/ By Tweedy [+Watch]

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The vampire’s attention went to the nearby bottle of wine and Alenia wondered if that would be that. They would move on, focus back to dinner, which was smelling more and more delicious the longer it simmered. She was getting hungry.

As he moved, Alenia followed Alvér about. She wanted to continue to be a part of what he was doing. Even if she wasn’t really participating. Her eyes watched as his slender hands began chopping the basil they had collected into finer strips. This was also when he inquired further to the views she had been taught. She had thought they were through with the topic, but it was fine.

[b “Oh, the basic things you might expect from a church.”] Leaning in, the woman rested her arms on the counter. Her head laid on top of them lazily as she situated herself just to the side of where her personal chef for the night was working. There she looked at his hands instead of his face. [b “That magic is a precious gift from the gods and that it should be neither squandered nor used for personal gain. We were to do as much as we could by hand and only resorted to calling on Corellon when necessary to help others in a way we could not do alone.”] Things like healing the sick and casting out the unholy were among the exceptions. Though back where she was from, it was not uncommon to need to do so. [b “I don’t think it is too bizarre of a concept, and there’s definitely been times when my failing to do so caused problems, so I still find myself living that way. Well, in regards to some things. It obviously doesn’t always translate now that I am in a different line of work.”] Eyes flashing up to his face, she wondered if that answered his question.
  Alenia Panala / Loxi / 8d 13h 59m 39s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
Teachings, he wondered how much of a human perspective Alenia held about her magic. His lips pursed, stopping immediate questions, and instead shifted, turning towards the stew once again and opened it. Reaching in with a brave hand, he plucked the exposed edge of the beef bone out of the broth and set it in the lid, and that whole arrangement on the counter nearby. Next, he considered the bottle of burgundy. Pulling out the cork with a little twisting motion, and little effort, he gauged how much was inside and considered for a moment how much to put in. It was something to do with his hands.

He then turned towards Alenia, moving to approach. Alvér held his palm out for the herbs as his eyes glanced over her immediate area, wondering where she put them. "[B What did they teach you about magic, then?]"

Spotting them on the counter, he gathered them carefully in his fingers, before turning to the cutting board he used earlier and chopping the tender leaves, pinching them a bit in his fingers to give them some mass for the knife to get through.
  Tweedy / 8d 14h 10m 20s
Alvér wore a contemplative look. She hadn’t thought she had said anything quite so thought provoking. At least, she had tried to break why she couldn’t just use magic for this down to its simplest pieces so that it wouldn’t be weird or confusing. It seemed she had failed that though, because he told her he wasn’t getting it. Alenia wondered just what part lead to the disconnect. Sure, she could probably explain the details of the situation. And that would probably help him understand better, but it was not a story she wanted to go into.

[b “That’s alright.”] She was not being dismissive in saying that, more that she didn’t think it was incredibly important that he see this as she did. [b “It’s not something I expect other people to ascribe to, or even understand, it was just how I was taught.”] Having closed the gap between them enough to satisfy her, Alenia stopped at what she considered a regular speaking distance, a couple of feet between them. There she rocked from her toes to her heals, back and forth, as she continued to speak. [b “Not that I follow all those teachings by any means. It’s just that that one stuck with me.”]
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 8d 16h 42m 57s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
The distance between them, for the time being, while he regained control of himself did him good. Unfortunately, in his efforts to self isolate, Alvér was realizing, as Alenia crossed the room from him, his eyes following; that doing so had eroded his self control in this matter. The only time he ever sought to eat was when the hunger was unbearable. Could be a week. Two. He only smelled blood when he was intending to consume it. No longer hiding among living people, he hadn't the tolerance he had once. That dawned on him like a grim, chilled beam.

Alvér's features tightened a bit, not comprehending that. To him, managing his magical abilities had been in constant use, a whole extension of himself, an entire, amorphous extrasensory set of limbs, once he had been able to accept it as a part of himself. Was she used to it running out? Was her magical ability very weak and uncontrolled, then? She had mentioned her having to retrain it before... His gaze became bemused, glancing over her as he tried to reason that out.

And calling it 'frivolous' somehow put a bad taste in his mouth. She wasn't shy in using it, before. Was it so precious, so vintaged or powerful or holy that it needed ceremony to bestow, perhaps? That was an arrogant thought. Alenia had made it clear she thought very highly of her discipline, and had expressed earlier that she had worked very hard to discipline it so perhaps that was a byproduct of it. It didn't sound like ascetism, as he might have thought with her raised by a temple convent. But then again, that would depend on the way of life that religion taught.

