It felt like floating in abominable darkness, yet at the same time, safety resided in the vast expanse that made up that which hid from human’s perception with devious intent, always prowling, ready to pounce any frail emotion, or blemish upon the souls of those who had before their doubts been pure and unstained. With opened eyes unseeing, Charon submerged himself within the ink, subjecting his thoughts to the whimsical desires in a vain attempt at understanding the infernal beast feared and loathed by Shades, Roses and men alike. With open arms the darkness welcomed Charon and embraced him tenderly, with the care the Shade’s subconscious would recall as his mother; even if his memories of her restricted themselves to the knife he had plunged through her skin when trying to sever her jugular. That memory however had lost emotion and feeling, drained, no, untouchable to the darkness, whose seeking tendrils retreated scorched upon trying the burning light in a failed attempt at grasping the whole of Charon’s submitted soul.
Stairs wound down, a throne, incoherent thoughts threatening to overflow his very being, where it not for the small pillar safely tucked away with the Rose’s guiding light. Dimly, Charon wondered how Imaroch had survived this sort of input and concluded his soul hadn’t –completely absorbed by the darkness; all which was left was a horrid shell unfit for life. Death was perhaps a kind salvation for the Lord and Master of all Shades, and they kneeled before their Master only because his was a ruthless mind, hell-bent on consuming the entire world, were it not for the dawning of the sun anew every morning, leaving the Master weak and frail in the wake of the burning sun. Had Charon not shared some of the light within the darkness, his weakness towards the light would’ve spread in a more gruesome manner than just a lackadaisical sensation of surrendering to sleep, seeking refuge with the darkness.
But that was not true. Breathing in slowly, feeling his heart pound with the sheer realization, Charon tightened his hands into fists. The darkness his from the light –not him, all it did was drag him along; there was no need; he was Shade.
Imaroch would be asleep, weakened, with closed eyes listening to the sluggish heartbeat of the world surrounding him meticulously, but would the darkness protect him? –No, the answer was no, it would not, it shied away from the sun and its furious rays, continuous anger with the blue and green planet leeching its warmth in a symbiosis; creating life, yet never witnessing. The sun must’ve been a jealous organism, as the earth was darkness, and she was light. The Roses were the Sun, the Shades the earth, and he, King.
Chains rattled as Charon dug deeper within the darkness like a human writhing in the earth to make something grow. Tit for tat, an eye for an eye, revenge, an eternal vendetta; “Come, my pet,” Charon whispered to the darkness, caressing it in turn soothingly, “Show me your faltering Master, who cowers before the light as you do –I am your true superior, for I walk the day as I feast the night.” Something shifted; the giant cog of understanding, control, reeling with an ominous sense of grandeur, as if Charon was suddenly made aware he was in fact dangling above a gap endlessly winding down –a fall none would find the bottom of, nor come back from alive; such was the vastness of the darkness. The light, Charon surmised, was no less than this; only there brilliance set the tone instead of secrecy.
Aching along with the darkness at the light he conveyed, creating shimmers of shadows writhing and crawling along the lines of his sight, Charon’s mind expanded, his eyes that of the darkness, and the darkness was everywhere. Imaroch was right there before his eyes, and without hesitation the Shade approached the supposed Master of Darkness.
“Pathetic,” Charon whispered, “You are pathetic, a tool of the darkness, instead of a master to it; darkness can’t control darkness, only shadows are given supreme rule to this state of earth.” Empty eyes stared lifelessly at the invader.
“Sullivan,” Imaroch ground out excruciatingly slow, dragging out the ‘s’ as if the skeletal men before him were a snake. Charon merely grinned, light gathering around his hand, pooling in an orb, shimmering in the darkness and the Shade could see the darkness recoil to once more display the naked Master. Still, such was not enough –the darkness needed a puppet after all to do their bidding and such would be useless if it were completely soulless.
“Why do you cling to life?” Charon demanded, stepping forward confidently, feeling and strengthening the connection Vendetta –no, Mercy- and he shared. More and more light the Shade pulled to his domain to see what lay underneath the petty darkness; what memory had they allowed Imaroch to retain?
