Once Bitten, Twice Shy

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Drezda Ecks
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:10 pm
Topics: 17
Race: Galdor
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Writer: Maximus
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Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:48 pm

Achtus 5, 2718 | Khymarah's Home | Afternoon
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Nearly two weeks since she'd backlashed and yet the woman still wasn't quite herself. Physically, the diplomat was quite fine, the effects on her body quite brief in duration although that oppressive feeling and the paralysis might have only existed in her brain. Psychologically...

Drezda was far from all right, even now.

Oddly enough, she wasn't in this alone but Rosmilda, who had been caught up in the horror of her mistress's backlash, didn't seem quite as bad. Perhaps she was better at hiding it or perhaps the Hoxian had been too far gone to pay much attention. The latter was quite possible given how much time she'd been spending in one bottle or another in recent days.

The two women had been severely shaken in the immediate aftermath although the passive would likely have been distraught even without the chaotic magic given what Drezda had done to her before. The Hoxian had tried to comfort her, tried to comfort herself in the passive's presence. Neither of them had been anything close to well the following day, jumping at noises, each convinced that there was something whispering in their vicinity. Drezda had had to lie down, Rosmilda had fallen in a heap in the living room, both prone to dizzy spells. It had carried on for a few days but while the passive had gotten better, the diplomat had gotten worse in many ways.

Nightmares had begun to plague her from the moment she'd fallen asleep following the backlash and while it was initially distressing, it became progressively worse as her levels of tiredness grew. The nightmares disrupted her sleep, her disrupted sleep left her tired and thus made her more susceptible to the nightmares and their effects. The diplomat did something that she wasn't typically wont to do in order to handle the matter: she drank. A lot.

Most of the remains of Vortas had slid away on a wave of alcohol and hangovers, exhaustion and missed appointments, and anxiety. Unbeknownst to her until the change in season, Rosmilda had written letters of apology on her behalf, forging her signature and telling those who inquired about her that she was sick. It was... an unexpected kindness from the girl, an undeserved one at that. It gave her a chance to pull herself together somewhat although the woman was definitely sloppier than usual, shadows almost permanently affixed under her eyes, limping into the first season of winter just in time to be unable to leave the house for a few days.

The harsh weather of early Achtus had afforded both galdor and passive the chance to be trapped indoors together, Drezda making a serious effort not to fall into a bottle of alcohol, the two forced to converse. Rosmilda admitted that she was still in love with the galdor in spite of what she'd done, that she'd covered for her and done her best to care for the Hoxian but also all too aware that no matter what she did, the galdor would never love her back, could never love her back.

After that, the diplomat had fallen into a bottle anyway and the following day, something had changed in the redhead's demeanour, something thoughtful in the way she looked at the Hoxian, something else beneath the pain in her green gaze.

When the ice and snow had settled down, the weather sufficiently calmed to go out, Rosmilda told her that she had an appointment to keep. It was sprung upon her, the redhead telling her before running off to do something or other. Hence, it wasn't until they got into the carriage, the Drezda simply but elegantly dressed in a black Hoxian-style stress, that she had a chance to talk to the girl, already in motion as the passive slipped inside at the last moment.

"Rosmilda, who am I going to see? I understand that my um... illness inconvenienced a number of politicians and that rescheduling might have been necessary but... could you not have given me sufficient warning?" the diplomat asked, using a mirror to examine her appearance, hair pinned back from her face that perhaps only accentuated the bags under her eyes that she had tried and failed to hide with cosmetics.

"It was rather last minute. I was waiting to hear back. Lydis went to collect the answer this morning and I had other things to organise as well. Besides, if I'd told you sooner, you might not have come," the servant admitted, peering out around curtains, either not seeing or pretending not to see the new rigidity in her mistress's posture.

"What do you mean by that? I might not have come if- Where are we going? Who am I going to see?" Drezda asked quietly, ebony eyes flicking to the redhead. She was met with silence, a snap of the girl's necessary to elicit a response from her.

"Now... don't grow overwrought, I did it for your benefit-"

"Rosmilda..."

"- and it's really for your own good. You said a lot while you were drunk the other night and it was obvious that she got to you. You thought that I was her but then you were quite inebriated and the red hair probably looked the same to you. You'd never have touched me that way if you'd realised it was me because-"

"Rosmilda! What have you done?"

Even as she asked the question, there was an inkling in her mind of what the other was talking about. She'd had a dream during one of those stormy nights, a surprisingly pleasant dream perhaps brought on by the alcohol or so she'd thought. The woman had felt that she'd had sex or at least- That it was Rosmilda made sense but-

Khymarah.

She'd dreamt of Khymarah.

She'd whispered things hadn't she? Sweet nothings and her own doubts and insecurities and-

It had been a dream.

It had been a fucking dream.

But she remembered how Rosmilda had looked at her the previous day.

"Bash give me strength, what have you done? What have you done to me?"

"You deserve someone, you do but I-I-I can't be it. I know that so-"

"No, you haven't done what I think you've done because if you have I'm going to-"

"I've got you an appointment with that artist you brought home. You said a lot, I found out more and-"

The Hoxian made a strangled sound, hands clenching into the carriage seats, black eyes veritably popping out of their sockets. Her field pulsed, the mona within unhappy and the woman found herself reaching for magic before shying away with a shudder.

Not again.

