Printable Version of Topic
Click here to view this topic in its original format
Seas Of Erin > Cnoch-na-Niall > Promises to keep
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 02:35 AM
It was not to be expected that, overnight, the snows would vanish or the trees blossom. These things took time. Spring would not come to Cnoch-na-Niall before it came to any other place in the world, and at any rate, the blizzards had only really ceased early that morning. Some times they stopped for as long as two days, only to resume as fierce as if they had never ended. The world seemed to be in a state of holding its breath, waiting to see if the witch kept her word.
Niabheara ventured out of the keep, tentatively, and down the long bailey where she had not gone in months, since the snow there accumulated against the south wall in drifts higher than her head. It was too dangerous to try to climb the banks: they were, by now, compacted ice underneath a crumbly layer of new powder. Too easily to turn an ankle or to slip without warning. But it was also the quickest way out of the keep proper and into the forest beyond. The trees made a makeshift windbreak, and walking was easier there. She went deeper in. Every creature that could have made trouble was, by now, deep in hibernation, moved further south, or dead. They would come back in the summer. There would be a summer. She'd seen to that. Things would go back to what they were before. The land was damaged, but not broken.
She went further in until the forest closed behind her.
"Darren." Her voice in the quiet startled her, made her heart beat fast. "I don't know if you can hear me. We need to make arrangements if we're to do this thing at all."
No more debts. Everything accounted for. Slate wiped clean.
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 02:41 AM
As much as he hated to admit it, his whole existence swung on these deals. He could not rely on Hell anymore for a power source, and it was things like this that kept him together long enough, that kept the thread of his sanity intact.
The question came first, the words out of the air before Darren simply was there in front of her, as always tall and blonde and golden-skinned... but his skin seemed faded, everything about him was faded. His eyes a faded blue, almost grey. Even his hair seemed closer to white now. His clothing was bedraggled, although for once not his silk pajamas but a pair of tight-fitting denim pants and an open button-up shirt; the jeans had holes at the knees and were worn down.
"... Yes," he said softly, after a moment, looking at her as if only this second recognizing the woman who had called his name.
"Is he near?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 02:51 AM
Despite that she had told herself, over and over again during this drudge through the woods, that she must not look at his eyes, the fact that his voice came so immediately after her call startled her; automatically she looked around for a face to attach to the voice, and found his. Her whole skin prickled, overwarm under the dense layers of winter clothes.
"He's . . . not here." She took a step toward him despite the frantic inner voice that told her to look down, look away, blink, look anywhere but at him. "Not yet. I've sent for him. I . . . " The question was rapidly slipping away.
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 02:55 AM
Darren smiled at her, a sly expression, before purposefully turning his head to the side so that his eyes weren't on hers, so she wasn't looking directly into his face. He wasn't -trying- to hurt her.
He was, in fact, trying very hard not to simply insist that this bargain be paid the way he'd -originally- planned... a plan which had, inexplicably, failed to even remotely come close to happening.
"Fine," he purred out, his voice a low rumble, watching her from his peripheral vision. "How soon, pretty thing?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 03:04 AM
When he looked away from her, she found herself suddenly able to draw in a long, shaking breath--enough to take the tremour out of her voice. Trying to seem as though nothing had happened, she raised her head and spoke more firmly. "He comes at the next fortnight, at Imbolc, to spread the ashes with us at Cnoch-na-Niall."
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 03:08 AM
Darren nodded, taking his time, leaning against a tree. He had not existed in -Faerie- before, and for the moment relished the fact that he could do this, that his fall from damnation as well as grace had given him these freedoms...
He let his fingers slide slowly over the bark of the thing, not feeling the cold in the air at all.
"Choose, pretty," he said to her, though he continued to look at the tree. "Do you want your prancing king to vanish or do you want him to stay... exactly... where he is?" Darren grinned, to wide, too white.
"People go mad, sometimes, quite suddenly..."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 03:19 AM
Gritting her teeth, Niabheara quietly ignored that Darren took the matter as forgone: that he would get the King, one way or another. She prayed he did not know something she didn't. "I don't want you to do anything without proof," she said, rather too sharply. "He must remain where he is. It's going to be suspicious enough if something happens . . . if something happens to him on these grounds."
She coughed slightly to cover up the tremble. Nothing was set in stone. This bargain could still be broken--at what cost, she could not figure, but the fact remained that nothing had happened yet that could not be undone.
"What will you do to him?"
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 03:21 AM
"If he remains where he is?"
Darren stared, fascinated, at the bark of the tree, experiencing the roughness of it against his fingers as if a child touching these lines for the first time.
He smiled, more to himself than to her, completely convinced of his own brilliance. It wasn't something he did often-but the reality of his visits to this lady herself, to the shadow-parasite, to others had given him an idea.
"Nothing that will show to anyone but him."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 03:29 AM
Her brow furrowed into a frown. Somehow, the prospect--not to mention his smile--was not reassuring. "This is not a gift clear of strings, sir. You're only to find out the truth of this matter. If it is so . . . " But her mind was too preoccupied with what would happen if it was not so. "If it is so, beware the Lady. She may wish to stop you."
'May' was possibly the understatement of her entire small life.