He thought that for a convent dedicated to Corellon- and elven god, and a creature [i of] magic- that she would have thought about it the same way he did. It was one of the humors in the body, as natural to their race as their very blood. Or was her human background influencing that? They held peculiar beliefs about magic, like it was some ichor that was bestowed and rare... that deepened his reflexive unease about that. It sounded dangerously close to the words that the priestesses would sneer, and call him monstrous with.

"[B I don't believe I understand that,]" he responded, tipping his head a bit.

Magic, to him, was something at once like a muscle, a nerve, a sixth sense that needed constant outlet, exercise, and he often found himself relying on it for a great many things. It saturated the world, and sprung like a well from himself, that he had to carefully control and release or it would cramp and act up like disused or abused tissue.

That was what had led to his first taste of real punishment, was his disuse and incomprehension of his own magic. And in being punished, slowly he had come to bitterly claim it as his own, while being denounced for possessing it. It was something he could fight back with, where his warrior's skills ebbed, his magic flowed.
  Tweedy / 8d 20h 35m 42s
Alenia supposed he was right; the cut was minor. And at any other time she probably wouldn’t have bothered with a bandage, but in this case it was more for his comfort rather than hers. She figured the more covered up it was the more out of mind it would be. However, it seemed Alvér was not that sensitive to it. Washing might be enough. So, she nodded as she ran the water over her hands, gently scrubbing away at the red stains. The woman let her injured hand linger there, removing it periodically to see if the bleeding had stopped. After a few repetitions it did, at least for the most part. The line remained crimson on the pad of her finger, noting that the blood had only relented enough to not spill over from its split.

Eyes watching that spot critically, wanting to be entirely sure she was okay to move from the water, the elf told herself that she would need to be careful not to do anything to reopen it. With it being her right hand it would be a mite troublesome, but she could manage. It wasn’t some huge inconvenience.

Then, from behind her, Alvér spoke his question. Finally turning to look at him, her features displayed a mild confusion. [b “Huh?”] But after seeing how he stood hesitantly away from her, Alenia realized just what he was asking. [b “Oh... No, I suppose not.”] It was funny, like he had read her mind back when she had a similar thought. [b “Using magic to heal myself is frivolous, especially with something as minor as this. I can’t really bring myself to do it.”] Her words came out somewhat hesitant as she spoke them. Passing over smiling lips that betrayed complicated feelings on the subject.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 9d 2h 12m 28s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
The vampire sighed at her self deprecation. There was plenty of basil in the planter, and he could easily go get more. He didn't comment. It was more of a distraction for himself.

He let Alenia pull away from him. It was for the best, perhaps, until he could get the scent of her out of his mouth, the wonderings at taste...

"[B It's only a little, I don't think you'll need one,]" he responded, letting their distance and the returning smell of the stew try and overpower everything else. Alvér returned to it, taking the lid off to see how it was doing, letting the ensuing blush of savory steam envelop him.

He nodded at her request for a bandage, since his thoughts were on it already, replaced the lid and shifted to go, but Alvér stopped short. The vampire tipped his head, thinking back to the times that he had been healed, or she had used healing magic in his presence. Surely washing her hands would get rid of the scent of blood, in the end, but that would be after the fact, wouldn't it?

"[B You cannot do it yourself?]" That was one of the reasons he had let go of her, so it wouldn't potentially hurt him yet again. He had only recently taken the bandages off since the last time she had unwittingly used radiant magic like that near him.
  Tweedy / 9d 15h 22m 52s
He was getting closer, pulling her closer, but it wasn’t till his fingers left hers that Alenia finally looked up again. She just barely caught the strained, almost pained, expression before he had a hold of her by the arm and swiveled her back toward the house. Her thoughts distracted her ample enough that she didn’t even notice him bring his thumb to his mouth. In hindsight, she probably should have excused herself and gone back by herself so that he didn’t have to suffer through all this anymore, but it was too late for that now. They were already on the way, his grip steeled but not uncomfortable for the most part, on her elbow.

