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Crossing Paths at the Crossroads

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576 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:33 am

"Marn, let me look," I frown, taking my hand away to avoid upsetting him as I sniffle.

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577 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:37 am

"It's nothing," I whine, my head stilling despite myself as I close my eyes stubbornly. It's a habit I haven't fallen on in a long time, a way to do as I've been told while still rebelling against the request. Richard hated it, but I'm sure it only confuses Ljuba as I keep them screwed shut as I wince involuntarily at the gentle touch on my bruised cheek.

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578 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:40 am

I scoot towards him slowly as I lean up to look at the cut above his eye, chewing my lip anxiously as my thumb traces the swollen area lightly. 

"Just sit still for a second," I say as I inhale sharply, steeling myself as I set the remains of Maja's guitar on the bed beside Marnin and crawl off to head for my bag. I've a clean rag inside, tucked into one of the side pockets that I grab and head back for the bed.

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579 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:44 am

"You're in your knickers," I say, inhaling sharply as I try not to listen to her naked feet padding across the cold floor, the sound reverberating between the beds in a way that paints an all-too-clear picture in my head. "Sorry," I wince at the observation, wishing I hadn't said anything as I shift on the bed, fidgeting self-consciously.

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580 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:45 am

"I've been undressed around you plenty of times," I respond dismissively, though the fact he was able to tell so quickly still brings a flush to my cheeks.

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581 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:48 am

"Right, yeah," I nod, clearing my throat in embarrassment as she comes to sit next to me again. "It just caught me off-guard. I hadn't realized you weren't, otherwise... you know... I wouldn't have looked."

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582 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:51 am

"Looked?" I grin slightly, the gesture feeling odd on my tear-stained cheeks as I wrap the rag around my thumb and stick it in my mouth so I can wet it. 

"Well, pardon me," I continue, gently pressing the rag to the bloodied eye so I can clean it, "I wasn't aware I was supposed to warn my blind friend about not being dressed."

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583 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:56 am

"Well, you don't have to," I say, wincing again as she scrubs at the dried blood over my eye. I can feel my cheeks flushing a bit at the subject matter as I feel my eyes rolling toward the ceiling as though avoiding her gaze. "But it is nice to have the warning so I don't accidentally invade your space or your privacy by trying to picture you."

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584 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:57 am

"You try to picture me?" I ask, more curious than anything, as I drop my hand so I can refold the rag.

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585 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:04 am

"Of course I try to picture you," I laugh lightly. "All the time, sometimes without even thinking about it, like just then. You move, and I see you. When you're walking across a room, or combing your hair over your face so people can't see, or biting your lip when you're lost in thought writing a piece of music. I always see you."

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586 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:14 am

Cleaning his eye gingerly, I can feel my cheeks swell with another wave of tears, the pressure stinging slightly. Rag still in hand, I cup his cheek as I lean in to kiss him, my chest holding my breathe captive once our lips meet.

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587 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:21 am

My breath catches at the unexpected kiss for only a moment before I let out a pleased sigh as I lean into the contact. I scoot toward her tentatively, my hand resting on the bed beside her as I bring the other up to cup her scarred cheek softly.

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588 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:34 am

A relieved sigh sticks between our lips, my hands fumbling slightly as I kiss him more forcefully. I want to thank him, to apologize for being so cold, to make up for the years of keeping him at arms length, but no words ever come.

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589 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:38 am

There's a spark of desire in the pit of my stomach as my hand comes up to touch her side - her bare side. The warmth of her skin is so inviting, it sends a shiver through me as I slide closer to her, my arm slipping around her gently as I return the heated kiss.

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590 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:55 am

Panic and excitement intermingle as Marnin's arm slips around my waist, my hand moving to catch his that lingers on my cheek. I drag it rest on my neck, my fingers squeezing his wrist as my lips explore his.

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591 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:02 am

I can't explain the tangle of excitement and anxiety that comes over me as she pulls my hand to her neck, my thumb grazing over her sensitive throat with reverie. I don't remember making the decision until after my lips have found their way down her chin to join my thumb in tender exploration, my breath no doubt hot against her soft skin.

