The White Tower: The Proud Continuation of the AML!

The varied peoples of Middle-earth at times found unity in their pursuits, and all too often experienced deep rifts. Engage in lively conversations as we banter about the differences between the Alliances, and recruit for our People as well. Remember, keep it friendly.

Postby Riencuran » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:49 pm

While Rien would normally have a quick remark, she felt exhaustion crash over her like a tidal wave, and she felt herself sinking wearily into the mattress Cody had set her down on. She changed the subject, too tired to argue with the seemingly tireless mortal.

"What did Melika mean--earlier--when she asked you if you were willing to accept the cost, and you said I was worth it. You obviously weren't talking about my skills as a dog slave."

"Go to sleep, Rien."

"I've been humiliated and degraded more than I ever thought was possible. I try to kill Melika and I get made a slave of domestic beasts. You said I could at least get a bath if I did as you said, and that didn't happen. You could at least answer one question." The elfess mumbled, on the verge of somnolence. "Melkor knows I answered plenty from your never-ending stream of questions as a boy."
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:55 pm

"You're absolutely right; I did promise you a bath." He left her for a moment to fill a tub with water, then heated it on top of a wood-burning stove. After the water was warmed, he set the tub down and tested the temperature before removing Rien's clothing and setting her in the water; tired as she was, she struggled against him.

"Relax; I'll be done bathing you in a moment."

She hated feeling vulnerable around Cody, but the warmth of the water was so soothing, so calming--"

"Is the water too warm?"

"It's perfect."

Cody finished cleaning Rien, then he raised her out of the tub, dried her, then put one of his extra shirts on her for a night dress; Tucking her in, he watched her as she quickly drifted off to sleep; the little pup curled up beside her on the bed.

In the middle of the night, she tossed and turned, and he arouse from the pallet he made on the floor and sat at the foot of the bed, humming snatches of old lullabies to her as he stroked her cheek to calm her.
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Postby Riencuran » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:05 am

It was something he vaguely remembered from his days as her slave. Rien suffered from nightmares. He didn't know the subject or the cause; he had never asked and she had never volunteered the information. Usually she was simply distressed, but sometimes she would cry out or scream. Cody had hummed lullabies he remembered his mother singing, and Rien would eventually settle down.

When Rien slept, the hardness left her fair features. She looked vulnerable, sad, sweet. The anger, the hate, the bitterness was gone, and the sleeping elfess before him was as close as he would get to the former Riencuran.

Her movements calmed, but Cody didn't stop humming or stroking her face. The elfess slowly woke, and the hard mask snapped back into place as she jerked away from his hand.

"Don't touch me." Rien mumbled as sleep quickly rose to reclaim her. "I don't want you touching me. I don't want you near me." She could still feel his touch on her face, and she wanted to scrub her skin down to the bone, until there was nothing left.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:21 am

Cody waited until sleep reclaimed her and began caressing her once more; soon when she breathed rhythmically he relaxed and lay down in his former place. He was again stirred from sleep when he heard her faint murmurs as she tried to keep warm with the only blanket in the kennelmaster's quarters. He rose and lay next to her, warming her body with his own and fell asleep.

In the morning, he rose before she and warmed up some water for the tub, then began washing and grooming himself. If she did not wake up shortly, he would wake her up by unceremoniously tossing her into the tub.

Just as he had exited the bathwater and finished dressing, she woke. For a brief moment she glanced at him with gratitude, and he thought he saw vulnerability in her eyes; but it was gone before he could make up his mind if he had really seen it.

"What do I do today?"

"It's dog-feeding time, after you are finished feeding the dogs, you must exercise them as you did yesterday evening, only longer, as all the dogs need to get a good stretch from being cooped up in their kennels the last eight hours--"
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Postby Riencuran » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:29 am

"They have legs. Why can't they exercise themselves? Mortals don't need to be exercised." Rien muttered, sitting up. She yawned, and then took notice for the first time that she was wearing one of Cody's shirts. It smelled just like him--

As soon as that thought finished, Rien wanted to know why she knew what he smelled like, and why she enjoyed the scent.