In the caves, Charon stirred the moment Vendetta entered through the door, bringing along with her the cold air of the storm dying down outside. However nothing appeared amiss, for all the onlookers the Shade appeared to have fallen into a fitful doze and despite the uncomfortable chair, it didn’t seem he would wake any time soon.
Consumed within the settlement of her mind, Vendetta submitted to the darkness that faded and grew into light, light of dreams or rather nightmares...
It was quiet, from the view of the hillside and nothing moved, except the flicker of the farm house's candle lit windows as night was clearly painted above, stroking the canvas of the skies and she eyed the stars above, they were veiled to her, something was stirring uneasily and as the Rose read the land, she became aware of where she was and she tensed, making her way down the hillside and frowning slightly. This was a dream, she could do nothing.
Figures moved to her left and she turned, Elders. The last scrounging folk of Titov, angered by their Master's death and Vendetta kept calm, they could not see her, she was but an ethereal presence amongst them. She shifted, following them, unable to tug herself out the dream and yet she knew what was going to happen in this place and her mind wandered. Was this happening now? Or had it already happened? Either way, this time she was powerless and it hurt her worse than the wound in her shoulder did.
Vendetta didn't remember crossing the threshold into the farm house but quite suddenly she was just standing there, watching the black figures of Elders screech and ransack the house, turning everything upside down and she frowned, turning away and making her way to the back of the house, stepping through a doorway and coming face to face with Daika and she whispered,"Daika!"She sounded choked and she tried to urge him back into the room, out the back door where he may have a chance to escape but she could do nothing.
Elii was behind Daika, both looking fearful and yet to Vendetta, they were the two bravest Rose's she had ever seen, facing death standing up, holding firm their father son bond and she tensed, "Run! For goodness sakes! Run!"She yelled at them, desperately and she was phased through as Elders flooded the room and the dream began to fade, leaving Vendetta to simply just listen to the cries and shouts, the shrieks and screams...
Vendetta lurched upright, panting for breath and panicked slightly. She kept as quiet as she could as she got out of bed, blinking, she clearly remembered falling asleep elsewhere and she smiled slightly to herself, putting down her comfort to Charon as she sat upright properly and then swung her legs over the edge of the bed and stood, brushing herself off quickly, not caring what time of day it was as she made her way through the stone corridors, bare foot though she barely felt the cold on the soles of her feet. She needed fresh, morning air and she had been incredibly unobservant to who she had passed, her mind spinning.
The wall of cold morning air hit her like a a tonne of stones and she grappled for breath, sinking to the floor by the cavern's entrance and watching the drizzle of morning rain dance down from the skies and land in patterns, soaking the soil gradually. Flowers would grow there soon...
"Vendetta? Why are you up early?"Marius roused her and she glanced over her shoulder, wondering if the Immortal knew of what was going to happen, or had happened, to Daika and Elii and she half glared at him, eyes blazing with questions and rage, "No reason."She lied, fluently and met Marius' eyes without regret. Marius scowled a little and did not push it, "I'll wake the others..."He then left the Rose alone.
Vendetta leant back and rubbed her eyes, deciding it was too cold to just sit there and let the cold eat away at her like a leech and she meandered her way back to her previous room, pausing at the door as if thinking before she actually stepped inside and welcomed the warmth that homed in the room, even though the fire was dying out slowly, the room had held fast its grip to the warmth.
“The only way you wouldn’t tempt me is in death,” Charon sighed despondently, watching her tiredness wash across her features in waves; her body finally relenting the perpetual onslaught of exhaustion. Tenderly his fingers stroked the soft long tendrils of hair from her light features as the Shade’s grey eyes took in every minute detail they met along the way. Charon committed every miniscule line of reality to memory, like a dying man clinging desperately to life; the flutter of her lashes, the tremble of air escaping her lush lips, the gentle slowing of the rising and falling of her chest with each exhale. Lost in thoughts, Vendetta found sleep, the darkness enticed at her frailty, her apparent weakness, but abating due to Charon’s harsh will, quenched before their songs could coax the faltering Shade into finally taking that which he had craved from the very beginning.
