies, but also his own, in tune with all of the delicate creature beneath him in this moment. He whined, the very strained syllable of his name in her breathless voice just fuel to the flames that danced so deliciously through every nerve ending.

Feeling everything, physically and otherwise, she curled closer, held him tighter, as if there was some way the pair of them could somehow disappear into the ecstatic sensation of their bodies instead of at all having to deal with the mundane realities of their difficult, broken lives.

There wasn't.

Rhys grew quieter where Charity gained in volume, eyes slipping shut, unable to entirely return the press of her lips as he came undone, so entwined with all of her that he had no idea whether or not their separate bings ever existed, falling apart as she did, if not before. He gasped and sobbed, relishing the total loss of concern or control, the euphoric rush that made toes curl and concerns melt away, the only way he seemed capable of expressing the feelings she made him feel despite how long they'd known each other.

It felt like forever, the shuddering stretch of pleasure as well as the stretch of years that made up their friendship. His eyes fluttered open and his smile slowly warmed his flushed face, sweat clinging to the base of his spine and knees sticking to the hard wood floor,

"We always have." The young Valentin panted, expression soft, slowly, reluctantly settling into a comfortable stillness, tangled together and unwilling to move, "No one is going to take us from each other again. Not if I can help it."

Rhys kissed her damp forehead, kissed her lips with a sigh, leaning toward the couch so he could rake fingers of one hand through his hair, so he could shift how he supported his own body weight. Blue eyes wandered over Charity's face and his scattered mind came into focus on how he loved her so, regardless of who or what he was, regardless of who or what stood against them, from addictions to Patrol Captains to his heritage.

From here, he was certain he could endure any hardship so long as he knew he had the delicate galdor to call his. Not that he knew at all just how harshly that sentiment would be tested soon enough.

"I love you," the not-galdor breathed, "and all this other shit? It can't be forever. It can't last. We can. Together."

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