07.30.3013: Invasion of Privacy
Summary: After uncovering dark truths, Nitrim and Soleil figure themselves out a bit more.
Date: 30 July 2013
Related: None
Soleil Nitrim 

Soleil's Apartments - Palace Towers - Landing
This suite is a dreamy wonderland, a fantasy of deep sea wonders or outer space enigmas. Everything is black. The walls, the modern furniture, the floor, the bed and its linens and curtains. Then in the midst of the black, water tanks, full of strange aquatic creatures from the depths of the Havenite oceans. The light of the room is ultraviolet when on at all, and most of the aquatic creatures glow, or pulse light. One of the tanks actually possesses water that seems to itself glow, the bioluminescence of a thousand microscopic lives. It is altogether a stunning display, some dreamed-up conglomeration of different environments that somehow work in harmony. The haunting sound of water echoing, as if in a deep cave, the reflection of rippling water, bluish upon the walls, the chill of space, the captivating wonder of alien worlds.

The suite includes a luxurious bathroom that extends the aquatic theme, a bedchamber, a study that also serves as a sitting and media room. The only part of the suite that departs from the deep sea and outer space mystery is reached via a winding staircase, which leads to a small terrace with a fairytale-like feel. From there, epic views of Landing can be taken in, along with a wonderful view of the stars above at night.

July 30, 3013

Hours after their ordeal in the Grand Necropolis on Primus-Val, Nitrim and Soleil arrive through the door to her room. Grim-faced and carrying a dark, conspiracy-ridden cloud over his shoulders, the blonde Khourni tugs at the tips of his gloves until he can pull them off and slide them into the inner coat of his long, black jacket. Smelling slightly of cigarette smoke from the one he enjoyed on the way in from the Waygate, he shrugs the jacket off of his shoulders and moves past Soleil to sit quietly on one of her sofas. Knees bent with elbows upon them, he steeples his fingers in front of his mouth and stares at the couch across from him, quieted and lost in thought.

A heavy silence had fallen over Soleil ever since the last revelation of the tombs. To say she’s spooked would not be inaccurate. The whole affair’s a bit of a mindfuck, and for it to take place in the very organs of Haven life— a mine, a tomb— it seems like a cancer that has reached deadly stages.

When they reach her room, Nitrim goes to the couch, but Soleil first extracts the disgusting vial of decaying blood and puts it in a series of plastic bags before finally, with great hesitation and a look of disgust, she puts it in the concealed ice box. by the liquor cabinet.

That done, she wordlessly heads to the bathroom. When she returns half an hour later, she’s thoroughly scrubbed, her cheeks slightly red, and wearing a thick robe.

Sitting down on the couch, whether Nitrim is still there or not, she tucks her legs under her and pulls her hands into the voluminous sleeves of her robe.

Nitrim is there, still as she returns, trapped into a long lost stare towards the wall. Sensing her returned presence through the shifting shadows, his arm unclasps from the other as she sits down to snake around her hip in a comforting way. Tugging softly to guide her to lean against his body, he scoots back to provide a comfortable space and continues to stare at that hopeless, empty patch of painted wall.

For the minutes that pass he says nothing; with no clue as to where to start. Even after the incident at D-4 he was never so spooked. There was an answer and an end to that incident, but the photograph they each have a copy of is something that could set the world on fire, and there is no telling just what or where it's safe to do anything about it.

He turns his head, planting a kiss to her temple, mouth lingering there as he wakes from his trance. It gives him the strength to put thought to his own voice.

"Are you okay, Soleil?"

Compliantly, she shifts to lean into him, a safe enough place. With the world shaken up so that the line between enemy and ally is no longer as clear as man and hostile, trust can’t be placed so easily anymore. But this is one person whose head she’s been in.

“Not really.” The red eye would have helped at a moment like this, but she dares not even resort to the special cigarettes. From here on out, the mind needs to be clear. These thoughts, unknown to Nitrim, draw a deep sigh. She twists the belt of her robe around her finger and then around her wrist.

“If I wanted to take down an empire, one I had been fighting for thousands of years in a kind of stalemate, this is what I’d do,” she finally says. “I’d invade the very heart f it. The thing that unites everyone, and gives them peace and comfort. The thing that helps them to cope with the shit in their lives, with death.” That, apparently, is her take on what they’ve seen so far.
“We need the journal. We need to process the blood a little, maybe hydrate, so it goes further. It’s like…sludge. I am not sure I know enough to do that.”

"At this point I've got to assume that Emund is compromised whether he knows it or not, but it makes sense to me. He is far more of a holy roller than Janelle is, and if he's getting strong urges from the Chantry for this or that they're gonna funnel his hand right into selling us up the river." Nitrim replies, fingertips brushing up and down her side in a lazy, swaying motion.