Conceited wishes of a damned mind, Charon decided, and with a sigh rose from his crouch, contemplating for a dazed moment whether or not he should simply leave Vendetta to sleep in the chair –which couldn’t be comfortable in the slightest for her aching wounds, despite her penchant for neigh impossible perches for sleeping. Finally, the Shade found some resolve and opted he would listen to her body, even if she refused to because of a misplaced pride and stubborn attitude.
With a care the Shade reserved for himself only, his wiry arms encircled her shoulders, the other snaking underneath her legs as his back took the brunt of her lithe weight from the chair upon himself. “One of these days,” Charon sighed, “one of these days.”
Worry set the tone within his mind, tossing and turning, writhing in tune with the aching darkness begging to be unleashed upon whoever felt tempted to challenge them; or whoever made a nice midnight snack. With such enthusiasm Charon felt tempted to knock himself into oblivion and meet with Imaroch there but he hardly felt comforted to recover from whatever would be done to his mind in the embrace of Marius. Gently the Shade lowered Vendetta onto the bed, his large hands –no longer claws at the dismissal of the darkness- guiding her head into one of the pillows, before drawing one of the blankets to cover her sleeping form.
The Rose radiated such tranquillity, such peace; Charon couldn’t stay the hand brushing back the many thick strands of dark hair from her face, tucking them behind her ears as he sat beside her on the bed.
Feeling awkward at her sudden trust within his presence, Charon recoiled as if burned by her skin, his heart fluttering as a trapped butterfly in a web. Soon the spider would come, no doubt, and perhaps Marius was right about wanting to keep the Rose here. At least she would be safe. Even if the separation would prove undermined by difficulties they couldn’t hope to fight due to the nature of the pact as they shared the bond made of blood.
“Sometimes, I wonder if being stupid –or human- would be incentive for a happier life; those that don’t know, fail to care, isn’t that right?” Charon muttered in the twilight of the dying fire, hand beckoning the remainder of the wine to fall into the soiled mug he had emptied before.
Sipping the crimson liquid, the Shade watched over the slumbering Vendetta, contemplating tactics, possible angles of attack, or on how to use the crowded city in his favour, but each time his mind reached the conclusion he knew too little of the darkness to truly abuse its full potential unleashed. But, Charon figured, would the darkness allow it, they would simply choose their new master –it was but a matter of resolve, or rather; lack of it. The Shade had good reason to believe they would in fact favour the easiest to manipulate.
And his love gone astray was the perfect conductor for their petty schemes. Which caused Charon to lament his own situation once more; what if his death was the best of solutions after all? Without notice, the sun rose, and weary from the night spent in silence and solitude, the Shade surrendered to the sensation of the debilitating light, mug clattering to the floor empty and unnoticed in the earliest of morning.
Emerald's watched the Shade, contorted his every movement under close scrutiny and her ears picked up every word, each articulate syllable he pronounced to her and her eyes were focused despite the cloudy, hazy exhaustion that misted them and she held no fear or intimidation for the Shade nor did she feel any pulsing from him, whether he meant that or not and she smiled ever so slightly, an upturning of the delicate lips as she thought carefully over his words, eyes dazed for a second and she looked back to him, letting his hair gently brush her cheek and she murmured, quietly in response.
"Forget?"The word fell from her gracefully, "I did not forget."She met his gaze and watched him, leaning forwards slightly and clasping her hands over her knees and the fabric of her dress seemed to caress the flesh hidden beneath in the motion, "Closeness?"She frowned slightly at this, yes she cared for him, more than she should and it wasn't the first time she had thought upon this either and she sighed softly, a small exhalation of breath as she spoke again, "I know."She mumbled, 'But I cannot help it' she wanted to say but simply couldn't and she glanced away, almost guiltily and bit down on her lower lip.
She could trust Charon, more than she could trust Marius and even Elii and yet, she knew not the reason why. Perhaps if she stopped searching she would eventually find it but that was better said than done. She rubbed her eyes wearily, like a toddler who was far too late to bed and she looked back to him and remarked, "Would you rather I did not toy then?"She asked him, yawning slightly and leaning back, eyelids drooping shut as she let some hair fall in front of her face, looking like someone had taken a quill and blotted long strands of ink across her pale features.
