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Author Topic: the entering  (Read 297 times)

Tommy

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the entering
« on: July 31, 2018, 12:28:51 AM »

She was statuesque, smooth-looking like fine marble; so still against the shadows she would go unnoticed at first. The woman remained poised and unchanged by expression for the moment; however, the sudden lurch in her chest caused brows to further crease and her frown continue to deepen. Lips pursed and the tip of her tongue found the inside of her cheek before slowly sliding over her teeth - the small sound that crept up her throat was lost to an irritated snort of a nearby horse. She could relate to such an emotion, though fatigue outweighed even the need to eat or drink. Boots crunched over twig and stone as she crossed the courtyard and headed directly to the main room. Hall. Whatever the hell they called the place.

<<It's been a long year, since you've been gone. I've been alone here, I've grown old. Fall to pieces, I'm fallin'. I fell to pieces and I'm still fallin'.>>

The slim frame appeared incapable of a feminine glide and any sway of hip was refused due to the weight of the sword that bounced against a thigh. Leathers were time-stained and torn; the small tears gave hint to olive skin covered in grime from weeks of travel. The peasant's blouse beneath the vest was missing most of one sleeve. The leg of her pants remained tucked in her left boot while the right skimmed the ground at her heel as she went, the frayed ends dragging. Yet there was strength there, be quite sure. Experience had tailed her and skill was a second skin - she held rank and it was deserved. Earned. Painfully earned through mistake, planning, trust, deceit, practice, sacrifice..

…loss.

<<Every time I'm fallin' down. All alone I fall to pieces.>>

Slight creasing framed her eyes - eyes so dark they were impossible to see at night, save the hint of gleam that shone when she passed each lamp. Thick brows framed her stare, matching hair that had clearly been cut with a knife, the ends choppy and uneven. She slid a hand over her head which only caused the tips to stand on end even more. Her jaw was chiseled, mostly from travel and not having the luxury of an easy meal, and she had the defiant uplift of chin as she moved. Lips twitched, breaking into a partial grin as she noted the war horse inching forward from the shadows, wanting to follow his rider. She lifted a hand - the beast paused, stomping a hoof against the ground to present his disdain and frustration. Soon. The two were always finding trouble no matter how hard she tried avoiding a confrontation or situation. She and serene were like oil and water. She and calm... like cat and mouse. Though eerily quiet at times, peace was never allowed to remain in her presence for too long, it seemed.

Pausing near the pub, a shoulder was pressed against the stony wall and she gave into a lean, waiting patiently.

<<I keep a journal of memories. I'm feelin' lonely - I can't breathe. I fall to pieces, I'm fallin'. I fell to pieces, and I'm still fallin'..>>

Watching. Always watching.

If he were here, as the rumors told, she'd slit his throat and the journey would be over. Complete. How a woman could love and despise one man at the same time was a contradiction to be sure - but what he'd done a year prior fueled the contempt in such a way she couldn't control the need to make him hurt.
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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 12:58:06 AM »

Her jaw clenched the minute the man emerged; she swallowed emotion and controlled the want to approach, and edged back a step, using the shadows as a veil. Her stare was hard, targeted, but that was nothing compared to the venom that seeped from between her lips when finally she spoke.

"Long time, Sam."

His back to her, he froze, clearly impacted by her presence. He recognized that voice; the throaty, raspy tone that rushed him was almost violent feeling. For the briefest moment, he considered putting a bullet in her to save his own ass, but when he slowly turned and set his eyes on her, he knew he'd already lost the fight. Since day one she had a powerful effect on him, almost stealing his ability to act on his own. The muscle on either side of his jaw bulged from flex and the tension was thick enough to knock you over. His eyes slid over her, twice, ending on her face. Her eyes. Those eyes were powerful, stormy, so full of expression they almost betrayed her at times.