"She knows that you're coming. You like art, I know you do and you like her so... make up some chroveshit. You're a politician, you're good at it."

The Hoxian sat, swaying in her seat probably more from distress than the vehicle's movements, gawking at the rather brazen and determined girl before her.

"You bitch! You scheming, underhanded little bitch! I can cancel, you know! I can cancel, just see if I won't!" the diplomat spat out viciously.

"Too late for that. People will talk," Rosmilda retorted, a grim little smile on her face as she watched her mistress's face crumple.

Outsmarted by a fucking passive!

It could have been a minute, two or an eternity gone by too fast when the carriage came to a stop, the passive getting to her feet to let her mistress out, giving her a chance to breathe and compose herself before she stepped out.

"I hate you. I hope you know that. You're going to regret doing this."

"We'll see. You're welcome by the way. In advance."

The girl knocked on the door for them, the Hoxian holding her cloak tightly around herself as she waited to be led inside, unsure how the Bastian would take her presence given the terms they'd parted on. Wondering what the woman must be thinking, assuming that she'd requested this appointment rather than her matchmaking passive's doing.

Oh clock the circle, how could she do this?!
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word count: 1410

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Khymarah Theraldon
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: Good Golly miss Molly!
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Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:26 pm

5th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| AFTERNOON
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Khymarah was conflicted.

It had been weeks since her embarrassing and bizarre evening with the Hoxian diplomat, and since then she had rerun the night over and over in her mind trying to decipher what she had done wrong. They had started out just fine, drinks and the bar followed by tea at the older woman's home, only thats where it all went wrong. Drezda’s lips were soft on her own, her breath tickling against her skin and it had felt so right. It was forbidden and wrong, but it felt right, and the artist had wanted more. Scared and inexperienced she had leaned in for more, only that had made the Hoxian angry.

Cold.

Mean.

She had cried over the brunette, very sure that in some strange way she had entirely misunderstood the woman’s advances. It was all just talk, but Khymarah had fallen into some fantasy world where she could have feelings for another woman. It was all a mistake, an embarrassing painful mistake that she should erase from her mind. She had even considered her mothers pressure to find a good rich man to wed, considered gussying herself up and attending one of the socialite balls in Vienda.

But the thought made her sick.

It was the sudden and unexpected request for a sitting by the Hoxian’s passive that utterly threw the red head the day prior. An urgent and immediate request, that truly wasn’t even remotely possible with her current clientele, and yet Khymarah had scryed and rushed to make the room. She’d cleared the day, giving the politician’s staff their answer. The woman would be on her way to her home now, and Khymarah had no clocking idea what to do with herself.

“You idiot, why did you say yes?!” She berated herself as she set up her paints and canvas in her studio, arranging her favourite red chaise lounge with a throw of cushions and an exotic kluiw throw rug across the back. She wasn’t even sure what Drezda wanted entirely. They had discussed her more…..risky artwork…but surely that wasn't the reason for the visit. No this would be a professional portrait. A political statement.

A very awkward interaction.

The knock on her front door caused the dual eyed galdor to just about jump out of her skin, before she lifted her chin and took a deep breath. Florence walked past the studio door as Khymarah moved to wait by the window, looking down at the theatre over the rooftops.

“Good afternoon Miss Ecks, please come inside.” The passive said with a deep, respectful bow, holding the door open with a sweep of her hand to bring them inside. Once they were inside, she would offer to take coats and such, before leading them through to the studio.

“Miss Theraldon, your sitting is here.” She said politely, standing aside so Drezda and Rosmilda could enter the room. If Drez were perceptive enough, she would notice a slight tone to Florence’s words. The passive had comforted Khymarah in the few days after their meeting, and whilst she wasn’t aware of the interaction between her mistress and the Hoxian, she was aware that it was the older woman’s premises that the artist had been collected from.

“Most appreciated thankyou Florence. Would you please bring us some tea, the new one that I got you to pick up.” Khymarah said with a level tone and a stiff back, turning to face the Hoxian and her handstaff with her field carefully drawn close to hide its jitter.

“Miss Ecks, you look well.” She said politely, before moving to her canvas and gesturing at the paints.

“As you can see, I’ve set everything up, but I’m afraid there wasn’t enough information in your request to understand entirely what you were after. A portrait perhaps? Something to hang over your fireplace perhaps?” It was hard to hide the slightly annoyed tone in her voice, hair pulled back into a elegantly messy thick bun and dual colored eyes avoiding the other womans face, afraid of the hurt Drezda would find there.

word count: 725
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Drezda Ecks
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:10 pm
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Writer: Maximus
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Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:45 pm

Achtus 5, 2718 | Khymarah's Home
Afternoon
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It couldn't have taken that long for the Bastian's passive to come to the door and yet she had time to agonise, time to wonder what in the world Rosmilda had written but not the time to ask her. She could hardly ask when they were ushered in, when there was someone there who could overhear every word. How would it sound? Imagine your passive setting you up with a woman! Just deciding that this was the way things ought to be. To have sprung it on Drezda... by the gods, it was cruel. She wasn't well enough for this, nowhere near well enough. Some of it was exhaustion as the ill-hidden bags under her eyes attested but some of it was a dull throb in her head, the feeling of nausea and a desire to collapse on the ground and not get up. As hangovers went, it was a weak one, especially given what she'd endured of late but this time, there was no hair of the dog to help her along.