She was unaware she was 'toying' with anything and she had ignored his statement about the darkness taking a hold of her and she knew why, it was doubtful he did but he was observant. She was terrified of the darkness controlling her like a puppet, not because of what she had seen Charon become capable of doing but because she knew that she was a being of the life and to fester in the darkness...It would hurt her most likely and she winced at the thought, she was not like Charon, barely as ruthless and she had a small thorn of mercy in her and she somehow just guessed that Charon probably still harboured mercy somewhere.
She was glad...She had gotten this far but she still did not feel triumphant. She needed to see Charon win his peg of the journey.As odd as it seemed, she needed to see this Imaroch's blood spill and become soaked up like a sponge for her to know that she could finally rest at ease, or so she thought and she gave her face a small wipe with the back of her hand, as if wiping away water but it was more just a habit, not as bad as her window ledge one's but a habit nevertheless. She drew breath and slouched back a little, keeping her leaden eyes closed to the world, very dim red flittering before her eyes from the vessels and she gave a gentle smile towards where she had last seen the Shade.
She wanted to tell him to not die when he faced Imaroch, but she would only be repeating herself and she doubted he understood just how much she wanted him to live, if he died...She shook her head, not wanting to think about it at this time, it was far too much a calm atmosphere, intimate and close. She settled herself and let her body go a little limp, enjoying the blankets for once in the absence of a window to gaze out of and slowly fade into sleep and she felt slightly awkward but her exhaustion proved a little too much and gave in.
Without another sound, blackness overcame the dully aware Rose and sleep engrossed her like an infection, but it was just what she needed at that moment in time, it would give her body the chance it needed to mend the worst of the wounds and rest her weariness.
Stubborn as ever, although not to refute his words this time; for an argument hadn’t been on either of the couple’s mind but it was set in the way her jaw pulled taut, her body fought a draining battle with her mind in order to try and make clear just exactly what it needed as apposed to what Vendetta wanted her ailing body to do under her charge. Juxtaposed Charon’s claw her slender hand seemed but small and feeble, a strength that snuck up on you like the rising sun at dawn, breaking darkness’ stride to falter mid-step. Marvelling at how perfectly defenceless she was, some part of him aware he would never harm her for the sake of honour such complete faith deserved, the Shade tried to temper his relentless desires. Sometimes, humans thought Shades were made the way they were; like children taught the wrong manners, and in a sense this was true –but it was folly to deem a Shade a child, and by no means did such thinking suppose there were any sorts of positive emotions left to dwell within the soul of a Shade. Such weakness could cost a Shade dearly, and yet –such had made of Charon a force opposing Imaroch right now. So what if it were these same annoying ‘feelings’ which forced upon his actions hesitation? Only in a battle in which life and death would be decided on an uneven scale would such things come to light. The irony of those thought didn’t elude Charon, whose grin spread a little wider, whose warmth ventured just a bit closer and whose grey eyes followed the smooth curved of Vendetta’s face.
“You are too trusting, have forgotten the words I spoke when we met? This closeness, no matter if you ever could tame my erratic personality, cannot be allowed. If I were Sullivan, the child, raised in the loving care of human –then perhaps, but I wasn’t, as such these desires are my strength, my gift,” Charon whispered in Vendetta’s ears, hair tickling the skin on her cheek as he spoke. His tongue played with sharp teeth, words falling from his lips almost tantalizing, hypnotizing the listener; shadows, the whispers such as shadows offered the Shade his entire life.
“And these desires are for you; not for you as Vendetta, but for the Rose, and the energy you can grant me, the sweetness of you blood and the bitter taste of your intestines. Such is my desire to kill you,” more words threatened moist lips, but Charon faltered. However much he wanted to be truthful towards the Rose, neither did he want to lose this closeness, her warm hand upon his, her pulsating skin underneath the darkness of his claws. The sensation alone was agonizingly tantalizing, and with but a slight increase of pressure those claws would pierce her pure membrane to reveal perfect drops of blood. That moment, the darkness coaxed Charon, would be perfection –just up till there. No further, they promised, but Charon knew such promises were hollow when made by the darkness infesting his heart.
