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Arrowpoint Innzone

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26Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:06

"Heh," I laugh lightly as I tilt my head to listen to the noises in the room, taking it all in for a moment before I sigh and shake my head. "Some week this has been, huh? I never thought you'd be parted from her guitar. Now it's gone, and you've got a new one... and I don't know why, but it feels like it changes everything. Like it's started a new chapter in our lives. It kind of makes me nervous! Like if that could change, then who the fuck knows what'll happen next. I don't know how I feel about it yet... I kinda liked the certainty, the consistency."

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27Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:09

I laugh softly as I nod, picking at my nails as I look back at him. 

"Seems like it's been forever since we left Old North," I remark, "But I like all the change. I didn't realize how unhappy I was there."

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28Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:18

"I'm glad you're happier," I smile as I lean into her side to nudge her gently. "I can't lie, I always felt kind of smug that you only ever spoke to me... but I also kind of worried about you because of it. Especially when I'd leave for awhile. I was always afraid something would happen to me, and you'd just never speak again."

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29Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:31

I smile slightly at his concern, bumping back against his side before I slide off of the bed to replace the guitar in it's case. 

"You're probably right," I say, admiring the luxurious leather case as I clasp it shut and pull it out of the box to set near the dresser. "I never said it before, and I went out of my way to make sure Itsy wouldn't either, but half the time? When you were gone?" I frown as I glance towards him, "I didn't even bother playing in the bars until my fridge had been empty for a few days. I hated how lonely it was, and the way people would look at me. It took a few days worth of hunger pangs to muster the courage to get through it."

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30Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:42

I try not to frown too heavily at that as I shift uncomfortably. I can tell my eyes are wandering aimlessly, something I don't usually tend to notice, but I can't help it. It's a nervous habit.

"It's better now, though?" I ask hopefully. I've long suspected that was something she was prone to doing whenever I'd leave only to return to find her kitchen incredibly bare compared to the full shelves she would usually have when I was home. I hate the thought of her going hungry, so much so that I've often put off trips until long after my own pockets have run dry and my shelves have gone bare.

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31Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:46

I don't even realize the tears that've welled in my eyes as I pull my bag onto the top of the dresser, going through it to find a clean change of clothes as I sniffle. 

"It's been a really confusing week," I say, setting off the spare clothes to the side, "But I haven't gone hungry."

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32Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 21:43

I frown a bit before getting to my feet and stepping up behind her, my fingers brushing the back of her arm lightly. I hesitate for a moment as she glances back at me before asking, "Can I..?" as I hold my arms out slightly.

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33Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 23:35

"Hmm?" I frown, twisting around to face him in confusion. "Can you... oh-"

I hesitate before nodding softly, turning to drop the hair brush I'd pulled out onto the dresser before opening my arms for him.

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34Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 23:56

I smile a bit at the awkwardness of the moment, my arms wrapping around her fondly. It still feels weird being able to hug her like this, but I like it. I even like being able to nuzzle against her, my scruff covered cheek tickling across her jaw as she tightens her shoulder up to protect her neck from the intrusion.

"Are you about to take a bath?" I ask, nodding at the items she'd gotten from her bag as I step back to go through my own.

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35Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 0:03

"Yeah, it's been a few days, I wanted to wash my hair." I respond, letting my hands rest on his sides for a moment before I pull away.

"You can take one after? I'm kind of sick of smelling myself." I laugh weakly, twisting to grab up my things as I head for the bathroom.

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36Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 0:26

"That's fine," I nod as I pull out my phone again. "I have some business I need to take care of before I bathe anyway."

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37Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 1:26

I hum a quiet response, nodding as he steps back towards the bed so I can get past into the bathroom. As soon as I'm inside, I latch the door behind me and cut the water on. The noise seems to ease the anxious drumming in my head, and I'm able to relax as I go through the motions of my bath. 

Time passes far quicker than I'd like, the steam from the hot water subsiding and my hair nearly dry before I finally crawl out of the cooling tub. Shaved, scrubbed, and soft. My skin feels brand new as I dry myself off, and for a moment - with the towel over my marred cheek - I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror that warrants a second look. I can't describe it, but I feel as though I'm standing in front of my former self, and the feelings of anxiety and dread mix pleasantly with those of giddy anticipation. 