The Hoxian was simply left with her miseries, which her blasted servant had decided to add to by arranging this meeting. As if she could interact with Khymarah after how they'd parted, after-

She was going to fucking throttle that interfering little bitch when she got home, she swore to Bash.

She handed over her cloak in a distracted fashion, not noticing Rosmilda doing the same, not really seeing Florence as she led the way into the studio. The diplomat was just trying to keep herself together, to stop her field from giving anything away that it wasn't supposed to and so the slight edge to Florence's voice went unnoticed.

Rosmilda noticed it though, green eyes flicking to the other servant with a sharp inquisitiveness. The artist had spoken about her mistress? Likely so if that tone was anything to go by and possibly she'd been just as ill-affected by it. Not in the same way, mind - no one could have had quite the reaction that Drezda had - but it had obviously hurt Khymarah.

Sweet Lady! Two galdori women who quite obviously had something between them and neither of them had been willing to do anything about it. Leave it to a passive.

The dual-eyed redhead would no doubt spot the way that Rosmilda appraised her as if she was the one here to paint rather than the artist. In daylight, she was different than when the passive had seen her last of course, and she was sober this time but she was still beautiful. That nervously happy spirit had been quashed though, a far more sombre guise left in its place but... a guise indeed. Her mistress was too pre-occupied with herself to see it no doubt but the Anaxi saw the little signs that the other was keeping something beneath the surface. Khymarah couldn't hide it as well as Drezda could - at least when she was out because her private and public faces were very different - but the Bastian was still doing a marvellous job.

Two women attempting stoicism instead of opening their mouths and saying what the heck they actually meant. Gods' sake! It was funny to see Drezda seemingly at a loss for words though, slow to return Khymarah's greeting, slow to recall her manners.

"I... It's kind of you to say so," the Hoxian responded slowly, all too aware how bad she must look, especially in this lighting. The passive really had done her best with cosmetics but it was very difficult to hide those bags, the bruising beneath her eyes so ready to bleed through pale make up. The diplomat knew that she looked exhausted and unwell, the other's compliment a blatant lie. They were good at lying though, the pair of them. Better not to say the truth, right?

"My... request, yes, I..." her gaze went to Rosmilda, clearly at a loss for words, uncertain and the passive stepped in smoothly.

"You'll have to excuse my mistress, Miss Theraldon, she's been quite unwell since you last saw her and she hasn't quite been herself. Illness can be quite disruptive, you understand," she told Khymarah before turning her attention to the Hoxian. "You remember that you were talking about Miss Theraldon's art and how you were curious to see it? You did tell me that you'd be interested in commissioning a piece or two although you weren't entirely sure what-"

"Yes, yes, I remember," the diplomat murmured, lying through her teeth as she raised a hand to briefly pinch the bridge of her nose. She offered Khymarah a wan smile. "I'm sorry, Khy- Miss Theraldon, you must excuse me for my behaviour. I'm not typically so... indecisive," she admitted, certain that Rosmilda was ready to beam beside her. She was definitely giving the impression that she was pleased with Drezda's words, possibly because she wasn't simply referring to the present.

A hand moved up to the woman's ebony hair, a nervous flutter showing as she patted it down, closing the space between herself and Khymarah. The distance between them was still perfectly respectable but bringing their fields closer to one another, close enough for caprising to readily occur, which meant that hiding things would become more difficult. Her field wasn't quite a disciplined as before, something wobbly around the edges, a low-lying tremor through the whole thing, a nervous charge. The Hoxian couldn't hide it, couldn't control her emotions in quite the same way especially not since the terror of the backlash, the aftermath of which was still definitely with her mentally.

"I'll admit that I'm... not entirely sure what I want, Miss Theraldon and it was very unfair of me to make a request of you. I- Have I forced you to rearrange everything because if I have seriously discommoded you, I'm more than willing to pay you for your time but... I am interested in seeing your work. I'm more than willing to commission something. I do... I do like art," she finished lamely.

The woman's cheeks had taken on a red tint, even through the powder that Rosmilda had applied to even out her complexion. She gave a soft cough, turning to the passive.

"Would you be so kind as to excuse yourself, Rosmilda? I'm sure that you can leave with Miss Theraldon's passive, I'm sure that she can keep you occupied."
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Last edited by Drezda Ecks on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 1124
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Khymarah Theraldon
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: Good Golly miss Molly!
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Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:37 pm

5th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| AFTERNOON
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The scarlett haired galdor avoided looking at either of them, embarrassed by Rosmilda’s presence, knowing the woman had been there that night. She focused on the floor, the paints, the canvas, their feet, anything that would stop either women seeing the confusion and hurt that simmered underneath. The sound of Drezda’s voice was a small arrow through her chest, soft and unusually withdrawn, and Khymarah swallowed back the lump in her throat. The older woman sounded…off. Disinterested? Tired? Why had she made the appointment if she didn’t particularly care to be here in the first place.

It was Rosmilda’s words that caused the artist to draw herself from her own self-pity, looking up without thinking to scan the brunette. It was true, now that she finally looked at her the diplomat looked awful—well as awful as stunning could look on an off day. Her make up and hair were still perfect, her dress accented everything with a cruel taunting, but under the makeup she looked tired. Dark circles were visible, even with the effort, and she looked….small. As Drezda moved closer, Khymarah frowned, her field unable to avoid brushing the other galdor’s and sensing something unlike the stoic Hoxian. A waver, almost porven with a sense of nervousness and something else. Something…wrong. She looked over the brunette almost boldly, forgetting her voice for a moment, before suddenly waving a hand and scoffing.