"...Tommasina. I wasn't expecting to see you here." True enough, he supposed, though he knew eventually she'd come for him. She'd gone after the rest and they were dead, every one. But she hadn't shared her bed with anyone else, only him, so maybe there was still a way out and they wouldn't have to destroy each other. He didn't blame her, after all, he was the main reason everyone she loved was gone. Maahes, Kur, Rizzen, Percival, Kiernan, all of them were dead because he betrayed them. It was a time of war and a choice had to be made; Samuel opted to save his own ass and sacrifice anyone who got in his way. He hadn't wanted to lose the woman in the process, but she was too smart for her own good and had figured out what was going on.

She glanced to the right to stare across the courtyard, shaking her head slightly before sending her focus his way again. The leather belt around her waist was undone and she dropped her sword. "Let's get this over with."

"It's not going to happen. Listen, I"m sorry for how it all went down..." he sighed, and by the time he raised his eyes, she was already right in front of him and cocking a fist back. The sound of knuckle against jaw was loud, so loud that passers by and patrons across the courtyard stopped walking or talking so they could watch. The murmurs were immediate, and whispering slithered between bodies while assumptions floated above their heads.

"Goddamn it, Tommy!" he growled, grabbing her wrist. He backhanded away the blood that started to trickle down his chin and she used the opportunity to send an elbow against his nose. Hard. Snapping his head up immediately, he curled his lips, not sure if he was frustrated more with her or with himself for what he was about to do. She knew she wouldn't win against him-he'd trained her for Christ's sake! The man was a foot taller and had a good seventy or so pounds on her, he was all muscle and the force behind his fist rocked her.

She staggered back but didn't drop, rather, she shook her head to throw off the blurred vision and try to regain her sight. Almost immediately she could feel the bruising start to take form around her eye. He didn't lose a beat - he swung again and sent her stumbling backward until she found the ground. Despite the breath being knocked from her lungs, she propped up on one elbow..

He inhaled sharply, narrowing his gaze.  "..stay down, damn it. I don't want to do this."

Twisting slightly, she pushed up and then stood, not taking her eyes from him. Blood poured from her nose, a virtual stream that inched down her chin and neck. Unlike him, however, she left it be and concentrated on the task at hand, which was to down the last man that had taken everything from her. Everything. Everyone. She glanced at her sword and he followed her gaze..and that's when the man suddenly grew a bit anxious. Tommasina could fight, but put a piece of metal in her hand and the woman was walking death. He'd watched her bring down a man and step over the body to get to the next, almost eagerly. She was nearly as cold as the blade she kept strapped to her hip and thigh, and it had taken him months to get her to warm up to him. When she finally had, God help him, he realized he'd made a mistake, but it was too late to take it back. He wasn't willing to give her up.

He realized he'd gone distracted and he cleared his throat. "Listen to me. We're going to get a drink and talk. If you want to kill me after I explain, so be it. ..at least give me that." He frowned. "And we need to stop the bleedin--"

"We? 'We' don't need to do shit," she hissed. Bending at the knee, she snatched up her belt and threw it over a shoulder, the sword laying alongside her back, and started toward the wood.

He stared, unsure if following would push his luck this night. A gambling man by nature, he started after her...


______________________

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.
--Socrates







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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 09:56:48 PM »

For many years she lead an army of men that had remained steadfast and trustworthy until breached by an arrogant sadist bastard that wanted what he couldn't have. While the majority of her reports resisted the manipulation, a good handful fell into step with the Overload and that's when everything started to crumble. It wasn't long before her reputation suffered and the men started whispering behind her back, telling stories of a crazed lead whose decision making abilities were compromised. Once they turned on her, the next natural step was to turn on each other, and the band of many that had ruled over the lands...became few. Those few, however, were strong, diligent, incredibly loyal and impressively skilled. The Overlord decided the best way to hurt the woman was to take everything, but to get to everything, he needed to be close. Find a way in.

Samuel was all too eager to assist and play the part, and he did it oh so well.

If it bothered him any, watching the once strong Tommasina start to break - he didn't reveal the emotion. If anything, he was constantly amazed at how much pain she could endure and continually bounce back. After a time though, the mental scarring had caught up to the physical and there would be no return for her. The last bit of "her" was kicked to the ground, trampled and buried so deep, no one would ever know where to look. What pushed her over the edge was the loss of her men; one-by-one they were killed or left until there were none and without protection, the land was lost to raiders and marauders.