“You are toying, unaware, your scent, your energy, you … you. You. Are tempting. The darkness hungers to consume your light, don’t forget that. The minute, the second I forget where I am, who you are, what you are to me; that will be when the darkness abuses me as its puppet and will slaughter anything and everything, or instead use it. Don’t ever let them use you. Not like they use me.”
Threats, or a plea? Tormented with doubt, Charon closed his eyes and tried to pull back his hand slowly, immaculate control, not as random as before when her presence had overwhelmed his will. ‘I care about you,’ Charon’s heart whispered, and the darkness contorted the infantile and pure emotion into something tainted and foul. It sickened the Shade as well as made him feel ashamed. In many ways, he was less than even the petty humans whose love could grow unfettered in many; never tainted thusly, never beyond recognition, or if they were, an exception and not rule.
“You are tired,” a conclusion, neither suggestion nor reprimand, “Please, sleep.”
Vendetta just smiled slightly at his comments, eyes watching the Shade as he spoke, emerald eyes glowing and she looked towards the hall when he mentioned everyone was asleep and she sighed a little,"Shush..."She half giggled and remarked, "I'm fine..."She assured and then rubbed her eyes, closing them so her orbs were hidden from view and she mused quietly as he spoke.
"Well, you didn't die now did you?"She said calmly, content with the conversation and she was glad for once that neither of them were stepping on one another's toes with brash, unthoughtful words and she grinned slightly before she tilted her head as the sudden silence and opened her eyes groggily, blinking at how close Charon was and she was a little startled by his sudden closeness but she did not reject it as such and she watched him as he spoke. An interesting subject. Could Vendetta ever tame Charon's fire...? She didn't know and so she couldn't answer. At times she thought she could and others, she would never dare try. A healthy balance, she knew her limits with him. her eyes flashed over the presence of the darkness warily as his claw like hand hung over her cheek.
"Mm...At times."She said, valiantly and as he brought his hand down to caress her cheek, she placed her own, smaller hand over his very gently, barely touching in the feather light gesture as she remarked quietly, "At times."She repeated and gave a small smile towards him, trusting that he would not harm her, that he would keep control. She did this without question, so much different from the weeks, or was it months?, earlier. She shifted her hand from his, eyes going to her symbol blazing on his chest, curious as to why it had appeared there of all places, but then things worked in an odd way. She guessed this was just one of those things, she cast it out her mind, eyes tracing their way back up to Charon's softly and she answered him, quietly, "I toy with nothing."She whispered.
What she said was true, she didn't seem to be toying with anything in her eyes and she sighed softly, closing her eyes again, marvelling in Charon's touch as she fought to keep awake, eyes open a slit to watch him, glazed and daydream like as she murmured, "Mm...And if I do, I do not mean to."She smiled gently, placing a hand to her shoulder, ignoring the dull ache and closing her eyes once more, right then she felt she could fall asleep but she dare not leave Charon to muse with his thoughts, knowing it must be unsettling for him, it had been unsettling for her as well, hence the sleepless nights she had spent and how tempered she had been on the lead up to Marius' caverns and she still felt a little guilty over snapping at Charon with very little reason to do so.
She opened her eyes, figuring it was a bad idea to keep them closed and she watched the Shade before her, a smile dancing on her lips.
“Well, excuse me for thinking you don’t look well enough for travel,” the Shade reacted gently, half his mind directed at something unseen. Worry? Of course he worried, you couldn’t just walk up the Master of all Shades without running into his henchmen, and unlike Titov, the elder darkness had no qualms about using his stringed up puppets to do as he pleased. There would be no honour to defend Charon in a battle as that; perpetual awareness would prevent him from being stabbed in the back at a moment of distraction.
