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Author Topic: the entering  (Read 1846 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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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 08:18:57 PM »

She slowed her chewing and stared through a narrowed gaze as the two mules butted heads over nothing more then who was to buy the next round. Her gaze skipped from one person to the next as she attempted to target the one in charge. Off in a far corner was a young woman and her companion - they stared at one another as though it were the first time. There was kindness there, adoration. Newness laced with familiarity, but there was nothing more important in the place than the one sitting opposite.

A slight grin tugged at her lips as memory flooded, but envy slowly settled and then a twang of pain surged through her chest and she felt her throat tighten. It had been years since he was gone from her, but it never seemed to fade. The hurt.

The ache.

[Wasn't sure of when but I knew there'd come a time when I would feel this way about someone, and always need them by my side. You could make me want to leave the one I'm with, and never wonder why. If I was ever given something else, I'd give it back a thousand times. There is just something hard for me to grasp - how it was I could survive. If I would I have to live my life without...one thousand times..]

There was a reason why the Talon woman was trained to accept loneliness and find comfort in the dark. Exposure was an almost fatal mistake. It left you vulnerable, caring, and it gave the enemy an opportunity to wound you in ways you could never imagine. That kind of pain was worse than any physical torture she was forced to endure. Wounds healed, leaving scars as reminders of what not to do again. Internal hurt was an unruly beast that knew no master. It refused to bow down nor would it surrender to any plea. It was ruler of its realm and there was no bargaining or begging.

There was something about touch, though, that was too alluring to resist, especially when the connection was so incredibly strong. When you could look at someone and know exactly what they were thinking. Feeling. When you both grinned at the same time - that slow, foolishly silly grin that didn't seem to want to fade. When, even through separation, you could feel their gaze on you and it melted your very soul.

How in the hell could something that strong be so ungodly fragile? How could it shatter, like glass, and splinter into a thousand tiny pieces? So minuscule were the shards, they could never again be put back together.

At one point in her life, Tommy was not free. Her owner had promised her to a man as payment for his mistakes, and she had actually cared for her betrothed.

But fate was stubborn and wanted its own way, and it sent to her another that refused to relent. He followed her, showed up wherever she was, and he wouldn't quit with going after her heart and mind. The taste of him on her mouth, hours later, when he'd long since fallen asleep and she lay watching the rise and fall of his chest...is something she could never forget. Her mouth felt bruised from his kisses - it was such a sweet, wonderful pain.

She lifted a hand and dragged the back of her knuckles against her mouth, trying to rub away the feeling.

[I felt so strong for you ever since. The day you caught my eyes, and I ..could help but wonder if my life is turning upside down this time. I wasn't sure of when but I knew there'd come a time when I would feel this way about someone, and always need them by my side. You could make me want to leave the one I'm with and never wonder why. If I was ever given something else, I'd give it back a thousand times. There is just something hard for me to grasp - how it was I could survive. If I would have to live my life without..one thousand times..]

"...y'want anything else??"

She snapped her head up and looked at the server. Despite not hearing the entire ask, it wasn't hard to put two and two together.

"Whisky."

"Alright then, one glass of whisky."

Tommy eyed the woman warily; she was far too cheery for this place.

"Bottle," she mumbled.

"Oh, nay lady. Y'don't want to be in that sort of way, here." She jerked a thumb toward the bar and glanced around, "Especially with the royals present."

She nodded to acknowledge the woman's concern, a note of scorn in her voice, which was lowered slightly. "Noted. Bring the bottle. I'll manage the rest."

The wench frowned but went to fetch the order from the bar area. When the bottle was requested, four guards turned to survey the room.

She presented her profile to the four and waited patiently for the drink. The drink that would numb her chest and ease her mind. The drink that would allow sleep to actually come and stay for more than twenty minutes at a time.

The bottle was placed on the table, only it wasn't the serving woman who brought it over. Tommy glanced up at the guard, keeping her eyes on him while grabbing the bottle. The cork was removed and she brought the mouth of thing to hers, taking a long swig. Long. It burned, and the feeling was invited. Craved.

"Want company?" he asked.

She wanted to smack the smug look off his face, but he could have information she needed. With the bottle, she motioned to the seat across from her, and then another drink was taken.

He smiled broadly and moved to sit. "I've not seen you here before. What's your name?"

Pulling the bottle from her mouth, she shook her head and set it down, and leaned forward to stare at him, "Let's skip the formalities. Are you taking me home? If so, now is good."