She'd snapped in solace and went after the group that had destroyed her clan.

Without realizing it, they had accidentally created a monster. After all, a broken person with nothing to lose didn't hesitate or get lost in guilt or worry. Now, she was just the opposite. Normality was craved but had long since abandoned her..


<<A little piece of paper with a picture drawn, floats on down the street 'til the wind is gone. And the memory now is like the picture was then; when the paper's crumpled up it can't be perfect again.>>


She wondered if Sam had realized his mistake, for the moment she pivoted and spun around to fling the dagger at him, for a split second, she thought he'd smirked. He paused, glanced down, then slowly raised his eyes while reaching up to grab onto the handle - the handle that was sticking out of his chest. The blade found its mark and sank deep, biting at flesh and tearing through muscle; his eyes widened, but surprise eased from his expression as he dropped to his knees and then fell forward.

Her eyes narrowed as she studied the unmoving form, then she approached and shoved a foot against the man's shoulder to roll him onto his back. Leaning over him, she stared into unblinking eyes that boldly held her gaze. She reached for the dagger's hilt and pulled the piece from his chest and then straightened. After taking a moment to clean the blade, she slid the dagger into its sheath and then grabbed the dead man's ankles. He was dragged past the tree line and into the wood, and left as a meal for some wandering animal.

They were all dead and now she could focus on the sadist himself. Turning, she started for the courtyard then set a hand against the rough bark of the nearest tree, trying to steady herself.

...food, drink, and then she'd hunt the pack leader.
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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 10:40:43 PM »

The musty smell of the prison was so wretched, it left behind a thick stench that one could taste; like an oily resin, it would latch to the back of the throat for days on end as a constant reminder. Built under rock and stone of the massive castle, the absence of sunlight left its inhabitants lackluster and completely drained. The bars that designed each cell were thick and strong and denied any chance for escape; the only living creatures that were allowed passage carried disease. As the days crept away, so did bits and pieces of her will. She was becoming weaker by the day as sores and bites covering her body. Skin once kissed by the sun was now pale, and her cheeks were so hollow, she appeared skeletal. 

One of the guards approached, shuffling the many keys until finding the right one - he unlocked her cell and threw down a chunk of stale bread. She didn't lift her head from the ground, rather she stared at the opposite wall, numb and without care. He nudged her shoulder with his foot. "You alive??"

..those eyes slid from the wall to the male, and she smiled.

The Talon woman had been trained to endure suffering; as with all her kind, they were pushed to the point of hallucination and near death in order to prepare for war and famine.

She was to be trained for something more - something greater; however, the Overlord had taken notice as well, once his troops starting dropping like flies. The rumors about the Talon spread like wildfire and he'd decided he would have her as his..

She wasn't as receptive to his attentions, and when he realized that beating her would only bring her closer to death, he tried the prison. With great frustration he listened to the reports about her status, angered and awed that she continued to work through her trials. Her current situation would have broken most males, yet day after day…after day, she rose up in defiance. The rats would surely be the end of her, which would anger him more than anything. It should be he that ends her life, for he wanted to watch the light fade from those eyes as he stole her last breath right from her lungs. The knock at great doors pulled him from thought.

The gravely tone seemed to crawl right up the man's throat, "Enter."

The doors swung open and the young soldier strode in, stopping abruptly before his superior. "Highness, forgive the intrusion, but I bear news…"

Something about the tone had the sadist slowly turning to face the male; his eyes narrowed to mere slits and his lip curled. "Speak."

The soldier looked anxious now and he swallowed so tightly it could be heard across the room. "Yes, sir. It's the girl.." His voice trailed off again as he was unsure how to deliver the account.

With a growl that sounded more feral than human, the sadist closed the distance between them and he grabbed the man's shirt and balled a fist, tugging him forward so they were almost nose-to-nose. …had the soldier been another five inches taller, that's exactly how they'd be standing.

"What about the girl? Spit it out!" He was almost…excited. He expected news that she was close to breaking or near dead.

"…she's gone."

