To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Hama Valon, the city around the Grey Tower.
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Welcome to Hama Valon! The aptly named 'mountain guard' is the city that has grown up at the gates of the Grey Tower at the western edge of the Two Rivers. Like all cities, there are quiet quarters with pleasant inns, such as Elman's Creek, which used to be the nearest village when the Tower was young, but was absorbed as the new city grew; its Band of Brothers Inn is still a favorite relaxation spot for many of the Tower's denizens. And again, like all cities the world over, there are less pleasant places--narrow, nameless streets that house hells and other houses of ill repute. Most of the city falls somewhere in between, with hawkers crying their wares in the streets, respectable shopkeepers ready to serve you, and petty cutpurses happy to follow you.

Novices, Soldiers, and drin'far'ji must be accompanied by a chaperon when outside Tower walls or they risk being picked up as runaways and duly punished.
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Lugh
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Lugh » July 9th, 2018, 2:44 am

Beron
Beron heard Isla say she was tired as she rested her head upon his shoulder. Once the musicians paused their song, the two of them heading to the kitchen for a welcome meal and drink of their own, Beron realized with a start that the evening had night.

Paying the girl and waving her down so she saw the coins he placed on the table, as he gave Isla his arm and they walked into the night air. Breathing in the cool mountain air, he smiled as he felt the brisk air clearing his lungs and taking the flush out of his face.

Isla seemed to enjoy the air as well, and Beron walked beside her chatting about the various sights and shops they passed. Beron stopped for a moment at a dress shop, chuckling as he pointed it out. “That’s the shop my sister has been begging me to pop into, will have to do that before she rides down here and drags me.” After that was a shop that had amazing paintings and art in the window. The city of Hama Valon with the Travelling Yards was a hub of commerce, and it amazed Beron what could be found in the stores and windows.

The walk back to the Grey Tower was blessedly pleasant, no one out after curfew; although Beron had to hide a smile behind his hand as the gate guards scrambled to salute the pair. Isla seemed content to let Beron carry the conversation, and soon they arrived at the Yellow Ajah quarters.

Suddenly unsure, Beron knew the custom would have him bid Isla a goodnight at the landing, and so he lightly kissed her, “Good night Isla. I had an amazing evening.” Beron clutched her hand quickly, and then turned and made his way to his own quarters.
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Bella
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » July 11th, 2018, 6:57 pm

Isla watched him go, still feeling the evening's flush upon her cheek. Thoughts were spinning through her mind and she wanted to know what each one was, but they were all so fast and so fleeting that she didn't have a hope of catching one. Instead, she just watched Beron's retreating form until he was out of sight, then turned and went to her rooms.

She undressed slowly, still caught up in her own thoughts and feelings, and then slipped into bed. It took a while to get to sleep that night.
* * * Sleep had been restless, and she woke up with a start. Isla's body was covered in sweat, and images of her time in the dungeons of the Children of the Light were alive before her eyes. They showed themselves over and over again, seeming to become more vivid with each run-through until there was pain in her body and tears in her eyes.

For a time, she just sat and tried to breathe. Once she was able to take oxygen into her body, she looked around the room.

Isla reminded herself that she was in the Grey Tower now, but she felt alone. She felt cold, and clammy. And desperate. In that instant of feeling, an impulse fell upon her. She dressed so quickly that her top buttons were undone and she just put on her slippers, hurrying out of her rooms and into the Tower proper.

She saw few people, and only spoke to one to find the room she wanted. Needed.

Reaching Beron's door, she lifted her hand and knocked before she could second guess herself...

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Lugh
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Lugh » July 11th, 2018, 8:11 pm

Beron
Beron was asleep, the complete sleep that the exertions of the day demanded. Still one did not spend a lifetime watching animals, or become a scout and Gaidin without good instincts and alertness. And so when his door sounded to an unexpected knock in the middle of the night, Beron sprang out of bed his dagger in hand from the nightstand beside his new bed.

Kicking a box he had yet to unpack, Beron opened the door and felt his jaw drop in surprise. “Isla, what in the light..” he began but paused as he took in her appearance. Her dress was disheveled, her hair tangled and sweaty and although at the inn he would have approved of the neckline afforded by the missed buttons, he knew Isla; and so he knew the look in her face and the panic deep in her eyes.

