Title: Inviting disaster
Drake - June 14, 2012 09:55 PM (GMT)
Drake had ran from the festival. He knew he could stay there no longer, what he had done would warrant severe punishment in Aknatar. What had he done! It all seemed a blur in his mind, the anger he'd felt towards the witch, turning to confusement, turning to... oh god he'd kissed the daughter of a mass murderer!
That wasn't at all what he'd been planning. Not that he'd been planning much, just hanging around the festivities, waiting for this awful day to end so he could get on and find out what job he was signing up for. That had all changed so dramatically. Oh shit, he'd kissed the witch. What had he been thinking?
Drake moved around Dal'ib in a cloud of thunder, feeling thoroughly pissed off with how shite today had turned out. Everybody he passed gave him a wide berth, sensing that he was dangerous. Drake sighed and took a deep breath, trying to shake off the dark mood before he became too noticeable. He was pretty sure that people were looking for him. Even though those guards were Rodani, Drake was confident they would chase up this breech of Aknatari custom. Not least because they had stood by and let it happen on their watch, when the Duke had entrusted them with that one woman.
Drake groaned, he wasn't scared of the guards. He could probably take the six of them without too much damage to himself. And even if they brought friends, he knew his way around Dal'ib now, he could hide away or jump on a horse in the middle of the night and escape them. No, what worried him was the Duke himself. Balaric "The Butcher" De Jure. The only man alive Drake was wary about. He almost smiled humourlessly as he remembered how a couple of weeks ago he'd wanted to test himself against the most infamous warrior Tetel'ac had produced, but not like this, not by taking his advantage of his daughter. Ugh, he'd kissed Zuleika.
With that thought, Drake stilled. He hadn't actually taken advantage of her. He hadn't asked her to feel anything towards him, and definately hadn't asked her to voice it. So what that he'd kissed her, it was an innocent thing. She had looked so torn up, he hadn't been able to help himself. In hindsight, she would have felt even worse had he listened to her confession and left.
But her words and his actions now left a great gaping hole of trouble.
He had to see her again. Preferably without her entourage of guards.
Drake moved back in the direction of the Duke's house, careful to not be seen, and taking as much time as he needed for that to happen. He took to the rooftops, the flat surfaces being one of his favourite routes of travel, and got as close to the Duke's mansion as these Aknatari houses could lead. And there he perched, in the utter darkness, just watching.
It was possibly easier to simply bribe a servant into telling him the layout of the house; then he could knock out one of the guards to comandeer his uniform and walk brazenly in; but in Drake's experience such a plan would give him limited time to get in, speak with Zulieka and get out, before either the servant bottled it, or the guard was found and the breach in security chased up.
So instead he just perched there, invisible in the night, watching the people enter and leave the mansion. It looked to be of Rodani influence, houses that Drake was very familiar with. He turned his attention to the wings on the upper floors. The one that was pitch black he rejected immediately. The other three - Balaric would be in one, his fiancee in the furthest from him to protect questions of her innocence. So between it he must find his prey.
As he knelt at the edge of the roof, Drake began to feel calm again, the nature of his hunting soothing and familiar, although the target was a little different from normal.
Eventually, after an hour of observations, and several hours after the unfortunate meeting, Drake moved. He dropped down from the Aknatari house and moved over to the high wall of the Duke's mansion. It was high, but it was not for nothing that Drake had trained. He stayed atop the wall, flattening himself like a shadow, and moved along it as slowly as need be, until it joined the roof of the stables, and then higher to the roof of the mansion.
There was something exhilirating about climbing up into the picth black of the night sky, and it warmed him against the bitter desert chill.
Soon he made it over to his target quarters, and dropped lightly and silently onto the balcony. He peered through the open window and the thin mesh curtain, and smiled at what he saw. A familiar skinny hound curled up on a mat. Well, he knew he had the right room.
Drake climbed through the window, his eyes searching for his target.
He kept his voice low, for fear it would be heard outside the room, and for once, he sounded very uncertain indeed.
Zuleika - June 15, 2012 02:49 PM (GMT)
She knew not how many steps she took as the ever present, throbbing grip upon her forearm guided her along the path not chosen by her own volition. From the festival grounds to the main streets of Dal'ib, many minutes passed and she, being herded along now by an arm across her upper back could only look onward in astonishment. The odds would have been in her favor to bolt, had the grip on her not been so tight. Still, she knew making a massive commotion would have her undoubtedly tossed over a rodani guard's shoulder and disgracefully carried along, for the threat was made when she tried to stop on her tracks twice.
After that, every foot fall for her was agony until they, passing off the main entrance for the left side entrance of the Sandsbreach estate, finally made her cease walking entirely and... haha... they turned on her. Oh shit.
Now mind you, each guard had a distinct personality, they were of different classes and of course, two were devout gairans. Inwardly, these two in particular saw nothing wrong with this actions of hers, but still, they were openly appalled by the fact someone who appeared to be of higher class, in comparison to the peasant who had openly sought to place affection upon their charge, would dare act in such a manner! In public also!