He howled in fury and disbelief. The crunch of bone when the soldier's neck was snapped echoed through the room, and the man's body pooled to the ground near the Overlord's feet. The sound of footsteps from directly outside the room had him glance toward the doors and he almost smiled when seeing his most trusted enter. "I'm glad you're here, Samuel. I have an assignment for you.."


_________________________________________________________________

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
--Napoleon Bonaparte
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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 10:28:43 AM »

From the depths of the deepest shadows within the trees she emerged, the fog's lingering swirl wrapping around her every step. Behind, those same shadows seemed to covet her closeness, moving almost in unison as if to signify they and the woman were one. She pulled an arm through the newly acquired ankle length trench; the bottom corner flipped up, nipping sharply at the white lull of cloud that pestered. Glancing sidelong, she cut across the courtyard and headed toward the bar, not thinking twice about the body that was swallowed by darkness in the wood. Remorse wasn't an emotion she often practiced.

The hollow of her eyes was deepened by exhaustion, yet the woman didn't sacrifice stance or surrender to weariness or strain. She was poised, controlled, able to command her body to continually perform despite the want to collapse.

The flash of light overhead made exhibit of full bellied clouds that were near ready to burst and release a torrential flood.

Pressing a shoulder against the bar door, she stepped inside and moved immediately for an open table, sinking into the chair without much regard to her surroundings. A young waitress slowly approached after a firm nod from a male behind the bar; from her peripheral vision, the Talon woman noted a total of six potential bodyguards casually stepping into place around various doors and stairways. She slid lower in her seat, leaning forward to snatch the mug and take in more than the obligatory sip allowed. Mug replaced on the table's top, she turned it slowly, lifting her eyes to sweep the place again.

She didn't blame them for taking precaution - strangers weren't welcome anywhere these days - especially those who reeked of trouble. Trouble had a scent, a horrific, wretched smell that latched onto its host for the entire duration of the struggle. Lately, trouble was Tommy's bedmate..

She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to stave off the want to sleep. Something clicked in her mind and when she turned her head and opened her eyes, it wasn't the bar she saw, nor the boisterous patrons whose voices caused her head to nearly split. She saw him, his twisted smile was filled with a cruelty that was unmatched by any. She smelled the filth of him and it stuck in the back of her throat, burning like a foul bile when she attempted to swallow. Delirium was unkind and uncontrollable, and the exhaustion mingled with the mental mind set and completely stole from her all reason. Her hand slid to the dagger that was strapped to her right thigh.

In the world of war and battle, the luxury of time wasn't often granted. There were but seconds to make decisions that, ultimately, would infect the masses. There wasn't time for hesitation for those few seconds were needed to prepare potential outcomes of actions. So lost was she in thought that she almost reacted against her own mind.

The sound of sharp laughter caused her to visibly wince; in a state of discomfort, she reached back and rubbed at the tension in her neck, the action causing another memory to hit hard.

The marking on her back traveled the length of one shoulder to the opposite hip: the angry pucker of mottled flesh was alarming to view. To the touch, the scarred line of mosaic skin felt rubbery numb, a constant reminder of anguish and mockery. She wore the branding well, accepting the gift instead of rejecting the events associated with the familiar crest. The ragged remnant ensured mistrust and doubt and a comfortable silence of not sharing the detail of her past with anyone.

She stood and removed the coat, slinging it over the back of her chair before sinking down again.

Without the trench coat, the injury was made visible from the arm opening of the leather vest, a morbid but honest display of flawed form. Perhaps a subtle warning.

Draining the mug of its contents, she decided nothing would be gained from her being here this night. The plate of stew was set before her and she opted to eat before leaving to find a place to sleep. Before taking the first bite, however, two males near the bar started in on each other, bumping chests while screaming obscenities fired between spittle laced insults.

Lovely. Dinner and a show…

______________________________

Let's burn. Some wait for miracles, some make a spectacle
Still there are those who surrender and cry
We are exceptional, we have the chemicals
Let's get together for the rest of the night
And all those girls, they want those boys
With the stars in their eyes
They dance so close to the fire it burns
Like a white hot lie
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