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Celeste got up and brushed her skirt off. She wasn’t entirely sure either. She didn’t want to push him either, not like Velia had. She still didn’t like how Velia had manipulated him.
“R-right. Me too. I just… I want to know. And...” Celeste took a step closer, then paused before stepping around in front of him. She leaned in and kissed his cheek before she lost her nerve,”There. Sober this time. A-anyway, I guess we should try and get back to the senate and figure out what we can.”
He listened as she talked about their dangers and how fast this all was. Nodding as she continued.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to, but she persuaded me, I just felt bad for her, wanting her to be able to choose and live without having her life chosen for her by the Senate. Because of that, I don’t really regret my decision, but I feel bad for making you hurt and upset.” He answered again with a sorrowful smile.
Before blushing at her bext stuttered question.
“U-Uh well. First we’ll try and go to the Senate, find out more about this city and this world. B-But concerning you and Velia w-well.” He started before glancing away.
“I-I’ll admit I have some feelings for her, seeing as we, w-well.... h-had sex. B-But, like I said last night, I d-do have feelings for you too. I-I don’t know exactly how deep t-those feelings are for either of you, t-this is the first time I’ve had these feelings.” He admitted with a mad blush, getting up and turning away from her out of embarrassment.
Celeste listened silently to his reasons. He was being honest now at least. As hurt as she was that he’d been with Velia and then kissed her without telling her, he didn’t really sound pleased about the whole thing. Velia was manipulative and insistent, was it really so surprising that she would make him feel bad enough for her to get what she wanted? She glanced back to see him sit down on the ground. She wasn’t sure what to do. Everything seemed to be a mess. They were in a lot of danger with no real allies, except apparently Velia now. She sighed and sat down as well.
“Everything is just… it’s all moving too fast. You. The senate. Velia. These powers we’re still not sure how to use. And anyone might want to kill one of us any time.” Celeste hesitated a moment, but put her hand over his,”I… I didn’t want you to have to.”
Wanting to change the past wouldn’t do them any good. She shook her head,”I guess we can’t change it. So I… Well, from here what are we going to do? And… um, are you… I mean, I-I know last night with me was probably just… B-but do you… are you more…” She was blushing again, and struggling to figure out how to ask,”Um, serious about… her?”
Jax just looked away from Celeste as she asked her questions.
"I wanted to tell you straight away, but we ended up drinking, and I obviously mustn't have said anything while I was drunk." He tried to say as an excuse, unable to look her in the eye.
"I didn't want to, I just felt bad for her, she was going to be forced to be with someone the Senate decided, and forced to live life as their pet. I didn't want that for her, plus I wanted to keep you safe, I promised you that much already." He said blushing and still looking away, feeling more and more embarrassed about all of this.
"A-As for when, I-it happened just after you got in the bath, we did it while you were getting cleaned up." He answered honestly, sitting down on the ground and just keeping his gaze away from her.
Velia didn’t seem terribly bothered by Celeste’s reaction. She had expected it sooner or later. “Mmm, my door is always open. I’ll send a letter later to tell you where my country villa is.”
Velia watched him leave with a sigh. She knew time was short, the frustrating part was that she didn’t know [i exactly] when they were leaving, just that it would be today. She focused on her breakfast, giving them a little while alone.
Celeste kept walking, though her pace slowed. They were in the garden, which seemed empty at the moment,”When were you going to tell me? I thought… I thought you didn’t want to. I… When did you…?”
She stopped walking, but didn’t turn to look at him. A more calm, rational part knew there was some logic in it, Velia’s help could be very valuable now. That part was being overwhelmed by the hurt, angry part.
Jax nodded at Velia's response and reasoning, of course she knew they were leaving, he was a bit annoyed that, but she had a point, they would live longer if they played along. He just had to keep up the little 'performance' he started at the Senate. He was worried about Celeste though, about what some of the men at the Senate might try and do to her.
"Im rather against having Celeste try and keep the men infatuated with her, but you're right, it's the best chance we've got." He admitted.
His heart dropping at Celeste's stutter and that she should leave, she must have figure out why Velia was suddenly helping them. He looked at Velia briefly.
"I'll talk to her, thank you for your help Velia." He said following after Celeste.