His mouth opened slightly and he blinked. The roar of laughter from the bar area filled the entire place, and the guard was encouraged with some crude comments. It was apparent that the fellow had to work a little harder for his company, though she couldn't understand why. He wasn't hard on the eyes.

He stood and offered his hand, which she ignored. Instead, she reached for the bottle and stood herself, and then moved for the door.

On the way out, he glanced at his colleagues, smiling still. One of them clapped him on the shoulder, giving a clear "Atta boy!".

This was his lucky night.

Of course, that depends on your definition of luck...

[If I was ever given something else.. I'd give it back a thousand times..]
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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 02:16:50 PM »

The tavern door hadn’t entirely slammed closed before he reached for her, grabbing her upper arm firmly and pulling her to the side – the two became cloaked in darkness, the shadows blending them in against the deeper shade of night to the point they couldn’t be seen. Even the moon refused to provide a reveal as it slid behind clouds to hide and provide privacy.
 
“Who are you?” he demanded, the seemingly jolly attitude suddenly melting into something more serious.
 
She couldn’t see his face, couldn’t even tell if he was looking at her – she could smell him, though. Feel the thump of his heart against his chest, so strong and even. His fingers crept around her wrist and he twisted her arm behind her back while inching them against the tavern’s wall. She played along – that’s the kind of girl she was. Eyes narrowed to dangerous slits as she inhaled again.
 
“Does it matter?” Reaching up, she slid a hand behind his head, fingers inching over the back of his neck before she pulled at him. He resisted and she felt sinewy muscle tighten at his neck.
 
His silence was answer enough, or so she thought. Her nostrils flared as she breathed in the scent of another human being. Man. It had been so long since she allowed anyone to get near, she almost forgot how sweet it was to be in this type of situation. The flash of light spliced through her head and she squeezed her eyes shut. The scene unfolding in her mind took her to another place, another time, where steel met steel and bodies fell like downed trees in a thick forest. She heard the cries of men and the scream of orders, direction. The shrill cry of horses and the steady thump of hooves, quickly approaching. A falcon’s scream was heard in the distance, overhead and for a moment, she lost reality.
 
“It matters. You look..familiar. I know you from somewhe—“
 
She squeezed his neck harder and pulled him down, forcing his mouth to hers. She felt his body shift. Change. He surrendered and gathered her in his arms, pulling her closer to deepen the kiss. He tasted of alcohol and tobacco, and many days of travel and training. His hands were so large, when one slid down her spine it completely covered the small of her back. His fingers bit in against her ribs and he tried to get closer still. He groaned and closed his eyes, temporarily giving into the woman. She was smaller, seemingly more frail, but at the same time he had enough sense to realize she was trouble. What resonated from her was something he often experienced on the battlefield. At war. ..when death hovered close and near, waiting patiently for its turn to swoop in and take. He became confused, pitting desire against reason – she tasted sweet and felt soft, to an extent. He had the feeling there was so much more and he wanted to know what it was. It was stronger than instinct and carried twice the weight of want.
 
Distraction was a fine weapon and despite her want to control it, she almost lost herself in the situation instead of the intent.
 
She murmured against his mouth, “Take me away from here…”
 
“Where will you have us go?” he whispered, the tone of him slightly ragged. She heard him swallow tightly.
 
“Barracks,” she suggested, balling the material of his shirt in a fist and pulling at him. “Show me where..”
 
He smiled and took a step forward, then paused as abruptly as he started. “Wait. I remember where I know you.” His fingers slid from hers and touch was broken.
 
She too paused, slowly turning to face him. The clouds above seemed to sense what was expected – they slid toward the east, gliding smooth and slow, allowing the moon to be on full display. She could see his face, now, and his evident surprise was laced also with knowing and understanding. She realized she had misjudged this one. He was sharper than he’d let on.
 
He narrowed his eyes and stared harder. “It is you..” He’d only heard rumors and stood in disbelief and shock.
 
“Shame,” she whispered. “You were a fine man.”
 
Head was slanted to the right and she smiled, fingertips creeping up her thigh slowly.
 
He reached for his sword.
 
The dagger was unsheathed and its blade thrust into his chest – she pushed forward against him and the two danced back to slam against the tavern’s wall yet again. This time, however, there was no lust present and desire had long since fled. He grunted loudly and grabbed at her arms, wrists, trying to shove her back. His features twisted as the pain took hold.
 