As they walked, he asked about the basil. She wondered if it was in attempt to distract himself, because it seemed trivial in comparison to everything else right now. Still, she looked down at her other hand, the unwounded one that was not pulled to her chest, and saw that she had indeed managed to hold onto the herbs. They remained safely in her palm. Luckily they were also unsullied by blood. As some of it had transferred to the fingers she used to remove the splinter from her opposite hand. There the thin smear had already dried.

[b “Yes, I’ve still got it. So it looks like I haven’t managed to ruin the stew.”] She tried to joke, hoping it might be helpful, though she wasn’t sure if it was effective. They just continued on to the Dutch door that led back to the kitchen. Once there, Alenia tried to regain some autonomy. [b “Do you think you could go and find me something to wrap this up with?”] She gestured subtly with her injured hand as she spoke. [b “That way I can get it bandaged as soon as I finish cleaning it up in the wash basin?”] The elf thought it a decent excuse for him to have some space. And with that she wiggled free of his hand and made her way to the waterspout.

Alenia did not bother looking back to Alvér; she wasn’t worried about what he decided to do. Beside, making sure this was done thoroughly was her top priority right now. It took most of her attention. Well, that and wistfully thinking about how convenient it would be to use magic in a time like this.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 10d 2h 25m 12s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
Alvér was well aware that he was holding tightly onto her. He knew this was exactly what he tried to avoid, knowing what it had done to her previously, but right now the rigidity of his arm felt like the one thing standing in the way of him and oblivion. Of Alenia and potential, literal oblivion and mortal harm.

He was also aware that he was drawing closer, he was drawing [i her] closer. Beware. He had to beware here, this was dangerous territory. His chest and neck heated, thinking about it. He couldn't tear his eyes away from his own fingers holding hers.

Images, sensations flashed through his mind of when this first happened. When he didn't even know what he was yet. When that hunger, after the fever subsided, drove him to do what he did. He was not there. It made the heat worse with anxiety as he thought about it that he forced himself to remember. He wasn't there. This was what he feared, why he no longer had anything or anyone close. He was a danger to them more than he ever had been as a misguided, mortal man. He remembered how he was persecuted for it. Alenia could see his face changing from that stoicism to something more fragile. His brows pressed, looking at her again. The alabaster skin was cracking a bit, and not in the literal sense it had earlier that day when it had actually, physically broken off of him. These were hairline, imagined cracks in how his expression changed, raw.

He remembered. Buried. Being immobilized and put in a casket. The vampire swallowed, his other hand going to her elbow, just gently, laying the pads of his fingers there, afraid to touch, afraid he would grab if he did as he looked away from her. He let go of her hand, his tongue swiping out to lick over the pad of his thumb. He couldn't help that, his lids fluttered. The scent still lingered on his skin. It made him want to draw closer. With the other, he turned her.

"[B Let's get you inside to take care of that,]" he said quietly, voice a bit brittle, careful, as he walked with her back into the kitchen.

It took all that he was not to draw closer. Not to draw her into him, and hold her captive so he could sink into that skin of hers and lap at her wrist, or the meat of her thumb, tracing his tongue through the creases in her palm to chase last, lingering trails. The need on his face was painful, and he pressed his lips together.

He swallowed again, considering trying to let go of her. He knew his touch was changing between soft, on the verge of tentative, and a harder grip as he fought these instincts, these needs.

"[B Do you still have the basil?]" he asked, clearing his throat a bit abortively, keeping his eyes carefully on the house.
  Tweedy / 10d 16h 10m 42s
Alvér’s question pulled her thoughts immediately from herself to him. Oh yeah, getting hurt, especially in a way that drew blood, around him was probably not a good thing. A person could only call on so much restraint and the last thing she wanted was to make his night any harder than it had already been. [b “Yes, I am fine.”] That bit she spoke with confidence, however the next bit not so much. Not after her swooped in and took a hold of her. [b “I, um, I’m sorry.”] She was suddenly hyper aware that she needed to be much more careful.

The pressure from his thumb stung. She knew he was trying to halt the bleeding, for both of their sakes, but really she just wanted to head off on her own so she could take care of it without bothering him anymore. But he had a tight hold on her and a look of concentration on his face. Alenia wasn’t entirely sure he would let go without some significant effort on her part. And she did not want to make this ‘a thing.’ So, she stood there looking up at him, feeling more and more aware of how close they were the longer she did. The woman did her best to not fixate on it, lest she be reduced to an embarrassed mess, but it was terribly difficult when he had that glint of desire in his eye. Of course she knew it wasn’t really directed at her, but the crimson lifeblood his body craved. However, she couldn’t help but wish it were. Eventually, she couldn’t stand it any longer. Her brown eyes fell away from his. The grass at their feet was suddenly very interesting.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 10d 16h 46m 15s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
Alvér's senses sharpened as the scent, if faint, hit him. He hadn't stood up as quickly as Alenia had, and it was in his motion of doing so that the wound was brought nearer to him and the scent of her blood bloomed. Stopping, Alvér's eyes went to her hand, seeing her peering at it, that wink of blood there as she pulled her hand away, discarding the splinter.