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592 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:14 am

I'm unsure if it's the sensation of his lips on my throat or the unhindered breath I take, but anxiety begins to tangle in my chest as Marnin gets more comfortable with our proximity. My tongue tastes metallic and my throat's long gone dry as I gulp down breath after breath of Marnin's musk, my hands tightly gripping his shoulders as I clamp my eyes closed and my head tilts back just slightly, as though giving him permission to continue. 

Still - it feels wrong, and I can feel the tremble of my own cowardice spreading through my fingers as I breathe his name weakly. Softly

"Marnin," I gasp, light headed and dizzy as I continue the rhythm of my deep breaths. They can hardly keep up with the drumming in my ears as Marnin withdraws, and for a moment I think he looks scared. Scared that I'm going to pull the rug out from under him. "I- Can we go slow?"

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593 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:22 am

"Of course," I breathe, pressing my forehead against hers as I bring my hand up to brush the hair back from her face. My breathing is shaky as I swallow roughly, allowing Ljuba time to catch her breath as I satisfy myself with light touches across her jaw and shoulders, my fingers tracing down her arms gently.

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594 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:40 am

I have to force my eyes open, to see the man touching me is Marnin, to keep my cool. 

"Slower..?" I say roughly, wincing as I pull away from him slowly. "I'm sorry, I am, but this is the most contact I've had since-" Swallowing thickly, I shake the thought from my head as I pull my hands from him to rub at my face. 

Shame washes over me as I hunch over my own knees, fingers curling in my hair anxiously. "At first, I didn't want to be touched because it hurt. For so long, I felt like a walking bruise, I was so raw and swollen, and it hurt to just breathe where he'd broken my ribs. 

"And then, I just expected it to hurt. It became habit to wince when people reached towards me. Every hand that touched me, every shoulder I bumped into, I expected that to be the touch that woke me up to it all over again... And I know that's crazy, and I know you're being so patient with me, more patient than I deserve, but-" I trail off, sitting up tensely. 


"And, I know that I started this, but if we could just maybe do... Simple stuff, and go slow? I could be okay with that..."

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595 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:46 pm

I can't help but smile softly at Ljuba's fumbling anxiety, the fact that she wants to go forward at all filling my insides with joy. "Yeah, Lju," I nod gently as I retreat back a little bit before holding my hand out for her to hold. Simple stuff. "Whatever you need, okay? It's alright if something makes you uncomfortable. Just let me know, and we'll fix it."

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596 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:03 pm

I nod weakly, taking his hand and letting my fingers curl around his thumb. I draw his hand closer, hugging it to my throat as I tuck my chin over it fondly.

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597 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:09 pm

I smile warmly at the gesture, my thumb grazing her chin fondly before I hear Jean on the stairs down the hall. My insides clench a little as I sigh sadly and pull my hand from hers.

"Jean is coming," I say lightly as I lean over to pull the edge of the covers out from under my leg so she can cover up. "I suppose I should get a spot set up so I can sleep."

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598 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:29 pm

"Hmm," I nod, twisting away from him so I can crawl back under the sheets without getting off of the bed. My knee grazes over the bit of guitar neck I'd set down, and I scoop it up as I settle into the bed and hug it to my chest. Sinking into the warmth of the bed again, my head's just hit the pillow when I hear the door open behind me. 

"Hey," I say softly, frowning as I notice the distasteful look on Jean's face. He looks past me quickly, eyeing Marnin dubiously before he shuts the door behind him with a loud snap.

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599 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:36 pm

"Thanks for leaving me to push that Jeep into a parking spot by myself," Jean says stiffly as he begins stripping out of his clothes and putting them by the radiator to dry off. I only raise an eyebrow as I unfasten my bedroll from my bag so I can set it up on the floor between Ljuba's bed and the radiator.

"Did he tell you what happened?" Jean asks, his voice softening a bit as he addresses Ljuba.

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600 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:43 pm

"Yea," I respond quietly, my hand gripping the piece of Maja tightly as I hug it to my chest. "He told me."

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