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 03:34 AM
He stood still, for a moment, some part of his face twisting in what could have been annoyance-or could have been actual pain. For that moment it seemed there was not just the one of them but two-he and Darai, Darren faded and in pain, the female aspect of him brilliant, sane, but deadly dangerous.
Darren won this battle-just as Darai opened her bloody red mouth to speak she abruptly faded out and Darren turned to look at Niabheara again, looking distracted and uneasy, but smiling at the pretty picture the girl made.
Neely's daughter, his brain reminded him.
"I will find the truth my own way. I will not make a home of his mind, Niabheara ni Dowd. I'm not in the habit of dwelling in the minds of faerie."
That brought a wicked little grin onto his face.
"The Lady will know that the consort has gone, apparently, mad. She will know that one day he will, just as suddenly, cease to be mad." He tilted his head, watching her face, hair falling into his eyes.
"Is that satisfactory?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 03:41 AM
"Well enough." Something had flickered in him; she was quick enough to see it happen but not quick enough to know exactly what it had been, only that it was good that it had gone as fast as it had done. It was a fight not to watch him to see if it happened again. She had too many other questions--how long, and how mad--but this conversation has already dragged out for far too long where she was concerned.
There was enough court left to her to say what needed to be said. "You have done well in keeping your word to me. I appreciate it. But after this we are done with each other."
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 03:47 AM
Darren watched her face, the way she carefully looked away from him, and contemplated reaching out and snagging her by that red hair, no matter how she'd hate him touching it, and dragging her over. The forest would be a good place for her to learn the art of being a woman. If Darren even felt like making it an Art instead of an ordeal.
And so there was a moment's long, drawn-out pause, and his fingers twitched slightly. She'd fight like a cat, all claws and danger, if he couldn't get her to look at him. They'd gotten closer each time they met...
Besides, her fight all hissing and hate would be much more entertaining than her simply giving in and being lost in the trance...
He shook himself, suddenly, all over; a dog shaking water off its back.
"We are," he grinned, letting that rest well enough.
"I will find out what you want to know, pretty girl," he said, and laughed, bright and musical and amused.
He'd find that out, sure. And many other things besides.
Posted by: The Ganconner Mar 24 2007, 03:52 AM
A voice high in the branches above Darren's head gave a deeper, throatier impersonation of the demon's laughter--only this went on and on, as if it found something too hilarious to stop itself.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 03:52 AM
Niabheara shrank back away from the doubled laughter. Her wrapped hands pressed together over her throat. The only thought in her head was that there could not, could not possibly, be two of them there.
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 03:56 AM
He tilted his head to the side and looked up, his laughter cut-off into quick silence, to listen to the thing that continued the sound, on and on, and Darren smiled at the sheer -noise- of it, this thing that spoke.
"Do you know what that is, pretty thing?" He asked Niabheara mildly, raising his voice slightly to be heard over the unceasing hilarity above. He was curious. A little wary. And, though he stood relaxed and even now stretched his arms out in front of him, arching hs back a little like a cat...
He was uncertain. A little dab of what he would never have admitted might be fear had made his chest a little cold.
He did not -know- Faerie.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 04:00 AM
Niabheara shook her head, mutely. She could see nothing through the web of branches. "It could be a lot of things. I thought nearly everything had gone away for the winter."
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 04:05 AM
"There is no winter cold enough to make -everything- leave it," Darren murmured, turning as best he could towards the direction the laughter had come and leaning against a tree. His jeans looked less worn out now-the holes had patches on them. His skin seemed brighter even in the faded-out shade of the winter forest.
He would have asked it to come down, but Darren was not the one who did the asking. Not if he could help it.
"This is why we don't come to Faerie," he muttered, vaguely annoyed. His amusing contemplations of taking the girl right here and now, damn the deal, and leaving her to deal with the consequences had been interrupted, and he didn't much appreciate it. Whether or not the Faery King was an accomplishment demons would dream of...
"You're all completely batshit."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 04:12 AM
Now was not the moment to burst herself with Tuatha pride. She assumed he was not faking--that he honestly had no idea what had laughed at them--and moved further away from him in his distraction. "It could be anything. Usually they're something quite harmless and silly." She tossed her head. "It hardly matters. Some boggart. Are we finished here, sir?"
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 04:15 AM
He turned to look at her, taking his time, letting his eyes go from the very tip of her head down her clothes, considering hte body he knew existed under all the bulk. Those damn sub-dresses.
And he smiled at her, showing teeth that had at some point become very white fangs.
"Yes, we are," he murmured, all sweetness and delicacy and romance for the moment. "I'll see you when the time comes, lady-love. Try not to pine for want of me too much, hmmn?" His voice was soft, husky, a voice used to whisper in a lover's ear.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Mar 24 2007, 04:22 AM
Niabheara, for once, held her ground and did not shrink. "'Til Imbolc," she agreed. "'Til then, keep your word. I will do the same."
Posted by: Darren Meander Mar 24 2007, 04:24 AM
Darren only laughed, the deepest rumbling laugh his throat would manage, rather than say anything else.
And after a moment, he simply was not there and his laughter faded out only a second afterwards.
Powered by Invision Power Board (http://www.invisionboard.com
© Invision Power Services (http://www.invisionpower.com