"If I were going to bring down an empire, I'd be doing the same thing. I guess—we can't afford at this point to not believe that this is exactly what is happening." He adds, huffing out a quiet sigh. Lowering his head, he reaches out with his claw-like pinky ring to scrape over the contours of the drake on his belt buckle.

"What about Janelle? Is there anyone you trust?" He looks up to her, eyebrows hopeful. "I trust my Father. He expects me to dig, he wants me to dig. Right now he's far more blind than we."

“Trust?” She tilts her head back to look up at him, her brow furrowed. “No.”

She drops her head back to his shoulder, unwrapping the belt of her robe. “I checked my messages while I was in the shower. Janelle’s worried about Emund. Which is disturbing. I’ve never heard her say a loving word about him. Not that concern means love but… I guess it means there’s a threat to his wellbeing that doesn’t sit well with her, and that’s a anger we all need to take notice of.”

“I suppose we can trust her as much as anyone. She’s damned sharp, not one to be manipulated or cowed, and now I think she’s fighting for her freedom. But she doesn’t know what’s going on either. She doesn’t know who in the Khourni is making a power grab. She probably doesn’t know anything about this Chantry sickness or whether the things are connected. What if they /are/ connected?”

She shifts, stretches her body out on the couch and scoots down, so that she can lean her head on Nitrim’s thigh. “Taryn, maybe. I don’t know why. But someone with power? No, no one I trust.”

Leaning down quickly, Nitrim's fingers tug at the buckles of his heavy boots and with two simple, kicking motions he sends them each tumbling onto the carpet. Shuffling, he makes for a more comfortable cushion for Soleil's head.

"Conspiracies this deep don't take into account the outside players being on to them, which makes me glad we started this cabal." Nitrim comforts, raking his fingers through her long, damp hair; the tips of his claw-like rings painlessly scratching down her scalp. "All we have to do at this point is find out where their main point of connection is to Emund, perhaps Elder Remus on the Crown Council, and find out where to tug. Janelle is on the Council, maybe you could ask her how much of Emund's ear the Elder has?"

"Still…" Nitrim trails off, almost vacant. "…we've just dropped ourselves into dangerous territory. We should make a promise to each other to not get ourselves killed before the wedding. I don't know, maybe we should pull back and play this one from the shadows and find out who we do trust, gather allies, and see whether or not those do-rights we were with in the tunnels hang themselves. We might see more players if we do that, but I think we can assume that Janelle can help. I won't rule out her instinct for self preservation."

“So once you sleep with me you’ll happily die?” Soleil asks wryly, looking up at Nitrim from her skewed vantage, the corner of her mouth twisted. “Ugh, next thing you know we’ll have a legacy to protect. Reasons to want to make the world a better place. Something to die for, not just a lack of a reason to live.” Of course the latter problem was mostly hers.

“You know, I almost thought about asking if we could move to Volkan. I had this dream the other night, about Landing. It feels really vulnerable. And the palace, isn’t that a great place to hit? I mean our king sleeps practically around the corner. And with some sort of cancerous infiltration it just doesn’t feel safe here anymore. I have enough trouble sleeping. But I guess your father wouldn’t be game for that, considering he’s marrying you to me to get you inside THESE walls.”

She drops her eyes, and closes them, letting the sensation of hands in her hair do what it can to relax her, though she murmurs on. “I’ll ask Janelle. But I don’t know how much she trusts me, or ever did. But especially now. I doubt she thinks very highly of the Khournas at the moment. And I /did/ ask her about marrying you back when we first got together. SHe may think I am your bitch now.” She smiles faintly without opening her eyes. Folding her hands just at her sternum, she seems to be trying to embfrace relaxation.

“I don’t think she has any idea who’s pulling the strings. Janelle being helpless is the most terrifying thing of all.”

"You're not going to believe me when I say this but it has far less to do about sleeping with you than it does just getting us through the next hurdle." Nitrim admits with a whisper as his fingertips clear the tips of her long strands. His hand continues down her side until it comes to a stop atop the swell of her hip.

"But if you don't believe that, because lets be fair I do think about it, believe this. If Volkan is getting set up to get fucked, and all of the power is here, then we don't want to move there. That is where this is killing me, Soleil. It's starting to make sense; move Janelle to Volkan and lay down a kill shot that will leave Emund without a power base to depose him, then keep whispering in his ear with no one left to encroach him."

His fingertips curl into a fist at her hip, bunching up the pooled silk and exposing a little more of her slender, white leg as a byproduct. If not for the tension in his voice, it would seem flirtatious.

"I need to warn my father so that he can see this pieces moving against him with more clarity. I've got you, here, and always will but I'm not interested in watching my family get slaughtered from the comfort of our new apartment."

She might have fallen asleep, for all the response she gives him. Her breathing is shallow and steady, emphasized by the rise adn fall of her hands. But silences never mean inattention, with Soleil, and he probably knows that by now.