It'll be the first night I've been able to spend alone with Marnin since Crossroads. Since the mess of our relationship started to sort itself out. I'm eager to talk about it, to let my fingers explore his as I work to embrace this new feeling. However, I'm also terrified of what lies ahead. Scared of opening myself up to him in the way he needs. I've been silently berating myself for telling him to stop seeing Luella, for staking some odd claim on him in that sense when I wasn't entirely prepared for the responsibility. 

But I can't feel guilty anymore. I can't stomach the way he pulls from me, looking hurt, whenever I shut down his attempts at physical intimacy. I can't look at his face again when I cringe away from his touch without thinking. 

My hair's still rather damp by the time I'm dressed, the sort of damp that causes it to tangle and stick against my fingers when I try to straighten it. I've redressed, my towel hanging near the door, and I've run out of things to keep myself busy with. My teeth have been brushed, my nails tended to. I've scrubbed at the rough spots on my fingers and even crawled up onto the counter so I could clean the dead skin from my lips and the imagined gunk in my lame eye. I've nearly preened myself raw by the time I start gathering my dirty clothes and heading for the door. 

Marnin is sitting in one of the chairs near the window, his fingers running over something in his hand when I come out. I'm not sure what, though, because as soon as I step out he pockets it as he shifts his head towards me. 

"It's all yours," I say lamely, clearing my throat as I head over to put my dirty clothes back into my bag. Marnin offers a small smile as he rises, his own change of clothes already sitting ready to be scooped up as he heads into the bathroom. 

I wait until I can hear his water running to head for the bed, staring at it as though it's personally offended me. The sheets look soft, but stained, and the comforter is threatening to spill its stuffing in several places. The pillow cases are a busy pattern, and I half-wonder if that's to cover any stains from prior guests. Cringing at the idea, I tug the blankets and sheets back, glancing towards the bathroom door before wiggling out of my pants and folding them neatly to replace in my bag. 

I don't know why I'm trying to be sneaky. Marnin has proven time and again to be more aware of his surroundings than any human should be capable of, but I still make a point to tuck them far into the bag as though hiding them away. Content with my job, I crawl into the bed, pulling the blankets up to my chest as I sit back. 

Now I wait.

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38Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 20:31

Getting out of the shower proves to be more difficult than I'd imagined. The stress over the past few days has done nothing for the stiffness that always develops in my muscles when I'm forced to spend all of my time in a car. Even when I'd relax with Ljuba in the back of the van, there's still an anxiety that coils up everytime she moves. I don't know whether it's my own issues with intimacy, or the fear that she'll have another panic attack when she wakes to find me so close. Whatever it is, though, it's left a stitch in my shoulder that makes the hot spray of the shower feel amazing.

Sighing, I stretch it out once more under the hot water before finally turning it off and grabbing the towel hanging on the hook outside of the shower. I take my time drying off, silently wondering about Ljuba's after-shower ritual and why she had taken longer than usual. It had been tempting to listen in on what she was doing, but instead, I'd spent the time in thought, the tag Richard had attached to the guitar running under my nail as I traced each tiny curve of his handwriting. The same tiny curves of innocuous taint he had put on Ljuba's guitar.

He's a problem, and problems need to be dealt with. And every little dent and bump of skin that passes under my fingers as I dry off is only further evidence that hardens my resolve, the scars and minutely misshapen ribs giving my hands pause as I consider the woman in the next room. I hate that she can see them. It's bad enough being able to feel them, but I can only imagine what ugly color marrs the raised flesh.

She's let me 'see' hers, though...

Sighing, I put the thought aside and grab my pajama bottoms so I can get dressed. Rather than putting on the long sleeves I had intended to sleep in, I decide to muster up the courage to simply go without. Really, I shouldn't be so nervous. Scars aside, I've worked hard to maintain a strong, healthy body... and I'm plenty confident in it when it's not Ljuba who's looking at it. I don't know why that is... Cael has seen me without a shirt, so has Luella and a handful of others. It never made me this nervous.