“What? No, no. It was nothing. A couple of minor sittings, no trouble at all.” She lied with a shake of her head, clasping her hands together awkwardly and looking for Florence to appear with that gods-be-damned tea. Her dual colored eyes widened as Drezda dismissed Rosmilda, panic suddenly rushing through her carefully dampened field. They were going to be left alone?! Oh Good Lady, she was going to make an absolute fool of herself.

“I..uh..my work. Yes, of course. I…right. Right.” Looking around the studio, she seemed lost for a moment, unable to decide what to start with. She moved with a sweep of her hand, knocking a pot of paint with a glorious spray of vibrant blue across the table.

“Oh clocking hell”! The red head snapped, grabbing for a cloth to soak up the color even as she straightened the pot, dabbing at the thick pigment with a small curse. Even before getting started she was a disaster. The older diplomat must think her an absolute clutz. Standing at the table, pressing the rag into the paint, she took a deep breath and looked at Drezda with a sigh, giving up on dancing around the unspoken chrove in the room.

“Drezda. Why are you here? Really? I didn’t really think after…after everything…I didn’t think you’d be interested in pursing any of my works to be honest.” Biting her lip, the galdor looked down again, shaking her head.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t—are you alright? Rosmilda said you’d been unwell just now and to be frank, you look a little tired. Have you had a healer visit? Do you want to sit down? I asked—” Florence knocked softly on the doorframe, entering with a silvered tray that contained two cups and a steaming pot of tea in the finest Bastian porcelain. She curtsied quickly, before leaving the two galdori to their privacy. Wiping her hands on the cloth to remove any blue that had stained her skin, Khymarah moved to the pot and smiled gently.

“I asked Florence to find a Hoxian tea when I discovered you were coming, though, I am not entirely sure it will be exactly what you’re used to. I don’t even know what it’s like i just…I um….well anyway. Tea?” The red head asked, pouring herself a cup and looking at Drez with a questioning glance as she hovered over the other cup.

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Drezda Ecks
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Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:56 pm

Achtus 5, 2718 | Khymarah's Home
Afternoon
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Their fields so close together... it was difficult, really it was. Being near Khymarah, the mona surrounding her carrying a familiar intimacy. She could remember the way they'd mingled, how they'd shared the same monic space for a few glorious moments while their lips had been pressed together. They'd breathed the same air, tasted each other, joined for sweet, blissful moments before it had been shattered.

It was all the Hoxian's fault but it had been too perfect. The diplomat hadn't deserved it, had she? Hadn't she proven that with what she'd done to Khymarah? She'd pulled the girl's heart out and trodden on it. She'd known at the time, the harm she was causing but she'd done it anyway. And hadn't she proven how awful and undeserving she was given what she'd done to Rosmilda immediately afterwards? Yet the passive had decided that she deserved this woman, this relationship, in spite of what she'd done. In spite of what a vile, despicable person she was.

But she had to dismiss her personal servant because she couldn't do this with her here. She just needed to get Rosmilda out of the room so that she could politely excuse herself, prevent any more interference from the passive so that this wouldn't happen again. For the artist's sake.

The Hoxian was tired though, so bloody tired. She just wanted to crawl back into a bottle, cursing everyone around her as she did so, drowning herself in alcohol and her own tears, her own misery. However, it was hard when she had Khymarah this close, could feel her panic at having the other redhead sent off and even though the girl was slow to do it, eyeing both women uncertainly, the diplomat had already forgotten her. Her onyx eyes were on the Bastian, fixed there as she watched the other devolve into a state of nerves.

And then the paint went flying.

The redhead moved to tidy up, cursing as she tried to contain the catastrophe, the Hoxian only able to stare, eyes locked on the vibrancy of colour, the blue making the auburn of the other's hair pop. Gods, she'd forgotten how desperately pretty she was. Rather, she'd wanted to forget but she obviously hadn't. She'd talked about her while she was drunk, thought about her while she was in the throes of backlash horrors, had spilled her thoughts about her to Rosmilda which had led them here. Clearly, she hadn't forgotten.

Even so, maybe she could have excused herself if Khymarah hadn't questioned her so directly, one blue and one green eyes fixed on her for long enough to nail her to the spot, swaying back on her feet. What was she meant to say to that? Was she meant to tell her that... she wasn't actually interested? That she wasn't here for the art, that she hadn't come here of her own volition? Was she meant to say that a passive had dictated her life today?

The diplomat's lips were pressed firmly together as the other began gushing her concern, taking steps back, away from her even as she shook her head. No, she didn't want this. She needed this to stop. She couldn't run though, couldn't leave Khymarah and leave a thousand pieces behind her. Again. But she had to approach this right, think about what she wanted to say to her. How could she deal with this situation in a nice way to ensure that nobody ended up heartbroken again? How could she let the girl down gently this time?

When Florence re-entered with the tea, things were paused between them, a necessary hiatus as they couldn't speak of such things while she was there, couldn't both make fools of themselves. Except that the artist had gotten a tea especially for her and that left something odd blooming within the older woman. No, she'd done it because it was too her advantage. Pleasing a Hoxian client, a diplomat, could definitely be good for an artist in Khymarah's position, one not well established yet. However, she couldn't see the woman as so calculating. She'd done it for Drezda's sake.