The other four... well... they were paranoid, outright peeved even by the fact they believed their charge
had staged this scene
and they had all been a fool to it! One of these four had Zul in his arms and after being mildly shook and questioned about Drake, all she did was stare at them or answering these questions of theirs with faintly voiced snarky remarks ("Where does he live?" "Certainly not around here..." "Who was he?" "...an acquaintance.")!
When it finally came to the question of, "Is he your lover?"
Zuleika could only cringe and look away. When one of the guards substituted the word lover
Zuleika blanched and went dead silent!
Unwilling to answer anymore questions, she was, for better or for worse, placed into the arms of servants who, upon bitter orders, were told to put her up in her room.
The guards had to figure out how they could rectify this situation, for their asses, they assumed in their paranoia, would be on the line!
Certainly tomorrow they would tell him; until then, they would attempt to track the damn bastard down and arrest him like the accosting dog he was.
She did not mean for this to happen; she honestly did not mean for this to happen!
What in the name of heaven and hell was going on with her! Why did she allow herself to lose her composure and nearly slap Balaric's bride! Why did she allow
herself to reach out and embrace someone in public, let alone, let alone...
Oh angels, oh sweet merciful angels
, the damned assassino kissed her!
He hadn't noticed... he better
not have noticed! Dear angels, dear Gods
and their wives, she had wanted
No, no to admit it was shameful; it was not the thoughts a chaste woman had! Hell, no! She allowed herself to feel a sense of fondness for one man and one man alone once before; a chaste woman did not stray, even after death! Even... after...
...b-but his hand, despite being abrasive, had felt so... warm... almost comforting... and.. GOOD GOD ZULEIKA!
He was the devil incarnate, the very embodiment of corruption, the damn sinner of sinners of his generation! Those eyes of his could... could...
His eyes were a rich, dark brown, weren't they? Weren't...
Stuttering and stammering in her thoughts, Zuleika did her best to keep it together. She paced from one room to the next like a nervous horse full of energy, hardly ceasing these movements until a good hour had passed. Weary, wary, ready to jump out of her skin for every servant who came and went, when the servants finally ceased coming altogether, Zul finally settled down... just enough to eat some of the sliced fruits brought to her.
She was in deep trouble, wasn't she? Not yet, but later, yes? This was not the time to be attracting trouble to herself, but she managed to do so, just the same. It took some time for her to undress herself and simply don on a wrap around, long-sleeved sleeping robe of indigo color to keep the chill off as she again, once more paced. The poor woman was never going to be able to sleep again, was she?
If she stopped bloody touching her own lips with her fingers, then maybe she would!
She should have just let him walk away, she should have just let him walk away! No flinging of anger, no flinging of words, and most certainly not flinging herself
at him! If she did not die of shame and embarrassment on this night, then once he
found out, she most certainly would! He...
Oh angels, what the hell
had she done!
Hardly one to cry anymore than she already had, curling up on a divan in the common room of her quarters sounded far better than curling up in the damn low-bed in the next room over! And sadly, twas where she was when she finally managed to fall asleep; at least, until the moment Sahib started talking
in his sleep and... Tarma moved.
Tarma, another skinny hound who came and went as she pleased around the house, was also in the quarters Zuleika dwelled in. She, hearing the noise out on the balcony, reluctantly rose from the soft blankets she slept on and, hopping off the piece of furniture, she padded from one room to the next, finally spying Drake from the doorway.
The off-white colored hound simply blinked at him in the dim light of the lanterns being used and yawning afterward, sought to meander over to the feathered, lazy sod curled up on the mat to bully. Foot falls, faint and muffled from rugs on the floor, may have been heard until the frame of a woman, clutching a heavy, leather bound book in one hand, was at the entrance way of the very same door the hound came out of.
She clutched that book like it was life itself, digging her nails into it, tense and ready to throw it at the person who dared to call her name. At first to be honest, she thought she had been dreaming, but after noticing Tarma rising and hearing Sahib talking
with grunts and whines... she began to think twice. Her eyes had a hard time adjusting to the dim light, but realizing someone was indeed there, she... well...
She violently threw that damn book at the person standing there without truly looking at who it was, sadly enough.
Drake - June 15, 2012 08:16 PM (GMT)
Drake saw the hounds padding about, their light bodies easy to make out in the dim light. He was no fan of dogs, they were difficult buggers, loyal to the point of dangerous when around their owners. But Drake was almost used to the presence of Zuleika's mutts. He'd met one of them many a time, and never been bitten - or not yet, anyway.
And then a figure moved through the doorway from another room, and before Drake could say or do anything, a book was flying at him. He knocked it aside as it flew alarmingly towards his head.
"Hey, what's that for?"
He growled. One of these days Drake and Zuleika would meet without objects being thrown. Drake looked down at the heavy volume that thumped to the floor at his feet, wondering what he had done to deserve that. Surely she was the one that had screwed everything up today.
Drake took a moment to look over Zuleika, it was lighter in here than his dark climb outside and he could see well enough, could tell that she did not look like she'd suffered since he saw her a few hours ago. Drake realised there was a part of him that now worried she would have been punished for her indiscretion, when immediately after the event he had just been occupied with getting out of there with his own skin in one piece. But the witch looked her normal self, if a little more wired than normal.