"Celeste! Wait, I can explain. I went along with her to give you a better chance of surviving, if I didn't, chances are she might have even convinced the Senate to kill you." He tried to explain, feeling horrible and guilty about all of this.
Celeste took the seat next to Jax, red faced and trying to look at just the food. Apparently Jax had only fared a little better than her for modest clothing.
Velia went on to explain as she got a little plate ready for herself,”It’s perfectly reasonable. You two will go back to the senate, and I would like you both to be as safe as possible. My letter should warn most of them off, but it’s really best if you also manipulate them into liking you while you’re there. For you, Jax, you should be confident, fearless. Be a leader. They’ll respect that. As for you, Celeste.”
Velia paused, looking over Celeste,”They’re a bunch of men, and not all are terribly bright. It’s best if they see you as a woman, an [i attractive] woman. They’ll be too distracted fawning over you to think to kill you.”
Celeste was still looking embarrassed, but also at Velia curiously. Of course Velia knew, but why was she trying to be so helpful? She looked at Velia, then Jax, and a light turned on. “Oh. Oh. Um.”
She looked hurt. When had that happened? If Velia was helping them so much it could only mean she got what she wanted from Jax. The question was when. Celeste wasn’t sure. She got up from the table,”Right. I… I think I better go now.”
She wasn’t sure where to yet, exactly. Out of the room, at least. Did she want to try to go see the senate on her own now? She didn’t know, she just started walking.
Jax went down towards the table, blushing mad when he saw the dress Velia was wearing.
“Uh m-morning. What are we eating?” He asked as she took his hand, trying not to stare at her body too much as she led him to the table, trying to regain his composure before she talked about Celeste.
“What did you give Celeste to wear?” He asked curious and a little worried. He wasn’t exactly happy with his own clothes, his torso was mostly bare at this point, with what was closer to a large scarf than a shirt draped around his neck and top of his torso and back. The waist down he was wearing what would be more akin to half a robe than pants, in black and grey. His own clothes keeping his blush apparent as he stood near the table, waiting for Celeste as he tried his best not to stare at Velia. Trying to think of how him and Celeste would leave and tell Velia, if she didn’t know already, but he didn’t underestimate her power, she’s definitely know by now.
That was when Celeste finally came down, causing poor Jax to have as dark of a blush as possible, embarrassed at his own clothes, plus trying not to stare at either of the girls.
“H-Hey Velia, mind explaining your choice of attire for us here?” He chimed in as he sat down, keeping his gaze away from the girls as best as he could, thinking that he needed to say something to not look like a blushing fool.
“W-We’ll, these aren’t all bad, you both do look really beautiful like that.” He said looking away and rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment.
Downstairs Velia was waiting for them with breakfast already laid out on the table. It was set up to be a more modest feast, but it hardly looked plain. When Jax came in Velia went over to him, smiling. She was wearing a dress the only went over one shoulder before wrapping around, and along one side it was open pretty far up and showed her leg when she walked. “Good morning. Come, have a seat and eat. Celeste won’t be too much longer. I expect she’s not happy with what I picked for her to wear. You’ll see.”
She was being warm and friendly, and took Jax’s hand to bring him to the table. She was in a pretty good mood at the moment, though some of it was forced. She knew they would be leaving, but hoped to still enjoy what she could of the morning.
Celeste was indeed not very happy with Velia’s choice in dress. The servant girl helped her into it, and after some argument and the girl refusing to get something else for Celeste, Celeste finally went down to breakfast, the servant girl trailing behind her. Celeste was red faced and had her arms crossed in front of her when she entered the dining room. The dress Velia had picked embarrassed her. It was mostly held in place by a cord tied around her midsection, crossed a few times. It draped down her shoulders and the skirt was long, but it left her back mostly exposed, as well as her sides down to her hips. The front plunged down too, leaving a strip of skin exposed to her bellybutton. As soon as she saw Velia she complained,”This has to be a mistake. You can’t seriously expect me to wear this.”
Velia smiled, leaning over the table,”No mistake. You look lovely. I have my reasons, and I’ll explain over breakfast. Come have a seat.”