Bringing her in, he hugged her, her body cold and damp from the night air. Taking her to his chair by the fireplace, he set her down and fetching a blanket, began to light a fire that would give his room some light. “Isla, what is the matter? Was it bad news, a patient?” Beron asked, his voice filled with concern.
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » July 11th, 2018, 11:58 pm

"No," she said softly, sitting in the chair in a way that managed to be both rigid and slouching. She pulled the blanket around herself, but still felt both sweat and chill. Folding her hands in her lap, she looked down at them. The light grew from the fire as he built it, and she appreciated that. She wanted more light than dark right then.

She took in a shuddering breath. "I had...more bad dreams," she admitted. "I was back in that dungeon, in the dark, and the cold..." A shiver ran up and down her spine. "When I woke up, I was crying and all of the places I had been hurt were hurting again. Even though it's been many year since it happened..."

Turning over her hands, her wrists were bared by her unbuttoned cuffs. There were faint scars on her skin, both from her captivity and her self-harm later on. "How can something so long ago still do this to me?" When she lifted her head, she looked at him with unshed tears shimmering silver in the fire light. "I don't understand," she whispered.

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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Lugh » July 12th, 2018, 2:44 am

Beron
Beron could hear Isla over the cracking and snapping of the wood as his fire took light. A pleasing glow began to fill his sitting room and once Beron was sure the fire would remain, he placed the poker back on the hook.

Behind him Isla had been shifting and shuffling to make herself more comfortable, and Beron was just turning as she began to speak. Isla took in a shuddering breath, then said "I had...more bad dreams," she admitted. "I was back in that dungeon, in the dark, and the cold..." A shiver had her clutching the blankets tighter. "When I woke up, I was crying and all of the places I had been hurt were hurting again. Even though it's been many year since it happened..."

Turning over her hands, nestled as they were in her lap, Beron noticed her cuffs were undone and her arms bore additional scars to the ones he had noticed before. Her scars were difficult to make out in the dim light, but he could tell from their appearance that they would have been major wounds at one point. “How can something so long ago still do this to me?" When she lifted her head, she looked at Beron with unshed tears shimmering silver in the fire light. "I don't understand," she whispered.

Beron was at her side in a moment. He paused only to place his dagger out of the way, and without thought took a knee before the chair Isla sat upon. He had yet to set up his room, having just attained rank, thought the previous occupant had left a thick woven rug. Taking her hand in his, Beron looked her in the eyes and regretfully said, “I do not know Isla. I don’t know why some things remain lodged in our brain, while other fly away like morning birds. I wish I did have an answer.”

Chewing on his lip, Beron ached to fix the pain and tears he saw in Isla’s eyes. “Maybe your dreams were from old worries made new? Or maybe the wine stirred up old feelings? If there is anything I can do to help with the hurt I will. And tonight you don’t need to face being alone. I will sit with you and talk if you like, or I can take the rug and my room is yours. I have shirts that would serve for a nightdress.”

Beron paused then, waiting for Isla to decide on his offer. He kept hold of her hands, his strong hands gently kneading her wrists to try and bring her some comfort as he looked up at her.
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Bella
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » July 12th, 2018, 3:09 am

In the past, or with anyone else, someone else's touch upon the scars still left on her skin would have made her terribly uncomfortable at best. It would have sent her running away screaming at worst. But this wasn't the past, and this wasn't anyone else. Beron's tender fingers and gentle but strong touch soothed her.

You don't need to face being alone.

Those words alone pierced through the emotional haze left over by her dreams. The dreams in which she was alone, betrayed and tortured, afraid and cold. This was not then, though. This was now. And there was a man kneeling in front of her, with infinite concern in his eyes and love in his words. She wasn't alone.

"I'd like to stay tonight," she said quietly. A rush of fear ran through her, at first, worried about being found out...but then she remembered that she was Aes Sedai, and he was Gaidin. They were not children now, in any way.

She could live as she chose.

Leaning forward, she rested her head against his and closed her eyes. "I'd like to stay. Hold me until the past leaves me alone."