"Why'd you do that, Zul?"
He asked, no longer speaking about the book.
"Tell me anything, I'll believe it. Tell me you were making a statement, or making another guy jealous and I'll believe you..."
He continued, his rough voice cracking from the forming of sentences that were for once of a non-violent nature.
The assassin stood, as tense as he had been in the festival grounds earlier, a silhouette against the open window. Every nerve in his body was demanding that he get the hell out. If he stayed, all he saw was danger; the guards that patrolled the corridors; her mass-murderer father in the next wing; Zuleika herself.
Drake realised that half the reason he was there was to beg that it hadn't been real, and they could go on as before.
The other half... whispered that he knew the familiarity of Zuleika's figure and how she moved, that he knew the softness of her skin and scent of her hair, and that now he knew the feel of her lips against his... the other half led somewhere entirely worse.
Zuleika - June 15, 2012 09:57 PM (GMT)
The heavy, leather-bound book containing poems and tales hardly did anything to incapacitate the individual who found himself the target of the object in question. Instead, the object was intercepted with ease and with the swing of an arm, blocked from physically connecting with the person in question's head! How pray tell was that possible? Often the objects she threw at servants and guards alike were hard to intercept! Who the hell was thi- Oh! It was just the assassino!
Wait a secon-DRAKE?!
The color in Zuleika's face, for perhaps the third time that night, began to drain. She stood there, lightheaded, wondering whether or not she was seeing things and if this, pray tell, was a dream she was having! Silent and still as a doe caught in the dead aim of a hunter's arrow, she found herself also unable to utter a single word, let alone a sound of any sort!
All she did, amusingly enough, was stare at him. Even as he spoke, questioning her, Zuleika continued to gaze towards him, disbelieving her own eyes. It took several long moments for her to finally turn her head and gazing to the entrance way that led into the common room of her quarters, she found herself wondering if the door, the main doors to her quarters, was still bolted and shut! She had made sure they were bolt shut before she chose to lay down!
So, how the hell did h-, how...
There was a guard usually standing outside at those doors, in spite of her bolting them shut, so how the hell did he get in! She told him to be safe! She expected him to stay away! Anger began to rise within her and finally cutting her vision from the direction of the common room, she turned her head once more towards Drake.
She was not dreaming. The bastard was here, despite all she had said, despite...
To be honest, she wasn't sure if she wanted to continue staring at him or perhaps cry, or worse, yell. Yelling was certainly out of the question because of the attention it attracted. Crying... she was a mess when she cried. And staring? Twas downright rude!
Smiling, on the other hand? It hadn't crossed her mind, period! And... reaching out to embrace him... again? No, no she would contain herself this time! She was sure of it! She...
All right, perhaps she was not so sure of herself.
The discoloring of her face was beginning to splotch to the familiar embarrassment she had felt hours earlier and holding back her words of anger, she let him say his piece.
For being such a silent individual; he certainly had more words to say on the matter than she did!
Gods and angels, what sort of fool was she? She swallowed hard and finally turning her attention towards the floor, she tried to make sense of her thoughts.
"I do not indulge in the petty games of jealousy other women play upon men."
The words, unusually softer than normal, were voiced and she found herself trying not to bite down on her bottom lip, albeit gently. Her stomach was violently rolling and trying to hold steady, in spite of her lightheaded spell, she continued on.
"I cannot tell you what I do not know, nor understand. When you are around, you anger me -- I cannot think clearly! It is one thing to be concerned for the well-being of another! It is another matter entirely when I am concerned, constantly! I do not know why I... I-I, you were angry with me! You did not underst-why am I raving like a madwoman? You should not have come; your daring will be your own undoing! You're mad to have done s- why did you kiss me!"
Words and even more words, soft and hissing, were beginning to be spout out of her mouth and starting forward, she found herself staring him down as she finally came to an abrupt halt a yard or so from him. Tears pinpricked at her eyes, but she sought to hold them back.
He had to have come through the window, from the one balcony. Then did that mean he climbed or... the roof or...
Good gods, he was insane!
Drake - June 16, 2012 06:47 AM (GMT)
Drake knew he was being foolish by being here. Oh, he'd done this before, many a time, breeching all boundaries to end up in a private chambers in the middle of the night. But that was always as a trained killer on a job. It felt bizarre to go through the motions with no set aim at the end, adrenaline rushed through his system leaving him feeling light.
It would take nothing for him to be discovered, a sentry looking the wrong way at the wrong time as he entered, or as he left; one raised word from Zuleika would bring guards to her room. Which of course was always a possibility, the two of them could not meet without some sort of heated arguement.
But Drake had to come tonight. He wanted to see the witch and know the truth. And with that single-minded thought, all the other details became trivial, the danger and the guards, and the midnight climb in darkness. Even Zuleika's request for him to stay safe. Well, that had not been the strongest request in the world. Besides, the assassin considered himself as safe as he ever was - at least being in physical danger was something he knew and could react to. Zuleika presented a whole new sort of danger that made him worry.