“You don’t like the city?” Charon asked with a frown, tucking his hands behind his head to enable a better view of the disgruntled Rose. “I guess you wouldn’t, what with the darkness spreading. Each city can be seen from miles, darkness towering high into the night’s sky –in His honour, not mine. Enough to make me jealous. They pray to Imaroch always; and darkness follows them with despair. Stupid humans don’t even notice.”
She was wrong about the woman though; if anything, Charon enjoyed someone gentle and caring, like her dead friend. Kind and patient, for those who tread towards the darkness without trepidation would be rewarded likewise. Contrary to belief, the darkness held no negative emotions, but was a mere reflection to those who dared approach. That was why Shades were always recruited while still a child, for they knew not what made the darkness or shadows bad, and as such treated it with the openness it yearned for. The reward was control.
And from there on everything went down the drain.
“Such is not the desire of the darkness, lust, love, mine covets –my darkness is greed, but not for any earthly desires. You know, the Shades that walk towards the darkness, they are weakest? Because they gave in to the peer pressure before their death. Had I given in upon dying, there would’ve been no other desire but to live, and then I’d be saved, my soul; that is.”
A slight shake of his head and a wary smile was all the Shade offered to her teasing words, and in truth, he had never even contemplated holding a woman for anything but murder. Of course, that was aside the times he had been forced to carry Vendetta, but that was different. The pact, their promise, made it different. At the pending silence, Charon cast a look towards the Rose, whose eyes were closed off from the world. Her innocent joking should perhaps in turn be rewarded with some from his side, but Charon wasn’t exactly in the mood, despite Vendetta’s valiant efforts to take his mind off of things.
With a rare smile Charon got up, the darkness muffling any sounds as he snuck up to the resting Rose. She was so unaware, accustomed to his presence over time. Had she forgotten his desire was for her energy always? The darkness coiled around him, even as his grey eyes took in every detail on Vendetta’s face from where he crouched before her, leaning in closer still, tempted to feel her warmth for a reason he couldn’t name. So still, so precious, akin a doll or a children’s toy. Charon bet her skin broke just as easily, and the discomfort radiating from her shoulder proved his assumption.
“Are you saying you could?” Charon’s deep voice questioned her, all humour and eager desire had fled from his voice. His claw hovered above her cheek, unaware the darkness was surrounding him thickly, feeding and seeking to abuse the emotions the Shade failed to control. With a tenderness belying his strength, Charon caressed her skin, dark claws running across her cheek. “You don’t know what you toy with,” he whispered finally, knowing he should withdraw, but hypnotized by what he saw Charon failed to move, kept in place by his fascination for the light shining so brightly underneath those layers of skin. The urge to dig through her flesh in search of it welled up, but was quenched as swift as it had given rise to the desire to rip the Rose apart.
"You worry too much at times."She mumbled, opening an eye to look at the Shade as he entered and remarked about her resting, "I've rested through most of the day, thanks to Titov's blade."She muttered the last part as if it were poison and she then sighed, rubbing her eyes and stretching nimbly, careful of her shoulder and grimacing as it stretched, cursing under her breath. She frowned as he kept speaking but she agreed with leaving when they could, this was Charon's leg of the journey, his turn to face the one he wished to reap.
"The city?"She mumbled with a small groan, Vendetta disliked cities, but she figured as long as she kept her identity hidden for the most part, it would be a quiet period of time, nothing to out of the ordinary. She let a smile creep over her lips as a thought hit her, it sprang to mind as she watched the skulking Shade, head tilted as if musing quietly over her thought but she did not place words to it as of yet, in time she would perhaps, for now it was a simple jest, a little teasing joke if one would take it that way.
"You could do with a decent, strict woman on your shoulder, Charon."She smirked and gave a small laugh as she closed her eyes and grinned some to herself. She could see him with a powerful woman, one that would keep him in check and at the same time, show him the affection he craved for from just her alone. She wasn't sure how it would work, exactly. If Charon or herself did find a life long companion, it would take a lot of getting used to for the other, she supposed but then, she supposed to often. She yawned and tugged at the blanket feebly, eyes opening to watch the Shade, perhaps get a smile out of his reaction but she shrugged it off, not literally on fear of her shoulder aching.