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Lugh
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Lugh » July 12th, 2018, 3:37 am

Beron
“I'd like to stay tonight," Isla said quietly, looking down at his hands as they kneaded her wrist. Leaning forward, she rested her head against his and closed her eyes. "I'd like to stay. Hold me until the past leaves me alone."

Beron felt a thrill of emotion run through him as he realized two things, she wanted to stay and both of them were free to do as the wished. With her words in his ears, he took a moment to enjoy her head resting against his before rising. “I’ll be a moment,” Beron said as he popped into his room and grabbed another blanket and pillows for them. After he came back, he laid the blankets and pillows near the fire. Isla seemed puzzled, and so he returned to the chair and kissing her softly scooped her forward onto the rug. Laying down beside her, Beron propped his head up with a pillow, and helped her settle in facing the fire. He could see her watching the flames dance, and he wrapped his arm around her spooning their bodies together. He could feel her tense, then relax as his warmth helped chase the chill away.

“I will hold you till dawn love,” Beron said softly as he kissed her neck tenderly, then watched the flames dance over the woman he loved.
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Bella
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » July 12th, 2018, 5:42 pm

Isla had never slept beside a man. She'd never even laid down next to one this closely, except perhaps as an infant beside her father.

It felt strange, at first. Although it wasn't really that different from embracing when standing, since they were clothed and not really doing anything aside from laying there with his arms around her. Still, it was different...and took her a few moments to relax into it. Once she did, though, she realized this was perhaps the best feeling she'd ever experienced.

The rug was comfortable, and the warmth of his arms rivaled the fire and chased away the cold on her skin and then the chill in her heart. She closed her eyes and took a long, slow breath in and then let it out just as slow. Memories rushed out with the air and her body settled.

His kiss upon her neck caught her a little by surprise, but it immediately flooded her with new warmth. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she leaned back slightly, her head near his shoulder as she enjoyed the moment for everything it was worth. She trusted him implicitly to not take advantage of her state; she knew for sure that she was safe here, and would be safe forever, with Beron.

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Lugh
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Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Lugh » July 12th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Beron
Beron tasted her neck, the soft skin smelling of her hair. A soft sigh escaped her lips, as Isla stretched her neck slightly and leaned her head against his shoulder. He could feel her breath catch with the sigh and then settle deeper into her chest. Contentedly she closed her eyes, and Beron noticed her lips part slightly as she simply enjoyed the moment.

Beron continued to kiss along her neck, his other hand holding close and feeling for her to tense or pull away. Without words Beron knew that Isla trusted him, and he also knew from her sighs she was enjoying the kisses. Nibbling on her ear, he chuckled when she sank deeper against him and he was happy to kiss and caress her neck.

Beron was in an evening that felt like a dream, though his pounding heart and the heat throughout his body left no doubt it was real. He had never expected a woman such as Isla in his life, when he had first arrived he had been sure he would serve as a battle Warder and little else. This was new, this was special, he had never lain with a woman or slept with one who’s body got against his like two halves rejoined. Beron freed his hand from her waist, and taking his mouth off of her lips, he began to caress her hip and side. The fabric of her dress was cool under his fingers as he felt her body relax beneath his massage.

“This feels like a dream. I’m glad you came to me when you did Isla,” he murmured in her ear before kissing the top of her head tenderly.
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Bella
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QC: Natlya Cade Gaidin
QC: Andraste Alhandra Sedai
Location: New England

Re: To earn a cloak and kiss (Attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » July 13th, 2018, 12:34 am

"So am I," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Little flutters ran along her skin at each touch, though the sensation was equally at war with the feeling of warmth and relaxation that was making her body feel almost heavy. Sinking into the rug and back into Beron, and wondering how she would ever be able to sleep alone again.

Isla inhaled deep and exhaled slow. Her dreams never felt like this. This did not feel like a dream to her... It felt like something much better.

"Beron?" she whispered after a few more moments, her eyes opening and looking at the flickering of the flames. When he acknowledged her, she twisted slightly so she was laying on her back with his arm across her stomach and she could look up and meet his eyes. "Promise me you'll still be here in the morning?"

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