Gathering up my clothes, I make a point to double check that the light is out before I head out into the bedroom. Ljuba has already crawled into bed, the smell of her soap now mingling with the staleness of the sheets. I try not to pay attention to her gaze following me as I go to put my things in my bag before grabbing my phone and the charger out so I can plug it in by the bed.

"Are the sheets okay?" I ask as I head over to my side to look for a plug-in.

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39Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 22:30

"Yeah," I nod softly, still hugging the blankets across my front as I try to keep my gaze from wandering too freely over his chest. I've never seen him like this before, even when he'd shared his scars with me in the truck, he'd been careful to conceal as much of himself as he could. Still, I find myself watching him as he plugs his phone in, the dim light casting shadows across the muscles of his arms and abdomen in a way I find hard to ignore. 

Clearing my throat, I shift up to sit against the headboard, tucking the blankets across my lap before reaching over to pat his side. 

"They're soft. They're ugly as hell, but you don't have to endure it. Lucky you."

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40Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 22:37

"Yeah, the perks of being blind," I grin as I switch the phone to silent before crawling into the bed. I can still feel her watching me as I adjust the pillow and blankets to make it more comfortable.

"You're staring," I point out, feeling a little exposed as I try to keep the flush from keeping across my skin.

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41Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 22:53

"Sorry," I laugh lamely, shifting onto my side to face him as I slide further into the bed. I work to adjust my shirt, tugging it down over my hips self-consciously under the weight of the blanket. 

"You're really... Fit. I didn't expect it." I add with a smirk, glancing up at him sheepishly.

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42Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 23:06

"Thanks, I think?" I laugh as I pull the blanket up so I can lie down. Turning onto my side to face her, I start to open my mouth to apologize when my leg touches hers before I notice the distinct lack of pants.

"Are you-," I hesitate. "Are you not wearing pants?"

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43Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 23:24

A deep blush runs up my back and neck, my cheeks burning as I run an arm over the blankets to tuck it over me.

"No..." I whisper lightly, practically hiding behind the blanket as I watch him.

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44Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 23:29

"Oh," I respond quietly, my blush matching hers as I lie very still, my eyes moving of their own accord as I try to figure out what this means. "Okay..."

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45Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 23:46

"That doesn't bother you, does it?" I respond quietly, letting my leg creep towards his slowly.

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46Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 23:53

"Not at all," I respond as I let her leg tangle in mine before I scoot a little closer.

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47Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Thu 10 Mar 2016 - 0:05

"Can you turn that light off..?" I ask, an arm stretching across his chest as I point to the lone sconce above the bed, the switch sitting just above the outlet where he's plugged his phone in.

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48Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Thu 10 Mar 2016 - 0:10

"Yeah," I respond a little breathlessly. I can feel my heart hammering under her hand as it comes back to rest on my chest as I reach over to switch the light off. I put my hand on hers once the light is switched off, scooting a little closer so I can nuzzle into her hair.

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49Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Thu 10 Mar 2016 - 0:21

I sigh contently as I feel the warmth of his breath on my scalp, my eyes shutting as I rest against his shoulder. My fingers stretch under his, and I can't help but smirk as they run over the mess of chest hair. My breathing hitches, though, as my heart races against my ribs. Letting out a slow yet unsteady breath, I curl my fingers so my nails drag across his chest lightly. 

A guilt rests in my gut at the feeling of shame looming over me, a lump forming in my throat as my leg curls up over his slowly. Ambivalence washes over me, my momentum staggering as I twist my head up to look at him tentatively. I do want to share this with him, I want to be intimate - But this? This feels wrong. It brings with it a tightness in my chest, a tenseness in my jaw. Feelings of discomfort that only seem to fade whenever I feel the rampant thump of his heart as I flatten my hand against his chest again. Discomfort that fades, but lingers close by in the form of bile just below my throat. The form of anxious clamminess in my palms. Incessant drumming in my ears.

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50Arrowpoint Innzone - Page 2 Empty Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Thu 10 Mar 2016 - 0:40

Ljuba's rapid pulse mirrors my own as I put an arm around her, my fingers dragging softly across the back of her neck. The shiver that my touch elicits only coaxes me further as I let my lips drag across hers tentatively. A noise catches in her throat, and I can feel my heart jump at the sound of it, my stomach flipping with excited nervousness.

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