The artist didn't know what it was but the ebony haired woman did. The aroma, the deep purple hue and she knew: Mountain's Heart.

"I- Yes, I'll have tea. It's... it's Mountain's Heart. The tea," she whispered, reaching out for the second cup. Her gaze remained focused on the tea, lip caught briefly between her teeth. "Do you want the truth? About why I'm here?"

Dark eyes rose to seek dual-coloured ones, wondering if she was truly going to do this, really going to say something so potentially damaging. Was she going to leave herself vulnerable? This was what Rosmilda had wanted it, wasn't it? She'd wanted Drezda to open up, to simply say what she wanted for a change. The girl had wanted her to reconnect with the artist. All the diplomat had to do was open her mouth and blurt things out for a change rather than hiding behind her stupid private face. Where did it ever get her? And she supposedly deserved this. So her servant had said. Maybe it was worthwhile listening to her for once.

"I've been sick, yes, but I don't need a healer, I-I-I backlashed. After you left that night, I did something awful and I backlashed. I deserved it, I really did but I've been... I've been awful. And I-I-I haven't dealt with it well but Rosmilda.... she made the appointment today. I didn't know where I was going until I was in the carriage."

Her gaze dropped, eyes slamming shut as she whispered a worse admittance, in least in her view, which was saying something given what had just come out. "She knew that I regretted how I treated you. I'm... I'm sorry, Khymarah."

Her hands came together, wrung briefly as her field pulsed tangibly. She turned away and sat herself down in the nearest available seat with a sigh. Pathetic, utterly pathetic.

"I- The way I treated you was... unforgivable. I don't expect you to- You didn't do anything wrong but I made you think that you did. Because I'm awful. I don't know why Rosmilda thought that-" she broke off, shaking her head.

"By Bash, listen to me, I'm... I'm..."

She sighed instead of finishing the statement, shoulders hunched, her demeanour truly exhausted.
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Khymarah Theraldon
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: Good Golly miss Molly!
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:53 pm

5th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| AFTERNOON
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Handing the brunette the cup, Khymarah didn’t answer her question, instead she placed the kettle down and picked up her own beverage with a small crease of a frown in her brow. Of course she wanted to know, the woman was a mess externally and within her field. It was being maintained, but the redhead could feel the wavering of the Hoxian’s aura. It was porven, ebbing with something more than just illness or weariness. Something more danced at the frayed edges, and the artist felt a pang in her chest for Drezda. She was hurt, she was upset, but it didn’t stop her caring about the woman. She’d spent all her school years idolizing the foreigner, and finally when they had a moment to be close, the imperfect creature had found a kindred spirit. More than that, someone who encouraged her differences and begged them to bloom—right before crushing them under her boot heel.

It didn’t mean Khymarah could turn off her feelings.

Holding Drezda’s gaze, her stomach churning with nervous effort, the scarlet haired galdor waited patiently for the answers she had asked for, brows raising in shock and eyes widening.

“Backlashed!? Drezda I—” She placed her cup down, moving closer to the woman, nerves and awkwardness forgotten with a frown of concern, her hand reached for the Hoxian as the other woman closed her eyes, fingers curling into her palm and arm dropping as the woman moved to take a seat. What in Alioe’s name had she done?

“No. No no, stop Drezda. Stop.” Moving forward in a sweep of lavender skirts, Khymarah moved to the chair and knelt before the woman, balancing one hand on the arm of the seat. Her dual colored gaze searched the brunette’s face with concern, field brushing against her own with a seeking sort of touch.

“Don’t apologize. I was hurt, I was. But such is life. I’m used to being the odd one out, the one left in the dust. I shouldn’t have drunk so much and I shouldn’t have…told you those things.” The Bastian said softly, looking away for a moment to gather her thoughts, before looking back at the Hoxian.

“I forgive you Drezda, if that matters. My own stupidly got us where we were in the first place. I could have, I should have said nothing about how I felt. It was inappropriate and forward and not at all my best moment. It was a bad decision on my behalf. I’m sorry.” Standing, Khymarah frowned down at the stunning creature in her home, carefully keeping her field steady. From here, it was easy to appreciate the porcelain that made up her beautifully framed face, almond eyes and exotic lips. It was a thing of beauty, a bloom so perfectly designed that begged to be appreciated but was unobtainable.

Swallowing the thoughts that bubbled around inside, the redhead took a deep breath and released it slowly.

“Rosmilda seems to care about your well being, though I am not sure this was the right move. If you’re unwell Drezda, she should have let you rest. Coming to see me isn’t a priority. Honestly.” Something simmered in the woman briefly. Anger? Annoyance? Would Florence have done the same? Tsking, the artist reached for her tea and sipped it delicately before placing it back down and catching the older womans eye.

“You are not awful. Don’t say things like that. You are intelligent and respected and amazing. A momentary lapse in judgement by a silly Bastian who has stars in her eyes, that’s not on you. Not at all. That is on me, and me alone.” Offering a wane smile, she smoothed her skirts.

“I wish I’d said nothing.” The redhead said softly, her cheeks a touch darker than they should be, her eyes dropping to the floor. It was true, she wished she'd kept things to her drunk self and said nothing at all. Then, the Hoxian wouldn't be sitting here broken by her own magic and the Bastian herself wouldn't be feeling like she'd stuck her neck in the hangman's noose.