Drake stood waiting for Zuleika to speak, to do something, to move. Since when was he the one that could articulate and the witch the taciturn one?
Drake was beginning to wonder if she had truly lost the ability to speak when she finally opened her mouth and out dropped the words that he had been fearing to hear. So it was not to do with anyone else. Damn.
And then she proved that she could definately speak by rambling on. A part of Drake was relieved that this was the real Zu, proving it with her rant. But what she had to say made his gut twist.
"Do you have any idea how stupid you are being?"
Drake growled, moving forwards across the room so she could hear him properly, so she could sense exactly how angry he was at her right now. That she should worry about him, care about him, when clearly there was only conflict between them. That she should tempt him, spark a steady throb of desire in him, when he was far from deserving it returned.
Why did he kiss her? Drake was speechless, unable to thread two coherent thoughts together. But thankfully he'd always been a man of actions over words. He stood now before the witch, and for the second time that evening his hand reached to her cheek. And for the second time that evening he leant down and pressed his lips against hers, as roughly as the first time, but this time lingering there longer, no immediate threat of guards to haul him away.
But eventually he did pull back a fraction.
"You drive me crazy."
Zuleika - June 16, 2012 06:35 PM (GMT)
Why did he do this! Did his insanity have no boundaries? Did he-
'Do you have any idea how stupid you are being?'
Why yes, yes she did! She knew exactly how stupi- er, how foolish she was acting in the present situation! Inwardly scolding herself, inwardly shunning him, did he believe for a single moment, she was at peace with what she had done? The question he voiced only sought to draw her ranting and raving, in the form of whispers, to an eventual close. Pained, she knew not what to say to him any further -- other than to ask as to why he had... er...
Well, he knew what he did, didn't he?
Yet, she was not accusing him of any wrong doing -- far from it! His actions earlier in the evening had come at a complete and utter surprise to her! It had even ceased her tremors and tears and hell, even resolved some of her harshly-placed anger! BUT! She still wanted to reach out and slap him for being stupid, himself! She wanted to shake him and ask him what the hell he was trying to imply, or worse yet, o-.
...or, she could just remain where she was, standing still in spite of him drawing closer to her like a hungry cat to an injured mouse! Once he managed to get within arms reach of her... she would... she...
Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!
The second kiss was not unlike the first and although Zuleika's eyes detected the movement of his calloused hand reaching up to cup the side of her face, she absolutely refused to move away from him. Instead, her vision focused more intently upon his own face, her eyes searching his features for an answer -- any answer for that matter that would contain a shard of clarity to this entire situation; however, she wasn't given ample enough time to dwell on her thoughts. Their lips met and startled yet again by the foreign roughness of his mouth, she shifted slightly -- not quite backwards if that was one believed, rather just... a single breath away before she found herself unconscionably leaning forward.
Shameless, she was shameless! It was just a kiss, right? Right?
The kiss lasted longer than the previous one and as it continued, Zul's mind began to fall into a rather unfashionable, incoherent muddle of primordial ooze. So muddled was her thoughts, her body was hardly capable of being compliant to her own mental commands! Her knees wobbled, her fingers tingled, her face felt as if flames had scorched it (she was blushing again), and as her eyes, having dimly realized she had shut them, were opening once more because Drake had let her come up for air (not that he was suffocating her, of course, she was merely once again in shock), she... found herself having a hard time registering Drake's words.
Something about... her... being crazy. Or rather Drake being crazy? Something, something... clearing her throat quietly, she tried to voice her next sentence as seriously as possible.
"...Madness is good to have within arms reach."
...Come again, Zuleika?
Her fingers were seeking to grip a hold on Drake's dark,dusty cloak and ignoring the fact she may have been smearing dirt upon her palms, a hand was idly reaching up to touch his jaw. Obviously it bore stubble and absentmindedly seeking to feel, though rather cautiously, Zul tried to bring herself back to earth, or rather, back to her quarters.
Tried hard, mind you.
"I stand by what I said. You are not... not... ob-ob-liga-..."
The words, faint and ridiculously stammering, struggled to rise out of her, but she couldn't bring herself to say them. Not after her earlier thoughts, of Drake and Miss Cora. While Drake truly was a man of action; she knew not what his thoughts were. For all she knew, he could've been driven by lust! She did not understand these things, but she accepted the fact men may or may not have more than one woman in their life. In Aknatar, it was far too common-place! She knew not what she exactly saw in Drake, but she saw it and she wanted to ackn- sh-
All she wanted to do then and there was nestle into his arms and try not to bloody cry her emotions out! Again, why had he come? Only to see her... He... wanted to see her. Strangely, the thought warmed her as she tried to bury her face into his neck and embrace him.
Emotions were strange things, indeed.
Drake - June 18, 2012 02:41 PM (GMT)
Drake smiled through the kiss. He felt the witch, who had always been so stern around him suddenly soften. It would be a lie if he said he'd never thought about this, holding Zuleika in his arms, catching her lips under his. But the fantasy had always crumbled into nothing, when reality screamed that Zuleika would probably slap him if he tried to kiss her. But no, here they were, the witch soft and yielding like a normal woman.