"Don't you have runs for the dogs? And am I expected to wear your clothing as well? Is that part of my new slave status? In belonging to you, I wear what you provide me, which appears to be your supply of spare shirts? Do you want me to walk about in just your shirt as well, while I set about my chores, Master?" She rattled off the questions in a pseudo-pleasant voice, thinly masking the venom she wanted to spit at him.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:36 pm

"Because animals prefer to expend the least amount of energy possible. Exercising them forces them to burn off energy." Cody replied, ignoring her questions for the moment.

"First we must procure clothes for you to wear while you tend to the dogs; your own are filthy."

"Now you want me to wear your pants?"

"No, you will be fitted for your own things." At that moment, one of the servants in the White Tower entered, led Rien behind a dressing screen, and took her measurements; Rien was permitted to wear her clothes from yesterday while her new clothes were being made, and she felt dirty when she put them on.

"Cleaning kennels is not glamorous work, but you will have your new things tonight. Come!"

"Yes, Master." Rien replied sarcastically.

"Perhaps I need to send your brother an invitation to come see you; I'm sure he'd be very interested in learning about your activities--"
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Postby Riencuran » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:46 pm

"Would you have me bow and scrape before him as well, Master? You know I live only to serve and please you, Master. I would show my brother what an excellent job I do at cleaning out kennels on my hands and knees, Master."

Rien fell to her knees at that point, her shackles clinking as she did so, mocking him with her pseudo-servitude, chained hands raised before him.

"I do hope you'll be proud of your slave, Master, for I'm trying so desperately hard to make you happy. I'll bow before my brother, Master, I'll wear your shirts, your tunics, your trousers." Her eyes glinted mischievously. "I'll wear nothing at all if it would please you, Master."
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:44 pm

Cody decided to ignore Rien's scrapping and ushered her out of doors when she was dressed. "Start feeding the dogs."

Rien began feeding the dogs as the pup Cody had given her scampered about her feet, licking them and continually darting in front of Rien as she walked to each kennel to feed the dogs.

"You really should give that pup a name. How about Gem?"

"What think you of 'Gnash'?"

"The orcish word for 'fire'? Hardly appropriate to her personality."
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Postby Riencuran » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:01 pm

"You might want to brush up on the Black Speech, my dear Tarquin. Ghaash is the orcish word for fire. As for your suggestion, a mangy pup is hardly a gem." The dark elfess nudged the pup out of the way with her foot. "I know--I'll call her Goth, for she's my master." She said, naming the orcish word, and mock-bowed before the small animal.

"I bow and scrape and serve my little, four-legged master, just as I serve my little, two-legged master. He has yet to command me to his room, however; I simply go to the rooms of my four-legged masters."

The elfess continued feeding the dogs, ignoring the one at her heels. She never asked for the cursed beast anyway; she was being forced to tend to thirty dogs--she had no desire for one of her own.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:16 pm

"What don't you like about Gem?"

"If you're going to force this dog upon me, I refuse to give it a lightsider name."

"I gave her to you because I knew you liked whippets."

"I liked you when you were a whippet."

"I became a whippet only because Carum Kadoa feared I was becoming rebellious."

"Perhaps he had the right idea."

Cody sighed. "Why won't you understand that you have been given a gift--a second chance at life and at light?"

"Would you take a suggestion from me that you return to Khand and slavery as a gift that should be received gladly?"

"Your situation is not equivalent to mine."

"You mean you're refusing to see the equivalency."

Cody sighed. "Let's talk about this later, Rien. You have dogs to feed."

"Yes, Master; should I strip to the nude to please you, master? Dance and cavort about until you summon me to your bed like the slave girl I am?"

"I don't want you for a slave girl."

"Then you do want me for something. What?"