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Drezda Ecks
Posts: 115
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Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:05 pm

Achtus 5, 2718 | Khymarah's House
Afternoon
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She shouldn't have told her about the backlash. It was a serious matter, something that was sure to engender the other's sympathies so of course she was going to work herself into a tizzy. She missed the aborted comforting gesture, failed to see how close Khymarah had come to touching her although she didn't miss the anxious spike in her voice. It made her worry that she should have said nothing, shouldn't have opened herself up to this but even then, she hadn't anticipated true concern from the artist. The Bastian kneeling before her was truly shocking.

Her onyx eyes were huge, stunned open as she considered the other uncertainly. Gods, was she... was she blaming herself for what had happened? As if what she'd done, how she'd acted - sweet, innocent, blameless creature that she was - had made Drezda backlash. Yes, her mood had been affected, but it had been her own fault. All of it had been her own fault. Everything from that little seduction in the bar, that carefully paid attention, all to bring the artist back to her house with the intention of pouncing on her. How many words had she let spill from her mouth that were the right ones at the right times? Words with motive and hardly as innocent and unthinking as those that had come from Khymarah. And yet, the younger woman thought that she was the one who had gotten them back to the diplomat's home.

She sighed, soft, melancholic to match the humourless smile that she now wore.

"You don't need to apologise, Khymarah. You certainly weren't the one who drove our encounter to its conclusion. You couldn't have gotten me to do anything that I didn't want to do and you didn't. Honestly, you didn't do anything except to yourself because you gave me an opening," the Hoxian admitted, examining her hands in her lap. Previously impeccably manicured nails were now chipped, picked and uneven. The diplomat couldn't rightly say what she'd been doing with her hands of late although they'd clearly been suffering some abuse - utterly unconscious obviously as her disturbed mental state played out on her person.

The raven-haired woman shook her head, unable to listen to the honestly stupid words that Khymarah was coming out with. How could she be so clueless? Starry eyed indeed. It made the politician angry, furious at herself as much as anything because she'd so successfully fooled the other. And she hadn't even really tried. In fact, much of it had been done while she was entirely unaware that she was being watched. Maybe she should disabuse her of the ideas that she'd attached to Drezda, unseat herself from the pedestal that she'd been placed on.

"She cares because she's in love with me, the stupid girl! It's not some sense of loyalty to her mistress, trust me, I don't give any of my passives reason to want to be loyal to me. You don't know me, Khymarah, you really don't. What I show to the world is not me, I'm Hoxian, we don't show our true faces, that's the whole point. Even then, everyone knows that I'm a bitch. Except apparently for you but then you haven't ever had the chance to interact with me properly," she explained coldly.

Oh she was more herself now. Well, bitchy at least, which wasn't strictly her true self but it served her well both for others and for herself. It was always easier to think of herself as a bitch, take refuge in it, draw the cold and the cruelty to the fore.

"I'm calculating, I'm not respected - I have no idea where you got that notion from - and I'm wilfully cruel. The only true kindness I showed, the only conscience was the decision to stop when I did. I could so easily have brought you to bed and ruined you and then thrown you somewhere. That's what I am. Truly," the woman explained although her dark eyes rose to fix on the redhead's face, something regretful in her gaze.

She bit her lip, all too aware that her words were sure to have hit home hard, very hard for the Bastian artist. But there was a wobble in the Hoxian's own field, an indication that not everything she'd said was strictly true or at least, not meant. Against her will, she stretched out a hand to touch the other, ivory fingers moving to stroke the other's warmed cheek.

"You were too sweet for me to poison by being-" she croaked out, her voice breaking as - she realised too late - the emotion of the moment got to her, the guilt and the misery and the everything. The hand was snatched back, lip pressed hard, painfully so, between her teeth as her gaze was downcast, eyelids closed against the tears that threatened to spill over. The lump growing in her throat was strangling her ability to speak but tick it, she wasn't going to cry! Clock it all!

She wasn't going to cry, she wasn't going to cry, she wasn't going to cry, she wasn't going to-

But the briny tears were oozing out from between ebony lashes despite her best efforts to leak down her cheeks.
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Last edited by Drezda Ecks on Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 939
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Khymarah Theraldon
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: Good Golly miss Molly!
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Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:48 pm

5th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| AFTERNOON
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The Bastian chewed the inside of her lip for a moment, looking down at the beautiful broken woman that sat in her home, telling her all the things she probably didn’t want to say. Her dual colored eyes took her in carefully, brow creased with concern.

“You’re right Drezda. I don’t know you, at all. But I know a good person when I see them.” Pursing her lips, the red head rubbed her arms as though protecting herself from the cold and turned slightly to look out the window.

“I’ve met worse people in my time. People who are nice on the exterior, but inside, they are rotten and cold. I don’t know you Drezda, but I—”

She cares because she's in love with me, the stupid girl!

Oh. Well.


Khymarah continued to look out the window as the brunette spoke, holding her arms and shaking her head with a blush at the mention of the evenings events those days prior. Glancing back at the older woman, the artist frowned, her cheeks dark. So the woman had done it, to save her…from what? From Drezda herself? Anger simmered in the younger woman's field. That wasn’t fair, she wasn’t a child. She was an adult woman, yes inexperienced and maybe at times a little clueless, but still.

It wasn’t fair on her, or on Drezda.