When they broke apart, Drake searched her face for fear, for passion, for a clue that she was about to throw a wardrobe at him... But all he saw was a cloudly confusion. He frowned, thinking that she was changing her mind now. Was he truly so bad a kisser?
And her words did not help. Madness? Drake huffed at her riddle. Did she do this on purpose, saying nonsense? It was surely just to wind him up, because there was no one else in the room to benefit from her odd words. As Zuleika caught a firmer hold on his cloak, Drake felt himself hum with energy, with an intense desire to pick her up and... he forced himself to stay still. Her hand came up to touch his face, to explore what was unknown (he wondered if she truly knew what he looked like, she had been blind for most of the time he knew her).
Drake knew she would be met by the coarse stubble that he occassionally remembered to take care of. Would that put her off, that he was so rough, a sharp contrast to the soft life she was currently living in the Duke's kindness. Drake raised his hand to cover hers, then brought her palm to his lips.
Drake asked, guessing at the words she stammered out. How could there be no obligation or duty after what she had said. She was not some woman he'd known a few hours and could easily forget. She was a source of trouble and tension in his life for months now. A source of healing and answers. He could not easily forget this day and all that was said and done. He could not look at her the same.
Before he had refrained from seeing her as anything more than an acquaintance, but he couldn't help over time to notice her figure, her fire, her flashing eyes. Things that all tested his resolve. And now it was in the open.
"There's no going back."
Drake murmured to himself.
He glanced down as the girl curled against him, he could feel her warm breath against his collar. Drake couldn't help but tense, looking down at her confused. He really was as unfamiliar with all this as Zuleika. With the exception of sharing a bed, what part of him made her think that he was a cuddler? Beneath the coarse tunic was the hard and bulky evidence of his leather vest embedded with knives, and beneath that his skin rough and scarred, and his muscles hard from a life of fighting.
Zuleikas were strange things indeed.
Zuleika - June 19, 2012 12:01 PM (GMT)
Haha! A cuddler?
The idea of the assassino being of the cuddling sort, had Drake chosen to voice such a thought aloud, would have honestly been met with suppressed laughter. The idea was utterly fictitious! Still, despite the knowledge she currently knew of the individual before her, she had reached out to hold him, tightly so one might delicately add.
In some way she was trying to reassure herself he was here and that, once again, she was not dreaming of this unexpected rendezous between them. After all, dreams were not something she needed, nor wanted, anymore!
Things either were, or they weren't: twas what she sought to live by in the form of guidance, these days. Surely she had goals, and even inner desires she wanted fulfilled, just like any man, woman, or child, but to consider them dreams was just as fictitious as the notion Drake was a cuddler.
He had evaded guards, more guards, solid, heavy iron gates, iron spikes upon twelve foot walls, and hell, even more guards, and the nightmarish idea she was the bastard daughter of a kingslayer and mass murderer, just to see her! He was a man of few words and as it became more clear to her, more so one of actions.
As foolish as she presently believed him to be, she was also inwardly appreciating his daring!
(Or, scary as this idea is, he could have gone to all this work just to murder her, eep.)
Her nose nestled into his throat and gently breathing, she allowed her thoughts to dwell on the words the assassino spoke, seemingly undaunted by her awkward stammering. Did her stammering not annoy him in the past? The sudden, private query made on her part to herself caused the ghost of a smile to flicker across her mouth, vaguely distracting her from the fact, Drake's murmuring of not going back made her inwardly shiver.
She worried for him, she cared even, and to admit she loved him had been the hardest of confessions she had ever made! Love was awkward for her, beyond all reason, but she knew for certain her love for him did not stem from the profession he chose to follow, nor the basis of his appearance alone and the carnal desires it should have held in tantalizing promises, but something rather about his personality...
As crabby, cranky, and antisocial as he was, it was what she liked about him the most and the thought terrified her, leaving her angry and trying to drive him away or her moving abruptly on!
Besides, intimacy was truly not her forte, especially with the emotions she had! Not that it was an excuse or... damn, maybe she was unsure of ho- actually, no. She wanted to be careful of how she expressed herself, for fear of growing irritated, let alone impatient with him. He had tensed up when she had embraced him after all.
Her moving fingers, still contained in his own at the time upon his face, shifted and her thumb would have sought to lightly run across his bottom lip. Zuleika, drawing herself back also in the midst of the mild action, would have pushed herself up upon the balls of her feet. With rising intent and confidence, her lips would have sought to capture his own once again, offering to kiss him more intimately than before and a touch more fiercely. Her other hand moved and reaching between the space created between them both, she was trying to awkwardly work on the fastenings that would loosen his cloak, if not draw it off of his frame altogether.
Now, it had to be said she was one to think about her actions, and often the repercussions of them due to her paranoia. She knew, to some degree, what she was doing was wrong, but to a greater degree, she felt what she was doing was right.
No regrets, she had no regrets...
And unfortunately, she had become taciturn once more at the most unbecoming time, but who was complaining, hm?