She shifted and sat up a little, head tilted back to it's original position as she watched Charon with bright, child like eyes as she remarked,"Mind you, don't think many females could handle you and your temper tantrums sometimes."She was only joking and her voice gave this away utterly. She enjoyed having a little bit of a light hearted conversation every now and then. If only for amusement and the sake of she disliked everything being serious all the time, a little bit of a child shining through her at these points in time but it was simple things that really got her these days. She swept some strands of hair out her face and closed her eyes once again, making the discarding of the hair from her face rather pointless.
Taking a small moment to collect his thoughts, resting his head against the cool material of the heavy door, Charon breathed in deeply, his mind conferring exactly why on Earth he should apologize for speaking the truth. Sure, it was rubbing their noses deep into the mess he had made of his petty life prior to their fateful meeting, but hadn’t such things always already been clear?
Despite all of that, despite the knowledge about the Shades in the Rose’s possession she had greedily accepted his offer to help exact her Vendetta in exchange for some of her power; some blood, a bond or even her energy. A grin parted his lips at the memory of Titov’s blood spilling across the stone floor, drenching the gathered fine dust and sands which made up the ground in most of the caverns. Such a delightful sight to behold; the manner with which he had been able to control his infernal desires to kill; to drain life and blood and whatnot had been exceptional. For any other, Charon would’ve done away with any promises or upholding of pride for the sake of a few spilled words in a moment of carelessness.
Something in their bond, or even before that, had managed to pierce through the murky depths of darkness and shadows obscuring his heart, but what exactly that was, Charon couldn’t tell for certain. Was it misplaced affection, love perhaps even?
The cruelty of a Shade’s education prevented from any such emotions taking root, but then again, despite having been forced to slaughter his next of in, Charon wasn’t completely estranged from the aspects of love and caring, and those emotions shimmered through even now. Worry, for Vendetta, and her meagre amounts of sleep despite her grave injuries, and concern that when and if his strength would fail against Imaroch, his fist would grab for the Rose’s throat and squeeze every remnant of energy from her bones in an attempt to extinguish ever last bit of his soul’s residue.
Gathering what resolve remained Charon pushed open the door and with lanky strides circled around the bed to the rumpled side he had vacated some hours ago in favour of finding heat, enjoying once more the comforts of things he hadn’t earned himself. Such dependence, and knowing it was at the welcome of Marius to boot, made the Shade uncomfortable, though not so much that he would ungratefully forfeit whatever was available. Let Vendetta have her windowsills and fire cradled chairs; Charon would always opt for the silky feel of soft sheets and feathery pillows above any of the aforementioned.
“Shouldn’t you be resting?” Charon offered up, a single grey eye peeking through half-closed lids at the contemplative Rose lingering before the fire. Sleep was far from his thoughts, and any cold remnants lingering after Imaroch’s cold claws embraced his heart tightly had evaporated in the hot springs. Not even the usually overly present air of blood was persisting to cling around the Shade; instead the fresh scent of water and stray bits of oils used by prior bathers clung to his skin.
“It is night, everyone is asleep now,” the dark-haired man mussed gently, closing his eyes. Inside energy was teeming in powerful waves, in tune with the earth’s rhythm of the night, and the perpetual force created a nervous flux inside, pride, and confidence, perhaps. Maybe he would sleep –should Vendetta ask him to- and then face Imaroch once more. When lucky, Charon surmised with a sly grin, the Rose would grow worried once more and indulge him with her precious energy.
Their dispute earlier had been forgotten in a manner only children could perhaps –lost awash in a sea of things far more interesting for such an argument to linger as a priority.
“When we leave tomorrow, we best be prepared; city life is no joke, many humans serve Imaroch under the false pretence that he will reward them for their services something other than death,” Charon said calmly, albeit with a more serious undercurrent. “Rumhios is no joke. If we’re lucky, Emaras will have been able to collect a score of Shades and or Rose’s to aid us in our trials.”
The word ‘our’ tasted awkwardly sour, but the Shade ignored it for now –by no means did defeating Titov mean they were on the home-stretch, it merely implied they had one less nuisance to take care of before the break of dawn.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.