Jax blushed and nodded as she said that they didn’t have sex, sighing in relief.
“I-I was worried I tried to hurt you or something for a moment there.” He admitted rubbing the back of his head, freezing when she asked if he remembered kissing her.
“W-W-What!? I did what?” He asked with the deepest blush, he didn’t really remember it, or did he? He wasn’t sure, he remembered drinking wine then it was all a blur.
“S-Sorry for that, I don’t know what w-would have come over me.” He said as an excuse before she stumbled out of the room, him getting changed quickly as he blushed. Vaguely starting to remember a bit of what happened after they both had wine. Remembering the kiss and a bit of what he said.
“G-God, I can’t believe I said that.” He said facepalming, worried about what she thought of him, also concerned about how Velia would feel about the kiss, and even worse, what Celeste would think about him having sex with Velia. It was all too much to protest, plus he wanted to try and leave with Celeste today, since they didn’t go last night. He soon exited his room, going back downstairs, glancing at Celeste’s room as he passed, heading down to where Velia would have been waiting.
Celeste shook her head, her face feeling very hot,”No! No.” He was hiding something about Velia, but she was too mortified trying to explain about the two of them last night to press him on it more. She finished gathering the clothes and continued,”We um… You really don’t remember kissing me?”
He didn’t remember it, but from what she remembered of last night he’d seemed pretty genuine about liking her. She stumbled on her way to the door,”A-anyway, I… I better go change. And um, let you.”
Celeste was surprised to see the servant girl still waiting outside. The girl bowed,”I was instructed to help you dress, if you needed help, Lady Celeste. My lady chose it for you.”
Celeste ducked into her room, at first insisting that she could manage. About a minute later she had to carefully poke her head out and ask for a bit of help. Whatever Velia had picked out wasn’t easy to get into.
Jax just tried his best to look away from Celeste, blushing madly at her dress and her exposed shoulder. Grabbing his own fresh clothes, putting on the fresh shirt for now.
His blush getting darker as Celeste started talking bout last night nd what he might remember.
“We what? W-We didn’t..... have.... sex did we?” He asked blushing mad and a bit concerned, hoping he didn’t do something that outrageous last night, although, he did do that with Velia. His blush getting as dark as it could as he remembered his time with Velia. His heart dropping a bit as Celeste mentioned her name.
“W-What do you mean? N-Nothing about her.” He tried to hide at first, stammering his words before looking away and rubbing the back of his head.
Velia? What was he saying about Velia? Celeste’s face was crimson, and when he jumped out of bed she sat up. He didn’t remember? Of course. They were both pretty drunk. It was a little bit of a haze for her, but she remembered enough.
Celeste got out of bed, flustered. Her clothes were still on, but disheveled. A few of the ties on the dress had come loose, and the part tying one shoulder up seemed loose and had slipped down. Celeste started to pick up the fresh clothes the servant had brought as she stammered out,”L-last night we… um. Y-you don’t remember? We…”
She paused and bit her lip again. He didn’t remember kissing her? But again, what was that about Velia? “A-anyway, what was that about Velia? More what?”
Jax stirred a bit in his sleep as he was shaken a bit by Celeste. The music slowing down as the aura disappeared slowly.
“Mmm.... Velia? More again?” He said slurringly in his sleep, moving towards the warmth a bit before the music and aura disappeared completely. Jax starting to stir awake as he slowly sat up, still shirtless as he sat up, looking at Celeste wth a smile.
“Morning Celeste.” He said before blushing as he realised he was shirtless next to her, jumping up and out of bed.
“C-Celeste!? W-Why are we together in bed?” He asked confused, not really remembering last night due to how drunk he was, not knowing what he had said in his sleep.
The servant girl left, and Celeste turned her attention back to Jax. The music wasn’t her dream, it was him. And he was snuggled up against her. Celeste could feel his breath on her neck. Celeste knew they would have to get up and go downstairs, because she very much wanted to avoid Velia coming up here herself.
Celeste bit her lip and shook Jax lightly,”Jax? We need to get up. It’s morning already.”
While she tried to wake him, she also tried to slip away from him to get out of bed herself, but it wasn’t easy. His arm was over her, and her shoulder was pinned under his head.
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