Drake - June 19, 2012 01:33 PM (GMT)
Drake never wasted time with words, just as he never wasted time second-guessing himself when he made his mind up. There were plenty more barriers of confusion awaiting him where this witch was concerned, but his evening logic had been simple. He wanted to see her. All the things that Zuleika considered dangerous obstacles, Drake had taken in his stride (after all, he is The Stig ;) ).
And now, in the room with the woman he had sought, he was not after any further words from her. Whenever she spoke she seemed only to piss him off or wind him up. Whether it was her riddles, or her stammer, or her sneering assassino - which every time she said it, he'd wanted to crush her sneer into silence with a less than gentle kiss. Amongst other things.
And he was sure that after today, those things would still heat his blood and infuriate him. In fact, he hoped they did. Drake wanted the strong, opinionated, sarcastic (he was just being to get a handle on sarcasm after her repeat lessons) Zuleika; the last thing he wanted was her to suddenly be soft, pliant, and someone he could no longer rely on to tell him the harsh truth.
And if Drake knew that Zuleika was attracted mainly to his personality, or lack thereof... well, that would have confirmed that this girl was a little mad. To feel safe in the arms of a killer, and to like the fact that he was an utter bastard.
Drake felt her hand drift across his lips, as she raised her head and tilted her full lips up to catch his. Drake returned the kiss, and felt the added urgency to it. His pulse started to beat harder in response to it, and he kissed back. His arms wrapped around the small of her back, lifting her closer and up towards him, his fingers digging in to her frame through the flimsy robe. His teeth grazing her bottom lip, as he caught a desperate breath, then kissed her again.
When he felt Zuleika's hand press up on his torso, just above where his heart beat harder, and began to fiddle with the fastening on his cloak, Drake released one hand from her waist and undid the heavy cover and, dragging it off his shoulders, threw it aside. And when he looked at her again, his brown eyes were warm with intense desire.
He wanted to stop, to at least warn her not to get involved with him, to warn her that this could never end well. But for once Drake was being selfish, all he heard was his own adrenaline, his own demand for more, for no holding back. And barely thinking beyond this, he pushed her back, his arms supporting her, and roughly against the wall, as he'd longed to do on many an occassion.
He kissed her lips once more, then bent his head down, his lips, tongue and teeth tracing against the delicate line of her neck. One hand was firm against her waist, holding her, and the other travelled over the gentle curve of her hip to find the tie for her blue robe.
Zuleika - June 19, 2012 03:19 PM (GMT)
(hahahaha - The Stig!)
The fastening would have to come loose, sooner or later! Furrowing her brows in concentration, she had his cloak vaguely loosened when he, sensing her intent, came mutely to her rescue. The material, dark and heavy, was sliding off his shoulders and feeling a little bit too pleased with herself, the ghost of a smile toying across her mouth began to shift into a tiny smirk. The smirk would remain there, despite her breath being stolen again and again as she, taking his advances in uncertain stride, sought to return them with her own.
Physically he was the stronger counterpart and while there times when Zuleika felt a sense of physical strength resonate upward from the depths of her through magical means, by no means did she want to employ it upon him. There was no reason to and by jove, she did not desire to scare the assassino anymore than she already had in the past! (Or did she? Hm, hm, hm...) Lips locked, his arms around her, she sought to continue relenting in softness, allowing him to lead despite her inner irritation of wanting to go slow and easy in comparison to his bolder, faster movements.
Still, his actions kindled an unfamiliar heat inside of her blood all the same.
And his eyes told a story all of their own for once, for within them was an emotion Zuleika was beginning to understand and strangely, recognize with clarity. More advancing, more relenting, the moment the wall touched her back, she found herself jumping in surprise.
And amusedly enough, it made a hesitant, but actual smile form across her face. Haha! Who would have thought!
By then Zul's hands were tightly grasping the front of Drake's tunic and feeling the solid, heavy objects beneath the fabric, she found herself growing dissatisfied. The emotion, new and bewildering, left her puzzled until she found herself trying to curl her fingers into his chest. Zuleika's eyebrows furthered further and although she was enjoying the attention to her throat to the point, she was tilting her head to the side, she... well...
She couldn't help herself as she found herself uttering, her nails also digging into the soft areas of the tunic and leather vest underneath to make it apparent about what she was referring to.
"Assassino, honestly, might these... no, these come off."
Well hell, forget about asking nicely! While Drake was going for the thin sash around her waist, she was trying to figure out how to patiently pull his cursed tunic off! Fingers, gripping the material once more, was trying to pull it up and her eyes, glazed with emotion, finally shifted in the direction of where her hands were working
It was going to be quite... entertaining (or not) because if poor Drake didn't comply within a matter of a few seconds, Zul was going to be tearing that poor tunic of his open in the front in obvious frustration.
Poor girl, maybe her patience wasn't holding out after all.
(OOC: Honestly up to you what happens, LOL.)