Booted feet steadied against dirt and stone and she leaned in, double fisting the dagger’s handle despite their struggle. His mallet-sized hand made a fist and he punched at her side – she heard the crunch of bone and she winced before losing the air from her lungs.
 
The tavern door swung open and the sounds from inside poured out; three guards stumbled forward, spewing nonsense and song. They were beyond drunk, clinging to one another to keep from falling over while laughing; not one was aware that a colleague was in distress but a few feet away.
 
She brought a hand up, fingers curling to grab at the throat of her prize – she squeezed his Adam’s apple, choking him through silence and suffocation, and profuse bleeding. She kept her eyes on his the entire time, no sorrow and no sign of a request for forgiveness. The heel of her palm thumped against the dagger hilt and the blade sunk its deepest. She slid her hand over his mouth and kept him pinned against the wall as the three others started to stagger away.
 
After a moment, he slowly slid to the ground. She leaned, palm against the wall and tried to breathe – the raspy sound almost causing her to cough. Wincing, she leaned down to grab his arm and tried to drag him around the corner – but a sharp burst of pain shot through her body. Eyes shifted and she stared after the three that wandered toward some other part of town.
 
Arm tucked in against her side, she cradled herself and followed, not even realizing how loud the wheezing was when she tried to breathe.
 
The only thought in her mind was that now she needed an alibi…
 
 
 
___________________________________________
I hear a voice say, "Don't be so blind."
it's telling me all these things
that you would probably hide
am I your one and only desire?
am I the reason you breathe?
or am I the reason you cry?

always, always, always, always, always, always.
I just can't live without you.

I love you
I hate you
I can't get around you
I breathe you
I taste you
I can't live without you
I just can't take any more, this life of solitude
I guess that I'm out the door, and now I'm done with you

I feel like you don't want me around
I guess I'll pack all my things
I guess I'll see you around
It's all been bottled up until now
as I walk out your door
all I can hear is the sound

always, always, always, always, always, always.
I just can't live without you

I love you
I hate you
I can't get around you
I breathe you
I taste you
I can't live without you
I just can't take any more, this life of solitude
I guess that I'm out the door, and now I'm done with you

I love you
I hate you
I can't live without you

I left my head around your heart
Why would you tear my world apart?

always, always, always, always

I see... the blood all over your hands
does it make you feel... more like a man?
was it all... just a part of your plan?
the pistol's shakin' in my hands
and all I hear is the sound

I love you
I hate you
I can't live without you
I breathe you
I taste you
I can't live without you
I just can't take any more
this life of solitude
I guess that I'm out the door
and now I'm done with you

I love you
I hate you
I can't live without you

I love you
I hate you
I can't live without you
I just can't take any more, this life of solitude
I pick myself off the floor, and now I'm done with you
Always
Always
Always
 
[Saliva; Always]
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Tommy

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Re: the entering
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 12:26:13 PM »

Mere moments were all she needed to find the three soldiers as they made such a disturbance, even the most inexperienced tail could locate the boisterous trio. She was almost grateful for their song as it drowned out the sound of her wheezing. The Talon woman was tired and the level of pain that cut in wasn’t helping matters any. The building they headed toward was incredibly immense – it’s structure solid and the architecture was well planned, if not appealing. The three disappeared behind a far corner – she tore her gaze from the place and started forward again, noticing right away the smell of stench and rot. It grew stronger and more acidic as she got closer, so it wasn’t difficult to figure out what the place was. Coming upon the corner, she slowed and pressed a shoulder against the stone, inching forward to peer around and try to steal a glimpse of things.
 
One of the men was urinating near the entrance side door, swaying back-and-forth while creating some artful design that would be washed away with the next rain. The other two mumbled incoherently, bantering about women and wanting more drink. A steady thump of fist against the grainy wood had the door swinging open and the three were swallowed whole by the construction.
 
She leaned her head back and closed her eyes to gather herself for a moment before sliding around the corner herself. Once at the door, she peered in through the barred opening and smirked; two of the guards were dragging the third as his pants had fallen around his ankles. The soldier on duty was barking at them while following, demanding they take themselves to the captain to explain what they’d done. He was off duty and wanted his time to visit the tavern and make acquaintances.
 
Tommy carefully pushed at the door and it opened with squeak. Quietly, cautiously, she stole inside and closed the heavy barricade behind her; the solid-sounding clank of the closure was, thankfully, drowned out by the ongoing argument.
 