At last her breast rises more, as she breathes in deeply. “You’re the one with a great deal at stake, and it seems this kind of thing is in your blood. I’m not seeing the big picture— where your family’s in danger, I mean. I can’t make anything of the shadows. I do think if we act on assumptions we’re more likely to fall into danger. I feel almost…stupid. I’ll help you with whatever you need but I /hate/ blind groping and I feel like that’s what we’re doing right now. On two different fronts. Unless the Hostile infiltration is connected to the Khournas infiltration, heh.” She laughs but it’s a hollow and quickly fading sound

“We’re kind of asking for trouble.”

"I'm trying hard not to operate on assumptions. I really am. The way my mind works is I picture the best and worse case and right now I'm just not seeing a best case. It makes the worst case seem all the more likely." Nitrim replies after a long silence.

Letting the silk of her robe pool back into place, his fingers arch and he begins to trace a circle into her side, affectionately, while he gathers his thoughts.

"I think that I have one of two choices to make here. Either we play careful and do what we can and when, say fuck it, get married and gods forbid we ever have children. We hope things pool out fine and we take a stab at being happy for a change." As if it were so simple. "Or I give in to this part of myself that worries that if I don't run off and play god-hero that everything I love and care about; you, my family, legacies, are going to suffer because I didn't have the care to get involved."

He laughs softly and turns his head over hers, distracting himself in the tense moment by playfully pulling the hem of her robe up the outside of her thigh. Show time.

"What do you want for us, Soleil? Truly. Do you really want me to sit this out?"

“Mind in the gutter,” she says with a little smile as he starts pulling her robe up her thigh. She doesn’t stop him, leaving it hanging in the air, the question of whether she will, and if, when.

“My life’s been in flux for a while. I’m still not used to the idea of wanting to bother with anything. But the moment I start thinking about the future, and me being a part of it, I start wanting things. Things like…control. Where I’m not having to worry so much because I’m directing the path things take. Always hated those fucking dreams as a kid because people were so busy telling me not to worry. I had dreams about all kinds of things. Some never came true. Maybe most. So when I’d have a dream that did— no one would listen to me. And then….awful things happened. And I was helpless to stop it. So I eventually gave up.”

“The moment I am done with being done, I start needing control. I want to tie the strings around my fingers and be the one making the puppets dance. I certainly don’t want to be on a string myself. That means you can’t be either. I am not sure whether the way to avoid being someone’s puppet is through action or inaction.”

"Something like that." There is a smile in Nitrim's voice as he watches the silk slide over the halfway point of her leg, revealing the lower quadrant of her thigh. He's listening, quite intently, but doing what he is seems to be some sort of lifeline to the real world.

"With the dreams it was kind of the same with me, only my family didn't want to be bothered. I had a mentor, but he wasn't a comforting thing. He was a hard man. He taught me to be a shadow rather than someone affected. It didn't do shit to make them any less hard to get through." Leaning down, he places a kiss to the top of her head and goes back to his lean, eyes on the side of her body.

"We might lose the ability to have total control but at least this, us, is something in our own hands. We are in control of /us/ now, which is better than things were a few months ago. I think we can maintain that, at least on our own terms, and we can work with the rest of your House to hedge our bets, but…say the Sauveur or Khournas get fingered for this Chantry thing? It will be nice to have friends. I don't mean to scare you, maybe that's just my own fear talking, but its the reason I want to get over the wedding hurdle. That's not something that they can take away once it is done. It's one less thing to have to keep in mind."

“You think they might dissolve the banns?” she asks, closing her eyes again. “It’d be scandal for nothing. It’s a good marriage for both our houses, I guess. Of course if someone gets it in his head that you and I, together, are a force to be reckoned with…” The corner of her mouth twitches.

“In which case we should probably both pretend to be what we always seemed. The afterthoughts of our houses. Ohh that sounds so self-pitying doesn’t it?” She opens one eye to look at him, smiling faintly. “Whatever, I just mean I don’t think anyone expected a lot out of me. If we look like a couple of kids getting drunk and getting stoned, no one will think twice about us being a threat.” She closes her eyes again.

“Then again, I already see how ‘seriously’ we’re taken. I kind of wanted you to kick Jor in the teeth. Man’s got a chip on his shoulder…still maybe it’s best we let them think we’re punks.”
She inhales again deeply, and lets the breath out slowly. “I…can’t think about this anymore right now. I can’t slow my mind down as it is…”

"Well, we're rich and powerful. If we can't get stoned once in a while what's all this prestige worth?" Nitrim muses, lowering his voice to a whispered, gentle tone. "Nothing's going to change the fact that if you're looking for someone to get in trouble with that doesn't mind a tongue lashing, you lucked out on banns."