Drake - June 19, 2012 05:19 PM (GMT)
Zuleika might have been silently wishing that Drake would take it slow and easy, but that was a foreign concept to Drake. There might be a time when he could carress her soft skin, and sit back and admire her beauty, but not when this flame burnt fierce and fresh. Poor Zuleika had turned her attentions to a very uncompromising and impatient lover. Drake could almost taste the adrenaline on her sweet skin, and chased the electricity of it. Nothing to make him slow down.
Drake could just feel the pressure of Zuleika's hands through the thick leather of his vest, and he heard the witch's request. He growled against her neck at that word, assassino, and his fingers dug into her waist a little harder.
Before relenting to her demand (although left to his own devices, he'd strip the layers anyway), his hand found the sash at her waist, and untied it, letting the material fall to the floor. Then he stood back from her, letting up the pressure he was putting on Zuleika. Not letting his eyes drop from hers, Drake pulled the black tunic up and over his head, revealing the strong, muscled arms that were criss-crossed with numerous scars. Drake dropped the top, and began to unlace the leather armour that Zuleika had never seen him without. Drake smiled slightly as he noted his own beating pulse and pounding breath, similar to when he felt the adrenaline of a fight. But now he shrugged off his last defence. He put down the vest and knives with more care than the clothes that had been cast before. Funny, how last time they had met Drake had wanted access to the Duke's house, and Zuleika had agreed but only if he went unarmed. And now she got her wish.
Beneath the vest, his skin was pale in contrast to his arms and face. The muscles of his chest and torso were equally scarred, screaming out this man's profession, how often he'd come close to death, and how often he'd dealt it.
Drake watched Zuleika carefully, wondering if the reality of the sight would change her mind. Then he stepped in close to her again, claiming another fierce kiss as his hands placed onto her hips, then slipped inside the open robe. The roughened skin of his hands moved possessively over the silk of hers, seeking to explore what had been hidden to him until recently. Uh, it almost made him groan to think of how she had stood naked before him when he broke into her house, how it had been a cruel tease in his mind because he never would have thought that this would happen, that Zuleika would want him too.
Zuleika - June 19, 2012 08:08 PM (GMT)
The material of his tunic, ebony and still in reasonably good condition, restlessly flexed in her fingers as his grip tightened upon her hips. She became aware of the pressure (and certainly his growl) and compelled to become silent, she sought to bring her eyes level to his own, yet again bewildered by these action of his. Had she said something wrong, by chance?
Although she continued to be uncertain and frustrated, she made no move to shy away from his heated gaze. His eyes burned in absolute vitality, with a strange, radiating fire she could have sworn to the very heavens above, was warming her skin. Fingers of one hand, loosening from the fabric, started to raise as if she was about to touch his face and seeing him step back, she... admittedly enough, found herself nearly stepping forward. His steady gaze however, forced her to remain where she was.
The moment he began to undress, her eyes, out of politeness, sought to shift to the far right.
No... just no. She did not want to avert
Turning her eyes once more towards him, albeit cautiously, her eyes flickered from between his face towards his scarred limbs. The sight of the vest itself also, in truth, was something she was vaguely familiar with. When she had first met him, she recalled seeing a part of it when he was forced to pull up his worn tunic to allow her to see to a knife wound he had unfortunately attained. After that however...
The vest was placed on top of his tunic on the floor and cutting her gaze uncomfortably away from the number of cursed, sharp knives contained in the slots of leather on the vest, her vision instead settled upon the stark contrast of skin color across his chest, to that of his sunburnt, brown limbs and face. Such a difference it was, she could not help but stand there, slowly (and quietly) surveying the harsh coloring of one scar to the next in the dim light. There were far more scars than she could count and although she frowned, her frown was gentle.
A great deal of those scars appeared older than most, and while some obviously were created by arrows, others by daggers, the rest... the oldest scars... were from swords.
She was certain of it. Why swords, however? Was he not an assassin? Surely assassins did not...
He moved forward and without thought, Zuleika was raising her arms to lightly touch his chest. His kiss, one of many already had and one of many more, was accepted with growing eagerness as her thoughts were turned from those scars he bore to simply accepting the attention he gave onto her. Surely the attention was rough, but she was not the type to utter a fuss as the fire in her blood grew hotter. (And frankly, she was more of the type to offer quiet retribution in the form of sinking her nails into his flesh and giving him a few well-deserved scratches for him to recall!)
In the end, all she could coherently remember in the midst of his caressing was her hands rising higher, attempting to push the open indigo robe off her own shoulders, to fall forgotten and ignored at her ankles.
Fade To BlackOut of Character:
Sorry folks, shoo! Shoo!
Drake - June 19, 2012 09:19 PM (GMT)
Drake leant against the headboard of Zuleika's large and expensively comfortable bed. He was half-sat up, with one arm propped behind his head. He was staring down at the sleeping girl laying next to him. The soft cotton sheets were twisted about her frame, revealing glimpses of her shoulder, and one of her long legs. Her hair, the red lights of it lost in the unlit room, was a dark shadow splayed across her pillow. Drake thought she looked younger asleep, with no sneer on her face or disapproval in her eyes, that were so familiar to him.