“..and where is Michael? I suppose he’s passed out or with some female.”
 
One of them snickered and nodded before the group stopped to drop the one whose pants went after his ankles. Down he went, muttering about the girl he’d met the summer prior. He would marry her, once he was promoted, and make her pregnant as he wanted a son to carry on his name. The lot ignored the poor man, leaving him to lie in the dirt to sleep it off and sober up.
 
“Michael left with some woman. A scrawny nothing that looked worse for the wear.” He paused before continuing, “He didn’t come back yet?”
 
“Haven’t seen him, but I’ve been busy working.” The emphasis on that last word had eyes rolling. 
 
“Calm down, Tobias – he’ll be here after he wets his—“
 
She slid her back against the wall and slipped into the nearest open cell, the sound of the men fading as memory took hold. Staring at the walls of the small confine, she suddenly felt as if she had to retch and dizziness set in, causing her mouth to continuously water. The sway of her body had her drop to her knees and she pitched forward, collapsing into dirty, stale hay. The ache in her side and ribs came second to the need to sleep. Eyes were so heavy, she fought to keep them open at all. Blinks slowed until lids remained closed and she was swallowed by darkness.
 
_________________________________________________
 
The nudge of a boot tip caused her to rouse and she opened her eyes without moving.
 
“…who are you?” She faintly heard part of the question but remained silent for the moment. Play the part, Tommasina – stay alert.
 
“You, woman..wake up.” He kicked harder this time and she visibly winced and roused, pushing up to lean against an elbow. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” he repeated.
 
“That’s the woman Michael left with,” she heard from another. She was surrounded by them, now. Fantastic.
 
She slid a hand over her hair, knocking out pieces of straw, “Drunk in public and offered a place to sleep. How long are you going to keep me here?”
 
The men exchanged glances and then one of them murmured, “Michael must have brought her in earlier.”
 
“Well, where the hell IS he?”
 
A few shrugs before they turned their attentions on her again.
 
She draped an arm over a hip, immediately noticing that her dagger was missing. Novice mistake, forgetting her blade was still buried in the body of the missing (surely now dead) guard; however, she’d already set the plan in motion on how to handle the situation. They didn’t even need to know she was missing anything, let alone a weapon. “Listen, I understand why I was brought here and thrown into this cage – so the giant who arrested me could run back and snatch another.”
 
Confusion settled and another glance between the group was exchanged.
 
She continued the light babble to provoke a reaction, “I didn’t start the fight – was merely caught in the middle. He promised me I’d be released before morning and yet here I am.”
 
Now they looked anxious as well as confused. It wasn’t like Michael to leave out the report of his actions, unless he truly had to rush back to manage a situation. Why he didn’t call attention to things, though, was clearly becoming an crucial tidbit as it wasn’t aligned with normal protocol.
 
Think, Tommy. “…Granted, I wasn’t able to hold up my own head, let alone walk, but I’m fine now. That guard, the huge monstrous one, was nice enough to provide me with lodging and he assured me I’d be quickly released after he handled the ruffians.” She started to stand, and one actually offered his hand to help. He scrutinized her, which made her uncomfortable. Thankfully she had enough dirt smudged on her face and had lost so much weight, she was barely recognizable. The dim candlelight barely offered a clear view of her appearance.
 
“If you’d kindly fetch your superior, I would like to express my thanks for how the colossal man handled the entire situation – removing me from harm’s way so he could then manage things. Very well done, truth be told.” She swiped her hands over her leathers, flinging off bits of God knows what.
 
“Do we wait for Michael to return?” one asked, not taking his eyes from her. The lead guard shook his head and then stepped aside, “The door to the cell wasn’t even closed, let alone locked. I would ask that you wait here until we’ve had a chance to find the guard who…arrested you and question him.”
 
She snapped her head up, “Are you placing me under arrest? Or are you asking that I remain for the moment until things are cleared up, because I’m willing to do so.”
 
Another shake of his head, “You are not under arrest, but we need to make sure we have the situation properly facilitated. You are free to roam the grounds, but do not leave until told otherwise. Understood?”
 
She nodded, “I need a moment of privacy. I’ve been in here for hours..” She opted to step through them instead of trying to move around them. “If you can give me that, I’ll return and provide you with more detail, though there isn’t much else to share. As previously mentioned, I’d like to speak to the commander in charge.” Without glancing back, she pushed open the heavy door and stepped outside.
 