"You're not in the mood to hear it; forget I said anything."
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Postby Riencuran » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:23 pm

It was precisely because he refuses to tell her that Rien latched onto the idea like a starving dog latched onto a bone.

"Well, if you don't want me dancing naked before you, you don't want me as your slave girl, what do you want me as? It's something, obviously, for you are refusing to tell me."

Rien sidled up to Cody, wrapping her arms around him. "Tell me, Master--what do you want me for? Friend? Bosom companion? Harlot? Mistress?" Scorn flashed in her grey eyes. "Loving wife?"

Pressing herself closer to her, the young elfess' lips were centimeters away from his. "What do you want this lowly, undeserving one for, Master?"
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm

"You really want to know what I want? What I think?"

"Of course, Cody." She pressed herself closer to his body.

"That's all you want to know?"

"All, Master."

"I think Lupus' water bowl is dry as the desert."

Rien backed away, scowling. "Tell me what you want of me."

"I don't have to tell you anything; you are no longer my mistress, and you are in no position to become my mistress again."

"Just tell me to amuse me; don't you want me to be happy?"

"Given that you have stated that you would only be happy when I am again liciking your boots, no."

"Just tell me. Mistress? Lover? Do you harbor some fantasy of overpowering me and brutalizing me until you break my spirit?"

"Nothing of the sort; you have an active--and loathsome--imagination to suppose I have such designs for you."

"Why is it so difficult for you to tell me?"

"I never said it was difficult to tell you; I have refused to tell you, and will refuse."

"I told you everything when the tables were turned."

"You did not tell me everything."
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:27 am

"I told you what I could when that Tarquin mouth of yours rattled on and on every night." She was about to reach for him, when she remembered her shackles, and sighed, continuing. "If I didn't answer your questions, such a look of hurt came across those darling, boyish features of yours."

"And the gentle, merciful mistress gave in to the puppy-eyes of her slave?" Cody arched an eyebrow, and Rien smiled charmingly.

"I'm so glad you understand what a gentle mistress I was."

"My favorite memories were when you were being gentle with your whip." The mortal said dryly.

Rien looked pseudo-affronted. "I always treated your wounds; that's gentler than most."

"I'll remember that." He replied with a scoff.

"Tarquin, tell me. What fantasies and dreams do you have about me?" Rien asked again. "What aching desires haunt you? Not mistress, not lover, not breaking me..." She mused aloud. "You already have me as your slave, although you're having me serve animals rather than you, and I'm sure you would be much more enjoyable." The dark elfess grinned wickedly.

"Speaking of the dogs--"

"Not until you tell me. Threaten me all you want. Don't give me food or drink or a bed to sleep in. Write my brother. I won't give any of those beasts a drop of water or a speck of care until you tell me what sort of designs you do have, as all of my guesses are incorrect."
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:56 pm

"You really want to know?"

"Yes, Master."

"Are you certain?"

"Yes."

"Absolutely certain?"

"Just tell me!"

Cody pulled Rien into his arms and tilted her chin to look up at him. "You really want to know how I imagine you, what I think of you?"

"Of course." Rien purred, pleased; at last she would get to the bottom of his desires.

"I have a dream, a dream that--no, you would not appreciate it."

"I will give your dream its due appreciation."

"But what if you do not appreciate my dream nearly as much as I do? Why should I risk such an event?"
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:25 pm

Being perfectly aware that he was tormenting her on purpose, Rien didn't relent. Her curiosity was too great for her to not find out what he was keeping from her.

"Of course I'll appreciate it. I appreciate everything you tell me, Master." She shifted closer to him as he held her. The elfess had always enjoyed the feeling of his arms around her--she had always enjoyed the embrace of men, but Cody was different. Cody's touch was more. She felt more desirable and more desired, and was acutely aware of wherever he touched her, however he touched her; she chalked it up to him simply being more skilled than other men she had been with, even though she had never yet taken him into her bed. If she had her way, that would change soon.