“Your passives care about you, because whilst you might be a bitch, you aren’t heartless.” The Bastian began to sense it, that harsh cruelness that the Hoxian exuded. It was a mask, to kept herself together, to keep up appearances. As a porcelain hand reached to stroke her cheek Khymarah froze, the Hoxian’s wavering field a slight surprise.

Oh.

“Drez.” She breathed, lowering herself down to the other woman’s height again and fishing a clean kerchief from her sleeve. There was no hesitation this time as she reached out to stroke deep raven locks, holding the small square of material at the ready.

“You really think that of yourself, Drezda Ecks? Because I don’t. I never did.” The redhead ignored any snippiness, curling fingers around the ends of shiny dark tresses and admiring how stark they were against her pale skin.

“I always thought you were so clever and so strong, and yes, respected. Even now, I don’t see a woman worthy of anything else but respect. Where you could have…ruined me…as you say, you didn’t. You…you hurt me, but…I suspect that was the least of what you could have done.” Was it dangerous to continue this conversation? These admissions with the woman that had just freely explained she could and would have destroyed Khymarah in ways the auburn creature couldn’t understand?

Yes.

Would she continue to speak her mind, regardless?

Again, yes.

“Drezda I am a fool. I’ve spent most of my adult life living alone, under a rock of shame and fear of what my parents might think of me. I’ve been embarrassed of myself, for them, and I’ve managed to miss ‘growing up’ in the midst of it. I’m not sweet, I’m stupid. Don’t argue, we both know it. I might know my letters and numbers, and cast a pretty decent Static spell…but truth be told I don’t hold a lot of common sense. I don’t see the world around me for what it is. If I did, I probably would have more experience than I do now in the matters of life, and love and such.” Biting her lip, she slipped her fingers to the Hoxian’s chin, bringing her face to face with herself much as the older woman had done in the privacy of her own home.

“Don’t be so harsh on yourself Drezda. The world doesn’t owe it to you to tiptoe around the shallow and stupid creatures that inhabit it, myself included.” Khymarah chuckled at her lame joke, letting her eyes roam the beautiful yet broken face before her with a soft sigh.

“Who says I don't need a little poisoning anyway? Maybe it would do me some good. Give me a backbone.”

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Drezda Ecks
Posts: 115
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Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:59 pm

Achtus 5, 2718 | Afternoon
Khymarah's House, Vienda
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Drezda wasn't sure if she wanted to smack some sense into the girl or kiss her. It was a strange dichotomy, confusing to the frankly distraught and scattered Hoxian. Khymarah didn't want to accept that she could be awful, that she could be a heartless bitch, she still seemed inclined to cling to some idea of integral goodness. Rosmilda seemed to be of the same belief and look what she'd done to her. Was this something that women did or was it just something about the women that hung around her? Surely they couldn't all be wilfully thick, not every woman but then... what would the diplomat know? How many things did she really know about women given just how many of them she'd kept at arm's length over the years? The number of galdori, true galdori, women could be counted on one hand not counting the thumb. Heck, the number of women could be counted in the same fashion if the thumb was included. It wasn't as if she knew a great deal about women or intimacy in general. She couldn't do this though, couldn't handle this. She wasn't what Khymarah or Rosmilda or anyone expected her to be.

It wasn't just the matter of love and relationships where she was at a loss. She was a disappointment across the board, nowhere near to meeting the expectations that were placed on her slim shoulders. She was zjovrash and she was proving it by crying this way, her emotions always too close to the surface for her nationality, for her race. She was meant to show the right face but she couldn't, how in clocking hell could she? Weak and overemotional, incapable of maintaining the stoicism that her people were known for; being a bitch didn't count. Her loyalty to her family was all wrong as well, her indebtedness to them hardly apparent. The young woman was meant to have links to her family, an sense of loyalty to them that was meant to bind them together, meant to make her feel obligated to them but... she didn't. Her feelings towards them were all wrong. So much about her was abnormal, broken, wrong.

She was a dreadful Hoxian, a terrible daughter, an awful sister, an abominable representative of her country and her people and her family and... honestly just an all-round disappointment and a disgrace. Khymarah didn't know it yet but if she stayed with Drezda, if she continued this association then she would see all that was wrong with her, the true depths of her weakness and her failure.

Clever, strong, respected. Was the impression she gave of herself really so false? Was she really so good at putting on the right sort of face or was it just that non-Hoxians couldn't see how poor the facade was?

However, perhaps only a non-Hoxian could see her tears and her weakness and still regard her with respect. They weren't empty words for she could see that the Bastian artist meant them.

She took the proffered handkerchief, dabbing at her face as she shook her head, denying what the woman had said, denying what she continued to say. A fool? Foolish, perhaps but not a fool. She was... immature perhaps, naive but not a fool. Fool suggested a total want of sense, a situation that couldn't be rectified but... she didn't think that that was the case. But she... pitied the girl for her words, more than that they hurt her to hear them.

Experience. Did the girl want experience? Really? Did she think that there was something wonderful in it? Did she think that Drezda was happy for her experience? No, she was bitter about it, cynical because of it, ruined. What backbone had she acquired? The artist didn't know about the scars she bore, the marks of her own self-torment that had ensured that she maintained a certain level of control over the years. She didn't know how she'd had to poison herself in order to function, torn between duty and expectation and the true self that she tried to repress.