The moon was still playing about, but it wasn’t far from morning, and with daylight would come a whole different set of challenges.
 
_________________________________________________
 
“Watch her. She’s not to leave. You’re to come get me if she attempts to step one foot off these grounds.”
 
The lesser man scurried off to play the role of the babysitter, clearly not thrilled with this new task. He leaned against the doorframe, keeping his eye on the female who disappeared behind the brush, only to pop-up moments later. Folding his arms over his chest, he stood in waiting for her prompt return. She was filthy and reeked of the unknown, but buried beneath the grime, it wasn’t hard to see that she had potential. He straightened upon her approach.
 
“Could you perhaps provide a bite to eat? I don’t feel well,” she murmured, placing a hand to her stomach for emphasis.
 
With careful regard, he nodded and then lifted his chin and motioned inside, “Follow me. We have dried meat and water.” She followed him through a maze of corridors, passing by several cells that contained what appeared to once be men – now beaten down and defeated both mentally and physically.
 
They entered a smaller room at the end of one of the corridors. There was nothing on the walls, one barred small window and against the wall was a solid, sturdy looking table that contained a couple of pitchers of water, some loaves of bread, and a pile of dried meat of some sort. Against another wall was a similar looking table that held various weapons of smaller size, some coiled rope and what looked like a metal trap – she assumed this is where they held certain prisoners personal belongings.
 
Going for the water first, she scooped out a cupful and swallowed as much as her stomach would allow. It was cool and tasted reasonably fresh, and her body responded favorably. She turned and was about to express her thanks when a commotion in one of the holding cells broke out and the guard stepped from the room and kicked at the bars of the cell, telling the prisoner to silence himself or be reprimanded.
 
She set the cup down and glanced at the weapons table..
 
_________________________________________________
 
 
“Well that was frightening,” she exclaimed, following her minder into the corridor. “Is it always so exciting here?”
 
He smirked and then turned to lead her back the way they had initially come. “It’s not often we have a fema—eh, a lady, here,” he explained. Once they rejoined the main group of guards, he motioned to a chair. She sank and leaned back, nodding in silent thanks. “You can wait here until we find out what to do with you. I’m sure Michael has an explanation and you’ll soon be on your wa--“
 
Two more in uniform crashed through the side door, “Tobias! Where is Richards? We found Michael..”
 
The one she assumed was currently in-charge, Richards, turned and stared at the men, “What do you mean, you ‘found’ Michael?”
 
“He’s dead. Just outside the city tavern near the courtyard. Dagger to the chest and his throat is…wrong. Crushed. I don’t know. ..he’s dead.”
 
And just like that, every set of eyes was set on her.
 
_________________________________________________
 
 
“Keep her here until I return,” Richards barked, heading toward the door.
 
Tobias glanced at her and then followed his lead, “You don’t think she had anything to do with it, do you?” They both stopped and glanced at the woman. “She was here all night – still has her dagger..”
 
Richards stare slid over the front of the woman and settled on her thigh area – indeed, her weapon was present. “Did she have that earlier?”
 
“I-I’m not sure, to be honest.”
 
“Christ almighty, are you serious?!” He was furious. Not one process seemed to be in place when it came to dealing with the woman, and to make matters worse, they had no indication of who she was or what really transpired. Now, one of his men was dead and he was no closer to getting answers to any of his questions. “If she disappears before I get back, I swear you’ll pay, Tobias. I’ll pummel you into the ground. Do I make myself clear?”
 
Tobias paled and nodded.
 
“And for Christ’s sake, someone let Roderick know we have a situation and I’ll meet with him upon my return!” He bellowed, slamming the door behind him.
 
She snapped her head up and stared in disbelief.
 
Roderick...was alive?
 
 
*******************************************
 
If there's a God at Heaven's Door
Do you think He wants me anymore?
It's all left up to circumstances
A whole life filled with second chances
Pounded like nails into my floor...

Everybody hates
And everybody dies
Begin to separate
A world that's full of lies
Separate Yourself
To Separate Itself
Separate Yourself
To Separate Itself

Surely there's a better place for me
A place where I can spend eternity
A place where there is no more pain
And there is only sunshine reigning
And there is no one walking on their knees...

Everybody hates
And everybody dies
Begin to separate
A world that's full of lies
Separate Yourself
To Separate Itself
Separate Yourself
To Separate Itself
 
(Separated Self; Saliva)
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