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Crossing Paths at the Crossroads

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601 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:20 pm

Jean shakes his head, frowning sadly as he looks Ljuba over sympathetically. "You alright?" he asks gently. "I know how much that guitar had to have meant to you... not finding it has to be rough."

"I did find it," I frown as I shake out my blanket and lay it out on the floor before I start stripping off my outer clothes. "Why do you think I wrecked their camp and set fire to everything? It certainly wasn't to help keep them warm."

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602 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:23 pm

"You set fire to their camp..?" I ask slowly, lifting my head to look over at him as I prop myself up in the bed.

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603 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:34 pm

"Technically, they started the fire," I say hesitantly, my weight shifting uncomfortably as I stand over my bed. "They'd lit Jean's car up... I just helped spread it along, that's all."

"That's all?" Jean scoffs, shaking his head at me before he looks over at Ljuba and points toward me. "He beat the bloody fuck out of them, and then set fire to their shit."

"No," I frown sharply. "I set fire to their shit, and then we had a small scuffle. That's all, honestly."

"I'm fairly certain some of them were dead," Jean says flatly, completely ignoring my attempts to diffuse the story as he looks back at me. I'm not sure if he's appraising me or concerned about what I'd done, but it sets my teeth on edge.

"They weren't dead," I snap, my jaw clenching as I grind my teeth. "Shut up, Jean."

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604 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:41 pm

"I don't want to hear about it anymore..." I finally say as Jean keeps his gaze trained on Marnin. "I don't care what happened.

"And if you want to talk about it more, then, just please, go somewhere else to do it."

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605 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:47 pm

"There's nothing to talk about," I say stiffly, cutting Jean a withering look when he draws in a breath as if to speak. "I got caught, I defended myself, and then it was over. Can we just go to bed now, please?"

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606 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:59 pm

"Please," I half-whine in agreement as I sink back into my bed, tugging the sheets up to my chin as I curl onto my side, an arm snaking under my pillow. It's hard to get comfortable with Marnin and Jean both settling in (quite tensely) around me, and I squeeze my eyes shut against the dim light of the room.

I'm uncertain how much time passes before I open them again, but I do know that Jean's long gone to sleep by the steady and faint rhythm of his snoring. It can't have been too much time, though, because I'm not convinced I, myself, ever dozed off. The candles have been blown out, and the room is dark aside from the faint glow of the world outside the window. There's a silence just beyond the sound of Jean's sleeping that unsettles me, and I find myself staring at the window as though I'm bracing myself for something to come bursting through it. 

Shifting to the edge of the bed, I peer down to see Marnin laying on the floor just below. His eyes are closed, but I'm sure he's awake with the way his head turns just slightly so he can listen to me. 

"You're shivering." I whisper, resting my hand on my chin as I pout down to him. "Why don't you get off the floor?"

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607 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:05 pm

"And go where?" I ask quietly, not quite registering the invitation as I pull my blankets up further over my shoulder. "I'm just waiting for the radiator to kick back on."

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608 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:07 pm

"Don't be stupid," I frown, scooting back on my bed as I hold my blankets up, "I can't have you getting sick."

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609 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

I hesitate as I hear her moving, realization sinking in as I sit up with wide eyes. "Are you sure?" I ask, my hand resting on the edge of her bed uncertaintly. After the last time we'd shared a bed together, I'm more than a little hesitant to crawl into the inviting warmth, but I'd still swear my shivering as increased tenfold with the sheer anticipation of being near her and sharing her warmth.

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610 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:31 pm

I shudder against the rush of cool air he brings with him, dropping the blankets quickly back over us so we can adjust on the narrow mattress. He's laid flat on his back, and scoots closer to the center with my own coaxing before I settle in at his side. For some reason, our shared proximity is easier to swallow in the darkness of the room, and I smile lightly as his arm snakes around my back so I can lay against his side. 

Laying my scarred cheek against his shoulder, I rest my hand on the fabric of his shirt comfortable, my fingers tracing the worn and threadbare cotton.

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611 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:41 pm

Sighing contently, I let me cheek rest against Ljuba's head, her hair threatening to tickle my nose as I get more comfortable at her side. I feel a little self-conscious beside her, my own scars, usually hidden under long sleeves and pants, now bared for her fingers to explore should they wander from the thin fabric of my shirt. Still, the nervousness in the pit of my stomach has less to do with that, and more to do with the simple jittery excitement of being so close to her.