She reached out to take the other's face in her hands, to gaze deeply into her eyes.

"Do you think... that I have a backbone, Khymarah? Do you think that I'm better off than you?" she asked softly, thumb tracing the woman's cheekbones. "You are sweet and innocent and beautiful. Being innocent isn't bad, Khy. It means that you aren't bitter and cynical. Not like me. I'm not something you want to be, trust me."

The young woman took her hands away from the redhead's face, head bowing, one hand moving over her side, seeming to be checking that her blouse was tucked in. In truth, she was feeling her scars through the material, the ugly, puckered flesh that lay beneath it. Would seeing those marks bring understanding? Would the mementos of her weaknesses impart the meaning that Drezda couldn't seem to achieve with words? Would it get through to her where speech had failed?

"You aren't shallow or stupid for seeing the good in things. You're... a rarity, mho. A stunning rarity."

She offered her a sad smile. The raven-haired woman shook her head, fingers finding the cloth, pulling it from her waistband but hesitating before she raised it.

"If you want poison then you should understand what you're getting. I tried to give myself a backbone," she whispered, dragging the cloth up, revealing the scarred flesh. There were marks on her belly but her sides, both sides but particularly on the right hand side between the bottom of her ribcage and the top of her hipbone. The flesh was in furrows, crisscrossed and raised, skin bunched up and pulled tight in unnatural ways. In some places it was shiny, other places a little pink but it was mostly pale, noticeably paler than the rest of the ivory skin that surrounded it. The patches of unmarked flesh were tiny, a finger-width at most and only an inch or two long. Her skin was a canvas of misery and pain and self-torment.

But she wasn't looking at that. The diplomat had seen it often enough, had examined the whole lot of it in the mirror that she wouldn't miss even the tiniest detail when her skin was held taut. Instead, her onyx eyes were fixed on the other woman's face, certain that not even she could spin this in a positive light, could somehow see the Hoxian as better because of it. She could still remember Rhys' horror and disgust, had seen others look at her skin in that way, even when they hadn't been witness to the wounding itself. It wasn't something that the woman tended to flaunt and with lovers... those few women that she'd permitted near her had managed to ignore the marks, at least openly. They thought that she missed those furtive glances and those discreet little shivers.

They were ugly and they were meant to be. She could have healed them, could have treated them even when she made them but she never had. They were an outward reminder that she wasn't perfect.

"Do you see now? You don't see what I am, you've never seen it. No one has, not really."
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Khymarah Theraldon
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: Good Golly miss Molly!
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Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:01 am

5th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| AFTERNOON
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Blinking as the brunette Hoxian took her face in both her alabaster hands, Khymarah felt a frown crease her brow, searching the other woman’s rich dark eyes as she spoke. The truth caused the red head to blush, embarrassed and flattered by the comments in a bizarre mix. Her dual colored eyes dropped to follow the other’s hands as they moved to her blouse, unable to look away as lithe fingers tugged at soft material. What was the Hoxian doing?

“I’m not really I’m just—” The artist began, shaking her head at the compliment and reaching to tuck loose hair behind her ear. As Drezda lifted the top, Khymarah’s eyes widened before drawing together in a shocked sad frown.

The scars were unlike anything the red haired woman had seen before, like lashings across pale flesh in garish silvers and rose tints. They shouldn’t be rights really exist, not with the prowess of the healers in Vienda and Brunnhold. But…how? Why?

If you want poison then you should understand what you're getting. I tried to give myself a backbone,

The galdor reached out slowly, forgetting herself in the moment, allowing soft fingers to brush over the marred perfect skin with a gentle touch and a sigh. Tears stung her eyes, and she blinked to clear them, before speaking quietly.

“Oh Drez. I…” Looking up at the woman, Khymarah reached for her hand, clasping it tightly between hers even if the Hoxian made to pull away.

“I never realized.” She said with a flair of guilt in her field, realizing that she contributed to the problem. She had idolized the beautiful foreigner, had put her on a pedestal that was both unachievable and unrealistic. The younger version of herself knew little about Hox, except that they were a quiet, controlled and calm people.

Or at least, that was the portrait they painted.

“Being rare is exceptionally over rated.” She said with a shake of her head, meeting the other woman’s eyes again with her own mismatched duet.

“You aren’t perfect. And well clock it neither am I. Isn’t that really what being rare is? Being imperfect?” The scarlet haired galdor said sternly, refusing to let Drezda continue to berate herself in the woman’s home. Straightening her back, Khymarah nodded curtly.

“By the Gods. That’s exactly what is perfect. Our imperfections. Inspiration blossomed in the creative creature, and she couldn’t help but offer the brunette a tender smile.

“I want to paint you, Drezda. Not like those erseholes with their banderwolf skins and lavish gold pocketwatches. I want to paint you.” Reaching for one pale cheek, the Bastian drew the Hoxian in for a gentle, lingering kiss should she allow it, long fingers curling just so into dark locks that begged to be stroked.

O Belladonna, that sweet yet bitter taste of a lovers kiss on my tongue,
Ease now my restless mind and calm my porven field.
O Belladonna, that alluring ethereal bloom drenched in night’s devious sins,
Bring to me the sleep of peace everlasting.


The painter whispered when she drew back, reciting part of a poem that rose from the back of her mind, looking at Drezda with a warm smile.

“Will you let me paint you, my ethereal Belladonna?”

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