His breath escaped him and he froze, eyes stuck on that little, precious bead. They snapped to Alenia's face. He swallowed, his hands stopping from moving, raising. He tipped his head up, controlled, careful.

"[B Are you alright?]" he rasped, voice a bit husky with the energy it took.

It smelled tantalizing. His mouth was watering considering it, and it hung in his thoughts like the scent did around him.

In a blur of motion, before Alenia could even blink, his hand took hers. It wasn't cold, like it usually was, it felt warm, alive with the heat of the blood he took earlier in the night. His thumb was pressed against the pad of her finger, trying to hide the wound, to stamp out that scent. His hold on her was strong, his eyes glimmering with that want, heavy-lidded as he focused and took a breath, carefully, through his mouth.

Even if he wasn't starving, it was like any person with the smell of food. And a vampire was often, with how their feeding habits were, with how they needed to hunt and kill to eat, meals were sparse, often, and precious. The vampire's face was pinched with concentration as he told himself to keep eye contact with her, because when he looked away it almost made it worse, or better. Looking at her put his hand, pressed around hers, into his periphery, and looking away only put it in his thoughts, the possibility, how much he wanted her... how much he wanted to taste.
  Tweedy / 10d 19h 6m 48s
Leaned down, the woman’s hand was rested on the side of the old wooden planter for a bit more balance. She wondered how long these beds had been here, as the nails holding them together were rusted and the wood itself was splintering away. They would likely hold up for a great deal longer, but they were rough around the edges. Not that that really mattered.

Alenia had not expected him to close in on her quite so much. The light pressure of his hand on her shoulder served as a moderate distraction even though she was trying to listen to what he had to say. It was a good thing his directions were simple, or else she might have missed it completely as she stared up at him nearly enrapt by his near presence. Her eyes stayed fixed on his face, she still wasn’t used to seeing him so whole like this, but she couldn’t help but be distracted. He was gorgeous. The bard spent so much time around humans she would often go years without seeing another elf, but here and now she was realizing just how much she preferred those elfin features. Was it a general preference or just because she fancied Alvér? She wasn’t entirely sure, but it was likely a healthy mix of both.

After being caught in those thoughts for perhaps a touch too long, she snapped back to what was actually going on. [b “Oh yeah, of course!”] Alenia attempted to cover up her embarrassment of what she had just been thinking about by jumping headlong into the task at hand. [b “I can definitely do that.”] Taking the offered leaf, she turned back to the basil plant to hide her reddening face and procure a few more of the soft, fragrant leaves. [b “Got it, what’s next?”] She needed another task quick lest she be left to her thoughts once more.

In all her nerves and enthusiasm, Alenia stood quickly. However, in that rush, she did not loosen her grip on the planter quite enough. Dragging her fingertips against the fracturing wood, her middlest one caught on the jagged edge. She winced, the hiss of air rushing in passed her teeth accompanied the face she made. Turning her hand so that she could better see the damage, a splinter of wood remained embedded in the split in her skin. It was a small cut, but deep enough to draw blood even before she moved to remove the shard of wood, which she did quickly to stave the chance of infection.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 11d 4h 13m 20s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
Alvér's shoulders slumped softly as he relaxed into the air of the night, feeling like it cleaned out his chest and body. His eyes moved over the boundaries of the immediate garden, eyes snagging on shapes, forms, things he imagined. Exhaling softly, he moved to lead the way.

His step behind her was nearly indeterminable, but the whisper of his coat hem over the plants they passed. Even if he didn't have the dark-vision he had, Alenia would be easy to follow. She stuck close, and her heartbeat kept her within a steady beacon at the edge of his attention.

The vampire turned at her voice, head turning round. She sounded excited, looking over at him with a bright smile. He could smell the herb as he got closer, following and leaning over her, steadying himself on her shoulder, and went in to give it a closer scent.