"Please tell me. There's no risk, no harm, in telling me."
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:45 pm

"Well, if you're certain."

"Absolutely, Cody."

"Do you remember Carum Kadoa?" Cody felt Rien stiffen at the question. She had hired herself as an assassin to Lord Kain Kadoa of Khand. They had not resided in Khand for more than a few months,when Rien caught the eye of the lusty Carum, Kain's heir. Not realizing that Carum had selected his mistress to be his next lover, Cody had escorted Rien to a feast held in honor of Carum's birthday, and during the celebration, he had been separated from Rien. Carum led a drunken Rien to his chambers, and was beginning to romance her when Cody entered.

He still bore the scares from that fight; aside from the punches he had taken from the Dark Heir of Khand, he had received graver marks. Carum had broken free of his stranglehold and commanded his guards to whip him; it was only because Carum's mother, Nien of Khand, a gentle lightsider elfess who had never submitted to darkness as had her husband and son, heard the sound of the whip upon Tarquin's back and urged her husband to intervene. They had left the Kadoa camp the next day, with Kain's blessing.

"Why do you ask if I remember the Kadoas?"

"Do you remember what you asked me after I led your horse out of camp?"
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:53 pm

Of course she remembered. There was little she forgot; the Elves weren't immortal so the wisdom of ages could be forgotten. Memories stayed sharp and clear, unless uncontrollable circumstances got in the way, or if an elf had no desire to remember. Rien herself had struggled with amnesia twice before.

When it came to Cody, or Khand, there was little she didn't remember.

"I asked you why you bothered. Why you risked a flaying that would have killed you to save the mistress who had abused you, whom you loathed. You could have escaped that night. You could have been free."

"And do you remember what I said?"

"Nothing. You were silent. I didn't ask you again, and we left Khand without speaking another word."
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:09 pm

"But you later returned to the Kadoas, after I came down with a heavy fever; you reentered their service, and set me free from you when the fever broke."

"Carum would have taken you otherwise; I knew he wanted vengeance."

"But you didn't need to return to him."

"He never touched me again. His father controlled him well in those days." Rien replied.

Before Cody could reply, a slender young woman approached him; Cody felt, rather than saw, Rien stiffen at her approach.

"Who is that?"

"Lissar."

"Who is Lissar?"

"A girl I bought at a slave market; I subsequently signed the paperwork to declare her a freewoman." Cody explained as he observed her reaction. "Why are you so tense, Rien?"
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:22 pm

He freed lightsiders and kept her captive. Former slaves roamed free, and she was kept in a kennel, shackled and imprisoned. He bought slaves and released them, and he carried her before the Stewardess of Gondor to seal her fate and freedom away.

Rien pushed herself away from Cody, away from his embrace and his touch, and she felt chilled to her very core. She had let herself forget that Cody was her enemy, and that she was in the heart of the enemy's land. He wasn't just a former slave she wanted back. He protected Melika, and Rien wanted both of them dead. She shouldn't be playing games, and the sight of Lissar made her grey eyes darken for reasons she couldn't explain.

"I believe your slave has duties to attend to. Keep your dreams, Master." The dark elfess' mask was back in place--bitter, cold, and hard. She left for another part of the kennels, leaving Cody alone, with the exception of the approaching Lissar, and leaving herself alone with angry thoughts and emotions she didn't understand.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:40 pm

Cody spoke with Lissar for several minutes, then approached Riencuran quietly. Her gaze was hardened once more, and she eyed him with suspicion.

"You're jealous of Lissar."

"Why would I be jealous of that floozy?"

"She's not a floozy."

"I saw her hanging on to your every word."

"She's grateful for what I have done for her."

"Just as I should be grateful to you, Master?"

"Your situations are entirely different."

"I wish my situation was different; you'd be a eunuch and Lissar would be out of the picture."