"This is good?" I ask quietly, my hand coming up to smooth along her wrist in an almost nervous gesture as I press a light kiss into her bangs.

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612 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:09 pm

I nod as I inhale tiredly, my eyes closing as I flatten my and against his chest and exhale slowly. It's comfortable here. Silence falls over the room again, and I take solace in the slowly calming heartbeat beneath my fingertips. Feeling his nerves do wonders to calm mine, and my mind is able to venture further from the present. 

Several long minutes pass before let my fingers move from the steady thump of his heartbeat, my nails gingerly grazing over one of the scars just above the hem of his shirt. 

"Did you really hurt those men for me..?" I breathe, and if it were anyone but Marnin, I'd almost wonder if he'd heard me.

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613 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:19 pm

"No," I whisper back, the subject making me wince a little as I let out a heavy sight. "I mean, yes, but no? I didn't go there looking for a fight, but when I woke them up tearing through their stuff and they got violent, and then I found the guitar... I don't know. I've got demons, Lju, and I'm not proud of them... but yeah... when I saw they'd broken it, I lost it. I'd promised I would get it back, and they made me break that promise."

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614 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:36 pm

Listening, I shift my head against his shoulder so I can look up at him, my nails still lightly tracing against the scars on his chest before I reach up and gingerly touch the swelling bruise above his eye. 

"I'm glad you hurt them," I whisper, my thumb tracing down to his cheek bone before I let my hand fall to the pillow beside his face.

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615 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:53 pm

"You are..?" I ask, a breath catching in my throat as I inhale deeply. "I was afraid that you'd be... I don't know, dissapointed? I dunno, I guess it just scares me. Between what you went through with Gatz, and Richard... the last thing I want is for you to see that kind of violence in me."

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616 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:01 pm

"But with men like them out there," I start softly, tucking my head back against his shoulder as I return to the repetition of tracing the scars on his chest, "I like knowing I have someone who can protect me."

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617 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:06 pm

"And I will," I promise, my arm tightening around her as I press my lips to her forehead possessively.

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618 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:31 pm

I smile slightly as I hug myself to his side, tugging the shirt down slightly as I look at one of the scars stretching across the skin there. 

"Where'd this come from?"

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619 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:47 pm

"Hmm?" I hum, my chin tucking against my chest as I bring a hand up to run my fingers over the scar in question. "Mm, a tree branch," I respond in a groggy whisper. "I was learning to see without my eyes, and Richard took me out to ride the trails on horseback. He'd been telling me when I needed to duck, but then he didn't and I hit the branch at a full gallop. Took seventeen staples to close it up, and then I hit it again two more times before figuring out how to tell it was coming."

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620 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:52 pm

"He just let you hit it?" I gape quietly, picking me head up to look at him.

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621 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:00 am

"Well, I wasn't really learning anything from the lesson with him telling me," I shrug lightly. "Really, I know it sounds terrible, but I was less angry with him and more angry with myself and my own shortcomings. If I'd been paying attention to what he'd been telling me, to what my other tutors had been saying, I would have known it was coming. But I was just going through the motions, and that's how you get hurt. And he saw that I understood that, in his way..."

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622 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:11 am

"But he taught you that on horseback? You could've been so injured!" I frown, my fingers stretching across the scar as I feel how deep it must've gone, the way it's warped the flesh around it. "Weren't you just a boy?"

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623 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:16 am

"I was sixteen," I shrug lightly. "So it was one of the more advanced lessons. I thought I'd already learned all I needed to get by, but really, I was sort of cheating - which I did a lot. Rather than listening for the branches, I was listening for the intake of breath from Richard getting ready to tell me to duck. At the time, it worked well - I always listened for his cues, and responded appropriately to all sorts of situations. But he wanted me prepared for when he wasn't there to give me my cues. And, you know, to punish me for cheating."

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624 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:18 am

"So he taught you all of this?" I ask, resting back against his shoulder as I remove my hand from the scar and let the fabric of his shirt fall back over it.

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625 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:20 am

"A lot of it, yeah," I nod, my legs shifting under the blankets and tangling with Ljuba's as I find a more comfortable position. "He brought in a lot of outside minds and did a lot of research to help me, but essentially, yeah, he was always sort of in charge of what I was or wasn't learning. Obviously, he noticed that I already had a knack for my new world after I'd lost my sight, but really fine tuning the skill was his idea."

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