She'd fallen asleep about half an hour ago. Drake supposed it had been a very long and stressful day for her, as well as their exertions tonight. He too felt the familiar languid feeling sex often left in his limbs, but he was too worried to sleep.
Drake stretched, careful not to disturb Zuleika, he really had to move soon before the day started and the house awoke. Being found in the bed of the freshly deflowered daughter of the Duke would not be a good start to the day.
Shit. The realisation of what he'd done hit him again, just as sharp as it had earlier when Drake had the proof that he was Zuleika's first lover. Ugh, he was going to hell, there was no other way of looking at it. He couldn't remember ever seeing her with another man, but he'd assumed that at her age, and the fact that she'd spent time with gypsies, and an awful lot of time drunk...
If he'd known, he... well, he wasn't sure what he would have done. Probably not come this evening, not forced himself so roughly on her.
Grimacing, Drake swung his legs out of the bed and gently got up, trying not to disturb the mattress. He padded about the room on bare feet (and bare everything else) gathering his things, pulling his trousers and boots back on, and then lifting his leather armour.
At this point he hesitated, looking down at what he considered vital, his "vest of death" as Zuleika called it. Feeling more than a little sick with himself he pulled it on, knowing that the leather vest contained the knives and daggers that Cora had made for him. Oh shit, what had he just done.
Drake fumbled to fasten the ties on the armour, then pulled his crumpled tunic back over his head. He knew exactly what he'd done. When they'd threatened to arise, he'd pushed all thoughts of Cora to the back of his mind, where they festered while he occupied himself with another woman. And now they came back to assault him. He loved Cora, and didn't want to hurt her.
But Zuleika... Zuleika was unexpected. He'd mainly ignored his feelings as desire and frustration. But then she came out and said all that stuff... He couldn't walk away.
Pulling on his cloak, Drake glanced over to the bed one last time, then climbed back out the window to make the reverse journey back to Dal'ib...
Zuleika - June 19, 2012 11:19 PM (GMT)
When it came to affairs of intimacy, it was obvious Zuleika had mediocre stamina (and knowledge other than in the basics of what she knew, healing-wise). Well, to be honest, mediocre stamina overall.
The time indoors had begun to soften the wiry, taut muscles she had procured over the past year. The gaunt look of her frame had also softened, displaying she was regaining weight from constant meals and care, but most of all, her body was, in some ways, still healing physically. The skin along her one shoulder, forearm, and collarbone should have been horrendously scarred from the deep infection of the arrows embedded in her shoulder injury from earlier in the year, but instead the flesh was obviously healing, holding a pinkish tone, constantly warm to the touch and vaguely wrinkled. The already healed flesh of the injury was also pale in color in comparison to the sunkissed olive tone seen on a good portion of her frame. Mind you, similar coloring of her skin was found on her one leg, but unlike her shoulder, it wasn't something to truly notice.
Jared, the Duke's healing mage, had done his work well, but between a shoulder injury apparently healing on its volition now due to her and the other problem being her problematic vision, Jared had chosen the graver of the two situations to deal with.
She was, at the very least, grateful, but the sight of her shoulder and collarbone had the tendency to make her flinch when she peered into the mirror.
Twas sad really, but unlike Drake, she was incapable of permanently scarring and to those who truly saw the way she healed, utterly believed she was a demon of sorts. It bothered her, so she covered herself, keeping material of wraps or shawls, even that ridiculous off-white robe around her upper body when she had the chance.
All this and more, it could be said, hardly made her enticing, at least in her eyes (or opinion) to Drake, and frankly, she still did not understand what he saw in her, other than the fact she drove him crazy.
It could also be said, this was the first time she had actually slept in the bed inside of the quarters. Yes, twas no denying it for her familiar sleeping mat and a few blankets were rolled up on the floor next to the bed itself, ignored and unused on this night, of all nights. Drake's presence, her weariness, both mentally and physically, made her believe she could shut her eyes and relax.
Or so she thought.
Her sleeping had grown light over the time spent in the Duke's house (face it, daughter or not, this was the Butcher's house), but she did not stir as Drake rose. His footfalls, again light and whispering, merely made her clutch tighter to the large pillow she held in her arms and, absentmindedly nestling her face into the soft material and padding, she should have resumed her sleeping... at least, until the assassino was fully clothed. The rustling of fabric and leather, the faintest shifting across the rugs and wooden floor as he passed from area to the next, finally made Sahib stir.
And when the dog (or dogs) stirred, she stirred.
Drake was already looking away and heading for the window, but Zul's eyes were wearily opening. Her head rose from the pillow slowly and bleary eyed, confused of her surroundings, she found herself mutely watching Sahib who, appearing quite disgruntled, was heading towards the window also.
Fur rising up on his back, tail curled high and proud, his lips were beginning to curl and out the shadows, he gave a rather loud, deep, disdaining growl, intent on giving the boot that still remained in the said window (assuming Drake was still climbing out) a sharp snap at before bounding away.
It was obvious he was going to have the last word, or rather action, when it came to Drake.
As for why though, who could say?
He was just a damn dog made grumpy by the fact he was awakened in the middle of the night.
(Hoozah for closers?)