Speaking of trouble, the silk at her hip starts to pull over the curve of her hip, exposing the last of her upper-thigh. Head tilting, Nitrim watches the way the silken garment trails over the curve of her backside with a breed of idly hungry, male, clinical interest.

He looks but doesn't touch. Letting the silk slip from his hands, he trails his fingertips up the back of her spine to brush the nape of her neck softly.

"Then don't think about it anymore." He murmurs down to her. "This, right now, is a nice escape. We can worry about this later."

“Mmm,” she answers, the slight furrow in her brow easing as she lies otherwise so still. Her hands remain just beneath her breast. She shifts her legs, bending one at the knee a little.
“I’ve been thinking,” she says, after a moment. “About how much or how little we know about each other. About whatever surprises there might be. And wondering if you’d rather know or not know.”

She turns to her side and drapes an arm across his lap, her cheek to his leg. “When you thought about getting married— if you ever did think about it before— what kind of girl did you picture for yourself? And…how do I compare?”

"I always pictured a girl that wasn't afraid of me, didn't treat me like I was something larger than I was. I don't know if you noticed but I sometimes take myself too seriously…" He lowers his dark, green eyes to hers and flashes a coy smile towards her. "…so I always pictured in my head a girl that wouldn't be too afraid to give me a little shove every now and then. It's something I need to stay grounded."

Over her back his hand stretches out slowly, coming back down over her hip so that his fingers can spider-walk over the pooled silk and onto the creamy skin. Like a creature walking, he keeps his eyes on her as his fingertips tap slowly down her body.

"And, you know, a girl that was ridiculously sexy in her own dark, illicit way. I was born into those dreams, there was never a simple, cookie-baking girl in this world that had a prayer. I never wanted the maiden, I wanted the Devil herself; a girl that would challenge me and make me fight for her attention. I wanted an equal, and a girl that would be a partner in crime far more than some beautiful blonde I came home to."

His hand comes to a stop at the lower curve of her backside. His fingers, all of them, plant against the skin and slide back up to the silk.

"That night at the Solarium hurt to walk away from. I couldn't get it out of my head." He tilts his head, eyes cast down to hers. "I spent days kicking myself. You have this ability to stab me in the right spot, every time, for better or for worse. You have no idea how much that makes me know I ended up exactly where I want to be."

“Good, because I got tired of playing innocent a long time ago,” she sighs softly, twisting herself and rubbing her cheek on his leg slowly, turning her eyes from his to look at nothing instead. “I don’t know how or when I forgave you, but I think I have. I have it in me to do once. But if something like that ever happens again I may wrap my arms around you and hurl us both into the volcano. One way or another we’re going to be diamonds.”

She shifts again, then draws herself up to sit in his lap, finding a comfortable place by simply trusting he’ll conform, as she puts her head against his shoulder. “I wish we could be the fuckups Jor seems to think we are. We’d have a few years to pull shit before having to settle down and—”

She doesn’t finish the thought. It’s not a conversation she wants to have right now. Instead she just goes silent for a bit.

At last, “It’s time for bed. Couch alright? I only want so much self-control out of you.” And slowly she pulls herself away, calmed enough for sleep at last.

With her in his lap, Nitrim chooses against the little creature inside of him that screams to break apart the near-monastic self control he imposed on himself weeks ago. Balancing his wrists off of both of her hips, he looks up to her face and quiets.

"It's not gonna happen again. I won't let it. I was lucky enough to get a second chance, and while I wouldn't mind going out a diamond I'd rather go with the ridiculously hot girl option." He winks. It's an attempt at being smooth.

"We're gonna be fine. This is where I want to be. I didn't know where I wanted to be, but now I do. I /will/ be better to you than I was before. I promise." Ending the sweet moment, he wraps his arms around her shoulders and turns his resting of her head into an honest hug.
He leans up to press a kiss to the corner of her mouth and then pushes off of the couch. Carrying her with him, he gets a cheap feel of her ass as he carries her off towards her bedroom. Nudging the door open, he steps over to the edge of her bed and turns her light weight in his hands. About to lay her down, he drops her the last few inches and brushes his hands off, his work complete.

"You're only going to get so much self control out of me. You're trouble, you know, but a trouble I like. I'm quite aware that I am doomed. Doomed. So you'd better keep yourself locked in here for the better of us."

Turning his back to her, he moves to her door-frame and flips off her light. Turning back to look to her, he is a dark silhouette framed by the lights from the hall.

"I'll be out here if you need me. Sleep tight, Soleil."

With that…he turns and closes her door, disappearing into her kitchen to raid her fridge and watch late-nite InfoSphere programming. He is totally going to eat all of her hummus and feta. Her digital recorder will sudden think she's taken a liking to horrible action movie programming, and start to record things like 'Black Knight versus OctoZilla IV' on instinct from the moment the morning comes.

The sharing of space begins.

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