"[B With it fresh like this,]" he said, taking that hand from her, and pressing his fingers together with a leaf between them. "[B Just a few leaves,]" he murmured, tugging the plant closer a bit so he could smell it, offering it to Alenia if she wanted it.
  Tweedy / 11d 18h 13m 5s
The pair was quiet for a while. The crackling of the fire was all the sound between them, though that was not a bad thing. Spitting and sputtering from the flames made for a soothing atmosphere. Alenia was content to let it be and simply soak in his presence, but surprisingly enough, Alvér was the one to break the silence. Eyes pulling away from the hearth, she saw that the man was already turning to leave. [b “Oh, okay.”] She quickly scurried along after him, catching the door before it had time to fully creak closed.

Alenia had been out to the garden a couple of times now, but having someone else with her made it easier. Not only was he ample distraction to keep her from focusing on what could go wrong, but also she was confident if something did he would be able to help her. Just as he had before, though the details were fuzzy on her end. It gave her an extra bit of confidence that the forest might not compel her again, however she kept close all the same.

She knew what basil looked like, and she was fairly certain she had seen it somewhere out here before, but there was little use wandering off on her own to find it when he knew exactly where that was. As proved by their prompt arrival at a raised plot dedicated solely to a menagerie of herbs. The moonlight shone down on a miniature sea of green. There was little distinction in color, especially at night, so one would have to differentiate by stocks and leaves alone. Not that that was a particularly challenging task.

Spotting the rounded leaves they were looking for, Alenia grew excited. It was an almost childlike joy. [b “Found it”] The woman announced this proudly, as if she had accomplished some great task as opposed to pointed out basil in an herb garden. [b “How much do we need?”] Already knelt down next to the planter, she looked up at Alvér, curious to what his culinary master plan called for.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 12d 9h 15m 48s
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/72/99/b2/7299b25d77d8b0a32488bf31783ae2d7.jpg]]
The vampire gazed into the fire for a while. Alvér's thoughts had a strange animation to them, now, that they would take him away from his current situation. It wasn't uncommon, but these ones were pervasive and cloying. And they came with a press of emotion, of thought that made him shiver, that made him doubt.

His eyes dropped away and his arms tightened around himself, as if looking away from those things.

He was doing something right now. Focus on that.

After some time, the creature blinked out of his thoughts and back into real life again. His eyes turned to the bard. "[B We should gather the herbs I wanted,]" he said, voice soft, still a bit absent. He stood up off of the wall and looked over to her.

He hesitated a moment before turning and walking out into the night, pushing the door open.

In the cool air, he felt it clarifying him. The vampire took a breath, holding it a moment as if to push out the heat of the stew and the fire and the smell of the kitchen, exhaling softly. The cool smoothed across his skin, chasing away the dry heat of the fire, and bringing his vampiric body out of that and into something familiar, safer.

"[B We're looking for basil.]"
  Tweedy / 16d 18h 27m 47s
Alenia chuckled lightly at his amendment to her wordage. [b “I didn’t meant literally, silly. It’s more a figure of speech to say that I felt like I was being lazy.”] She wasn’t entirely sure whether he was being serious or sarcastic with the comment, but either way it felt like he was grasping at straws to find something to say. And so she let the conversation fade. It was a comfortable silence between them as they continued to chop up the few vegetables that were left.

She could feel his eyes linger on her for a while longer. It made her slightly self-conscious. Not necessarily in bad or insecure way, just that Alenia became overtly mindful of herself with him looking her way. The butterflies that flittered in her stomach served as a reminder of her newly discovered feelings for him. And those little bugs lingered for a while. Even as he made off with all the ingredients to add them to the pot, and he was fully enrapt in that, the feeling didn’t fade. Probably because she had started watching him again as he worked.

[i “Now we wait.”]

His announcement brought her back from her distracted thoughts. [b “That’s the hardest part too.”] Alenia was only half joking with her comment. Sure, waiting meant you were done with the prep and stuff, but soon the smell would begin to waft through the room in all its irresistible temptation. Still, she knew she would manage if she found something to distract her. And so far, Alvér had served as ample distracting by doing little more than being near her.

Letting the man finish up with the last few tasks, his elfin compatriot felt less bad standing around now than she had before. Truly at this point there wasn’t enough work to go around. Plus, this was sort of meant to be his thing, so she was okay in letting it go.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 19d 18h 30m 8s

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