"Plans don't always come to fruition as we hope." Cody replied quietly. "Come, I'll show you--"

"I don't need your help." Rien insisted as she walked into the store house to grab a clean blanket to replace one which one of the puppies had soiled. It was just out of reach, but Cody reached up and grabbed it for her. Reaching down to hand it to her, he wrapped his arms around her waist, giving her a single, passionate kiss, before pulling away and walking in the opposite direction.
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:57 pm

Even after he turned and walked away, she could feel his lips on hers, his arms wrapped around her. His absence left her feeling empty, and she hated it. Of all the men she could have desired the most, it had to be a mortal lightsider, her former slave, her present enemy, protector of her present target.

When she arrived at the White Tower, she hadn't envisioned things going as planned, but she hadn't envisioned them going this wrong either. Melika was supposed to be dead, or even fatally wounded; Cody was supposed to be dead, fatally wounded, or her slave once again. She was supposed to be victorious, wounded, or dead.

Cody was right. Plans didn't turn out as they hoped. However, thinking on his words, she felt that he wasn't only referring to her plans. Then that kiss...

She debated calling him, or going after him, and decided against it. He knew where she would be; he had chosen her prison, after all. If Cody wanted to talk to her, it wasn't as if she would be hard to find. The elfess made her way to the kennel in need of the blanket, musing silently to herself.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:03 pm

She was both relieved and disappointed that he mostly avoided her for the rest of the day; she saw Lissar talking with him on occasion, and each time he perceived her jealousy, he commented on it.

"I am not jealous." She growled again.

"You're not jealous? You feel nothing for me?" He demanded, approaching her. "Are you certain?" She felt the same desires for him grow with each step he took. She had to focus; she had to return to the original plan: seduce, stab; seduce, stab.

He pulled her into his arms once more; he led her away from the kennels.

"What makes you think I want to go with you?" She demanded, but her heart wasn't in much resistance, and she perceived he knew it.

"What do you want?" He prompted her in reply.
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:16 pm

"I want you and every lightsider in this cursed tower dead." Rien said bitterly, trying to pull away from him, but this time Cody wouldn't let her. "Let go of me, Tarquin."

"Come with me, Rien."

She narrowed her eyes. "No. And if I'm not mistaken, a certain mortal decreed that I would not leave the kennels. I'd hate to disobey, Master."

"Which is of course why you're refusing me." He retorted.

"You refuse me all the time." Another attempt to pull free, but Cody did not relinquish his hold on her. The elfess scowled at him for a full minute, before muttering a curse in the Black Speech. "Where are you planning on taking me?"
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:30 pm

"You're coming with me." Cody repeated.

"Did I say dead? I'll make sure you suffer before you die."

"I've heard that threat before."

"I'll act on it this time; I'll tame you as I should have years ago."

"You never had the ability to 'tame' me." Cody retorted.

"You'll see. After you're tamed, I'll have you eating out of my hand."

"Those are old threats, Rien; you've never carried any of them out."

"I will this time."

In answer, Cody gave her a slow, tender kiss; he felt her tremble; backing away from her, he waited for her reaction. Though he could tell she was fighting it; she approached him; he gave her a second kiss, then backed away.

"I thought you were going to teach me a lesson."
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:43 pm

"I never said when that lesson was going to be taught. I have the rest of your miserable, mortal life." The assassin said in her defense.

"Empty threats, Rien. We both know they hold no meaning."

"If you'd stop distracting me, they wouldn't be empty." She muttered, too low for his mortal ears to catch. He had to stop kissing her. Rien didn't like how often she was thinking about those kisses. She then spoke in normal tones.

"Are you taking me somewhere or are you just planning on giving me less-than-adequate kisses all day?"
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:00 pm

He continued kissing her as he led her to a guard's tower; taking her up to one of the turrets, he pointed north. "My home is that way."

"I'm aware of that, Tarquin. May I go to the kennel now? I wouldn't want to displease my master."

"I wanted to ask you---never mind." He sighed. "I should never have said anything."

"Tarquin, I'm not playing this game again."

"I understand."

He led her down to the kennel in silence, and both worked side by side, neither wishing to break the silence.

Both returned to their quarters to rest for the night; Rien watching Tarquin's every move.

He took some hot coals from the fire, scooped them into a special bag, and placed the bag under his mattress. Turning, he saw Rien eyeing his coal-bag.

"What are you thinking about?"

"I haven't seen you make one of those sense you were my slave."

"I prepare it most cold nights." Cody replied softly. He saw Rien eyeing the satchel longingly. "Wanting something?" He prompted, wondering if she would be honest about what she wanted.
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:14 pm

Rien looked at her hands, shackle free while she slept in the kennel master's house, and focused on them for a minute.

"Well?" Cody prompted her again.

Rien sat down on a chair by her bed, tucking her feet beneath her as she spoke, but still not looking at Cody.

"Seeing as I doubt you would keep me warm the way I'd prefer...I don't suppose...you would prepare one for me as well?" She found it difficult to ask, rather than command, and Rien didn't like how she struggled with the seemingly simple request, or how she couldn't even meet Cody's eyes as she made such a simple request.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:41 pm

Cody prepared a second satchel identical to the first, placed it under her mattress, and tucked her in as though she weighed no more than a small child. A part of Rien hoped he would ask her to join him, but he did not.

He entered his own bed. "I never finished telling you what I really want."

"I'm not certain I want to hear it." Rien replied, a part of her feeling torn; Tarquin wouold only torment her; he would never think of her; never want her; he would settle down with his Lissar and leave her to rot in the kennels.

He ignored her reply and continued. "I esteem you, Rien."

"You esteem me? Is that your big secret?" Rien laughed, a note of bitterness in her voice.

"I admire you."

"Naturally, Tarquin; most men admire women who enslave and brainwash them."

"I care for you."

She froze; he wasn't about to say...

"I've conealed it for months, but disguise of any sort is abhorrent to me, so I must confess: I love you."
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Postby Riencuran » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:00 pm

(OOC: Jumping the gun a bit, IMHO, but I'll forgive you. I don't think that, at this point, Rien is longing for Cody. She's still fighting that battle with emotions she doesn't understand and doesn't want to. But like I said, you're forgiven :P)

Rien steeled herself. Two thousand years of practice in stifling emotions certainly came in handy, as she withdrew into her hard shell. Love was a weakness. It was dangerous and acidic, destroying what it touched. The elfess had rejected it since she was initiated into the darkness. Even when she was a lightsider, love had done her no favors. Abused and abandoned by her parents, sisters, and even Luin, she had found more solace and comfort in the blackness of Mordor than in the so-called haven of Imladris.

"Love is the disease of fools. I suggest you cure yourself of it, Tarquin." She rose from her bed, bare feet on the cold stone floor. Like the nights before, she was wearing a spare shirt of Cody's, but she didn't care, and left the room. Cody had not locked the door tonight, and Rien fled to the kennel that housed Jewel and her pups.

The little one that had attached herself to Rien stuck her nose through the mesh gate, and Rien let the pup out, settling her down in her lap as she sat cross legged against the wall.

"You're another fool." She muttered. "I'm surrounded by them."
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Riencuran
Ranger of the North

 
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:08 pm

(OOC: Not jumping the gun; it's perfectly in character for Cody to misread a moment; besides, cody's writer enjoys seeing others enter into turmoil when he makes a social faux pas. ;) )

Cody came out to the kennels. "Come inside, Rien."

"I refuse to sleep in the same room as a love-sick fool."

"I will control myself; come indoors."

"I'm with my attack dog; beware or you'll be the victim when I teach it its first lesson."

Cody reached down and picked up both Rien and pup.

"Let go of me!"

"I will not." He replied firmly as he carried her indoors; she was shackled once more, within reach of her bed. "You may sleep on the bed, or on the floor with your dog. Your choice."
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